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[Megane na Kanojo]
AKA: 眼鏡なカノジョ (Japanese)
Genre: Slice-of-life romantic comedy
Length: OAV series, 4 episodes, 14 minutes each
Distributor: Currenly unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: 13+ (light fan service)
Related Series: None
Also Recommended: Not a romantic comedy per se, but Read or Die! is a good action series with a female lead who wears glasses. Go check that out instead.
Notes: Based on the manga by TOBI, published by Flex Comic Inc. The anime adapts four of the eight stories from the manga, nearly panel-by-panel in most cases.

There is also a spinoff manga based on the characters of Kana and Jun'ichi, also by TOBI.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars

Megane na Kanojo

Synopsis

Megane na Kanojo is about 4 unrelated short stories involving girls who wears glasses and the guys they like, or who like them.


Review

If there's one thing I've learned over the years from watching anime, it's that Japan really likes drawing cute girls with glasses. Megane na Kanoko isn't even the first anime to be built upon this gimmick; SHAFT made G-On Riders about a decade earlier, where every female in the series wore glasses. (I never saw it.) That's not to say a gimmick show about girls wearing can't work mind you, but it's all in the delivery. A solid production team giving it their all can make even the most mundane thing interesting.

That is not the case for Megane na Kanojo. It's less so the gimmick and more so that the series is plain bad. Its stories and characters are shallow and weak, even when accounted for the small runtime of each episode. To really describe why they're bad, we're going to have to break down all four episodes, one by one.

After a lazy opening theme (the "animation" copy-pasted from the episodes themselves set to a song that the Tokimemki Memorial vocal CDs would reject), our first episode introduces us to generic high school boy Jun'ichi Kamiya (Nobuhiko Okamoto, Kyohei from Kamisama Dolls) and his upperclassman Kana Asou (Satomi Morita, Kei from Cencoroll) in the Literature Club, who he finds cute when she isn't wearing her glasses. After 14 months pass by, and with it countless attempts to get her to take them off (purposely fogging up her glasses, for example), he finally confesses that an incident with a mean male teacher who wears glasses is the reason he wishes for her to take off hers. Justly annoyed, she blackmails him about how he once peeked on her when she and her classmates were in the school pool, and he shuts up. Later it's revealed that the glasses-wearing boy himself wears glasses, and after being pushed by Kana the hypocrite wears them, where of course he falls for her because he can see her cute little features. End episode.

At this point I was about ready to stop watching Megane na Kanojo, but since the episodes are only 11 minutes long (the 14 minute runtime of each episode includes the opening and ending themes), I continued to the next girl's story.

In episode 2 we have an idol star named Aya Ichinohe (Asami Imai, Chihaya from The iDOLM@STER), who spends her days off reading at a cafe, her hair hidden by a hat and her face with glasses. She is approached by one of the male waiters, Takashi Miyaguchi, who has a crush on her, not knowing who she really is. Despite him being dense and not realizing who she is even after she tells him her name, the two kind of start dating, I guess. The waiter is voiced by Daisuke Hirakawa (Makoto from School Days), and man does he sound bored here. It's not as bad as episode 1, even cute at times despite its dense male lead.

For episode 3 we have college freshman, glasses-wearing Mitsuki Kimura (Saori Hayami, Saki from Eden of the East), and her glasses-wearing boyfriend Toru Tanaka (Atsushi Abe, Toma from Toaru Majutsu no Index). They've been dating for a while, and Mitsuki decides one day to wear Toru's glasses when he falls asleep in glasses. She soon does the same, keeping them even after he leaves. Mitsuki seems to be happy though, as we learn through this very cheesy line; "It's like a small part of him is right here with me." She then places the glasses on her stuffed teddy bear back at her apartment, breaking Toru's glasses as she squeezes the bear between her huge breasts. I guess the stupid was contagious, because the next day we learn that Toru broke her. The couple laughs it off as they fix each others' glasses. Next.

Our 4th and final story stars a boy named Tatsuya Takatsuka (Hiro Shimono, Ayato from RahXephon) in his third year of middle school, where he teased a glasses-wearing girl named Chikaka Kuramoto (Kana Hanazawa, lots of anime), and apparently they fought a lot. Come next year in high school, she's turned cold around him. And just him, as she gets along fine with every other boy and girl in her school. Tatsuya later learns the reason for Chitaka's ice-cold heavior is because she didn't "want to remember the past" or something. which he (rightfully) cries full on. The two kind of confess their feelings for each other as it starts snowing out of nowhere. End of series.

There you go. Now you'll never have to watch Megane na Kanojo ever. Despite cute female leads and a few funny jokes, it has very little to offer anywhere else. The animation is terrible, the washed-up color and art is bland, the music is dated, and the pacing is either too fast or too slow in the stories. In fact, if not for the voice acting, wdiescreen ratio, and digital coloring, I'd swear this was from 1996. Only Aya's trying to make a real attempt on the whole "girls with glasses finding love" gimmick of the series: Kana's arc has her love interest come off as a shallow hypocrite, Mitsuki's boyfriend Toru is dull, and Tatsuya's relationship with Chiaki might have gone somewhere were the episodes more than 11 minutes long.

The staff behind Megane na Kanojo just seemed to think that all you need to sell an anime (or manga, as it was based on one) is to have plenty of cute girls wear glasses. Too bad they forgot to realize you also have to make characters in situations you care about. And when you can think up better story lines than the ones given to you here, why watch it at all?

Cute girls with glasses alone does not a great anime make.Tim Jones

Recommended Audience: Young teenagers and up. There is some light fan service, but nothing more extreme than that. This is a pretty boring show.



Version(s) Viewed: Original Japanese release
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Megane na Kanojo © 2010 TOBI・Flex Comics / Megane no Kanojo Production Committee
 
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