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?