Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai – Review – Why having a perverted archer around is a good thing
December 20, 2011 3 Comments
So Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai (Majikoi) has finally finished, and it was a series that I very much enjoyed, even if it is very flawed and I have some issues with it. Majikoi is a classic Harem with fanservice, dirty jokes and double entendres, basically its pretty dumb fun. Majikoi is of course an anime adapted from an eroge by Minato Soft; it is a ecchi harem series with some romance and a bit of fighting involved. There is some form of serious plot running through this series, but for the most part it is ignored and only ever appears at the very beginning and during the last couple of episodes. This is in fact one of the main issues that I have with the series overall, the plot/story doesn’t make much sense and most of the time doesn’t even appear to be included in the series. The story takes place in Kawakami city and follows Yamato, a second-year high school student at Kawakami high school. He is surrounded by five girls who are all in love with him and constantly try to get his attention, although in the case of Momoyo, she sort of abuses the fact that Yamato confessed to her. There are other characters, but they don’t seem to have such a large role to play in the story, but are likely to be more important in both the game and the manga.
The first episode started in quite an interesting, and very odd way, which doesn’t actually bare any relation to the rest of the show, I can only assume that it is part of the game and the manga hat is currently being released. Essentially we have a big battle between both S and F classes from Kawakami High School, we don’t really know why this is happening, and considering it is never brought up again we probably shouldn’t care either. By the second episode we are introduced to what appears to be a more serious sub-plot, which actually disappears entirely until the end of the series. This is very odd, and really is quite a significant problem with the show; it doesn’t really know what it wants to be. Do we want a serious anime about people apparently trying to destroy Japan, or do we want a harem romance with plenty of fanservice and dirty jokes. Majikoi completely fails at this; the story seems to completely forget about the serious elements introduced right at the beginning and the majority of this show is spent being a whacky, slapstick harem comedy with romance and fanservice.
I don’t have a problem with the majority of the show actually since the silly fanservice, episodes are really good fun to watch. We have Miyako, who is easily my favourite female character in the show, constantly running after Yamato, attempting to seduce him and basically causing havoc. When you have an episode devoted entirely to a phallic festival with phallic candy and a Palanquin apparently modelled after Yamato’s Penis, you start to get a good idea as to what Majikoi is actually about. After the first few episodes I realized, that while there was a darker sub-plot introduced at the very beginning, it didn’t really matter. The show doesn’t touch it and becomes a classic harem anime, complete with bath scenes, perverted jokes and loads of random little scenes. Majikoi should be a show watched for the madness that ensues whenever Yamato and Miyako are together. Miyako is great and is forever finding new ways to seduce Yamato, including sticking her face in all of his porn magazines, creating an Adult Video for him and even an Eroge themed on her having sex with Yamato.
The characters are quite interesting, but very much clichéd and stereotypical. You have all the classic characters from any harem ever made, and Majikoi being based on an eroge means that it was unlikely to be anything else. This isn’t really a problem, but I do wonder why Momoyo is pushed forward as the main heroine. Yamato does confess to her twice, both of which she rejects, and she is the strongest character in the series, but we barely ever see her. Momoyo appears in the opening credits, featuring quite prominently, but the majority of the episodes are spent following around Miyako, Wanko, Chris or Yukie.
These four characters feature more prominently, have more progression and are basically far more important to the series than Momoyo, and yet it seems the audience is meant to empathise and support Momoyo. She is actually a relatively two-dimensional character, showing little emotional attachment to Yamato, although it is assumed that she loves him. She spends the majority of her time finding someone strong to fight, and occasionally flirting with beautiful girls (apparently she is bisexual). We get some form of emotions from her towards the end of the series, but like the darker sub-plot it is too little too late, and I would have preferred to see more of Miyako.
Miyako on the other hand is the standout heroine of the show, mainly because she has an irrepressible sex drive when it comes to Yamato and appears willing to do anything to get him into bed. The majority of the episodes show her attempts at seduction ranging from the slightly strange to the down right creepy. A classic being her attempt to do a home made Adult Video between her and Yamato, along with sticking her face on top of every girl in Yamato’s porn magazines and even stealing and wearing his used under-wear.
Like many other harem series some heroines are left out. Chris, Wanko and Yukie, while all having some nice scenes seem to be left out, and don’t really get as much time with Yamato as Miyako, which is a bit sad since I would have liked to see more of them. On the other hand, unlikely many harem shows, the main male character actually has a spine and is really the controlling force of this show. Yamato is brilliant, he is smart and an amazing tactician, in fact during the show he is the one giving the orders to all the girls and is the one who investigates the most. I really do like Yamato since he is willing to put his life on the line for the girls, and isn’t afraid of a fight, something that harem series tend to lack, with their quite weak willed and often pathetic male characters who are unwilling to make a choice until the last minute.
In my first impressions post I talked about the animation being a bit generic, and not especially brilliant, which is true in some cases. But after watching the entire series I think that I was a little unfair. The animation, while not at the quality of a show like Last Exile is actually rather good. The action scenes are well done, being both dynamic and very clean, the backgrounds are well done and overall it is a very nice piece of work, especially when you consider the kind of show it is.
The conclusion was actually a little disappointing and felt quite rushed, trying to tie up various story arcs and plot points in a short time frame. I think that Majikoi is a classic case of too many ideas and not enough time. Throughout the series we had two different stories taking place; the light-hearted echhi, romance comedy, and the more serious action plot about things such as home, country and family. These two different elements of the plot didn’t mix at all, although I do think they could have worked together quite easily. The major issue was that we simply did not see anything about the darker plot and the ‘bad guys’ until about episode 8-9, by which time I didn’t actually care, and simply wanted more of ecchi comedy that we had been getting up until that point.
The story was rushed, and we had an element of serious fighting shoehorned into a plot that until that point had been about Miyako attempting to seduce Yamato to have sex with him. These two plots are not irreconcilable, and I think they would have worked together rather well, if done properly. I just don’t think the series was long enough for that. Clearly there was a lot to get through in the game, but I think it may have been a mistake to try and put all of it into a 12 episode anime series. With 24 episode it may have worked, but I still think there was too much going on. I would have been happier, and probably enjoyed it far more if the series had simply been an ecchi comedy, which of course most of it was, with a harem ending and generally lots of ecchi madness.
Overall I did thoroughly enjoy this show; it is a pretty generic harem anime, with fanservice and dirty jokes, but it was exactly what I needed to watch this season. It does have quite a few problems however, mainly to do with the plot and overall story. There is simply too much going on; the first episode seems to bare no relation to the rest of the story, we have a darker plot introduced by episode two and then ignored for the vast majority of the series, and when we finally get to it at the end, there is neither time to properly expand upon it, nor do I really care. Basically Majikoi is a classic example of too many ideas and not enough time, along with no real notion of the direction that the series should take. We also have problems with apparent main characters who barely appear and when they do appear are two-dimensional, in the form of Momoyo, and characters like Miyako who are meant to be supporting cast, but turn out to be one of the best parts of the show.
It’s an entertaining series though if you can forgive these points, and actually I largely ignored them. There is enough comedy and dirty jokes to keep most people entertained and Miyako wins the contest when it comes to thoroughly perverted, yet immensely entertaining heroines in Harem shows. I have preferred this show to Maken-Ki, since while both are largely fanservice shows; Majikoi at least has some semblance of a plot and story, while Maken-Ki seems to be trying a little too hard in places. This show will not be for everyone, but if you enjoy such anime then it is worth giving it a watch at the very least.