(Note: I couldn’t decide how to title posts for shows that I finished which aren’t part of “Finish or Fail” series, and I didn’t want to call them “Reviews”, so I’m instituting the “Completed” title for them. Also, there will be spoilers, but they don’t really matter, and will probably sell you on the show anyway, haha.)
B Gata H Kei is rock solid – I have nothing negative to say about it. I was constantly impressed by it’s writing, which created a hilarious and believable romance that, for once, made real progress at a satisfying pace as the series continued. Every episode made me laugh, and the jokes struck me with their cleverness – often the punchline is a bit of music, a very quick cut-away, or a background detail, so that the joke doesn’t feel too obvious nor intrusive, but a bit of fun cleverly spliced into a continuing scene. The running gags stayed funny and didn’t get old, which is way more than I can say about most school anime with running jokes.
Hal Film Maker put together a consistently impressive production with character design/animation that deserves praise (Yuuko Yahiro should have more work!) and very clever use of music (I laughed every time I heard the ‘B Gata H Kei’ jingle). Whereas my opinion of Yukari Tamura‘s voice acting had been rocky in the past, I found her performance as Yamada to be nothing short of superb, which it had to be for the show to work as well as it did. And while I’m linking to that post about my sordid thoughts on Tamura and Mamiko Noto, I may as well point out that BGHK had one of Noto’s most unique roles, playing Kosuda’s energetic, tomboyish onee-chan, which she completely nails.
The main selling point of the show for me was definitely Yamada. If I had to say what she reminded me of, it was an older, sex-crazed version of Sana Kurata from Kodocha. She had that same manic energy, the mix of intelligence and immaturity, and a drive like no other. I loved Yamada from the moment she gave her opening dialog, and that love deepened as I got to see her gorgeously drawn design throughout the series – no joke, Yamada is, to me, one of the hottest anime characters I’ve ever seen. Her body is close to what I’d describe as the ‘perfect girl’ (maybe shorter hair… and a cigarette, and a motorcycle, I digress) and I can’t argue with her personality in the slightest (you’re a virgin obsessed with sex? I’M a virgin obsessed with sex! We have so much in common!) The rest of the cast was fun, if mostly one-trick ponies, and Kosuda had just the right mix of cowardice and ballsiness to be a likable but relatable male lead.
What sucks about a show like this, though, is that even though it does everything right, it doesn’t lend itself to rewatching, nor a place among my favorites. It’s not that I don’t favor comedy series (Gintama is in my top 3, Lucky Star in my top 20, etc.), but the trouble with BGHK is that it’s ultimately just one 12-episode joke, which you can summarize in a single sentence: Yamada is an energetic, sex crazed high school girl who starts dating Kosuda, an unassuming virgin, in the hopes of using him to lose her own virginity, but ends up slowly falling in love with him and deciding to give him her virginity for genuine reasons. It takes a damn-good writing staff to make that one joke stay funny for four hours, and BGHK was a success in that regard, but in the end it’s still just one joke.
I might be inclined to watch a comedy series again and again because I find the jokes funny, but in this case, I have effectively already rewatched the joke twelve (24?) times just by watching the series. At that point, I don’t exactly think I need a reminder of how the joke went. Some would say that a show doesn’t have to count on your ability to rewatch it, and I don’t doubt that as a one-time deal, BGHK is as good as it could have been. However, I don’t necessarily look for a one-time deal in anime. For me, it’s important to be able to look back on and re-experience a series, to look deep into it and my motivations for enjoying it, and the feelings I got for certain moments. The shows that I put among my favorites are those that I feel as though I can watch long into the future and never get tired of. BGHK can’t achieve the highest marks from me because it’s very premise cannot fulfill my needs, but within that limitation, it still fulfills it’s full potential.
What could make me rewatch the series, though, is if it gets uncensored on the DVDs. I won’t lie, this show made me hot (*caughfaphardcough*), and I loved it as much for Yamada fanservice as anything else. The last two episodes were potentially two of the hottest anime episodes I’ve ever seen (not just for what happens, but for the awesome internal monologues), and if they were uncensored, I could see watching them many more times. Otherwise, if I have to leave that much up to my imagination, I may as well just come up with my own scenario or wait for the doujins to come out. [F]
If you finished this show, how did you feel about it? (post links are appropriate!) Also, how much value do you put on a show’s rewatchability?