Tag Archives: Sudden Girlfriend/Boyfriend Appearance

The protagonist meets someone who becomes their boyfriend/girlfriend with unrealistic speed, often instantly and without a say in the matter.

Kirara – Anime and Manga Review

Japanese Title: Kirara


Related: Kirara (manga – included in review)

Similar: Maison Ikkoku

Dusk Maiden of Amnesia



Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Ecchi Supernatural Romance Comedy

Length: 39 min. OVA, 6 volumes (manga)



  • Some good humour.


  • So rushed.
  • The first girlfriend is irrelevant.
  • Why is ghost Kirara interfering?
  • The manga doesn’t help.

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Blink and you might miss Kirara. So rushed is its storytelling that I have to wonder what the team’s plan was going into this project. With either a small budget or limited time, they should have gone with a different story.

Kirara gets in a car accident on the way to her wedding and dies. Instead of going to heaven, however, her love transports her back eight years to the early days of her relationship with Konpei, before they started dating. Oh, and she’s a ghost…and she has to deal with her younger self…and Konpei is with another girl. Draaaaamaaa!

So, I like this setup. It has great potential for comedy with the current vs. future Kirara love triangle. The pacing doesn’t allow for much in the end, though. Firstly, Konpei dating this other girl is utterly irrelevant – I’m not even sure if he ever actually dates her. They go out as a group for lunch, maybe it’s a date – I’m not sure – until ghost Kirara scares her away. They didn’t need her; two Kiraras is enough for a love triangle.

Secondly, why is ghost Kirara interfering with Konpei and young Kirara? If they will end up together in the future, shouldn’t she just leave them alone? Kirara isn’t interested in Konpei at the start, yet we know she will be, so even then interference is unnecessary. At some point, ghost Kirara makes her inference about banging Konpei, but the next second says it’s about getting her younger self with Konpei. Could be both – who knows? Maybe if each scene lasted longer than a sneeze, we may find out. Most events come in the form of montages to compress the runtime.

When a reader requested this anime, which I had never heard of before, I noted Kirara was an adaptation of a manga with six volumes. Six volumes adapted to thirty-nine minutes? Hmm… So, after seeing how rushed they made the anime, I had to read the manga for the sake of curiosity and for thoroughness on behalf of the reader. Well, what can I say about the manga?

It’s worse! You aren’t going to believe this but cutting down the manga was the best thing they did. One would think the anime had cut the progression of the love triangle with the friend, followed by perhaps a love triangle with present and future Kiaras, hijinks included. Surely, surely, six volumes is plenty to hit us with joke after joke as these characters fall in love. Surely! Ha ha ha— no!

What they cut for the adaptation is utter nonsense – all filler. The manga has an angel descending from heaven, an alien girl who also falls for Konpei, and some other random girl that came from who knows where. I thought the manga would be a humorous rom-com. Instead, all I get is a barely-there romance bogged by filler and a half-naked woman with no sex or sexual development.

Having nudity or sexual material on half the pages, Kirara presents itself as a highly sexual romance, set to develop further sexually than typical vanilla romances. Alas, there’s no development, sexual or otherwise. All development happen in the first five pages as it speeds to the marriage before death.

Furthermore, we never receive reason why Kirara is interested in Konpei. Seriously, they never mention it. It doesn’t help that he has no interesting quality to recommend himself either, preventing us from guessing what attracts her to him (or him to her). The anime showed more in what little time it had. During the montage of their relationship before marriage, we see snippets of life together while they do ‘couple things’ such as ordering take-out after another of her failed dinners, going out on dates, being lovey-dovey, etc. The screenwriter for the anime must have seen all the filler and slashed it in one swift stroke of a red pen.

Kirara the anime feels like twelve episodes condensed into two. The manga feels like two episodes padded out with nonsense to six volumes.

Art – Medium

Kirara has a decent amount of animation and the character designs are distinct enough. Not much to see because the story is so limited.

Sound – Medium

Good acting, but the script is thin. The singer for the end credits has a beautiful voice.

Story – Low

A woman travels back in time as a ghost to when she first met her future husband. Humorous at times, Kirara’s rushed story has no room for the love triangle and comedy to grow.

