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« Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko. – 11

Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko. – 12 (END)

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「変態王子と記憶の外」 (Hentai Ouji to Kioku no Soto)
“The Pervert Prince and Outside the Memories”

There was one piece of the puzzle required to make the plot make sense, and we finally got it. The self-sacrificing hero and his memories…I would expect no less from our Ouji, hentai or not.

The Fear of Losing a Parent

There comes a time in most people’s lives when they realize that their parents are mortal. If we’re lucky, it’s before they’re actually gone, so that we can treasure them properly. More often than not, it’s when someone else has passed on – a grandparent, in all likelihood – that we realize that our parents might be next. When that realization comes, we all still fight and disagree and live our lives, but we’re quicker to end with a hug and an “I love you,” because there’s always that lingering suspicion that this might be the very last one. Probably not of course, but it can’t hurt to tell your parents that you love them a few more times, can it? No, it cannot.

For a J.C.Staff romcom that took logic and said “Screw it, we’re in this for the antics!”, ending on such a heavy note is actually perfectly in line with the rest of the series. Logic be damned, this has always been about the feels, and you don’t throw out the “terminally ill parent” card without eliciting some feelings indeed. This episode was shot through with dread until that climactic scene, when the family of four all hugged, and for a time at least, it was alright. Pardon me, I need to call my parents up and tell them I love them.

If He Sees a Girl Crying, He Will Help

The key to having a pervert hero be likable, or at least the route most often taken to doing as much, is to make him (and it’s always a guy) two things: shameless and selfless. Issei, Manabe, and of course Tomoki could all just as well carry Youto’s Hentai Ouji title, which is what makes them great characters. Yet Youto never quite ascended to their level until today, and he did it with a bow on.

I saw little Youto being the one who hollowed out his memories coming, but that didn’t lessen its impact. Emotions people, emotions! Damn the logic, this is all for the feels! It was a great scene when young Youto invoked the nekogami’s power, and his older self kept Tsukiko from stopping it. That was his choice, then as it was still today. Let Tsukushi have the memories of her mother. She’ll enjoy them more, and Tsukasa will have the family she deserves, for a little while longer if nothing else.

The Broken Couple

There are a great many romcoms that end without giving us a kiss, and a great many more if you add in romance subplots in other stories. Fortunately, if there’s one thing J.C.Staff can be depended on for, it’s giving proper closure in the only way we true romantics know how. So it was by silhouette, who cares! Youto’s confession and Tsukiko’s enthusiastic (if roundabout, aww!) reply warmed the cockles of my heart, whatever a cockle is. Hell, it warmed my whole heart, and sent me prancing about in joy to boot! Tsukushi is amazing, Azuki Azusa is adorable, and there’s really not a bad character in the show, but Youto and Tsukiko really are best together. Hamu~

There are many reasons why Tsukiko and Youto are the best couple, but here’s one: they’re both broken. Broken by the nekogami, by the warawanai neko that takes what they didn’t need and gives it to someone else. The girl with no facial expressions and the boy without memories…it seemed pretty silly when Tsukiko gave up her chance to get her expressions back, but that has become the thing that ties them together. There will be plenty of troubles ahead, though – even ignoring the continued pursuit of Youto by certain other girls (okay, not sure on that last one), now Tsukiko has to always be in his mind lest she disappear, even as he continues to misunderstand her every action. But that will bind them together too. Deal with my eccentricities and I’ll deal with yours. Isn’t that the foundation of every relationship?

Looking Ahead – A Pervert To The End

Gotta love the final amusement park date-o, not the least for neko Tsukiko and inu Azuki Azusa. I think the part I enjoyed the most, storytelling wise, was the final moment where Tsukiko assured Youto (and us) that her Youto (ufufu~) was a pervert down to the very last moment. Some things change, but some things stay the same, and Youto is still Youto through and through. Final impressions after the epilogue images below!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The final puzzle piece is revealed. The self-sacrificing hentai ouji…I would expect nothing less #HenNeko

Random thoughts:

  • It’s funny when you’re confronted with your own foibles, and you don’t even recognize that they’re yours. Tsukiko doesn’t recognize her appetite from her loli self? Now you know what the rest of us have been thinking!
  • Epic cast photo is epic. Of special note are the Yokodera otouto and Koutetsu-san dakimakuras. You’re fooling nobody, Fukubuchou!

Full-length images: 10, 19, 28, 30, 35, 44.

