OP Sequence

OP: 「for…」 by Aida Rikako

「戦う乙女」 (Tatakau Otome)
“The Fighting Maiden”

The first episode of Val x Love harkens back to the kinder time-period of the early 2010s when the wondrous ecchi harem battle genre was at its apex. What helps support Val x Love as a formidable anime is that its nestled between the humorous set-up of a withdrawn misanthrope being forced to stay with a group of sisters and the fanservice that uses skinship as a means of powering up. When placed together, it makes for a soft, ample, and welcoming premiere that might just be your guilty pleasure for the Fall season.

Far from being your standard bland harem protagonist, Akutsu Takuma (Hirose Yuuya) is a hilarious lead because of his predicament. Due to his scary appearance, he’s chosen not to associate with people around him, going so far as to focusing entirely on his studies. Although he’s largely sympathetic because of the unfair hand he was dealt by looking intimidating and losing his mother, I burst out in laughter when one student named Yamada flung himself out of a window because he’s frightened of Akutsu. Even though his Val x Love Wiki page doesn’t discuss him in the past tense and says he has a tendency of jumping out of windows, there are no updates on Yamada’s survival in this episode. He just leaps two or three stories out of his classroom. It’s absurd, but it was at that point where I knew I’d have a fonder impression of the anime than I thought I would. At this point in time, it’s amusing to see how much he recoils about the idea of needing to hold back his discontent with his home’s new residents. But nonetheless, Akutsu’s sympathetic background of being an avoidant student who learns to relate to humanity through his closer interactions with the Saotome sisters makes him a rewarding character to cheer for.

Despite the lack of over-the-top fanservice in the premiere, it is nice to follow the Saotome sisters as well because the ones introduced have fun and vibrant personalities. Natsuki (Hondo Kaede) might indulge in some of the more overbearing harem lead tropes as the volatile and angry popular girl, but she is seen as more bearable later on when she grows comfortable with being around Akutsu. Of the sisters introduced, I’m partial to Itsuyo (Kakuma Ai), who bucks the dignified and refined veneer of your standard student council president by being the most forward about her ulterior motive towards getting as close as she can towards Akutsu. Another stand-out sister in this episode was Futaba (Hara Yumi), the motherly sister who finds a way to push Akutsu towards letting them stay in his house, having him study with Natsuki and getting him to walk to the store with her whilst holding hands. There is an illusive and harsher sister who makes a short appearance named Ichika (Uchiyama Yumi), but unfortunately, the most screentime she gets in this episode is in the ED. Overall, Val x Love is visual comfort food that might be an acquired taste based on your personal appreciation of lewd harem battle anime, but it is a guilty pleasure that is appealing and has a fun sense of humor. If you’re looking for an ecchi anime this season, Val x Love is your best bet.



ED Sequence

ED: 「UP-DATE × PLEASE!!!」 by Hondo Kaede, Kawase Maki, Uchiyama Yumi


  1. This would be my guilty pleasure had it not been so toned down from the manga. OK, these days you expect things to be censored for TV and maybe there will be some redraws for the BDs like Hoods have been known to do in the past, but where you start to do things like alter character models (if they had to “supersize” Natsuki then how ever will they cope with Yakumo and Kururi?) then thanks but no thanks.

  2. This opener was rough around the edges in a number of ways, most notably is story execution, but it does show promise. At very least I’m giving it a 2nd episode, the first premier this season to get that from me.

    1. As for story execution, I couldn’t work out why they were taking scenes out of sequence from the manga. I mean, it’s not as if the director was a complete novice or anything, but it just seemed a strange choice.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Val%20x%20Love/Val%20x%20Love%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
    *Obligatory “I’ve seen enough hentai to know where this is going…”*

    OK, time to play “Where have I seen this before?”

    – “Face of a thug” male lead who is anything but scary… – Toradora, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
    – Powering up through “acts of intimacy”… –Masou Gakuen HxH, possibly Shinmai Maou no Testament and Seikon no Qwaser (Yet to watch it, though the synopsis already sounds ecchi enough.)
    – Leveling up relationship values with each of the girls… – Magika no Kenshi to Shoukan Maou (No anime adaptation yet, just light novels and manga.)
    Tsundere girl fond of “megaton punching” the male lead after “accidental pervert” moments? – Love Hina, To LOVE-Ru, Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san

    Not to mention the girls are basically “pretty freeloaders” similar to the girls of Rokujouma no Shinryakusha (another harem anime I’ve yet to watch).

    And now for some relatively “positive” thoughts:
    – Itsuyo’s mole on her breast reminds me of Haruhi‘s Mikuru (not star-shaped, though). Also, Ai Kakuma once again voices another Valkyrie after High School DxD‘s Rossweisse (and there’s another Rossweisse in this series, too).
    – Rikako Aida’s singing the opening song? Aqours’ resident “Meme Queen” is in the house.

    Well, it ain’t no High School DxD, and I’m not as excited to watch this as much as Shinchou Yuusha, OreSuki and BokuBen season 2*, but as a guilty pleasure harem anime, Val x Love should fill the seasonal gap for now.

    (*-Note: Waiting on Shin Chuuka Ichiban!, Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara, Assassins Pride, No Guns Life, and Gundam Build Divers Re:Rise.)

  4. I feel like the combination of the protagonist’s personality and his seiyuu made him sound like he’s mentally retarded… It’s hard to feel like he “deserves” a harem when he sounds like that.


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