Listen to Me, Girls, I'm Your Father!
Yuta Segawa is a university freshman, looked after by his older sister, Yuri, since the death of their parents but now living alone since Yuri got married. One day, Yuri and her husband ask Yuta to babysit their children, Sora, Miu and Hina Takanashi, whilst they go on a trip. However, during this time, the plane Yuri and her husband are riding crashes and they are both reported missing. So the girls aren't separated from each other, Yuta takes it upon himself to look after the girls in his small dormitory apartment. Thus begins Yuta's life of sharing his everyday life with three young girls.
I know what you are thinking. From the moe shine of the character designs down to the painfully awkward title and premise, you might have already given this show up to the ecchi fanboys and I honestly wouldn't have blamed you. Everything about this show, at first glance, screams that you can expect the sort of fetishised crap that forms the bread to the oppai genre's milk for the otaku's daily intake of anime. Honestly, the fact that the oldest girl is an obvious tsundere didn't help the matter either and I approached this series with the same trepidation that I might feel facing the gates of hell - very little hope and an awful lot of fear. Goes to show that looks can be deceiving, it goes to show that sometimes there are genuinely pleasant surprises out there sometimes. My abundant fears were unfounded and my tiny hopes rewarded. I dreamed that this show might actually be a pretty decent and against all odds, it managed it. Not by much, mind you, but complaining now would be like moaning after drinking a glass of London water and not feeling sick - the fact it didn't make you throw up is more than enough to have hoped for.
The main thing that makes this show somewhat worthwhile is that it does try to tell a real story. The tragic parts such as the apparent deaths of the girls' parents are appropriately heartfelt and don't feel too incongruent with the lighter parts of the show. The show never manages to blend serious issues and heart-warming comedy as well as Bunny Drop, for example, but there is a sense that the show is aware of what it is depicting without heaping the melodrama on too thick. In fact, I would say the show is at its best when it is trying to depict the real problems that Yuta and the girls face because of their unenviable situation. Other factors in the shows favour are a decent soundtrack, fine art and character designs.
The problems with the show are obvious though. The girls represent some standard moe archetypes (the tsundere, the devious loli and the cute little girl) and while they are certainly some of the less annoying examples of their archetypes, they are hardly wellsprings of depth and charm either. Yuta is not much better either with the same positives of not being particularly annoying but just as unexceptional. The cast of Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko they are not by any stretch of the imagination. The side characters are not too bad in the same way though; Kouichi is charming in a rather plain way and Raika is oddball enough to be keep things interesting if you don't mind the fanservice that follows her as inevitably as the backache her bosom must cause. Sako on the other hand could lie under a moving bus for all I care for him - otaku lolicons are not a good character type in any show. Another problem the show has is that its comedy also suffers from a distinct lack of inspiration. Sako isn't funny and watching Raika beat him up in her odd, dispassionate way is of limited amusement. The girls are a lot better at being sweet than funny too and tsundere romantic comedy is as cliche as sunshine in the Sahara.
In the end, I can't call this show bad. Aside from Sako, nothing about it is truly offensive or rage inducing and it delivers some of its sweeter and more serious moments effectively. The majority of it just isn't very compelling, the characters types are bit tired and so are the jokes, but in truth, it could have been an awful lot worse. Not a particularly shining recommendation but still ... you could do an awful lot worse.
Certainly not a strong three stars, more a two and a half if I am to be honest, but I think it does just enough to be average. — Aiden Foote
Recommended Audience: There's not as much fanservice as you might imagine from just looking at the show but there are a few inexplicit bathing scenes, a few shots of Sora in her underwear and the existence of Raika's bust, in general. In truth, Raika's chest spends most of the show making up for the show's pleasantly chaste attitude towards its younger cast members.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital source, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Listen to Me, Girls, I'm Your Father! © 2012 King Records
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