This is the second installment in the series where we take a closer look at some anime that are probably too short for “regular” reviews, yet we still want to cover them and make our opinions known. Last time, we took a look at some more obscure offerings, but this time, we’re going a bit more mainstream, including an OVA from a series that yuri fans should be very familiar with~
Synopsis: When Natsuno Hanabi went back to her hometown to study in high school, she thought that she will have a new wonderful life. But Tachibanakan, the dormitory she was going to live in, was not what she expected.
Creators in Pack is a studio that has a lot of experience making short-form anime, but none of that experience has seemed to translate into making a good anime. Netsuzou TRap is one of their most recent efforts, and the bad memories from that series still linger, but at least Tachibanakan Triangle is the sort of light and fluffy fare that is the exact opposite of NTR‘s extreme drama, so it’s no surprise that I liked this a lot more.
That’s not to say that TT is actually good, however. With each episode checking in at a mere three-and-a-half minutes, there isn’t enough time for much of anything, except for a lot of ecchi humor, that is. The fanservice is one of this anime’s most redeeming qualities, and the comedic moments usually involve one character getting naked or near naked, so the shallowness of the anime suits the short running time well.
And that shallowness extends to the characters, who are all one-dimensional and stick to their roles. There’s the cute and innocent one (Hana), the promiscuous one (Yuu), the promiscuous one’s play thing (Sonoa), the quiet and naive one (Iori), the motherly type (Yoriko), and the sweet one with a crush, Konomi. The story is practically nonexistant, so I hope you end up liking these characters. If you don’t, you might not find much enjoyment in this show…
At least there’s no shortage of yuri in this anime. Whether the pairing is Konomi x Hana, Iori x Hana, or Yuu x Sonoa, this is a pure yuri anime that earns the ecchi tag. Konomi’s crush centers on Hana, who always seems to find herself in compromising positions with the incredibly naive Iori. Unlike Iori, you get the sense that Konomi really does have feelings for Hana, so those are the two that I ship. And Yuu x Sonoa is more about sex than anything else, so there’s that. In short, each episode of this anime is over in a flash, but at least yuri fans get rewarded with something.
So, should you watch it? If you’re craving something yuri and don’t mind something simple and on the ecchi side, then why not? The really short running time should let you know that you that you shouldn’t expect too much out of this, but I suspect that it will still be mildly entertaining for some people. There aren’t a ton of really short time wasters that have this much yuri, so there should be an audience for this out there.
Synopsis: Robot Girls Z – The story revolves around a new team of “Toei robot girls” named “Team Z” that is made up of three girls based on Toei’s Mazinger Z franchise: Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, and UFO Robot Grendizer. Usually they perform in activities around Nerima ward in Tokyo to raise the awareness of the promising future energy source “Photon Power” (koushiryoku). However, there are times when “Mechanical Beast” team of girls emerge from the “Subterranean Empire” and attempt to steal the energy. Thus “Team Z” has to battle them to prevent this, though sometimes they just go and beat up the “bad girls” to relieve stress.
I haven’t actually watched Mazinger Z or it’s many sequels and spin-offs, but I don’t think you have to be familiar with the franchise in order to appreciate how goofy and fun this anime is. Serving as a parody of Go Nagai and Toei Animation’s Mazinger franchise, we see the super robots and Mechanical Beasts from the series reimagined as cute teenage girls, and this setup somehow works surprisingly well.
Mecha is listed among the genres, but I’d say that this almost feels more like a magical girl anime, and a fairly entertaining one at that. Comprised of nine segments spread out over three episodes, this show is the kind of over-the-top slapstick comedy that I tend to enjoy, and the crazy action only adds to the overall enjoyment. Robot Girls Z revels in its absurdity, from its ridiculous plot to the even more ridiculous characters, so it’s clear that this anime is trying to appeal to a very different audience than its parent story aims for.
