Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
Similar: To Love-Ru
Two Seasons + 4 ep OVA
Bechdel Test: Fail
I just finished this last week to get it over with. I really just wanted to know how to would end.
It's not bad but it's far from being good. It's typical. At the beginning you feel for the characters and you want to see how the story plays out but then it just follows as many cliches as possible. Take a boat load of girls and then one guy. But that one guy is selfless and all the other girls swoon.
That's a little much. There is some character development for Haruka, the main character, that doesn't have to do with the guy. She actually gets really impressive in the last episode which was pretty nice. The story of her being able to be herself is also super nice. It's really important to have characters that have more interests than the romance that the story surrounds and Haruka being able to appreciate herself is key. Haruka and her story outside of Ayase was probably the best thing about the show.
However, there is a ridiculous amount of fanservice that seems to trump Haruka's plot. Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that the fanservice is the plot. Which made the amount of censoring just weird. The point seems like it was to show off female undergarments yet when anything was actually shown, like the girls being in an outdoor bath, half the screen was whited out. It just felt like girls are okay to look at in a sexual way but girls doing everyday things like bathing to keep themselves clean was wrong and impure. This is what killed the show for me. It feels like it isn't filled with characters, just puppets that are used for sexual comedy.
The romance between the two is nice at first but then it just got killed with unnecessary comedy for the obviously male audience.
Update: That being said, the main two characters are pretty adorable and it is enjoyable to have a series that tones down the drama and focuses on their relationship. I wanted to finish it just to see where they ended up. If the show was as bad as a seemed to have painted it above then I wouldn't have wanted to finish it. The things I mentioned before are a touchy subject and I still agree with it but I didn't say everything I meant to about Haruka. The show really tries to show how important fiction can be to people. It's an extremely important part of my life and it has been for pretty much all of it and its the same for Haruka. Loving fiction doesn't make one less of a person and Ayase treats her like a normal person. I feel like season one is better about showing this but I do like how he treats her. He doesn't expect anything out of it (which is extremely important) and truly wants to help her live her life. I do think that these themes get shoved out of the way in the later episodes, which is really unfortunate, but they are important and I feel that I missed them.