Futakoi Alternative is an alternate version of Futakoi. While Futakoi was a relatively charming harem anime, Futakoi Alternative turns up the lolicon gauge all the way. This time, Rentarou is a 21-year old college dropout who took over his father's detective agency after his death (the father's death, not Rentarou's). He has two assistants: Sara and Souju -- both fifteen years old.
They do jobs together. They have meals together. They share a bed together. OK, so the series is not ecchi (Rentarou seems to be devoid of any sexual urges), but the subtext is definately there.
Apart from the core cast of those three, there is a large supporting cast. There's the yakuza boss and his henchmen, there's the owner of the meat shop and the owner of the tofu shop, there's the over-the-top pair of cops, and there are the twins. Most of the twins we met in Futakoi make an appearance -- often as customers of the detective agency. They don't play any role of consequence, except for Sara and Souju of course.
Some episodes have a very slow pace, while others are a rollercoaster ride full of action and explosions. This makes for a weird mix. And the overall plot (such as it is), is downright bizarre: five years ago, Rentarou's father defeated a squid-like monster that shot fireballs from its mouth. Yes, it is as bizarre as it sounds. And one day, the monster is back and it is Rentarou's task to defeat it!
But wait... there's more! Sara and Souju are actually in the care of a rich industrialist, who has to marry one of them on the day of their sixteenth birthday. It turns out that they are both sacrifices, so that the squid-type weapon can be perfected! Rentarou finds out about this, and with the remaining twin he takes off for Germany (in a biplane!), where the wedding is being held...
The designs are pretty good, and the voice acting is pretty cool as well (Seki Tomokazu as Rentarou!). The episodes are sometimes amusing and sometimes profound, but I found that I couldn't really ignore the lolicon angle of it all.
- Designs and voice acting;
- Amusing episodes -- if somewhat bizarre;
- Really an 'alternative', which in itself is an interesting premise.
- Animation is pretty barebones;
- Plays the lolicon card pretty heavily.
All in all, a 6.5. I think I would have enjoyed this series more if there was less emphasis on the lolicon aspect and if the episodes had all been action-oriented.