What is it about a ‘harem’ Anime that gets audiences so excited? No, not excited in that way, I mean genuinely excited. There’s got to be something within every single ‘harem’ series that has people coming back.
Not only that, there has to be something within ‘harem’ Anime as a whole that justifies studios continuing to produce them. I, for one, cannot see the appeal of the hyper sexuality of this type of Anime but I think that’s exactly why I’m the perfect choice to review ‘Mayo Chiki!’.
Why exactly? Well I think, as somewhat of an ‘outsider’, I can look at the series for more than just its fanservice in an attempt to see if this ‘romantic comedy’ is as comedic and beautifully romantic as boasted. All the while taking into account that it is the fanservice, clearly, that people seem to enjoy.
‘Mayo Chiki!’, as you’re about to read, revolves around a young man with a naturally occurring aversion to women thanks to the strong female types he’s grown up with. Life gets a little crazier for him when he goes to school one day and runs into an egotistical young lady with a God complex who then considers it her calling to rid him of this debilitating condition whether he likes it or not.
When you’ve got acute gynophobia, even a pretty girl can be like a malady, and as the sparring partner for his family of female wrestlers, Sakamachi Kinjiro has the worst case ever! Just one touch makes his nose bleed, so school’s a bloody nightmare even before Kanade, the principal’s twisted daughter, deduces both Kinjiro’s “feminine issue” and that his name contains the sounds “Chi” and “Kin” back to back.
But Chi-Kinjiro’s female troubles don’t totally redline until a wrong turn in the men’s room exposes the secret Subaru, Kanade’s manservant, has been hiding in the water closet. (Well, to be fair, SHE is still a servant). If Subaru’s cross reactions concerning her cross-dressing aren’t enough of a drag, Kinjiro’s girl problems also include a haunted martial artist (with ghosts), a cat-eared fetishist (meow!), and his own sister, who’s interest in “wrestling” a certain incorrectly packaged butler may result in an unexpected ending! – Madman Entertainment
Surely, one of the staples for ‘harem’ Anime is the likable cast: A set of characters each with their own unique personality traits, attitudes, thoughts and interactions with the main character. This is something, I feel, should be featured in each and every series of this type and it’s just one of the first things that ‘Mayo Chiki!’ gets utterly wrong. The only semi-likable character to appear throughout the whole series IS the main character Kinjiro which is great seeing as he is the one featured in almost every single scene BUT he is also surrounded by a bunch of homophobic, jealous and one dimensional characters that only worked to get on my nerves episode after episode.
The main female lead of the series, Subaru, is herself quite likable simply because her character and back story is actually looked into a little more than the others but, more times than none, she’s spouts terrible pieces of judgmental and silly dialogue that ultimately proves she’s not as much of a ‘good girl’ as she’s meant to seem. Most of the other characters follow the standard Anime personality tropes. They each are introduced in a way that makes them seem different from the others but quickly devolve into, essentially, a slightly different clone of the other characters.
As usual, they’re incredibly sexual and none feature a verbal filter so hilarity ensues when they confront the main character about his inability to be with the opposite gender. Unfortunately not one thing they say is ever funny. What these charactes do well? The fanservice, and isn’t that what it’s all about? It surely seems as though it’s the only thing that matters in ‘Mayo Chiki!’ which, from what I’m told, is just what every single ‘harem’ Anime does best.
Studio Feel spearheaded the production of ‘Mayo Chiki!’ and, for the most part, they did a good job. The animation quality wasn’t really anything to look twice at but, at the same time, considering it’s a dialogue-heavy series, it didn’t necessarily have to be. In saying that, every couple of episodes had an action scene or two that really came out of nowhere and didn’t necessarily fit into the story. I must say though, the animation quality did show a huge spike and it was nice to see, whether it was relative or not.
As per usual, the most detailed scenes were the ones filled to the brim with fanservice which, once again, is what the series does best so I think it actually falls into the more positive column rather than that of the negative. Overall style-wise…’Mayo Chiki!’ is as basic as they come. There’s no ‘pizazz’, there’s ‘flair’, the series is pretty standard visually so I can’t exactly say that it was impressive. I would love to say the costume design, or something along those lines, is done very well but there isn’t that much clothing worn so it’d be a little hard to detail. Let’s just leave it at ‘basic’.
Originally ‘Mayo Chiki!’ was released in Australia by Madman Entertainment in its base Japanese format with the only addition being subtitles. This release, however, is entirely in English with the option to watch it in the original Japanese dub. This is quite exciting for long-time fans of the series who’ve been waiting to hear their favorite characters in all their English glory.It’s also good for the traditional watchers out there who prefer the Japanese. The English cast is…bad, but I’m not going to go as far to say that the cast is populated by a bunch of bad voice actors and actresses, rather I believe it is that the lines they had to read were pure smut so they couldn’t exactly show just how good they are at their craft.
Some auditory consolation is the soundtrack. While not immensely memorable, it does make certain scenes a lot more enjoyable but to say it brings attention away from the voice acting would be a lie. Had the soundtrack been better, I could see it making the series a lot more enjoyable but unfortunately it just didn’t stick out enough. It was good, but it wasn’t great and that made it easier to be taken over by everything else. Unfortunate as that is.
For a ‘romantic comedy’, there was nothing really comedic nor romantic about ‘Mayo Chiki!’ which is very disappointing seeing as they could have been such redeeming qualities for the series. Literally the only thing ‘Mayo Chiki!’ does well is the large amount of fanservice which I understand is why someone would actually watch this series. I’d like to think that a more developed series of this kind would more viewers than one that is underdeveloped so I can’t help but think that ‘Mayo Chiki!’ really is at the bottom of the barrel.
I hate to say it but I literally cannot find any redeeming qualities in ‘Mayo Chiki!’. Had there been some well-written characters or even some well-written situations, hell, I’d would have liked to have actually gotten a laugh out of the series but I didn’t. At all. It was actually kind of sad. Despite my usual aversion to these types of Animes, I could really see myself getting into a well-written one…’Mayo Chiki!’ was not one of them.
If ‘Mayo Chiki!’ is your cup of tea, you can purchase it through Madman Entertainment’s online store: Click Here