Ever had that day where, no matter how productive you try to be, you end up on the couch (or in front of the computer) watching something for several hours? Doesn’t really matter what it is or even if it’s good: you just feel like watching something. That was me yesterday. Netflix to the rescue. And yesterday was a strange day as I visited a section of Netflix that I usually stay away from – the anime section. Not that I hate anime, I grew up in the 90s on Toonami (Dragonball Z and Tenchi Muyo all day son), it’s just that I find the genre very bizarre in subject matter yet rather bland when it comes to characters archetypes and storytelling structure. But anyway, this is not a day to talk about my overall feelings on Anime, oh no. Today’s subject is much more provocative. I speak, of course, about a little show called Girls Bravo.
It’s a comedy… I think. Here’s the basic plot rundown as I understand it: Yukinari Sasaki (You-can-marry-Sasaki) who is so terrified of women that he has developed an allergic reaction to them. He’s short, puny and completely devoid of any real fire or passion in his life. Boy, now doesn’t that sound like a protagonist you can get behind and identify with? Anyhoo this guy teleports through his bathtub (I’m not kidding) to another planet that’s right by Earth (still not kidding) called Seiren (Saren, like in Mass Effect). Of course this planet turns out to be 90% attractive female populace because that’s realistic and the naked girl he startles in her bath (yes, full drawn bewbs in this show, lots of ’em) quickly becomes his new best friend. Nothing says friendship and romance like surprising a girl when she’s naked in the bath, fellas out there take note.
So on this new planet, since men are so scarce, Yukinari is naturally a sought after prize. All the women are literally chasing after him to be his wife (side note, I would love to see radical feminism’s reaction to this show). So Yukinari and his new best friend/love interest teleport back through the bath water and return to Earth. By the way this new girl, Miharu (she has a last name but who cares) has pink hair, three dots on her head and loves to be naked. Her other talents include cooking, eating food and being socially awkward (you should see her eat a banana). This is the main love interest in a Japanese show – what does that say about their culture? No comment.
So basically Yukinari and Miharu are joined by several other attractive women characters (all of whom are attracted to Yukinari cause why not) and the hilarious, highly-sexual hijinks ensue.
This show rotates between pretty absurdly funny and cringing levels of awkwardness. There is one character in particular that I feel I must mention as he could not exist in any western show. Fukuyama (he has a first name but again, who cares) is the only other major male character present in the show so far (I’ve only watched the first 8 episodes – I feel slightly dirty admitting that). He is rich, powerful and a level three sex offender. Excuse me and my western views: he is the show’s pervert. That’s right ladies, in this show you have your choice between no passion or perverted passion. You’re spoiled. But I feel that pervert doesn’t do it justice. Hang on, let me show you:
He does that. A lot. And every character just dismisses it: he’s a pervert, he’s a scoundrel. He’s actually a really funny character in the show (well, it’s funny watching them beat the life out of him). But really, kinda in today’s culture, I don’t know how to react to this. Obviously this is not a show for children but still, this is someone who could not exist outside of Japan. This character type is actually common in most animes that I’ve watched. It’s usually an older male (Master Roshi, you old devil) yet still: nearly always there. The question becomes then: WHY!? But I digress, just be aware those of you out there who, you know, consider women to be people – this show does not appear to follow that logic.
So this is today’s guilty pleasure. I haven’t decided yet if I like the show. I do think it is entertaining (I haven’t been bored, I can say that). There’s twenty-four episodes in total so it’s short like most programs from Japan. If you can put morality aside and switch your brain off, it’s funny. If you’re curious as to what another culture views as entertainment, it’s enlightening. If the thought of objectifying women really offends you, go watch Avatar: the Last Airbender. I don’t know if it says more about the show or me, but I’m going to finish the series. The fuck am I watching? Girls Bravo.
Thoughts? Comments? Am I full of shit or onto something? Let me know now in the feedback section of this article.