Hello there. This is review number seventy one. The anime is part of the Summer 2011 lineup. I’m reviewing R-15. I watched it without any idea what it’s about and I was pleasantly surprised that the anime is about boobs and nudity. Lots and lots of boobs and nudity. One the side you can see that the popular posts I have are all about Ecchi anime. It looks like this one will be up there in no time. What is up with people and the Ecchi genre? I’m thinking twice now about reviewing hentai anime. *sigh*
Anyways, R-15 is a twelve episode anime about boobs and nudity. Lots and lots of boobs and nudity. Oh, I said that already? Let’s read on then.
The anime is about Taketo Akutagawa who is a popular erotic novel writer. He studies in an esteemed academy where all the students excel at a certain subject. They are geniuses. The anime is mostly about Taketo and his run-ins with the girls of the academy. His lewd mind and overactive imagination would always get him into trouble. His reputation is basically ruined because of the label “porn writer” attached to him. He gets in trouble with one of the girls but later on, these girls would find a genuine nice guy in him. It looks like there are some people who can look past the porn writer label and some even appreciates his passion for writing. Can he get lucky and find a girl that will love him for who he is?
Taking the Pants Off
I’ve been watching a lot of Ecchi lately. It’s not intentional. The lineups just have a lot of them compared to other genres. Satisfying the otaku population, I guess. R-15 is a nice ecchi anime but it’s also one that people would either love or hate. The Ecchi genre would always have a group that enjoys it and a group that hates it. It’s normal. As a reviewer, it gets tricky though. People like the genre because it’s a step down the ladder of hentai. There is nudity, panty shots and a lot of fan service to last you a year. There are people who hate it because it’s basically hollow. No story, the characters are bland and the obscenity just crosses the line too much. R-15 has all of that personality so I’m telling you right now that if you’re not a fan of obscene stuff and fan service then look away. This anime is not for you.
Okay, I’ll discuss the reason why a lot of people hate this anime. The glaring flaw is the story. The anime’s plot is shallow. There is no major plot that ties the whole anime together. Freezing had this plot about girls fighting and younger boys helping them with a huge helping of Ecchi. R-15 is just about Taketo fooling around and being a pervert. The anime tried to take a deeper dive on the situation by having Taketo supposedly help a girl with her problem. It’s shallow though. There is no build up, the character introduction is lost within the flow of the episode and the execution is forced. They were nice but it’s not good enough. The story is being overtaken by the Ecchi that there isn’t even a hidden potential in it. It’s just Taketo being perverted. That’s that.
I understand the problem. If you sacrifice the story and just present obscene stuff then it’s not really surprising that some viewers may be turned off. There is one thing though that I like about the anime. I like the shallow the story. Wait, what? I just wrote a paragraph pointing out the faults. It’s shallow with no chance to get good. That’s it and that’s where the brilliance lies. The anime doesn’t present a half-baked story and destroy it with Ecchi. Maken-ki! did that exact thing. The story in Maken—ki! has a huge potential but it was ruined by mindless panty shots and oversized breasts. R-15 didn’t do that. It’s not ruining the story because there is nothing to ruin. That means that the Ecchi shines brightly and the execution becomes flawless.
I really admire the anime’s Ecchi because it’s so flexible. It’s suggestive, it’s blunt, it’s daring and it’s downright brilliant. I could compare the anime’s ecchi-ness to Ladies vs. Butler. They both walk along the line of hentai inspired lewd-ness without actually becoming hentai. The first half is rampant with Ecchi and it starts out simple then builds up into something more erotic. I simply can’t explain well with words so I’ll just let some pictures do the explaining.
The episode below is on episode three. As you can see, it’s suggestive. We see a girl riding a huge rocket. I’m a pervert and I can only think of one thing when I see it. What? It’s not doing anything for you? Ok.
The episode below is on episode four. We see a girl grabbing and fondling the breast of another rather violently. They did a lot of more in this episode that makes you go “Oh no they showed it. Boobs!”. Not enough for you? You sick bastard.
