Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga Gakuen Love-Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteru
Kanade Amakusa is a high school student who is suffering from a curse called "Absolute Choices." This curse requires him to select an action from a list of two or three options that appear before him at any time, and has no control over what choices appear. Many of them are weird or perverse and as a result, the curse has tainted his reputation with his classmates and other people around him, making his life very difficult. However, one day, a choice he makes on his way home from school causes a mysterious, beautiful young girl to fall from the sky.
A writer with a much more potent comic sense would make a very clever multiple choice joke right here and I am sure we would all laugh heartily at that writer's cleverness. That writer is not me though and, to be honest, this series does not inspire cleverness nor was it inspired by it. I'm happy to admit that I “chose” this anime (that's as close to a joke as you're going to get) with the expectation that this would be awful - the king of all ludicrously long titles was the giveaway before I even looked at the plot – but also with the expectation that it would be so spectacularly awful that I could have at least been amused by it on some level. No such luck. NouKome is barely worth an audible yawn let alone a derisive sneer or a guilty chuckle. It's simply not worth watching.
The problem is that NouKome is dull and that fault is most noticeable with its cast. Good male leads in this type of show are few and far between (strong and likeable characters tend to make bad harem leads since they tend to be, you know, decisive) and NouKome follows in the tradition of the majority. Part of what makes Lead-kun different is the Absolute Choice decisions that he is forced to face but this is used more as a substitute for character rather than a device to reveal it. There is nothing to this guy except he is someone who must face ridiculous choices and doesn't like it. He reminds me of Mahiru from Nyarko-san because he strikes me as someone who requires supernatural intervention to be more interesting than the blank piece of paper that lists their personality traits. Surely the girls are interesting though? They are at least offensive enough to cook up some of that tasty reviewer bile that everyone loves so much, right? Well, no.
The three main girls just continue the shrug-inducing blandness that is NouKome. The least interesting one is definitely Chocolat though, unless you can somehow get mileage from a sickly cute voice, big boobs and an insanely voracious appetite that I think is meant to constitute some sort of personality. I can't hate her, however, because, for all her pointlessness, she is quite nice for the majority of the show and only gets particularly irritating when lead-kun gets abused thanks to her obliviousness. Ouka is the nicest of all the girls but still not deep enough to drown an ant. She is the daughter of a CEO apparently but this does not seem to have bearing on her character at all; instead we have a genki girl with some strange tastes (I guess that is why she is one of the rejects)and who gets embarrassed when she gets into embarrassing situations, go figure. Furano is the quiet, snarky girl at first appearance but is in fact really cute and girly underneath, filled with lots of hidden insecurities. That may sound fairly standard (and it is) but the “tsun” part of her “tsundere” routine is acted out in the most bizarre fashion: alternating between dry, bitter meanness and the strangeness of her meaningless non sequiturs. I don't know, maybe her comments were obscure Japanese puns or something but I certainly missed out on any humour those jokes contained (or did not contain). In any case, the fact that she has two aspects to her personality makes her more interesting than the other girls, if only just. Still, for a show to be worth watching it needs characters you can hang your hat on and invest in and I would love to invest in these guys if I could but sadly neither the bank nor my heart lets me take out stocks in thin air. I sometimes think that anime writers take the 2D nature of the medium too much to heart.
Aesthetically the series is too flat and too lifeless. For the most part, NouKome feels very static and the stagnant animation only compounds with the stagnant scripts. Even at its worst, anime like Nichijou covered a degree of its scripting sins by injecting energy into the proceedings but here the awkward situations created by the Absolute Choice curse or Furano's nonsensical quips prod lazily like children bothering their sleeping parents. The character designs for the girls (lead-kun is barely worth mentioning, to the shock of no-one) are more after the OreShura style of character design than anything else. The colouring is bold and vibrant, features are muted but varied between the girls and their boobs seem to have no size between flat and rather large. In all honesty, I do not hate these designs. They are the most interesting part of this show (not great praise but praise nonetheless) and they could have been adequate for a good series if the characters had received personalities to match. Overall, the show obviously lacks a budget and it does nothing to overcome that problem.
I've so far avoided a very obvious question when it comes to discussing a comedy: “Is it funny?” I'll be blunt, it isn't. To be fair, it is not like this show's humour is particularly offensive, in no way was this show as obnoxious as the aforementioned OreShura was at points, but it loses my support and sympathy because of its mean-spiritedness. The majority of humour is the standard slapstick crap, where we are meant to enjoy watching a guy get beat on by the whole universe (quite literally in this case). I'm sorry anime industry, no matter how much you do this I am never going to like it. Why does all your humour have to be at someone's expense? Why are good-natured shows like Hidamari Sketch such a rarity? I can only sigh. There are a few good kicks at otaku culture though and while I wouldn't call them funny, they are at least worthy of note. The girl with the porn star breasts actually has porn star breasts; they are implants, and there is a girl who has decided that she is everyone's little sister. It might be a passing fad (I hope) but the current little sister craze in anime deserves all the mocking it can get; at least until I get around to burning all those otaku along with all their incest light novels or, worse yet, make sure they all get real little sisters to deal with.
So yeah, that's NouKome. It's not worth the words wasted on its title and it's not worth your time. I normally have a car crash fascination with bad anime (I almost looked forward to watching Another when it was airing) but I had to force myself to finish this show. It holds no fascination, it has very little worth and it is best forgotten sooner rather than later. I don't think it has a “choice” in the matter (Okay, I couldn't resist).
Almost completely devoid of quality and it has very little to recommend it. If you have a taste for lead focused violence then you might want to add a star even then I won't recommend this to you. — Aiden Foote
Recommended Audience: Upskirt shots, sex jokes and lots of the standard slapstick violence you get with these kinds of shows. It's for older teenagers and above.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream from Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subtitles.
Review Status: Full (10/10)
Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga Gakuen Love-Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteru © 2013 Takeru Kasukabe Yukiwo/Kadokawashoten/NOUKOME Partners
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