Nozomu Futami choses to stay in Japan when his father travels to the Hawaii for work. He returns to the town he had lived in as a child, where a legendary stone is rumored to be the cause behind an unusually high number of multiple births. Nozomu soon finds himself being pursued romantically by some of these twins, leading to predictable harem antics as six pairs of girls all go after him.
Note: When I wrote the review of Futakoi Alternative, I hadn't yet seen this version, which is why I write about being unfamiliar with it.
As much of a cop-out as this may seem, I really have almost nothing to say at all about Futakoi.
This show is the dullest and most predictable bishoujo harem anime possible, basically. Is it creepy, or so poorly-made that it's excruciating to watch? Not exactly; as far as stuff I've actually watched, Photo Kano is the creepiest and 11eyes the most terribly written. Really, Futakoi is just excruciatingly boring beyond belief: the best thing I can even say about it is that it's not particularly creepy or cringey to watch, and if two backhanded compliments are the best thing I can think of, that's already not a good sign.
The art definitely doesn't make it worth the time, for one thing. The character design comes from the same person who made Myself;Yourself, Memories Off, and some other "gems" of harem visual novel adaptations, but it somehow looks even cheaper here. Yeah, the girls are at least somewhat cute, in theory, but the design and animation are uneven at best, and the background art is just bland. The color scheme is overly bright, and honestly, Futakoi looks more like a bad flash animation or something you'd find in a really, really cheap educational video game for kids. It's honestly hard for me to believe that this was even greenlit to air on TV in the 2000s.
As for the characters themselves, we don't get to know the girls as much as the show dumps a ton of sparkles and squeals on us to make us think they're cute. And Futakoi really, really goes overboard with the sparkles....I like cute girls as much as the next lesbian, but this was kinda too much. It's not that surprising, though, because with twelve girls, there isn't a lot of time to develop anybody's personality, and so I guess that if you don't have any hope of taking the time to write good characters, you might as well just drown the viewer with a bunch of squeals and sparkles, right? Honestly, hardly any of the girls have a distinct personality; there's one tsundere and her delicate younger sister, a la Kyou and Ryou from Clannad, two rich twintail girls who get more screentime than anybody else, Nozomu's teacher (!!) and her sister, etc. Of course, it's made worse by the fact that nobody does literally anything besides fawn over Nozomu, who's completely unattractive and plain and a complete noncommittal idiot, which I guess is what you want for a harem show like this? The best I can say about him is that he isn't a pervert, but he's nothing more than vaguely and indistinctly pleasant.
And the whole show really doesj ust have the feeling of insincere, forced happiness, kinda like the atmosphere at a lot awards ceremonies. You smile, and smile, and smile, and quietly pray that somebody's going to get drunk and make a fool of themselves, because it'll at least be slightly funny. You've got the beach episode, an episode where one pair's pet goat gets sick and Nozomu has to help them, a weird episode about another pair having to complete some "challenge," and, at the very end, some stupid drama about Nozomu, his father, and having to move again that, of course, ends in the status quo. It's the most vapid type of harem show possible: the main character's a complete floozy, the premise is boring, and there's no comedy or sci-fi setting like, say, in Tenchi Muyo or even Is This a Zombie? to make up for any of this.
About a year after this, somebody (and I honestly don't know who) came up with the idea to rework this show into something totally different, which is how we ended up with the much, much better Futakoi Alternative. That show takes the same girls, gives them way more personality, and completely changes the setting, and it's actually surprisingly fun. It breaks the harem framework down pretty cleverly, plus, it actually uses the characters' being twins as a plot point....not to mention, the characters (including that show's much, much better male protagonist) actually act like they might have a brain. This, on the other hand, really doesn't even qualify as "entertainment". There's just so little to offer anybody that I'm really not sorry that nobody, outside of anybody who's seen AMV Hell 3 and looked at the credits, has really heard of it. There's just so many other anime out there that you could be spending your time on.
I don't even know if I "hate" Futakoi.....it's just so dreadfully boring. — Nicoletta Christina Browne
Recommended Audience: On the whole, the content of this show is very tame. None of the "relationships" lead to any sort of sexual situations, and what little violence occurs is harmless slapstick content.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital Source (Japanese with English Subtitles)
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Futakoi © 2004 Futakoi Production Committee/Mediaworks
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