Overall Quality – Low

Recommendation: Don’t bother. Despite a length of two episodes, the rushed nature of Kirara doesn’t feel worth your time. Then again, it is so short you may enjoy the light rom-com. Whatever you do, don’t move on to the manga.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


Poor Pacing


Sola – Anime Review

Japanese Title: sola


Similar: Air



ef: A Tale of Memories

H2O: Footprints in the Sand

5 Centimetres per Second


Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Supernatural Romance Drama

Length: 13 episodes, 2 OVA



  • A few atmospheric moments.


  • Boring start to finish.
  • Bland skies.
  • Characters don’t fill their intended purpose.
  • Feels in alpha planning stage.

(Request an anime for review here.)

Yorito is a guy obsessed with the sky. Sunrise, he’ll be there; midday, he’ll be there; sunset, you bet he’ll be there; no matter the state of the sky, he’ll be there taking photos. He’s so obsessed that he doesn’t notice his best friend Mana has a crush on him. One early morning when out on a sunrise excursion, he meets Matsuri, a girl battling a vending machine that ate her change without beverage compensation. She, however, vanishes before the sun rises.

Sola takes the subtle approach – the too subtle approach. Sola is so subtle, one wonders, much like the sky itself, if it’s there at all. See, Sola requires forever to tell us its purpose. I started with the episode-0 OVA. Don’t do that. It was pointless with no plot.

Even once in the actual episodes, Sola is too vague in its aim. It doesn’t lay down anything concrete for us to invest in at the start. Writers need to give something. The Elric brothers want their bodies back with alchemy, but they need to find the philosopher’s stone first. Ash wants to be the very best, but he needs more Pokémon. They have a direction. Even if it changes further along, a story must present something to hold onto within the first episode. Other than his love of the sky, which is a mere hobby, Yorito has nothing going for him. And Matsuri is even emptier. She’s “mysterious” for no reason other than the fact that she doesn’t talk. Seriously, a few minutes conversation with Yorito would clear up all mystery. It’s never clear why she’s so mum either. For several episodes, the story amounts to people doing ordinary things and a guy taking photos of the sky.

I only enjoyed the parts when they appreciated nature, whether the rain or sunset. The music and audio effects evoke a nice atmosphere and make me want to go sit by the rain.

I almost forgot: Yorito’s sister is sick in hospital. There is always a sick girl in this type of anime, isn’t there? Fear not, she’s as bland as the rest. On paper (nudge, nudge), she has a good backstory, but she does nothing, so once again I question if she exists at all. Sola has “mysterious” character with no mystery, “cute” character without cuteness, and “deep” characters as shallow as a puddle. It’s simply boring. (Parents are invisible as well to no consequence on a teen with a hospitalised sister.)

The first twist, of sorts, happens a few episodes in when Yorito stumbles upon Matsuri under attack by a curse hunter. Sneeze and you miss the resolution to this plot line. He gives up his pursuit so easily that I must question, yet again, if he was truly a part of the story at all.

The main theme is loneliness, but they never make use of it. Yes, Matsuri is lonely because of her ‘curse.’ Yorito’s hobby is a lonely one. His sister is lonely in the hospital. Mana is lonely in her one-sided love. Even the Loli vagabond is lonely living in a cardboard box. Problem? You guessed it: they don’t use this loneliness to develop some complex metaphor or change. Come on, Sola, how many times will you do this!? Use something!

Every motivation in Sola comes down to promises. “I promised my sister this” or “I promised this little girl that,” type of affair. I hate the promise motivator, for it gives us nothing about the characters. It’s a shallow dodge for effort. Imagine you couldn’t use the promise device, how would you justify these characters? Why would they do what they do? If one insists upon the promise usage, then focus on the motivation for making the promise. What about a broken promise and the consequences? Why do they never consider that?

“What drives you?” a scene asks.

“I made a promise,” says the character.

“Great. That taught us much about you…”

Back to FMA again, the Elric brother promise to resurrect their mother, but anyone who’s seen the series knows that’s not the motivator. Selfishness is their real motivator, which is excellent, as it shapes their entire quest.

