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Aug. 6th, 2011 @ 08:57 pm Finished series: Astarotte no Omocha
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
We've finished watching Astarotte no Omocha. My first episode review is here.

Astarotte is the princess of the Creature Realm, a succubus like her mother. When she hits puberty, she has to have a man every night -- and as a ten-year old demon, it's time to start thinking about building up a harem. Judith, who runs Lotte's household, pressures her into starting to form her harem, but for some reason Lotte hates men. She concedes that she will take on a man if Judith can find a human male for her -- because the males in the Creature Realm are not to her taste. That very same evening, Judith starts experimenting with the World Tree (conveniently next to Lotte's mansion) to open up a path to the human world -- and she has success! She takes Naoya back with her.

Poor Naoya doesn't know what exactly this job is that was promised to him, but he does agree to take it. He takes his daughter Asuha with him (who is the same age as Lotte), and starts living at the mansion. Meanwhile, Lotte is less than thrilled that Judith made good on her threats to find her a human male to start her harem with! But with a lot of patience, Naoya manages to gain Lotte's trust -- and he achieves the official status of 'Toy'.

I find the sexualisation of pre-teens problematic. The fact that Lotte is a succubus doesn't really help that. But fortunately, the focus is more on Lotte's tsundere-ness. It befalls to Naoya to heal the wounds on Lotte's psyche and to mend her relationship with her mother (who turns out ot be an old acquaintance of Naoya's). As such, the series is more about mending the heart of a little girl -- mixed with a healthy dose of gags. Only towards the end do things get problematic on that front -- but then the series is over and we are spared any ickiness.
So, most of the series is really quiet, while Naoya discovers why Lotte is the way she is. He is a compassionate soul, and helps her get to grips with who she is and what her role in life is. I liked those moments best. Also, some of the humour is pretty subtle -- like the sage of the realm living in a giant tusk (an ivory tower!).

Character designs are cute, and the voice acting is pretty nice (with Rie Kugimiya being cast to voice the tsundere again). The backgrounds are pretty cool as well, with a distinct Nordic feel to them: after all, we have a World Tree, dark and light elves... In one episode, we see a bar called 'Warm and Full' in Icelandic. Writing is in Nordic runes. I quite liked those touches: it adds detail to the series.

Good points:
- Well-formed background;
- Ecchiness on an acceptable level;
- Subtle humour;
- Nice visuals.
Bad points:
- Ecchiness focussing on young girls.

All in all, I liked it, even though I got a bit uncomfortable towards the end. Still, I'll give it a 7.
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Date:August 7th, 2011 09:12 am (UTC)
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The second sentence of the review completely threw me off it.
A girl just hitting puberty has to have sex with men every night? I'm sure in reality the show is better than it sounds... but that just doesn't sit right with me.
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Date:August 7th, 2011 09:49 am (UTC)
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To be sure, if that were the focus of the series, it would have been very... problematic. (On par with Kodoma no Jikan.) But fortunately, it is merely the pretext to get him in her life in a position of trust to help her mend her heart. While the set-up could have spiralled down into endless panty-jokes (to be sure, there are some), it turned into a surprisingly compassionate story.
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