Momoko Kuzuryuu is totally obsessed with martial arts, and she's good at it, too, but her father apparently thinks that because she's a girl, she'll never be able to properly master her family's technique.....and tells her that all she can do is marry the son of the world's other strongest warrior family and have his kids. Yeah......we're off to a great start.
She agrees to this....enthusiastically (!?!?!?)....and goes after this "legendary son", who's a handsome but physically weak and arrogant teenager named Koushi. He has no interest in fighting and is studying zealously to become a prosecutor, instead, which has father is endlessly unhappy about. Even though he's completely rude and dismissive to Momoko and they have nothing in common, she falls in love with him and swears to be his housewife and train with his father so that she can be the strongest fiancee ever.
There's nothing more depressing to me than watching somebody or something with absolutely no talent or charm try to prove otherwise, over and over again. Sumomomo Momomo desperately wants to be funny and make us laugh at Momoko's stupidity, or at the sex jokes that come with her endlessly trying to get in bed with Koushi, and it tries so miserably and painfully hard, but I never laughed, and I honestly never even chuckled at how bad it was. It's just really amazing to me that a show as bad as this even exists: the premise is ridiculously sexist, pretty much all the characters are hideously unlikable, and the show never stops trying and failing to be funny in the most drawn-out, over-the-top fashion possible. Even if ecchi's your thing, you could do a lot better than this; at least a lot of ecchi has cute character design, and this doesn't even have that going for it.
Sumomomo Momomo really doesn't have all that much of a plot, and there's no real resolution to what we actually do get. The "romance" never gets any less awkward, painful, and misguided, the story never gets any less sexist, and not a single character stops acting like a complete idiot. Sure, there's a lot of martial arts battles, but it really just does feel like pointless, stupid fighting to me: the plot doesn't go anywhere, so we're left with a "comedy" that also happens to have a lot of badly drawn-out duels, mostly involving different assassins trying to kill Koushi and end the engagement, and basically making for a "villain of the week" setup.
And maybe this would frustrate me less if the characters were any good, but they just aren't. At all. Momoko's just the start of this show's problems, and her voice actress' delivery doesn't help, either; she goes way out of her way to overact Momoko's "dumbness" and her voice ends up being unlistenably whiney as a result. She's overly-clingy, she endlessly oversteps boundaries, and worst of all, she's absolutely head-over-heels for a guy who treats her as about as well as he'd treat a heap of dog doo that he'd scraped off his foot. But Koushi's even worse, to be honest; he's a wimpy, pathetic, and temperamental asshole who shows no spine whatsoever when things get dangerous, and he's an absolutely arrogant and vindictive prick to boot. I at least sometimes felt sorry for Momoko because she's legitimately too stupid to have any idea that she's humiliating herself, but I'm not going to be that lenient with her "lover"; he's smart enough to be aware of just how much of a asshole he is. And even though I absolutely don't think they'd make a good pair, I really have to say that Sumomomo Momomo goes way too far with one-sided romance: the entire show consists of an girl whose martial arts talents are totally being wasted, blindly and endlessly singing the praises of a spineless asshole who wants to spend his life sending criminals to the gallows as a way to compensate for having no physical abilities (and yes, he literally wants to be a lawyer so that he can get people executed), and it's really, really painful to watch. Another reason I feel sorry for Momoko, as awful as she can be, is that the entire show is setting her up as somebody who has absolutely no worth unless she has babies; what's worse is that even though Koushi openly disdains her, he still goes and takes advantage of her kindness by letting her cook and clean for him, anyway. Considering how many chauvinistic assholes do this, even if they won't admit it openly, I have a hard time even thinking of how somebody could see this as "comedy". The rest of the characters aren't quite as bad, but they don't do anything besides egg on Momoko's schemes or try to kill Koushi (or both, at different points); the only character who I even remotely liked was Sanae, Koushi's classmate and secret admirer, and while I also really don't understand why she's so smitten with him, either, I mostly just feel sorry for her because she gets humiliated and taken advantage of more than anybody else in this show. She's smart and sweet, and she deserved better than being the butt-monkey for these idiots' abuse.
But really, the most frustrating thing about Sumomomo Momomo is that even if you try to disregard how disgustingly sexist it is and how horrible the characters are, it still just isn't remotely entertaining. Sure, I'll sometimes laugh without meaning to at sexist jokes, even if that makes me feel really, really uncomfortable, but in this show, everything's just so painful and cringey: the worst is when Momoko tries to serve herself to Koushi on a plate of sashimi, begging him to "eat me!" Almost as bad is a scene where she tries to hypnotize him while he sleeps and replaces the tape he uses for "learning the law while sleeping" with a tape of her goading him into saying he loves her. This isn't funny, not even in an "it's funny but it's wrong" way: it's just disturbing, creepy, and ridiculously screwed-up. And if the humor doesn't involve people overstepping boundaries, it involves the women getting sexually humiliated; just consider the fact that on the cover alone, it's obvious that their outfits look more like bondage gear than anything. But like I said, even if you're into that, don't bother with this: it's incredibly poorly animated (with some of the most awkward CGI I've ever seen) and the character design gives the people really weird, ugly body proportions. Plus, the opening theme starts with the lyric "let's make babies". Yeah........as if everything else weren't bad enough, Sumomomo Momomolooks and sounds absolutely terrible. It's the rare show that actually strikes out in literally every department.
There's no other way to put it: Sumomomo Momomo sucks. If there really is anybody out there who finds this appealing, I'm at a total loss for what their reasoning is, unless this is something that MRA anime fans watch for "comedy"...and if that's the case, I really don't want to find out. This show's an unsalvageable piece of junk, and it's not even entertaining to make fun of: it was honestly really hard to make it through all the way, and it's definitely partly to blame for me cutting back really heavily on reviewing bad anime (at least intentionally), lately. You've been warned.
Probably the worst "comedy" I've ever seen, anime or otherwise. — Nicoletta Christina Browne
Recommended Audience: So how's this for "appropriate:" one girl's martial arts skills literally depend on how much clothing she strips. Plus there's the "eat me!" scene. You get the idea.....there's just no end to gross, pervy stuff in this show. There's a lot of violence too, but most of it's pretty slapstick.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital Source (Japanese with English Subtitles)
Review Status: Full (24/24)
Sumomomo Momomo © 2006 Studio Hibari
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