Home > Episode Reviews, First Impressions > Togainu no Chi Episodes 1 and 2 – Girls Just Want to Hate Fun

Togainu no Chi Episodes 1 and 2 – Girls Just Want to Hate Fun

Okay, I admit it: I’ve finally snapped. I’m sick of shows aimed at otaku, and their predominately female cast full of frequently under-clothed, underage girls designed by committee to appeal to lovesick, effeminate shut-ins in order to sell them DVDs, figurines with removable skirts and full-size body pillows.

I’m also tired of all the passive, bland male leads who are completely unable to affect the course of the story, and exist solely to give a point of view character for the audience to inhabit when they’re masturbating to the girl of their choice. What happened to all the badass heroes from the anime of my youth? Where are the Vash the Stampedes, or Spike Spiegels of this generation?

So, in desperation, I turn instead to shows aimed at fujoshi, the female equivalent of the otaku who watch the fan service-laden horseshit I’ve put up with for six months now, in order to explain the depravity of the otaku.

This show is way too into dutch angles. The guy on the right got sick of it, and is leaning to the left in an effort to appear upright

Fujoshi are into something slightly different from their male counterparts, though. Not content to just imagine themselves as the partner for the objects of their desire, fujoshi are into dudes doing other dudes.

It’s a genre called ‘Boys Love’ in Japan (yes, the English phrase), which focuses on a romantic relationship between two guys for the pleasure of a female audience. More realistic depictions of gay relationships are left for another, much smaller genre and audience.

I say ‘more realistic’ because Boys Love stories tend to be just as unrealistic wish fulfillment fantasy as stories featuring magical catgirls who live to serve their shy and passive masters. And just as formulaic, too.

Bishies!

There are plenty of different varieties of female fan service character, but you can lump all BL characters into two groups: seme and uke, or top and bottom. BL fangirls are not known for their subtlety.

The seme is typically taller, more handsome, older than the uke. He’s an experienced, worldly type, willing to show the, err, ways of the world to the younger, less mature uke.

The uke is typically shorter and cuter. He’s young, maybe naïve, and much more feminine than the seme. As a result, he’s typically easier for the audience to identify with.

Why can't they do this stuff in shows aimed at guys?

Togainu no Chi is yet another anime based off a dating game. But this is one with an all-male cast, if you get my meaning. The sad thing is, even though it’s a show aimed at girls featuring characters that look and act more like girls than boys, it’s still pretty much the manliest thing I’ve seen all season.

The show takes place in a dark, foreboding future where Japan has been devastated by World War Three. In fact, the show’s setting is so hopelessly, comically bleak that it can only be described as ‘laughably overwrought’.

This is abundantly clear from the very first scene, in which a man with a deep voice intones something foreboding and probably metaphorical over shots of a ruined wasteland as a man falls out of a building. Oh, and it’s RAINING BLOOD.

I bet you thought I was joking about the raining blood thing. Not at all

This continues on into the episode proper. We meet Akira (seme), the disaffected and grim protagonist who makes his living beating on dudes in the grim future. He finds himself the target of the affection of Keisuke (uke), a naïve young man who is not as well-suited to making men bleed as Akira.

Now Akira, being disaffected, doesn’t seem to care at all about Keisuke, who follows him everywhere. When agents of a shadowy organization frame him for murder and force him into exile in Toshima, the ruined wreckage of Tokyo and the most godforsaken murder hole in a setting where the primary source of entertainment is watching people beat the blood out of each other, Keisuke manages to show up there too, waiting like a little puppy to follow him around.

Seriously, Keisuke spends the night waiting at Akira's door. Outside

Akira’s pretty put off by this, because he’s in Toshima to complete in Igura, the dangerous murder game he’s been forced into by the shadowy organization. In order to win his freedom, he has to defeat the king of Igura, Il-re, so Akira sets out to find him, and murder him.

Along the way, he meets a bunch of mooks who try to stab him, an even grimmer, angrier, quieter man with a sword, some punks who like to torture people, a boring detective and a transvestite. There’s not a lot of dialogue that isn’t exposition, because this show apparently has a torturously complicated backstory and because everybody is trying to kill each other.

Don't worry girls, he's got a penis

That is good, because any time a character opens their mouth to say something that isn’t exposition, you realize this show is even dumber than you had previously thought. For a game made for girls (and presumably by girls), this show is completely incapable of nuance. Every character has an emotion, and sticks to it like it’s all they’ve got. Akira doesn’t care, Keisuke doesn’t care about anything that isn’t Akira-related, Rin is basically a giggling schoolgirl, and the rest of the cast aren’t important enough yet for me to even mention them.

A1 Pictures are a decent studio, so the animation is decent enough, even though the director never met a dutch angle he didn’t like and the character designs make everyone look kinda like girls. Which is fitting, because most of the characters also act like them. Really, really violent girls.

The stress of living in a post-apocalyptic hellhole has given everyone extremely high blood pressure

So, that basically leaves the fighting to save the show. There isn’t nearly enough, because this is first and foremost a show about men who kinda look like girls hiding their throbbing, passionate feelings for each other while giving Significant Glances, but what’s there is competent enough to be entertaining.

And violent. Super violent. You know how shows aimed at male otaku censor the gratuitous female nudity for the DVDs? This show censors its ridiculous gore splatters, to the point where it’s hard to tell what’s going on sometimes.

It's hard to tell what's going on when half the screen is covered with censoring

I can’t even think of the last male-oriented show I watched that would have needed to censor anything other than nudity. Seriously, what is going on with anime-watching guys in Japan? If I can’t have intelligent, thoughtful animation to watch (and apparently I can’t these days), I’ll settle for watching people beat each other up.

To get that this season, though, I either have to put up with the stale mecha formula or shows based on dating games for girls. Don’t tell me Samurai Girls is really my best bet?

Keisuke may look shocked here, but it's just innuendo. Nothing happens between the two, because that would preclude 12 more episodes of angst

Either way, I’m going to stay away from Togainu no Chi. Not only is it boring and ridiculously overwrought, it’s way too chaste. I kept expecting Akira and Keisuke to just start making out, but it never happened. It might not have made the show better, but it would have made it a lot more interesting.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: