Sanrio Boys Series Review: At Least They Tried?


This was always going to be a Sanrio advertisement but did they manage to also make an interesting anime? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.


The first episode of this anime was quite the surprise. Despite the wafer thin premise which was clearly just a justification to make an anime featuring a range of Sanrio characters and sell merchandise, there seemed to be some genuine effort to craft a story around a group of boys who were struggling against the stereotype that high school boys shouldn’t like Sanrio. There was real potential in this story and the characters. And then it all went very wrong.


I know there are a few people who did enjoy this until the end and really there are some positives to be found. If you happen to like messages about the power of friendship and working with others and you aren’t too picky about overblown friendship dramas, then this actually works quite well. My biggest issue with the story though is that these boys are meant to be in high school and the youngest of them turns 16 during the series which logically means the other characters are 17 and 18, and yet they still need a pep-talk about the power of friendship?

It really doesn’t sit well.


Even then, I probably could have rolled with it, except that the main character really unravels. He starts as a typically aimless high school student who reconnects with his love of Sanrio which kind of inspires him to get involved in things again. That is fine and is one of the positives from early in the series. By the final three episodes, however, he’s throwing temper tantrums and whining about how he wants to ‘sparkle’. I’m wondering when he took a blow to the head and how his character deteriorated that much.


The other real problem I had with this anime is that we open the show with the five boys on stage performing a play with a voice over telling us that we’re going to find out how they got there. So by the mid-way point of the series when they are all together and begin working on the play, there’s nothing left to be surprising. Even the fall-out between the boys as a last hurrah final tension isn’t something you can take seriously because we already know they end up on the stage together happy as can be.


Again, if you love Sanrio characters, if you happen to really like stories focusing on the importance of friendship, or even if you just like the five main character designs and want to switch off for awhile, there’s probably some fun to be had with this show. For me, by the end, I was mostly over it and wasn’t really enjoying the viewing experience. That doesn’t make it an anime to avoid, but it isn’t one I would personally recommend and nor do I intent to ever watch it again.

Episode Reviews:

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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Sanrio Boys Episode 2: No Doubt Who This Is Targeting



If there was any doubt as to who the intended audience for a show about boys who like cute mascot figures might have been, the shower sequences showing the soccer player and the flashy guy in the first five minutes may have cleared things up. In case that was just seen as a one off the episode then also gave us the main character having a change of shirts and later the student council president shirtless after training for archery. Not a lot of doubt left about who the creators think will be watching.


Outside of contrived reasons to get the casts’ shirts off this episode deals with Kouta’s reluctance to admit he likes Sanrio and ends with a shopping excursion (before an after credits lead in to what is clearly the issue to deal with next episode).


The whole thing is pretty by the numbers emotional manipulation before we get to the happy resolution for the crisis of the week. It works well enough but it really didn’t add anything to the characters that we hadn’t figured out last week, though I guess Kouta at least makes some progress during the episode.


All and all, this seems to be setting up for a formulaic introduce boy, introduce boy problem, have group overcome problem, buy more merchandise approach to story-telling. It might do something more than that in coming weeks but that would be my prediction at this point. So the only question is, are they at least doing it well? And the answer would be yes. While this undeniably a sales-pitch it actually manages to be moderately entertaining.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.