Home > Episode Reviews, First Impressions > B Gata H Kei Episode 1 – Japanese Pie

B Gata H Kei Episode 1 – Japanese Pie

For as prominent a role as scantily-clad girls and sexually-suggestive situations play in many anime, it’s kind of interesting that actual honest-to-goodness sex is so rare. Most shows—even shows focused on romance—are more about the tribulations and teases of two people coming together than romantic intimacy. Having two characters in a serious relationship is fairly rare, much less two characters having sex. Out of all the anime I’ve seen, I can’t think of more than ten that featured even implied sexual intercourse.

So I had high hopes for B Gata H Kei. Finally, I thought, a show that will explore adult relationships and sexuality. It might be a comedy, but at least it will deal with actual intimacy, rather than just miscommunication played for laughs over and over.

Boy, I was wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong

B Gata H Kei is a rapid-fire gag comedy about a sex-crazed high school girl, known only as Yamada, who wants to do it as much as possible. Except she’s never had a boyfriend. And is terrified of dating anyone for fear that they’ll discover that she’s a virgin herself, or think her vagina looks funny.

So, not the mature look at sex I thought it would be. Of course, I thought Yamada would be a college student, rather than in high school, so it makes sense that they can’t show high schoolers having sex on TV. And I knew it would be a comedy, but I didn’t know it would be an Azumanga Daioh-style segment comedy. Each episode—or this one, anyway—is divided into four independent segments, each of which is packed with enough humor to be its own episode.

Yamada is the rare anime protagonist who looks stylish and trendy. She's one of the popular girls

This episode centers around Yamada meeting and frightening Takashi Kosuda, a boy she meets by accident and targets for sex because he’s a bland-looking virgin, and about as unintimidating as boys get. Her attempts to throw herself at him always end up terrifying him instead, usually because of her sexual timidity or utter lack of social tact.

The end result is absolutely hilarious. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud repeatedly the first time I watched the episode, despite trying not to wake the person sleeping in the room next to me. That’s impressive enough—I rarely laugh audibly when watching anime alone—, but it was still funny when I watched it a second time to get screen caps. If it can keep the same amount of energy and humor through its whole run, this could easily be one of the best comedy series I’ve ever seen.

If Kosuda is in pain, you're probably laughing

Most of the humor comes from its ridiculous characters. Yamada is a wonderfully self-absorbed buffoon who deserves everything she brings crashing down on herself, but still manages to be endearingly innocent and naive. You do wonder though, if she’s too nervous to talk to guys and afraid of erections, why is she so obsessed with sex in the first place? Kosuda might be the required bland male protagonist, but at least it’s got a funny justification, and he’s an excellent foil—and punching bag—for Yamada’s antics. And Yamada’s personal god of love (erogami-sama), a cutesy version of Yamada floating on a cloud and wearing the garb of an Old Testament prophet, is a clever way to embody the narrator and master of fourth wall-breaking quips.

Erogami-sama is awesome. Those are Yamada's breasts in the background. Again

B Gata H Kei is more than just a funny show, though. I can tell that Sanri Yoko, creator of the original manga, is a woman, because there’s a lot of little things in Yamada that remind me of girls I know that male writers usually fail to pick up on. She doesn’t have the worshipful attitude most male writers in anime take towards women—she knows being a teenage girl is more unglamorous and awkward than it is sexy and beautiful. That makes Yamada seem very human, despite being goofily unreal. In many ways, she’s closer to real girls I know than the most competently created girl in the most serious male-penned anime.

This comes through in Yamada’s sex life, too. Like most teenagers, she’s eager to find out what sex is, but scared of the opening herself up to someone else that intimacy requires. After years of watching the ridiculous and contrived lengths anime writers will go to in order to put their characters in sexy situations with none of the complications that intimacy would bring, I’m glad to see someone admitting it: sex is pretty scary. Relationships are pretty scary. It’s old hat in shows aimed at girls, but still a novel thing in shows for boys.

The show never says a word about it, but heavily implies that Kosuda is a photography geek. For an anime, that's Machiavellian subtlety

That seems to be the main subtext of B Gata H Kei: girls are people, too. They’re just as scared about being asked out as you are at asking them out. They’re just as worried about people thinking they’re weird, or ugly, or perverted. They don’t know the first thing about sex, or dating, or anything like that, because they’re just figuring things out, too.

Maybe if the people who watch this show take that message to heart, we’ll see less otaku nervously clutching body pillows with anime girls on them, feverishly jerking off to dating sims, and more trying to figure out actual 3D girls. Probably not, but no one can say they were never told.

You can't hear it here, but the jingle accompanying the condom montage is hilarious

Either way, I didn’t get the honest show about sexual relationships I was expecting, but I did get an honest show about sex. Even if it’s more American Pie than Shortbus, that’s still impressive.

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