The episode below is on episode five. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The anime also has some themes to them as if celebrating Ecchi’s triumph. There is an episode dedicated to panties and panty shots. There is an episode all about peeping and there is an episode girl on girl action. Now if there is an overall story that ties the entire anime then all of this stuff would easily be clutter. Maken-ki! made that mistake. It showcased the Ecchi so randomly that it became annoying. R-15 had no story. It’s awful but it has a lot of dirty scenes that elevates the anime.
That’s basically the challenge of the anime. It is set on a foundation of Ecchi. The characters are bland and generic but because of Taketo’s perverted encounter with them, they develop. Yes, Ecchi is the trigger into character development. The anime relies on it too much that it basically turns off viewers instantly. The anime is dirty. That’s about it.
The characters are really one dimensional though. They don’t really develop that much and so the personality you liked about them in the beginning is what you’ll see in the end. The characters flow with the episodic stories though. Some of them get to shine when the spotlight is on them. I personally like Taketo’s unstable personality. He goes from your normal guy to this perverted freak in mere seconds. His fantasies are also pretty nice because they appear randomly and the situations in them are very inspired at times. The characters are likeable, that’s one thing good about them. Their one dimensional personality doesn’t really have a great impact on the anime. Characters go with the story so without a solid story then you can’t really expect much from the characters. The great thing about the characters though is that they all have different personalities and their character designs are all different. Even side characters are easily remembered because they played their roles well and their outfits stand out.
The second half of the anime winded down the Ecchi a bit. It presented some romantic flags between Taketo and some girls. There is a nice love triangle in the second half and there is actually a plot. It has a story about Furune Nakura, the clarinet genius, struggling to find her passion for music and Taketo is the shoulder she cries on. It also has a story about the resident idol, Utae Sokonoe, falling in love with Taketo despite his porn writer label. There was a nice romantic tension at the second half and a really paced well plot. It’s a bit surprising how the anime hid its potential plot on the second half. It’s a bit odd too because the blunt Ecchi that was rampant on the first half is not present in the second half. It’s a nice bait and switch that I actually like. Okay, I’m full with all the fan service so serve me some story now.
The problem with the second half is that the story is a bit forced as well. Since there was no stable character development that should’ve happened in the first half, the story in the second half is a bit too hard to take seriously. The anime established Taketo as this huge pervert that smells panties and openly fantasizes about girls in front of them so you can’t expect viewers to believe he’d just change into a concerned guy just because the story calls for it. I think the anime did that so it can end on a happy note. It established a conflict so it can finish the anime with a resolution. It’s OK for what it’s worth.
Sight and Sound
The character design is really great. It has a moe, sort of childish, appeal to it that makes the Ecchi scenes really well done. It doesn’t cross the line of becoming disgusting with oversized boobs or super slimy gross white stuff. It played its Ecchi pretty smartly. The characters are all bland in the anime but because of their outfit, they viewers are able to remember them. I personally love the outfit of the two exorcists that only appeared on one episode. I remember them clearly because of their attire. It’s a mixture of cute and sexy that the anime pulls off greatly.
I saw the uncensored version and I suggest you get it too. I don’t know what they actually censored (boob grabbing maybe) but I fully enjoyed the anime because it had nothing to hide except for the female parts. It had a lot of boobs and nipples exposed that was pretty nice to look at. Yeah, I like it. Hey, I’m being unbiased here.
The animation is pretty solid. The production value is top notch and the anime is nice to look at even without the perverted scenes. The background is pretty nice as well. Some of them establish the mood of certain scenes which I admire because it had the choice to just skip it.
The soundtrack of the anime is pretty nice as well. The opening is a bit generic but it does fit the anime well. “Maji Yaba Mousou LOVE♥” by R-15 had a nice beat to it. The opening sequence featured all the characters and there was no ecchi in it. The ending song is much cuter. “HIRAMEKI! Peace (≧▽≦)v” by R-15 is a nice song that is a bit flirty and cute that nicely reflects the anime. The ending sequence features some dancing chibi characters then some fan service scenes. It was pretty nice.
5/10 “It thrives on Ecchi which makes the anime pretty brilliant.”
It lacks a good story but I didn’t mind. If you like panty shot, boobs, rampant nudity and erotic scenes without going overboard then you’ll like this anime. If you hate Ecchi then stay away because this anime makes the genre proud. It stands erect and pretty proud. (highfive!!)