Lastly, it irks me that Matsuri goes back to same broken vending machine. This is Japan where one can find another machine around the corner. No, forget the corner – there’s usually two side-by-side! Yeah, it bothers me like an old man with kids on his lawn when there’s a park next door.

None of Sola’s problems are atrocious. They are just nothing. The worst thing is that for a sky-themed anime, none of Sola’s skies are interesting. How…?

Art – Medium

The art is pleasant enough, but nothing stands out. They should have hired Makoto Shinkai’s artists for the skies in Sola, the sky anime. Is it just me or do heads grow larger relative to bodies in close-ups?

Sound – Medium

Average audio in every sense, music to script. Only the ED song and some atmospherics stood a little above.

Story – Low

A guy obsessed with the sky meets a mysterious girl before she vanishes. Took me ten minutes to write that elevator pitch because I forgot what happened in Sola, so dull was its story. Whole lot of nothing, albeit innocuous.

Overall Quality – Low

Recommendation: Don’t bother. Unless looking to fall asleep, spend your time elsewhere. Sola has nothing to recommend itself.

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Awards: (hover over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


Hollow World BuildingLacks ConflictPoor PacingRubbish Major CharactersShallow

Please Twins – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Onegai Twins


Related: Please Teacher (same setting & character crossover)

Similar: Kiss x Sis

W: Wish


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: High School Comedy Romance Harem

Length: 12 episodes & 1 OVA



  • Nothing at all.


  • The characters. All of them.
  • The lazy incest premise.
  • The one repeated joke.
  • So creepy.

Let’s get this over with, for I have already wasted ten hours of my life on this garbage twice. Why twice? Because when I first watched this as a teenager for its relation to Please Teacher, I thought it was average. Average, yes – I truly was a git, an imbecile of the highest order. To consider Please Twins as average is not only too generous for even a Nigerian prince, but also an insult to intelligence. What we have here is the lowest form of anime.

One day, Karen and Miina rock up at Mike’s house, both claiming to be his twin sister found in a childhood photo. Of course, only one can be his sister, the other a stranger. And so, while they figure out who is related, they decide to crash at his place, oh, and mount his mini fireman’s pole. They pretend to care about waiting until they are sure who can avoid incest, but as we are (cruelly) witness to each episode, they want nothing more than to slide that toothpick between their teeth. Karen, Miina, even when you girls spend five minutes EVERY EPISODE telling us you won’t hump him, your actions scream ‘take me roughly by the garden shed.’

These characters being related has no effect whatsoever, entirely meaningless to both plot and “romance.” Even if you ignore the incest angle, (pretend these two girls are whores who left their adoptive families to find the cream of some young guy) it is still super creepy. More baffling are the reactions of classmates and his teacher (Ms Kazumi from Please Teacher), as no one objects. Sure, some girl, also in love with Mike’s wet noodle, protests about the indecency, but we can all see how feeble her convictions are – hell, she would probably agree to join the three, if you know what I mean. (Of course you know what I mean; you’re not an idiot, unlike these characters.)

Is there anything good I can say about this shite? Well, Ms Kazumi is humorous for her few appearances, and there is a guy in class who has the hots for Mike, making some hilariously timed comments about wetting his whistle with Mike. Except, it turns out the guy isn’t gay and all of that was meaningless. They could have replaced him with an entirely new character for the second half. Yep, they couldn’t even maintain the one funny character.

Please Twins was agony. My forehead hit the desk many times, yet the memory never faded of seeing the characters get into compromising situations, then mentioning they are related, but maybe not, repeated every episode. This anime could fit into three episodes without loss of content. Even three episodes is pain.

Art – Very Low

Though Please Twins shares an art style with Please Teacher, the former lacks the surprising polish found in the latter. Also, the leading trio are hideous in design.

Sound – Low

With such an awful script, one can hardly expect greatness in the sound department. Doesn’t have a memorable soundtrack, unlike Please Teacher – minimal effort, honestly.

Story – Very Low

Two girl show up on a guy’s doorstep; one is his twin, the other a stranger, both want to get into his pants. Creepy, unfunny, repetitive.

