Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anime First Impression: Hatsukoi Monster (2016)


First Impression: Not sure about this one

Number of Episodes I Watched: 5
Total Number of Episodes: 12


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A parody of the romance genre where a high school aged girl instantly falls for the handsome stranger who saves her from being hit by a truck.

She confesses to him, and he agrees to have her as his girlfriend if she still wants him after she learns who he really is. She is not dissuaded by this secret! She'll love him no matter what!


 Image Source | Google Images Search: Hatsukoi Monster

So what is his secret?-- He's only in 5th grade.

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I went into this anime expecting to laugh...and I did laugh, but not in the way or for the reasons I was expecting.  This show is not as witty as I would have liked.  Instead it's stupid-funny, making you laugh at the utter nonsense that is tossed out.

The Opening: 

Kaho Nikaidou is a sheltered rich girl who has left her life of luxury behind to attend school in the city and have real life experiences.  She opens the show with a monologue about this and the fact that she's never had anyone be angry with her.

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A snooze-worthy opening to be sure, but whatever.  It will be over soon.  She almost gets hit by a truck, but is saved by the handsome man-child & then they realize they live in the same boardinghouse.  And start dating...

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The Characters:

Kaho starts out as a confusing character.  She wants to take control of her life.  She realizes she can't actually date a 5th grader--and then she dates the 5th grader.

Is this her taking control of her life?  You get no compelling reason for why she agrees to it except, yah know, comedy.


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Kanade Takahashi is at once a dick joke making 5th grade boy and a really earnest guy trying to be the good boy his mother wanted him to be.  His humor all comes from the fact that he looks like a man, but acts like a child.

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The supporting cast consists of Kanade's elementary school friends (two of which are also man-children), the other boarders in the house--all of which are odd, and the landlord Mr. Takahashi--Kanade's dad, who cannot find out about his child dating a teenage girl.

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The Potential for the Series:

I love the concept of this parody poking fun at the ridiculous romance tropes such as:

A. "I'll love him no matter what" 
B. "He's so handsome = instant love"
C. "I should try to make this work, even though it absolutely cannot possibly work (and is illegal)" 

(Now don't get me wrong, I love romance anime.  But it's healthy to be able to laugh at yourself.)

Honestly, I almost bailed on this show, but something that happens in episode 5 convinced me to keep going.

If this show can continue to play on the parodying romance themes in the coming episodes I think I'll end up enjoying it.  However, if it veers too far off into slice of life territory with random episodes that don't progress the plot, I think I will get bored.

These characters are not strong enough for that.  They're caricatures only, and their dick jokes easily get old.

 Image Source | Google Images Search: Hatsukoi Monster

I have no preference for this relationship to work or crumble--whichever tells a better story is fine with me.

Should You Watch Hatsukoi Monster?

Maybe.  If you are in the mood for something silly and a little bit dumb, try this one out.

It's too early to tell, but this show might know exactly what it is doing.

Image Source | Google Images Search: Hatsukoi Monster

Thanks for reading!
Manda