Spring 2011 First Impressions: Softenni, Astarotte’s Toy, HenZemi

Softenni Episode 1

Plot Synopsis: “The girls of the Hakuou Middle School soft tennis club are aiming for the national championship. Along the way, their journey will be full of love, rivalry, fervor, and insanity.”

Thoughts: Having taken tennis lessons when I was younger, I was curious about how this show would be.  I was not as happy as I thought I would be after finishing the first episode.  The whole show comes off as generic as can be with just about every aspect: the character designs, the voice acting, the music, the fanservice, etc.  I do have to give credit where credit is due, the tennis matches and what the girls do during them are nice to watch and do provide some humor with how things play out.  The OP while nothing to write home about, it catchy and fun to listen to.

The fanservice is nothing that we haven’t seen before, standard panty shots when the girls are standing, panty shots when the girls are moving to hit the ball.  Girls in their underwear when changing, nude swimming and even some groping in the mix are just some of what we see in the series.

Softenni does nothing to really set itself above the rest of the middle school girl fanservice laden show, but the tennis matches are fun to watch, even if the rest of the show is not that great.

Score: 2/5


Astarotte’s Toy Episode 1

Plot Synopsis: “While job hunting, Naoya is taken by a mysterious girl to a magical land where he is installed in the harem of the succubus Queen Lotte. Thanks to trauma from her childhood, Lotte hates men and surrounds herself with lots of other women, who all have quirks of their own. In spite of her selfishness, when Naoya learns that Lotte is really quite lonely he agrees to stay in her world…if he can bring his daughter Asuha with him.”

Thoughts: If someone asked what the poster child for the phrase “never judge a book by its cover” is, this would be it.  Based off the manga called Lotte no Omocha (Lotte’s Toy) this show had a lot of attention before it came based off the fact that Astarotte (the main character) has to have life seed (aka semen) to live being the fact that she is a succubus.  The forums over at Anime News Network were in an uproar over the premises of this show and the fact is it nothing more than pandering (which I see nothing wrong with) otaku bait for those who get off on loli material.

Therefore, what did we get with the first episode?  Some things were explained like why Lotte has to have life seed to live.  We are also shown the main male character (sadly his name was not given enough though I already know this from reading the scans of the manga.)  There is also quite a bit more fanservice around then the manga counterpart, but none of it is bad.  Some bathing with natural censorship (in contrast to magical steam or magic beams of light) starts the show after the OP.  We also get some panty shots from Lotte but again none of this is sexual in nature.

Visually the show looks pretty.  The colors work well together, and the character designs are pretty too.  The voice acting is also good and nobody comes off as generic or just going through the motions.  Even so, this show does have its share of it problems.  For one, Naoya the main male character is not given his name yet.  Second the music is nothing special and forgettable.  This applies to both music in the episode along with the OP and ED.  The last thing and what probably is still going to cause a lot of problems with people is the concept of the show.  As I stated earlier many people are simply going to write this show off as a lolicon show for guys who get off on loli material.  It is a shame that people think this way just from reading the description of the show, even with that being the case not everyone is going to find this show enjoyable or even watchable.  Is this  show going to be the show of the season or show of the year?  No.  For both the season and and the year I think the show will mostly like be mid pack amongst the rest of the shows.

Astarotte’s Toy is currently streaming on Chrunchyroll

Score 3/5


HenZemi episode 1

Plot Synopsis: “Nanako Matsutaka is an innocent university student who is participating in a sexual perversion seminar led by the deviant professor Kenji Meshiya. She desperately tries to keep her morals as well as her sanity while amidst the strange group of students in the study group.”

Thoughts: Everybody has a fetish or some type of perversion that they are into right?  Do you want to know someone else’s fetish?  I know do not and that is what this show looks at, what sort of perverted thoughts people have.  Everybody has something that they are into and for the most part, it is all straightforward.  We have a camera voyeur, a girl who drools at the idea of being fondled and raises fruit files in her ear canal no less, a guy into watching his girlfriend be unfaithful, etc.  Now this sounds funny right?  Well sit down and I will give you a tale.  This is not funny.  It is stupid, and nothing on it plays funny.  The humor is just outright painful and cringe worthy.

The cast is completely unlikeable too, and in a show like this you need to have a likeable cast to make it even a little bit worth while watching.  This show also has some of the worst character designs I have ever seen.  Moe comes in two forms: cute moe like the girls in A Channel or K-ON and ugly moe.  This show falls on the later.  I do have to give credit where credit is due, and the OP while short is pretty fun to get a nice beat going to, but it is a bit too short to become a personal favorite of mine.  The ED is nothing special.

If you are curious give the first episode a shot, otherwise avoid it like the plague.

Score 1/5


2 thoughts on “Spring 2011 First Impressions: Softenni, Astarotte’s Toy, HenZemi

    • No, I previewed 9 shows for this season. I was going to preview 10 shows I could not come up with something to write about for A Channel so I passed on that.

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