OP: 「Naughty Love」by Fleia, Kurasaka Kururu, Megami Ryousei, Nairu, Nekota Ashu, Yomichi Yuki
「孝士、寮母になる」 (”Koushi, Ryoubo ni Naru”)
“Koushi, Becomes a Dorm Mother”
You know an anime is magical if there’s an uncensored version of it, and Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun’s doesn’t disappoint as it captures the daily life of a dormitory where clothes aren’t as much of a prerequisite. But when a boy named Koushi is brought in to be the problem dorm’s “mother” as a means of giving him a roof over his head, the scope of the show goes beyond thrusting him into awkward situations as he takes it upon himself to repair the dorm’s bad reputation and better acquaint himself with its residents.
It was surprising to see that Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun didn’t shy away from Koushi’s homelessness, nor did it magically forget about his ordeal after he became the mother of the Goddess Dormitory. From the start, we see him admitting to possibly dying on a sidewalk as the Bystander Effect kicks in for those who pass him by and can only feel guilty for going about their day without doing anything to help him.
Even later, when he finds himself back to living outside, he contemplates whether he’ll be able to survive a cold night on a bench. It’s pretty shocking and I have to give Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun kudos if it gets ecchi fans to become more aware, socially conscious, and supportive of people who’ve lost their homes.
It was also interesting that the harrowing experiences he faced without a home end up being the foundation for much of his character. Koushi takes it personally when Atena plans to abruptly move out to avoid triggering her nose-bleeds around men considering that he doesn’t want to feel like he’s responsible for taking someone’s home away if he stays. Additionally, his anger from Mineru casually letting toxic gas flood the dorm definitely came from a place that couldn’t help but think back to the fire that took his home and nearly denied him the chance to go back to school.
It builds an emotional and personal reason for Koushi to use his new position as the dorm mother of the Goddess Dormitory to foster a newer, safer environment where the residents are able to see why he would never take having a place to stay for granted. Even if he has to use his own skills living outside to gather resources like blankets to cover up Mineru and Fray, he has a level of compassion that makes him far more understandable as a protagonist than being merely a kid that exists to be placed in odd positions with the other girls.
Not that this aspect doesn’t exist, but it’s also interesting that the show plays around with having a character like Atena around that calls to question the main caveat of having college girls snuggling up around a middle-schooler. Atena’s reaction to men ends up being the foundation behind her own motivation for cultivating a more wholesome culture for the campus’ problem dorm. The last scene of the episode where she’s slapping make-shift censors on the girls is not only funny, but also brings awareness to how Atena acts as the moral backbone of the show’s approach to ecchi.
Making Atena hyper-aware of the story’s morally questionable content is fascinating because, in the process of telling her fellow dorm mates to be less creepy around the middle-schooler, it calls into question why exactly it’s always younger boys that are placed in these situations with attractive yet uncouth college girls. Sunohara-sou’s release ended up squeezing in right before this kind of backlash would come into the fold, but looking back on it, there were several messed up aspects of the show that I and other viewers shrugged off because the older women were attractive and the power of “ara ara” overweighed the general creepiness of the scenarios the main guys were thrown into.
Admittedly, my interest in Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun was mainly drawn from the fond memories I had for the character designs for the older women of Sunohara-sou. Underneath some of the squickier aspects of their interactions with the main guy, it was a relatively light-hearted slice-of-life show that thrived on throwing boobs at the screen. If you just made the guy a lot older, it’d definitely be rewatchable. The same can also be said about this show. But the complexities that Koushi and Atena have as characters make it easier for Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun to avoid falling into as many of the traps that have caused some of the “boy in an all-girls dorm” to age not so well.
At the same time, It’s still a fun, light-hearted ecchi that leans into the boobs hard, especially with the uncensored release. And with scenes where crotches are accidentally rubbed, it definitely doesn’t shy away from throwing Koushi into situations where he has to navigate around some of the more unruly members of the dorm. Mineru is the most amusing of the bunch since she is a jokey science major who enjoys flirting almost as much as she enjoys destroying the dorm with toxic gas and bags of garbage that litter the second floor. Frey looks like she could be interesting since she’s a truly unscrupulous cosplayer, but they don’t give us as much of her.
But I really enjoyed Megami-ryou no Ryoubo-kun for giving Koushi a sense of purpose for reforming the Goddess Dormitory and adding some gravity to an ecchi show that doesn’t skimp on the fanservice. The two-episode format should also help to keep the anime focused and avoid feeling like it needs to jump from scene to scene. It’s unpretentious and exactly what you’d expect, but it’s admirable to see that the story is willing to tinker around with the casts’ life experiences to create more nuanced characters that could potentially add depth to the narrative.