May 3, 2014

Anime Review: Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Rabu Kome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru

Noucome title/logoCheesecake shows like this are a guilty pleasure of mine. They are the empty calories of anime, and just like a Twinkie they’ll leave you feeling disappointed with them and yourself. For all of the fancy packaging and appearance it rarely satisfies like you hope and it just makes you feel a bit ashamed since, let’s face it, this isn’t your first pre-packaged pastry. You knew better, but you thought maybe this time it would be different.

Hailing once again from that annoying land of stupidly long-named adaptations of light novels, Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Rabu Kome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy), or Noucome for short, arrived late last year to fill the gaping hole left by HenNeko earlier in the spring. If you know anything about that show then you already know what to expect in this one. Lots of impossibly cutesy girls, one guy, and more fanservice than you have tissues to deal with nosebleeds.

Chocolat sits on a couch with Kanade as he dozes eyes closed and she watches with obvious affection

As far as fluff series go, though, Noucome manages to be pretty damn cute I gotta say. The animation isn’t inspired but it’s quite good quality and always makes sure that the girls look good (most of the time). Lots of color, vibrant backgrounds, and all that. Unfortunately, beyond the pretty faces there’s not a lot to recommend. Even HenNeko had better writing and funnier characters than this one, and it wasn’t exactly swimming with originality and talent. Oh, the writing is never bad but it’s only ever just adequate. It’s mildly amusing and safe and shows glimmers of potential here and there but won’t ever surprise. But it knows it isn’t anything deep and so focuses on the cute-factor overwhelmingly so. And well… I can’t exactly complain about that…

A fish-eye effect looking directly at a poker-faced Furano as choices float around her in blue and magenta buttons

A bosom-heavy up-close view of Chocolat looking bewilderedOur hero boy suffers from some weird-ass affliction where he will randomly hear and see two choices (far less commonly it’ll be three or more) and he must pick one or face massive mental anguish until he does. Usually, it is a command or something he must say. Until one day where it causes a girl to fall from the sky and live with him claiming she’s there to help cure him but she got amnesia (TEEHEE) when she fell so all she really does is mooch off him, eat all his food (SO SILLY), and wear skimpy sleep clothes around his place (PARENTS ARE CONVENIENTLY OUT OF TOWN OF COURSE). Yeah, it’s one of those shows.

A dramatic breeze-through-the-hair three-fourths view of Kanade complete with imagined sparklesUnsurprisingly, it becomes a harem and the main character seems like he’d be alright but they never really do much with him or his forced choices. Oh sure, they happen a lot, but mostly it is just for awkward/silly comedic effect. He’s depicted as being attractive and popular but everyone finds him unapproachable because he’s always doing weird stuff (aka those wacky choices). The concept of the “Reject Five” is also a neat idea, that being a set of five infamous kids at school who are attractive but have something wrong with them that makes them undateable, but again this is never really utilized well either. Worse, their anti-group, the actual top five most dateable kids in school, are a painfully uninteresting lot.

Ōka looking cheerful and bright, with requisite fang and bosomsNoucome’s dialog is good enough often enough, and while it doesn’t quite have the comedy chops of, say, Oreshura, its characters are far less annoying. Predictable? Obviously. Face-palming in its blatant fanservicing? You bet. It never quite has the execution I kept hoping for but it was never bad either. And, admittedly, as much as I eye-rolled about the constant in-your-face fanservice, the girls and animation overall are delightfully adorable. It doesn’t require a lot of close attention or brain power and it’ll easily push all of your moe-buttons. Plus, some of the humor is pretty good. The running gag with Chocolat being a closet fujoshi is usually worth a few chuckles. And the sight-gag of the Flippant God’s image on his phone being the infamous botched Jesus fresco restoration tickled me to no end.

Up-close view of Kanade's phone as God is calling him, showing an icon that clearly resembles the infamous botched Jesus fresco restoration

A profile view of Furano with hand on chin at her deskBut, and I know I end up saying this a lot, the short length here hurts. Ten episodes is not much and the story that is there really needs more time to fully resolve itself. Plus, it would probably allow them to, maybe, just maybe, do a little more relationship building. As it is they have, wisely or not, opted to keep things extremely light on the romance (except where comedy permits) since there isn’t enough time to really get into a true love triangle. It still probably counts as a harem show, but… not in the Love Hina way of really trying to justify each girl’s attraction.

This is, overall, a short, easily digestible fluff piece that is easy on the eyes and mind. It never takes itself too seriously and as long as you just want some simple fun and stereotypically cute girls then you’ll be pleased as pie. But its lack of originality and short length prevents it from standing out in the heavily crowded school comedy genre.

As of this writing, you can watch Noucome for free on Crunchyroll.

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