OP: 「Prince×Prince」by From4to7
「できるかな？リアル乙女ゲー」 (Dekiru ka na? Riaru Otome ge)
“Can She Do It? A Real Life Otome Game”
If comment sections are to be believed, Fall 2016 is apparently the gayest season ever – the season for the fujoshi. What those commenters fail to realise is that this is the largest anime season ever, and there are always titles that appeal to different demographics. Each new batch of anime differ slightly, but there’s usually always something for a hardcore demographic to enjoy; it just so happens that this season has a fair number of anime about pretty boys. For every “fujoshi” anime, there’s 3-4 anime that appeal to horny men, primarily otaku. People just like to complain… but hopefully the lovers and haters of those “fujoshi” anime can cross the battlefield and enjoy this odd little comedy gem.
Whether fujoshi or not, there’s a lot here for anime fans to collectively giggle over. If you get the references or simply understand the basis of the jokes then Watashi ga Motete Dousunda is an easy watch. Sure, having a female lead only be considered beautiful once she loses body weight is a troubling thing, but this first episode shows that this series is fully aware of its silliness and potential to insult, which makes it a little easier to laugh along with. Serinuma Kae (Kobayashi Yuu) is an interesting girl to say the least, a lead unlike many. In many an anime, she’s the side character whose main gag is that she loves BL and doesn’t get any real attention other than to throw in a gag every few episodes. But here, she’s the star of the show, and every gag is about her being a fujoshi, whether prideful or shameful or something just plain embarrassing. We laugh with her and at her, but the fact that she’s self-aware about how absurd her newfound boy drama is, it makes it easier to not take so seriously.
I love that the explanation for her sudden weight loss is the death of her favourite character; when that happened my boyfriend who watched this with me turned and said: “That’s so you”, so perhaps I’m biased in liking that particular plot detail… Either way, everything that follows is so damn funny, yet also a little worrisome. We’ve got four beautiful boys who are on Kae’s heels once she returns to school, and I’m split on the scumminess of their characters. First, the good ones: Igarashi Yuusuke (Ono Yuuki), the black-haired boy who shows sympathy for Kae’s injuries at the beginning of the episode, and Mutsumi Asuma (Shimazaki Nobunaga), Kae’s history club senpai who is the only one to recognise her straight away and not be surprised by her makeover. These two boys can stay – they’re cute, they’re amusing enough in their advances, but most importantly it seems like they liked Kae as a person before they liked her as a love interest. It’s not ideal, but it’s a whole lot better than womaniser Nanashima Nozomu (Koumoto Keisuke) who seems like the ultimate pretty boy douche, and Shinomiya Hayato (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) the nursing committee member who actively treated her badly before she was pretty. After that self re-invention, however, these two are chasing after her with heart eyes. They’re fine as comedy vehicles, but it’s going to be hard to take them as serious contenders in this absurd race to Kae’s gay-loving heart.
So there we have our premise, our cast, and if the jokes in this episode landed for you, then this is likely to be a solid comedy this coming season. I’ll definitely be watching to see how it develops; I’m particularly curious to see two things: Whether this romantic conquest will ever be taken seriously or whether Kae will forever want the boys to love each other rather than her; also, where the otaku/fujoshi gags will lead. There’s a goldmine of potential there, and seasoned anime watchers are sure to get those references in a way that’s sure to make us laugh even if the initial premise isn’t what we’d expect to enjoy. There’s no plans yet for this to be covered on a weekly basis, but I think we should all keep a keen eye on this one and see where it leads.
ED: 「ドキドキの風」 (Dokidoki no Kaze) by Rie Murakawa