Overall Quality – Very Low

Recommendation: Avoid it, even if you liked Please Teacher. Please Twins contains just about every awful, clichéd, and eye-rolling trope found in anime. Utter arse.

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Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


Atrocious PlotAwful DialogueInduces StupidityLacks ConflictNot FunnyRepetitiveRubbish Major CharactersUseless Side Cast

Tenjou Tenge – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Tenjou Tenge


Related: Tenjou Tenge: The Ultimate Fight (OVA – included in review)

Similar: KenIchi: The Mightiest Disciple

Ikki Tousen


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Martial Arts Action Ecchi

Length: 24 episodes & 2 OVA



  • Some cool action if you don’t think too much about it.


  • Aya is incredibly annoying. Moments that are taken too seriously usually involve her.
  • Inconsistent lore for the chi, powers, etc. and useless backstory to the school.
  • Several idiotic character designs.
  • Forced character expositions, only to leave their arc forgotten halfway.
  • Incomplete, even with the “concluding” OVA.

Tenjou Tenge takes place in a martial arts school where of various fighting styles compete against each other with their Bruce Lee-ripped bodies. The story starts with knuckleheads Nagi and Bob, thinking they are the toughest guys around and pick a fight day one, only to get stomped by Natsume, a sexy woman who can shrink to chibi size at will and is captain of the Jyukenbo club. To make matters worse, Aya, younger sister of Natsume, joins the school and through a mishap in the showers, she falls on top of and in love with Nagi, declaring them engaged. It isn’t long before the new members of the Jyukenbo club attract the attention of the student council, who want to destroy them.

What you need to know about that narrative setup is just how irrelevant it is. Halfway through the series, the story switches to a flashback involving Natsume’s dead older brother and his best friend, the current student council president, and their falling out. This lasts the remainder of the series with all but two of the present characters cast aside. Tenjou Tenge can’t seem to decide who should be the protagonist. First, you get the impression that it’s Nagi, then Aya for a moment, before Masataka (council president’s younger brother) is hinted as the one with the hidden growth, but Natsume has the most screen time and she’s important in the flashbacks. So who will it be?

Much of Tenjou Tenge’s enjoyment comes from its parody nature. In similar martial arts anime like Ikki Tousen, I find it impossible not to laugh at the stupidity of it all because they expect us to take punches that tear clothes off seriously. Thankfully, Tenjou limits this to twice (if I recall) and it doesn’t try to sell us on the idea that martial arts makes the world go round. However, there are still problems – many of them. Whenever Aya is involved, it takes itself seriously, especially with the love at first sight…thing that amounts to nothing, despite how important she tells us it is. What a waste of time. Almost every genre cliché comes from her and she becomes irrelevant with the flashbacks, so why even include her in the first place? Then there is the dictatorial student council. Where are the adults who teach them? The plot tries to explain where the powers come from and how chi works and all that, but before it can finish, we need to change protagonists.

I got the impression that the writers never looked back on their work before submitting for print. They start one story, and then get a new idea, changing the narrative to fit that. Hang on! New idea! We must change everything again to accommodate. But wait. Still not settled, we have another idea! Yay

To cap matters, the story doesn’t end with the series. An OVA titled ‘The Ultimate Fight’ follows, and guess what? Go on – guess. It has no ultimate fight in it. The entire OVA is padding to lead you on to another incomplete finish. You know, I may have just wasted your time…

Art – Medium

The art is standard for anime, though as a fighting anime, the animation is quite good during the action scenes. Shame about some of the character design.

Sound – Medium

Voice work is fine in both languages, though with a lot of Japanese words, it may bother you in English. I got used to it after a few episodes – the dialogue and plot aren’t important enough to care.

Story – Low

Tenjou Tenge does try to inject a plot among the action. Still could have put more effort into the lore and not forget half the character arcs midway through.

Overall Quality – Low

Recommendation: For martial arts fans only. Tenjou Tenge is at the very least entertaining, but the lack of effort put into the lore and characters, never mind the unfinished state, makes this an anime of narrow appeal.

