October 4th, 2008

azumanga

Cleaning

Today, I cleaned my desk to make room for Calcifer. Those of you who have ever visited us will appreciate the Herculean proportion of that task.
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Pantsu!

Finished series: They Are My Noble Masters

We've finished watching They Are My Noble Masters. My first episode review is here.

When Ren and his sister Mihato run away from home, they need a place to stay. A live-in job seems ideal, and that is what they aim for. However, they don't have much luck. The second day in the big city, their situation seems pretty dire, until Ren rescues a girl who faints from the heat. She turns out to be the middle of three rich sisters, and they can use two good servants... With a few hurdles, Ren and Mihato join the household.
The cast of characters is pretty diverse: there's the gothloli elder sister Shinra, the normalloli and genius middle sister Miyu, and the totally unremarkable younger sister Yume -- along with a host of servants. First and foremost amongst these is the Colonel, the head butler and the harsh master of Ren. They're pretty much all a bunch of misfits that have banded together at the Kuonji household. And finally, Ren and Mihato have a place to belong to -- we get a few scenes about how the Kuonji sisters and their servants are now their family, and how they should stick up for eachother.

But that's not the real theme of the series. It's based on a hentai-game -- and you know what that means. We get lots of (nearly-)nudity, with Ren walking in on Benisu getting dressed, or Miyu showering, etcetera. That kind of creates a weird mix -- it takes some special writing skills to move from a sappy "but we're all family!"-scene straight into a few pantyshots without batting an eye. At least the ending animation leaves no doubt as to what the real purpose of the series is.

It feels like a throw-away series. It's short, the designs and animation are pretty run-of-the-mill, and the comedy is often slapstick-like. It's fun in an ecchi sort of way, with lots of slapstick to keep the tone light-hearted. There are lots of bizarre situations (like how the Kuonji family has a tradition to play a game of 'capture the flag' when a conflict arises over a decision), which often serve as an on-ramp to more pantyshots. And, as is traditional for these kinds of series, every female is really after the male protagonist -- so Ren gets into some serious conflicts of loyalty, which nets him the usual abuse.

Good points:
- Ecchi in a fun sort of way;
- Light-hearted comedy.
Bad points:
- Goes nowhere, despite the flimsy moral.

I'll give it a 6.5: nothing special, and there are better offerings in the genre.