Epilogue:

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Final Impressions (Stilts version)

Since I’m just subbing in for Zanibas, I’m once again going to keep these short and then kick it over to the final impressions he left me with. I’ll let him tackle all the nitty-gritty details, once again letting me slack off and just talk about what I want to say. Seriously, you spoil me too much Zani. Now get back here, I’m tired of picking up your slack!

Coming off of blogging Sakurasou, everyone thought I was going to pick this show up, and truth be told if I wasn’t taking a break I would have. Then the first episode came out, and I was kicking myself seven ways to Sunday for letting this one pass me by. That feeling didn’t stay quite as strong, though – while the comedy was excellent and they managed to pack in some good gut punches, the plot in this one was present enough to distract while being too bonkers to make a lick of sense half the time. I’m truly impressed Zani found things to say every week. To be honest, I sometimes just sat back with my mouth open, dumbfounded at what I just saw. Then I’d squee over Azuki Azusa a few times and go get a beer. No one should be surprised.

That said, it was fun. I bold that statement because I think that people often get so wrapped up in the “higher” aspects of storytelling that they ignore the visceral feeling of enjoyment a good tale can provide. HenNeko didn’t make a damn bit of sense some weeks, but I enjoyed every single episode I watched, and I will remember it fondly. It was a fun ride, and while it doesn’t quite match up to the titans of J.C.Staff romcoms, it focused more on the comedy and was funny as a result. And we still got a kiss at the end. That’s not too shabby in my book.

Alrighty Zanzan, take it away!

Final Impressions (Zanibas version)

Ah, HenNeko. After coming off of the wonderful production that was Sakurasou

For a while, HenNeko achieved all of those expectations, and a blogger’s life was peachy as could ever be.

First, the animation quality was crisp and consistent, while also not being afraid to exaggerate to really hit the ridiculous nature of the show home. The animators were careful to exaggerate faces and expressions at the right time (except for Tsukiko of course), preventing that dissonance between a skilled voice actor and terrible face animations. It was a pleasant experience to look at the screencaps of the show, since there was rarely a moment where the show refused to show a well-done full length or a close-up of Tsukiko’s face.

Secondly, the characters all had their fairly unique personalities which worked off of one another well. It was always a pleasure to watch Tsukushi express her undying love for the little brother she madly believes in, as well as watching Mai brutally insult Youto for his perverted nature. The characters made sure to never have a dull moment in the show, constantly making fools out of one another, only to keep on trucking five minutes later, ready for the next gag to go down. Even Barbara was a great character to watch, though it was sad to see her mutilated and gutted at the end, only for some cute girl to crawl up insid–okay I’ll stop. (Stilts sez: Now imagine reading that sentence out of context. *shudder*)

Finally, the plot was fairly interesting and surprisingly nuanced in the beginning, putting some small twists into the classic love triangle formula. I was genuinely surprised when Tsukiko decided to sacrifice her emotions for the sake of bonding with her sister, as well as the character turn-around with Azuki Azusa’s misunderstood friends. These moments in the show added depth to the show, making us second-guess about whether we’d had the characters and plot all figured out.

Fast forward to now, and I won’t lie–I’m a bit disappointed, but overall it was a journey that I don’t regret blogging. Two of the three statements I held above still hold true, and still hold just as well. I imagine that I would’ve liked this series a whole lot more if I didn’t have to pay attention so much to the details as a blogger–HenNeko definitely has its greater strengths as a comedy with likable characters than as a drama and romance. It was going all so well…until the cat gods attacked, again.

With the introduction of even more cat gods, each with increasingly ridiculous powers at no apparent trade-off, the show’s plot slowly degenerated into sheer randomness. No longer did we have lessons on treasuring what we have or the price of certain things in life, but rather just a humorous mechanic that’s supposed to create some sort of plot. The first cat god made sense in that it passed on unwanted traits onto someone else, highlighting how important those qualities are when seen in someone else. That was a meaningful message. Creating absolute havoc on the school and bringing back long-lost childhood friends just to achieve a wish that was seven years in the making that could be easily revoked by simply asking? That’s just cruel. While recently we’ve gotten back on a meaningful plot with the exploration of Youto’s fragile past, for the most part every arc after the first has been random and lacking in a clear meaning. The core dynamic between Youto and the characters definitely has established itself–where he wishes to maintain closeness with all the girls without becoming too intimate–but this message often gets lost in the other flaws in the story.

Though I understand Azuki Azusa’s “I want him to say it without me reminding him” mentality, the extreme roundabout way she goes about it leaves much to be desired. This trait could’ve been used well if integrated with how she maintains her friendship with other people such as the tan twins Morii and Moriya, but those two are quickly cast aside, never to be heard from again, after Azuki teleports from her vacation.

