「憑依合体！モモキュンソード!!」 (Hyouigattai! Momokyunsoudo!!)
“Spiritual Union! Momo Kyun Sword!!”
Yup, this is a fanservice show. And as a fairy tale, it doesn’t fare well.
Character designs aside, the promo videos I watched weren’t heavy in the bouncing bosoms, so I thought maybe this wasn’t going to be a full-on fanservice show. Nope! Though in truth it’s not a High School DxD/Highschool of the Dead-level fanservice show by any means. I wish it was! The pervasive male gaze (trope!) was constant enough to feel exploitative without being so over-the-top that I stopped caring. It towed the middle line, and failed for it. It did give me the opportunity to use the phrase “Momoka’s momos” though, so I guess there’s that? Momos are the new melonpan.
Momoka no Baka, Inu/Saru/Kijigami Kakkoii!
Momoka (Taketatsu Ayana) immediately struck me as a naïve, stupid, and vapid lead character, and that…that’s not good. Clumsy or innocent can work, but when I get the feeling that there’s nothing but air between her ears (and all the nutrition certainly went to her chest), why do I care about her adventure? She’s pretty much devoid of admirable traits other than her positive outlook and the morals instilled in her by her grandparents, which is fine, but it lacks choice on her part. She’s not thinking, so I’ve stopped caring.
On the other hand, Inugami (Hatano Wataru), Sarugami (Morikubo Showtaro), and Kijigami (Imai Asami)–them I liked. They’re intellgent, wise, faithful to their friend, they look out for each other, and their character designs are cool. There’s also something about the die-hard, always-with-you companions that I love. It’s hard to find such steadfast partners in crime in real life, friends who are always there and always by your side (as you are by their sides), so I like seeing that in my fiction. That they weren’t anthropomorphized into sexy kemonomimi girls doesn’t hurt either.
Celestial Maiden Sentai Squad
As for the other characters, I have no idea what their names are, nor do I care. Which is a symptom of lumping them all together in a color-coded group and throwing them into the action before they were at all introduced. Honestly, if Momoka weren’t such a dud of a character so far, I wouldn’t be bothered by the side characters because I would be focused on Momoka until they had time to get introduced. But since she’s a few beers short of a six pack, I find myself looking elsewhere, and other than the three gods, I found the characters lacking.
A Phoned In Fairy Tale
The combat was nice, and I liked the fusion angle, with one of the three gods–Inugami, this time–combining with Momoka for a serious power up. That plays into the ‘indefatigable friends’ angle I like, and it makes me want to watch long enough to see the other two transformations (or more, if she can gattai with multiple gods). But is that idle curiosity enough to keep me watching? Because the rest of the tale is empty. Big bad guy wants pieces of this glowing peach thing, that would be bad, stop his forces every week blah blah. It’s a child’s fairy tale with bouncing boobs, and none of that makes sense, along with possibly being an insult to both children and boobs.
Looking Ahead – Battle of the Week
I roasted this show pretty good, but allow me to equivocate – it’s not horrible. The animation is good, the ambiance is consistent, the pacing is fine, and the characters & story are clear, if not terribly interesting. My problem is that it’s so aggressively mediocre so as to engender no feelings whatsoever. I ultimately said the same thing about WIXOSS, and though some of you may disagree with me there, I have a feeling you’ll know where I’m coming from here: I don’t hate this show. I don’t like this show. I nothing this show. It’s so paint-by-the-numbers, so focus-grouped and committee-driven that I’d have to really love the Momotarou tale–or want a show I can watch with my brain turned off–to watch this show. And maybe I will! Sometimes turning your brain off is nice, and I may decide to find out whether everything I’ve said here remains true past episode one.
But probably not. I haven’t even finished this post and I can already feel all knowledge of the episode draining out of my mind. Maybe I’ll get real bored when this time next week comes around, but I doubt it.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Momoka is an airhead, & outshined by her companions. A paint-by-the-numbers fairy tale. Momoka’s momos are the real stars #momokyun 01
- Seriously? Momoka’s momos need some support. That looks painful.
- Help me Momo-Wan Kenobi, my team is full of dolts. Wait, I think I did that wrong.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Disorganized ≠ creative, Don’t make customers regret their purchase, Anchor, and Expectations & different types of stories.
I’m looking for an artist for some commission work. If you’re a talented illustrator, email me at stiltsoutloud(at)gmail(dot)com with some samples. If I like what I see, I’ll explain what the job entails. (Or if you’re just really curious.) And yes, this is a paying gig.
OP: 「Momoiro Fantasy」 (桃色ファンタジー) by 千菅春香 (Chisuga Haruka)