Most of the Robot Girls/Mechanical Beast Girls have a good amount of personality, even though a lot of them are only around for a single segment. Z-chan, Gre-chan, and Grenda-san are the stars of the show and make a good trio of heroes, but what are heroes without worthy villains to face-off against? Well, this anime… doesn’t really have worthy villains, at least not most of the time. It’s not that Baron Ashura and her cronies are bad characters or anything, it’s just that they’re completely incompetent. Think Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. They’re a bunch of bumbling idiots that always find new ways to get their asses kicked by Team Z, and they keep coming back time and time again. That probably doesn’t sound too entertaining, but their failures are usually funny to watch, and there’s just enough variety in the story to keep things from getting too repetitive.
So the comedy mostly succeeds, but what about the action? This may be a parody anime, however, the action is surprisingly nice You wouldn’t think that an anime like this would produce some solid sakuga, but there it is, making the stylized battle scenes look as nice as some action anime out there. As for the yuri, RGZ is kind of lacking, at least compared to the other two anime in this post. Aside from a perverted villain in the third segment of the first episode, the only other yuri moments come from Z-chan and Gre-chan, who get up close and personal after being hypnotized by a villain’s song. The segment right before this one looked like it would add to the yuri, but it’s just yuri bait, as one of the characters is actually a boy who just happens to look like a girl. For this reason, this might be my least favorite segment in the show. 😛
Long story short, should you watch it? It’s a bit light in the yuri department, but other than that, this is a pretty good time waster for anyone who likes silly comedy and action. This isn’t deep at all and is best suited for people with short attention spans, yet every now and then, anime like this are just good breaks from what we normally watch. It helps that RGZ is only three episodes, so it’s not too much of a time investment for those thinking about giving it a go~
Synopsis: My name is Sawaguchi Mai. I always get myself involved with my classmate, Kawamura Reo. Reo is pretty short and has silky hair… In short, she’s cute. But sometimes, she can be really obstinate. I’m trying to do my best to get her to get along with the rest of the class, but since we’re both headstrong we always end up fighting. It’s so frustrating, especially since she can’t do anything without me around!
But whenever I talk to her, Reo always acts like I’m bothering her. I wonder if she hates me… But then, just when I got all depressed Reo came up to me and told me, “You’ve got it all wrong! I love you, Mai! I love you so much!” Her confession completely took me by surprise. Could it be that I’m in love with Reo too?!
I’m no hentai connosseur or anything, but I don’t think it takes one to know that a lot of hentai out there is shit. Counting this one, I’ve only seen maybe three or four, but if they were all as good as this SonoHana OVA is, I (and probably a lot of others) might actually watch more. In fact, you could probably edit out the sex scenes and pitch this as a legitimate slice of life anime, with no one so much as batting an eye.
But before I go any further, I have a confession to make. I’ve never actually finished a SonoHana visual novel. I have a few, but just haven’t had the desire to go ahead and sit down for an extended period of time and complete them. Well, now that that dirty little secret is out, let’s continue. Despite this being hentai, this manages to be an incredibly cute anime that actually reminds me a lot of Sakura Trick… just with sex, instead of only kissing. It feels a little weird to write “cute” and “hentai” in the same sentence, though this somehow ends up being both. There isn’t much in the way of story, but this is hentai, so who really cares about story, am I right? 😛
Of course, both Mai and Reo have the same voice actresses as they do in the games, and both of their personalities come across seamlessly, especially Reo, who is one adorable tsundere. And it’s great that Mai and Reo are the only characters that we see in the entire episode, because who wants to waste precious time on random characters? The music should also be mentioned, as it provides the perfect backdrop for the sweet yet sensual sex scenes, giving it a little bit of class that you don’t usually find in anime like this. That doesn’t mean that the sex scenes are tame or anything—they certainly aren’t—it’s just not the raunchy garbage that you probably think of when you think of hentai.
I’d bet that hardcore SonoHana fans are ecstatic to see characters they know and love actually animated, and even if you aren’t necessarily a fan of SonoHana or hentai, this is undoubtedly some quality entertainment for yuri fans. Given the success of the games, I’m really surprised that we haven’t seen the franchise produce even more hentai featuring all of the different couples. Anyway, should you watch it? Absolutely! Whether you’re watching because you’re a SonoHana fan or are simply interested in it for the sex scenes, I highly doubt that you’ll be disappointed with this OVA. Now just give us moar!