When Tropes Collide: Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

When tropes collide, you lose.

Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru is a show that wants to have its cake, and eat it too.

You see, we have this first fun trope – the girls are all yuri for our lead, Mizuho! Come on over, Strawberry Panic fans! This stuff is for you!

Oh, but wait – Mizuho is actually a guy! So we have the regular old harem set-up of one loser-ish guy, many girls. Many girls who wanna smack that. Except they wanna smack that girl, not that guy. How utterly droll! So let’s follow the trap around and watch the girls go all yuri for ‘her’. It’ll be great fun.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at, is that this thing is so heavily pandered, that that is all there is to it. Because we just get all the regular harem tropes, but with some weak gender-related jokes tossed in – aww, look at the girls running around Mizuho scantily clothed because they think he’s a she! That’s hilarious! Girls really do do that all the time! I mean, I know I chill out in my dorm in my lingerie constantly while my suitemates are around. Actually, we even have nights where we just all toss on our lingerie and make cookies. Its great.

Of course, it doesn’t help things that the production values are bottom of the barrel, from the animation to the music to something as simple as the uniform design. The uniforms here are seriously ugly; they are meant purely as fanservice, since they emphasize boobs, but they can’t even manage to look cute while doing so. This is pretty disappointing, since there are plenty of shows with cute, servicey uniforms, and some of those shows aren’t even all that good.

Of course, none of this addresses how hideously boring much of the show is. There is an entire episode about a hair ribbon. Yawn. And while I could manage to somehow watch the Etoile portion of Strawberry Panic without rolling my eyes constantly, the stupid school-sponsored faux-lesbianism here was too much for me – here’s our school dance! And none of those icky boys are allowed in! So, girls? Half of you, pretend to be boys… but make sure you still wear your school uniform. That way we know you’re not actually one of those gross monster things! But we’ll know who you’re supposed to be because you’ll wear the winter uniform, and the girl girls will wear the spring uniform. And, yes, this completely matters – we need to ensure we split you ladies up into two groups so… you are all dancing with a guy. But not really.

Anyway, basically, Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru is about my life. Except that I’m a girl. And this would’ve been badass if it had been about my life.

Wait, why don’t we just pretend it is about my life?

So, OtoBoku stars this girl named Day. She goes to something-something College because her grandfather’s will tells her she has to. While there, she manages to attract the attention of five all the girls because she’s just so cool. She helps all of them with their problems, like teaching a girl with a stalker how to be a ninja so she can kick his ass. She doesn’t mean for them to fall in love with her – they just do. And even though the story takes place at a college, everyone wears a cute, cute uniform, just like in all those dubbed anime where the college students wear uniforms. And then, it all culminates in the big, dramatic school dance, where the cute girls angst over the fact that Day seems like she’s closer to one specific cute girl than all the rest. But then the Army comes along and looks at Day, then goes, “What the fuck? DADT, anyone?” Credits roll.

Also: the episode with the hair ribbon? It involves alcohol this time – the girl loses her hair ribbon at a fraternity party, and must somehow retrive it from the brothers who’re displaying it as a conquest trophy. Day uses her m4d m1l1t4ry sk1llz to scale the front of the house and steal it back… along with the sexy fraternity little sister who happens to be guarding the ribbon, and decides that she prefers Day to any of the brothers.

That there is pretty much a day in my life. Except that no one punched me during it.

So, in sum – OtoBoku sucked, and everyone clearly would’ve enjoyed it more if it were about me instead. I’m thinking I might have to submit a script with the title ‘Shoujo wa Boku ni Koishiteru’. You’ll all have to keep an eye out for it, ok?

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9 Responses to When Tropes Collide: Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

  1. I quite like the idea of several premises or tropes being squeezed into one story, provided it’s done with flair. What I’ve read elsewhere about OtoBoku chimes in with this, and suggests that the hideous boringness might be its key failing. Blog entries from the time it was airing seem mostly to boil down to attempts to wring humour from infatuation (feigned, I imagine) with the hero/ine.

    About the most exciting thing I’ve done in two years at university is unblocking a friend’s sink with a teaspoon. Evidently I should inject more drama into my life.

  2. Sorrow-kun says:

    “I’m thinking I might have to submit a script with the title ‘Shoujo wa Boku ni Koishiteru’. You’ll all have to keep an eye out for it, ok?”

    Hell yeah! I’d watch it. Sounds epic already.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, and my version would be able to squeeze in another trope – girls with guns.

  3. Baka-Raptor says:

    So when you do the naked cooking thing, do you neglect to invite the fat chicks? An all-inclusive naked cooking event at CMU would quickly turn tragic.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Well, I myself actually just let my haremettes gather in my kitchen and do the naked cooking themselves since I don’t do that whole cooking thing myself. However, in my case, its a mixed gender event, so the chubbier ladies are actually guys in aprons.

  4. ETERNAL says:

    Interesting. I feel like there’s another example of this on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. Maybe something like the Comic Party anime, or Nogizaka Haruka when you factor in her unusual love for otaku culture (unlike Nagi Sanzenin, who seems like a natural otaku). Either way, the main draw of yuri for me is, obviously, the girls, and that whole draw would be destroyed if you toss a guy into mix and turn it into a harem.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      See, that’s the thing – I felt like someone who wants to see yuri is going to go watch something more interesting that is actually yuri, and that someone who wants to see harem will actually go watch a better harem show. It just seemed like the whole thing basically ended up working at cross-purposes with itself.

  5. 2DT says:

    From what little I watched, I got the impression that the girls were all attracted to Mizuho because they all somehow subconsciously knew he was a guy, as if they could smell his pheromones or something. I found that vaguely insulting, but also interesting to think about.

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