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Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive: None


DissapointingHollow World BuildingIncompleteNo DevelopmentShallow

Ah! My Goddess TV – Anime Review

Japanese Title: Aa! Megami-sama! (TV)


Related: Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy (season 2)

Ah! My Goddess: Fighting Wings (OVA side story)

Ah! My Goddess: The Movie (sequel)

Ah! My Goddess OVA (original version)

Similar: My Bride is a Mermaid

Maison Ikkoku


Watched in: Japanese & English

Genre: Supernatural Romance Comedy

Length: 24 episodes & 3 specials



  • Sweet romance.
  • Fun, innocent comedy.
  • Pretty art style and elegant character design.
  • Beautiful music coupled with perfectly matched voices.


  • Slow relationship progression.

Keiichi is the unluckiest guy. If there is a hole to step in, he will step in it. If there is an accident waiting to happen, he will trigger it. Being a short guy with an unmemorable face, he’s never had a girlfriend either. Seeing such misfortune on one guy for all his life, the Yggdrassil machine up in heaven adjusts his fate. When he dials a number, his call redirects to the Goddess Helpline, and from his mirror emerges Belldandy (Norse goddess of the present).

She offers him one wish, any wish. Thinking this all some prank by his dorm seniors, he wishes for her to be his girlfriend. The wish is granted. However, since Kei’s university dorm has a no-girls policy, his manly seniors eject him onto the street, and after a lengthy search, Kei and Bell find residence in a temple. They are soon joined by her sisters, Skuld (goddess of future), who thinks his intentions impure, and Urd (goddess of past), who thinks them not impure enough!

Ah My Goddess is an anime full of heart and sweetness. It gives that warm, fuzzy feeling I like to experience every once in a while. The romance is light-hearted and innocent; the characters have goodness to them, even in the antagonists. Kei’s motor-club seniors always make me laugh – they carry full toolkits under their jackets in case anyone suffers a breakdown.

Despite the three women and one man living under the same roof setting, this isn’t a harem. Outside of the conflict with Urd and Skuld, Keiichi has to contend with hiding Belldandy’s identity as they attend university, where the campus queen, who rejected Keiichi in the past, is jealous of Belldandy’s beauty and popularity. The rich guy makes it his mission to pull her as well. It’s funny to see Belldandy clueless about human customs, getting into bad situations, but her innocence and kindness gets her out alive with Keiichi’s help. They also have to deal with devils, heaven glitches, and the occasional supernatural entity. Keiichi polymorphed into a scooter by a devil had me laughing to the point of pain.

I enjoyed the small details such as each goddess’s transport catalyst. Belldandy can travel between mirrors, Urd through televisions, and Skuld via warm water. They also recharge power with different sources – sleep, alcohol, and ice cream, respectively. Devils are weak to various things as well, which leads to many humorous scenarios; main antagonist Mara can’t handle lucky charms or resist dancing to rock, and Urd, being half devil, falls asleep to classical Enka.

Unfortunately, rather, frustratingly, I should say, the light-hearted nature of Ah My Goddess leads to a restrained relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi. The constant stalling, in particular due to Keiichi’s cowardice becomes tiresome before the end; the relationship barely sees progression after the initial foundation. This wouldn’t be such a problem if they were saving for season 2, but there it is even worse. At least the movie knows what to do.

Even so, I love Ah My Goddess. As long as you don’t go in expecting Rumbling Hearts, I am sure you will enjoy it too.

Art – High

Ah! My Goddess has a gorgeous art style and character design suited to the elegance of Belldandy. The animation is good, in particular when racing or casting spells. I appreciate Belldandy’s varied and ever-evolving wardrobe – most anime sticks to one or two outfits throughout.

Sound – High

Though the acting is great in Japanese, I prefer the English, for Belldandy is sweeter, Urd sexier, Skuld cuter, and Keiichi funnier. Fantastic music with Nord and Celtic influences.

Story – Medium

I enjoy the premise of a goddess coming down to Earth to live with a nice, ordinary guy. Keiichi and Belldandy make for the sweetest couple. Frustrating relationship stalling, however.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Despite the problems with relationship progression, I easily recommend Ah! My Goddess. I love the humour and sweetness of these characters – Belldandy always lifts my spirits.

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Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)


CharmGreat MusicHilariousPositive Recommended English Voice Track


Weak End