The Things We Struggle To Change
I’m not going to harp on about the genre of this one. The harem and ecchi elements remain in week 2 (duh, that’s what it is) though I definitely felt the ecchi side was turned way down in the first half of this episode and even when the battle began it still didn’t feel like they pushed things as far as week one. For those watching for the ecchi in the story this will probably be a disappointment however for me it gave me a little more space to focus on the other elements of this anime without wondering just how many boob grabs or accidentally falling into someone’s pants they were going to throw at us.
On that note, this anime is very average in a lot of ways. The main character’s generally fearful personality yet being mistaken for being scary and intimidating kind of works but is pushed that little bit too far. The end result is that it is a joke that doesn’t quite stick and yet when played straight, with the girls around him genuinely wanting him to overcome it (even if for their own reasons) it is much more effective. This leaves us with a see-sawing tone where you can’t tell if they want to actually deal with these characters as characters or if they are just tropes.
The focus this week was very much on the three girls who go to school with Takuma rather than the whole harem he has in his house. This was fairly good as it allowed each of them to get a reasonable amount of screen time and a sense of who they were. The student council president got the most time and I liked that they built a parallel between her and Takuma in that they both have something they’d like to overcome but willpower alone isn’t going to get them there.
Of course, then the school is attacked by an unscheduled akuma and it is time for battle. Naturally this means cornering Takuma in a storage room because we need a power up before the fight. Meanwhile, the girl from last week zooms around throwing swords and generally waiting to be rescued with naturally a sequence of her being bound and held by the monster (it is exactly as you would expect).
There seems to be more behind the goings on with the appearance of the akuma and there’s definitely some suspicious characters in the school. Whether these plot threads go anywhere or if we will continue with the monster of the week followed by the grope of the week format remains to be seen. Honestly though, this isn’t terrible even if it isn’t overly good.
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Images from: Val x Love. Dir. T Naoya. Hoods Entertainment. 2019.