While it’s funny that Emi has two personalities she can switch between, her character’s exploration is never really completed, but rather quickly cast aside for the finale. In essence, her only purpose was to highlight the dissonance Youto has with his memories, rather than revealing anything about herself and her actual connection with Youto. (Stilts sez: she’s a classic character as device (trope!). Emi deserves better.)

Tsukushi’s case is better, since the show sets about the right amount of plot for her to aspire to. Her role is mainly set in being a comedic character that takes her love to the extreme, but the small dramatic moments she has gracefully highlight the main plot without becoming too large a subplot itself. She made us laugh with her baka-like nature, and I appreciate her for that.

Concerning Tsukiko though…I am more torn. Tsukiko delivered on much of her potential as a pseudo-kuudere character, but not enough to be a great character. There is this constant aspiration Tsukiko has to win over Youto’s heart and have a special place within, but her roundabout nature and stubborn efforts dilute the effect it’s supposed to have on the viewership. It is refreshing having to read more into Tsukiko’s words than her expressions, but when you do read into them, it’s really no different than the standard female protagonist with complex X. I do sympathize with her character for not being able to get into Youto’s heart due to his desire for distance, as well as her acute ability to notice when the Hentai Prince has broken promises he’s made in previous arcs (perhaps one of the few moments that connect the story together), I do sometimes tire of how she hasn’t recognized the importance of her emotions. Time after time has it been hinted that her interactions with Youto would be more straightforward if she had emotions, but instead she continues to lament how her lack of expressions hurts due to the distance it creates. Every time I watch the ending song, I have the slightest hope that it will change on the last episode, with Tsukiko coming to terms with her inner (princess) self and smiling, but so far no developments have indicated such growth. I understand that this aspect of her is what “makes” the show, but at this point, I am truly surprised that any indicators of recovering Tsukiko’s expressions have not come up once since the first arc.

Overall, HenNeko is a beautiful, yet flawed story, where the enjoyment lies in just observing what happens rather than making any overarching sense of it all. It is a great show where you can kick back and enjoy how Youto gets himself out of every mess, while the girls that surround him immediately drag him back in. Though it is not the first romantic comedy I’d recommend from J.C. Staff, I do think it has merits that warrant a romantic comedy enthusiast to jump in. I can only hope at this point, speaking without the finale, that the final episode does tie some loose ends together and make sense of this beautiful trainwreck.

Thank you dear reader for following along with this show, and I look forward to the next time I blog a romantic comedy!

July 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm
40 comments »
  • July 1, 2013 at 6:40 pmBookkid900

    I guess every girl won? This was a great series and I hope we could get another season.

    • July 1, 2013 at 11:53 pmderprito

      LoL the mom died 5 seconds after ” I’ll never leave you 2 again”

    • July 2, 2013 at 1:33 amRyner

      Harem end is the best end.

  • July 1, 2013 at 6:44 pmKuntzy

    As that crazy guy fotc says every week he does the release post for Henneko on rori (Though I’ll refrain from the picture spam).

    AZUKI AZUSA BEST GIRL

    And now to wait for the (hopefully) second season. Though it won’t happen for a long time unless Sagara Sou releases more than one volume a year (like he did in 2012). Kantoku’s illustrations are worth waiting for though.

  • July 1, 2013 at 6:50 pmBeedle

    Tsukushi is best girl :> So sad to see this lovable idiot go!

    • July 1, 2013 at 7:09 pmKuntzy

      I’ll give you that one. My heart swayed a bit when Youto gave Tsukushi his memories of Tsukasa. I almost started shipping them right there. I’m sorry Azusa!! I’m such a wh*re…

      • July 1, 2013 at 10:07 pmBeedle

        I think what completely sold me to Tsukushi’s adorable idiocy was that “A steel can”-”Umu, I can… huh?” banter. :)

        As for your being a wh*re unfaithfulness, maybe if Tsukushi falls in love with Azuki Azusa (isn’t it weird how her full name just rolls out?), then you won’t have to repent!

    • July 2, 2013 at 5:35 amMgMaster

      She was just awesome.You got this Tsukushi!

  • July 1, 2013 at 7:33 pmMagoiichi

    Can I has OVA?!

