Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Anime Review: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

Once again, sorry for the delay in this review, writing through a headache after a six day work week is never tempting enough for me to want to do it. Plus, I've reached the stretch of shows which I did enjoy enough to finish watching them but don't actually have a lot to say on them and as a reviewer that's a little stressful. How do I manage to convey why I thought that they were worth finishing if I have such a flat opinion at the end of the show? Middle of the show reviews really are the toughest ones to do, thank goodness every year I get pickier and pickier about what I continue so I watch fewer of them. 

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (Binan Koukou Chikyu Boei-bu LOVE!)

When a pink, alien wombat appears to five teenage boys at Binan HIgh School asking them to save the Earth of course they say no! Too bad for them they're about to be conscripted into magical boy service anyway with silly uniforms, involuntary poses, cheesy intros and villainous counter parts to boot! 

I first checked out the show because a friend and I really wanted something to watch together to snark at and if it wasn't for that commitment I don't know if I would have finished the show. Three episodes in I was bored by it, there were some amusing references to other magical girl shows (the punch-kick fighting from Precure, the set up of the group like Sailor Moon, a villain who looked like a gender-swapped Utena, and an episode with a Princess Tutu-esque black swan) but the jokes fell flat and the repetition they were going for didn't work for me either. There would be a few gags each episode that worked for me but it wasn't as funny as I had hoped. Around the middle of the series however I started looking forward to it, the show had ditched trying to set up the monster of the week in a very predictable manner and the situations got sillier and sillier which was exactly what this show needed. It did focus a bit more on the villainous trio but it never really developed any of it's characters however. They would bicker and make up but there were only a few moments when these actions would carry over to the next episode, the show was more concerned that a few plot points were present in each episode rather than character growth.

That being said, the show had an enormously satisfying and fun finale which had me laughing nearly the entire time as it pulled out half a dozen zany plot twists, half of which I was able to predict through knowledge of the genre and actual foreshadowing! That crazy payoff did make me less reluctant to recommend it to people, I still wouldn't go out of my way to suggest it to a general magical girl fan but for anyone who enjoys strange comedies and thinks that the idea of magical boys is a great one in the first place would probably enjoy this. It's not a great looking show so I can't recommend it for that (your guess is as good as mine if the show didn't try to disguise that it was cheap to add to the humor or not) and none of the ideas in the show are new but at least some of them aren't ones you see in every other show these past few seasons. 

For anyone interested in checking the series out it's in a few different places: both Crunchyroll and Funimation licensed the streaming rights for the show and have it up in the usual places but Pony Canon has decided to put it out on DVD themselves for the US. I'm fine with CR and Funi sharing licenses but adding in a third party is making this a bit too confusing but, until Ponycan either starts it's own streaming site or dies out I guess this will be happening more and more often.