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AKA: Otoboku, 処女はお姉さまに恋してる, The Maidens Are Falling in Love With Me (Literal Translation)
Genre: Romantic comedy
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Currently unlicensed in North America.
Content Rating: 13+ (Adult themes, light violence and fanservice)
Related Series: A standalone OAV sequel came out in 2007, and another three-part OAV sequel, Otoboku: Futari No Elder came out in 2012.
Also Recommended: Maria-sama ga Miteru, Kashimashi.
Notes: Based on the game by Caramel Box. This series is often referred to as "Otoboku" colloquially.
Rating: Two StarsTwo Stars
 

Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

Synopsis

On his deathbed, Mizuho's grandfather delivers his last wish to his grandson. He wants him to attend the same school as his mother. Only problem is, it's an all girl's school.

Can Mizuho keep his secret all the way through to graduation?


Review

It hasn't been too long since I reviewed a show about a boy that actually changed into a girl, mostly by accident. And no, I'm not talking about Ranma 1/2. Otome wa, on the other hand, seems to be a rather peculiar mish-mash between I My Me Strawberry Eggs and Maria-sama ga Miteru. That is, it's a show about a guy that has to pose as a female for the sake of attending an all-female establishment, which, in this case, is a catholic school. Well, I say "catholic", even though the catholic part is no more prevalent than in MariMite or even Strawberry Panic. There's no Maria statues around, but the school is run by a nun, so.... yeah.

The thing is, compared to Ranma or, yes, I My Me, the whole change in Mizuho went a little bit too flawlessly. Kinda like Kashimashi, in fact, except while Mizuho might look and sound like a girl, he doesn't quite share Hazumu's.... erm, "female qualities", so to speak.

But then, if I gotta give this show some credit, then sexism wouldn't be one of the lesser parts of this show, simply because Mizuho's crash course in becoming a female seems mainly to consist of learning to always sit on the toilet and have a very, very pink room and some essentials in her bag that he's not really ever going to need, if you catch my drift.

His adjustment into becoming a female, as it were, was never the biggest issue about this show anyway. Well, actually, that isn't completely true, but for the sake of continuing this review, let's just say he adapts rather quickly, which sets into motion one of the definite contrivances about this show. You see, Mizuho pretty much.... takes over the entire school. He basically out-feminines all the girls in the school and becomes the center of attention so fast, it makes my head spin. I'm serious; not too far into the show, he actually assumes the role of the school elder, which is apparently the most esteemed position a student can have. Granted, some of that credit should probably go to his childhood friend, the rather devious Mikado Mariya, and her mad lobbying powers. Still, between this and the fact that the story is light, puffy and cliche'd for the better part does prohibit enjoyment a great deal unless you really like stuff like this.

Artwise, I have no real complaints. Art is stable and generally pleasant to look at, though heaven knows those are some UGLY school uniforms. Not quite the eyesores of Strawberry Panic's uniforms, but damn.... Animation is generally good, too, and easily as stable as the artwork. It might not be high-budget, but it's certainly nothing to be ashamed of. If there's a single really bad thing I would have to say about the visuals of this show, then the SD mode quite possibly stands as the most creepy and unsettling ones I have ever seen, which makes me thank my blessed stars it's not used as frequently as in Aria.

Another thing that's actually positive about this show is our main lead. While he is wearing a dress for the better part of the show, and is living in the pinkest room I have ever seen, he's fairly neutral as roles go. Basically, the main characters in this show are all acting like normal people for the most part, and emo outbursts are kept to an absolute minimum. On the other hand, that's also part of the problem, because the show isn't really doing anything in particular. The complete lack of tension gives me the impression that, much like Kashimashi, the main character might as well just have been a girl from the start. Given some of the... *cough* ...pictures I've seen of said guy, someone else might have had the same idea.

This pretty much leaves us with a show that had the potential for interest, but ended up annoying us more than entertaining us. The drama feels rather flat and dull, the comedy ill-timed and old and the whole prospect just seems wasted. Even the ending is rather anticlimatic, which pretty much sounds the death knell for the entire experience. It's not as horrendously dreary as Strawberry Panic, but I certainly wouldn't recommend you spend any time on this.

Not particularly gross, offensive or sexist. Just dull, unfunny and featureless.Stig Høgset

Recommended Audience: If crossdressing's not your forte, then naturally this show isn't for you. The whole female lifestyle initiation also leads to some light fanservice of the rather typical kind; underwear and groping. There's also some light violence near the end, if anyone still cares.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru © 2006 Feel, Caramel Box, Otoboku Production Committee
 
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