  • July 1, 2013 at 7:34 pmkatsudon

    Despite Henneko’s flaws, I really enjoyed this show. Think it would have been better if it wasn’t just twelve episodes though, as it kinda had no direction midway through the series, but it wrapped up nicely. Maybe I’ll go read the LNs now or something…

    • July 1, 2013 at 7:53 pmStilts

      Honestly, that seemed like a source material problem to me. Probably the author just didn’t have a good idea of what to do then and took the easy way out by creating a warawanai neko that just does shit all monkey paw-style. That’s easier to write, but not nearly as effective.

  • July 1, 2013 at 7:43 pmBear

    I agree with much of what Zan said. The proliferation of cat gods and disjointedness of some of the relationships and plot took away some of my enjoyment of the story (Azusa pops back to the mainland and there doesn’t seem to be any problem with her disappearance from Okinawa for example). This last arc did do a lot to improve the show by finally giving us an explanation for Youto’s memory loss.

    What should be a minor nit, actually bothered me more than anything was Youto’s character design. He was the most insipid looking (and sounding) ML that I’ve seen in a long while. All the other character designs were high quality, but his design just seemed out of place. Even his younger self fit with the others.

  • July 1, 2013 at 7:43 pmSetsuna Henry

  • July 1, 2013 at 7:58 pmZero Hour 17

    Just gonna ask since I haven’t watched it. Is a definitive choice about which girl the guy wants to be with made? If it’s another stupid open ended harem ending, I’ll pass.

    • July 1, 2013 at 9:05 pmmianghuei

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 1, 2013 at 9:11 pmmianghuei

    I stand by this show for its comedy, Tsutsutsukakushi Girls, Oscar Wilde quotes and all the weird perverted comments. I think they chose a great place to stop. (They just released Volume 6 when the anime started, so far I think no one has translated it yet. Episode 13 stops at volume 5.) Anyhow I think if there is a season 2, this will be 4-5 years down the road.

    This last episode is heartwarming and the ending is hillarious.I hope for Tsukiko x Yohto ending and not harem ending. 9/10 :)

  • July 1, 2013 at 9:12 pmmianghuei

  • July 1, 2013 at 11:02 pmCybersteel

    A pretty good ending. One of the few shows that will be missed along with Hataraku Maou-sama and Oregairu.

  • July 1, 2013 at 11:08 pmStranger

    The pure randomness of the later arcs almost felt like they were written by the Python crew. I enjoyed it for what it was.

    Although I’m not sure if I would watch it again. I genuinely fear death by moe.

    • July 2, 2013 at 1:29 amStilts

      It’s a genuine concern. Much more of Tsukiko’s hamu hamu hamu and I would *nosebleed* Sorry, one second, I need to take care of this.

  • July 1, 2013 at 11:49 pmkanade_

    And there goes my weekly dose of HNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG…

    I was hyped for henneko to be animated as it was one of my favorite LN and although not perfect, I say JC staff did a decent job (imo) in animating this series.

    With that being said, I’m amazed how Zannibas was able to write paragraphs of final impressions on a series like this.

    • July 2, 2013 at 1:29 amStilts

      He’s getting pretty good at this blogging thing, eh? :D

      *cheers Zani!*

  • July 2, 2013 at 1:06 amgawrshness

    All is well and a happy ending, I just hoped Tsukukshi would get her expressions back, ah well.

  • July 2, 2013 at 1:16 amJason Isenberg

    That cast photo needs to be HD 1920×1080 STAT

  • July 2, 2013 at 4:13 amSuomynona

    Series started off interesting enough to keep me on, the Emi arc in the middle was a bit weak due to it being too confusing, but fortunately, the series managed to finish strongly with young Youto’s noble sacrifice for the sake of Tsukasa’s happiness with her family, and present Youto reaffirming his resolve in making that wish.

    http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    Loli Tsukiko “Onee-shan~” HNNGGG.

  • July 2, 2013 at 4:21 amEliteF22

    Well, since Tsukushi has Youto’s memories she’s technically the girl that makes him whole! ^_^

  • July 2, 2013 at 4:30 amB.I.T.W

    tsukiko’s mom having fever while youto hearing his younger version said about her probs & wanting keep the smile going with give advice to younger self never make them cry.

    so youto go get younger steel queen & tsukiko so see their mom give steel queen bit hmm but little tsukiko get in the cab so they did arrive in with younger tsukiko goes oh food while older tsukiko wonder going on?

    youto mention outfit change got him tied but refer have younger steel queen & tsukiko wear outfit their mother made for them & some fine ok go see mother but still fever.

    young steel queen crying give want more time with mother til young youto heard it all give them the memories cause he mention their mom talked of a wishing cat so make it wish.

    yet it also explain why youto had memory probs give tsukiko trying object it give youto let it go then ta-da teleport back to present with younger version with mom all better in the past.

    back to present youto & tsukiko went back see steel queen in the mom’s mouse outfit give checking all memories item give there all family give still youto as younger brother version so after tsukiko feel bit sorry guilt for what youto did but it fine.

    now all set time for theme park fun time give tsukiko & asuka still wanting youto give got tsukiko “hmm” cause dream that asuka had, fun ride time, & oh youto with tsukiko on ferris wheel then quote oscar wilde.

    til oops bunny kyubey appear cause youto land tsukiko still call him a pervy prince.

