3D Kanojo: Real Girl Series Review: Average Is Being Generous

Self-proclaimed otaku with a dislike of flashy girls draws the attention of a flashy girl. Must be love.

Review:

3D Kanojo: Real Girl falls into a couple of pretty obvious traps that prevent this anime from ever rising above being fairly ordinary and actually make it pretty painful to watch at times. And I’m not talking about the characters themselves, though many viewers did seem to find Tsutsui pretty hard to take early in the series as he is a fairly unlikable protagonist (kind of the point though).

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No, what this series does wrong is set up a premise that is pretty standard, made only even vaguely memorable by the strength of the character personalities (whether you like them or not) and then essentially spent the first half of the season eradicating any discernible evidence that the characters ever had a personality outside of their romantic trope. It’s painful to watch as the characters are leached of all defining traits outside of boyfriend and girlfriend from a standard high school romance and even the few attempts to recall that Tsutsui was supposed to be an otaku and Iroha had a reputation for playing around just kind of fall flat as these two generically empty shells of characters go through the motions of every cliche misunderstanding that can occur in such a story.

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Which brings us to the second trap which is that this anime has nothing new to say or bring to the table. While being derivative or basic genre fiction isn’t a death sentence in and of itself, if you aren’t bringing anything new then you have to at least bring your A game and 3D Kanojo: Real Girl is anything but.

I won’t lie. I actually quite enjoyed the first episode. While I didn’t like the main characters, given they were both pretty unlikable, I found them interesting enough and was curious as to how they would come together. Unfortunately, they got together in fairly quick order and then proceeded to do that on again, off again thing where the story would have them being happy and then just throw a random spanner into the works of one or the other’s emotional make-up to have them suddenly get annoyed at the other for being who they were. It didn’t help that literally every issue the two had as a couple could have been solved by a conversation.

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However, the narrative isn’t the only area where this anime falls a little short. The pastel colour scheme and character designs work well enough, but are also fairly unremarkable. Then we had some fairly obvious character off-model moments in the latter half of the season which weren’t a complete game over for the series but certainly made watching it less enjoyable as you had to wonder if one of the characters had just turned sideways or if they’d actually morphed into a different human being.

The OP is also pleasant enough but totally forgettable.

Then we have the support cast who all seem like they might be important. And yet not one of them ever brings anything of consequence to the story. Occasionally they are a catalyst for some kind of drama but then they just kind of fade into the crowd of generic ‘friends’ that Tsutsui somehow has and at the end they all go for ramen.

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Which brings me to my other concern with this series and that is that things get forgotten fairly quickly. Iroha says she can only date for six months. Tsutsui never asks why and the audience never gets an answer. Another character literally frames Tsutsui as a potential child-predator and yet that’s also forgotten. Tsutsui just goes about his normal life afterward and the guy who did it is never actually held accountable for being a liar and making false reports to the police (defamation of character, etc). In fact, he becomes one of the friends in the background. The kids at school go from being completely anti-Tsutsui to exactly as they were at the start which is ignoring his existence, but someone who has gained infamy for potential trouble with the police probably isn’t regaining their peaceful life that easily.

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It all just adds to the overall feeling that no one really knew what the point of this story should be. Nothing has weight and nothing matters. Stuff happens, it is overcome and then the next things happens. While it never becomes unwatchable, nor is there much reason to watch it.

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Ultimately, there’s no real way to recommend 3D Kanojo: Real Girl. It won’t be the worst thing you ever watched, but it isn’t really something you need to watch either.

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Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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13 thoughts on “3D Kanojo: Real Girl Series Review: Average Is Being Generous

  1. A big part of why I did indeed drop this was probably the lead character and how much it at times felt like semi-wish fulfillment. It felt pandering to a mindset with a character that is wholly unlikeable. I give you praise for lasting through the entire thing (even if you say it was not a dreadful watch), after reading the post I can see all the hardships I would be faced with if I continued past episode 3.

    I feel like having a character like him, you need to have something to add to the discussion. Almost like a prerequisite to putting up with it, since it instead feels like you are sitting through something uncomfortable for no pay off. So when you mentioned there is nothing it adds to even the genre at hand and things just slide off it even after they were released just makes me think this show will be infuriating by the end for me. Here’s to not watching the second season XD!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww….. I quite enjoyed this one. :-/

    I will concede Iroha was annoying in that she would throw a strop but not explain why (like 99% of most anime females if we’re being honest) but overall, this was fun enough and I didn’t find this an offensive waste of my time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely wasn’t offensive but I just can’t find a reason to recommend it. There just wasn’t anything it did particularly well and many things that weren’t particularly great.

      Like

  3. Well, this one is pretty easy for me: Definite pass lol๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ The premise alone makes it pretty clear that this one isn’t for me, but having read the rest of your post, it only made it more clear ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It didn’t end up dreadful to watch, but definitely not something I’m going to recommend. Squandered potential early on and then just a downward spiral in terms of delivery and narrative choices really made this an average watch at best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, well seeing as I am really running behind already with series, this one is really going to get a pass from me. But on that note, I have finished my Another novel and am making some good progress with March Comes in Like a Lion ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I am LOVING it. I would have already finished the first season, but the Creator Showcase is really keeping me busy so far. And of course the regular blogposts. And itโ€™s going to be very hard to decide who is going to featured, wow there are some good posts this month. And I have still quite a few more to read.
            But getting back to March itโ€™s amazing. The characters are captivating and I just love the underlying themes. Itโ€™s definitely grown into one of my favorite shows so far. Iโ€™m trying to watch at least one episode a day if I can ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Fantastic. Glad you are really enjoying it. I know I push it pretty hard on my blog, but that’s because it literally just blew me away and season 2 only gets better.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You are so right to push it, as itโ€™s amazing. And yes I have heard other people say that the second season will be even better. Itโ€™s almost impossible to believe at this point, as this is already sooo good ๐Ÿ˜Š Can’t wait though! ๐Ÿ˜„

            Liked by 1 person

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