  • July 2, 2013 at 5:54 amMgMaster

    I actually picked this up after nearly half was out and glad I stuck with it since it was a fun & silly ride.I was surprised to see side characters such as Azusa and the awesome Tsukushi get so much attention to be honest,and I’m sure as hell glad they did – especially the later(TSUKUSHI <3!).As for Youto,he was less pervy than I expected him to be but I suppose it's fitting for a Prince as the other perverted Kaji Yuki voiced MC,Issei,was a King!I hope to see him more in these wacky roles and less in more serious such as Eren's,Satoru's,Shu's :P

  • July 2, 2013 at 7:22 ambaseone

    Stilts you missed out these full-length images:

    Tsun tsun Emi

    The Tsutsukakushi sisters

    and my favorite of all Mai and Tsukushi (loved that look on Mai’s face.

    • July 2, 2013 at 9:34 amStilts

      Missed implies I didn’t know they were there. I just chose not to deal with them (+ another full-length you didn’t mention).

      ‘Cept that third one. I totally forgot about that one. Fukubuchoooou!!!

  • July 2, 2013 at 11:18 amBoozerX

    dat voice

  • July 2, 2013 at 1:50 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Seeing things like this…

    http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2003.jpg

    …this…

    http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    …and this…

    http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2028.jpg

    …pardon me.

    *hides away and cries*

    Ahem…really tug at your heartstrings.

    Also still love Tsukiko’s monotone “kyaa!”‘s lol. And Tsukushi with that “younger” Youto doll. (And Mai with the Tsukushi one.) lol

    • July 2, 2013 at 9:36 pmblack_cat1

      I think the author will give Tsukushi her own story. Youto will help Tsukushi realize that she does not need to cling on the past memory to fill the time she was not with Tsukasa. Tsukushi in the end will understand that the “real memories” that she had with her family, thank to Youto’s sacrifice, are enough for her. With that mindset, Youto’s memories will be given back to Youto just like how Azusa gave his facade back to him when she does not need it anymore.

  • July 2, 2013 at 10:53 pmrandom viewer

    I was hoping to see those lost emotions (like a smile) again from the younger Tsukiko.
    http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2028.jpg
    And going to the amusement park is a fun way to end this anime. Liked it.
    I almost didn’t recognize which one was the actual kid here. http://randomc.net/image/Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko./Hentai%20Ouji%20to%20Warawanai%20Neko.%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2013.jpg :P
    Besides a “serious” person with a “baka” person go well together. Huzzah!

  • July 3, 2013 at 2:50 amf4ctfinder

    HNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGNN. Right in my kokoro Q_Q

  • July 3, 2013 at 9:42 pmBaKaYaRou

    Good ending but still not enough for something like “whew that was really a good one”

    Reason:
    this one definitely need a s2

    on another note hoping there will be a translation of the novel, and hoping B-T will pick this one.

  • July 4, 2013 at 4:13 amDorian

    That Yuuto’s memory can never return to him actually explains very much why he’s a pervert. Its almost literally a coping method for him as he could never be with girls. By being the hentai prince that he is, it should push any girl away from him and make sure that he does not create any memories with them that he could lose if they are apart for some time. *breathes* It sucks.

    The other interesting thing is Tsukushi. She totally accepts him the younger brother story, but that is likely her own subconscious realizing that he gave her his memories of her mom. She doesn’t remember that this self sacrifice is done, so its why she easily swallows the little brother story.

    Also, what if the love she has for him isn’t actually love, but the memories wanting to return to him? What happens if she really does love him? That moment, should it ever come to pass, is going to hurt her badly no matter how it plays out. More so if she really loves him.

    Yet due to Tsukushi’s style of love, we can still be assured that Yuuto would’ve been probably as much of a pervert he is now. Though maybe not as much.

    I would like season 2 please.

  • July 25, 2013 at 7:07 amArroran

    Man…i really enjoyed that anime ^^

  • September 23, 2013 at 1:28 amterrz

    I cried!