Yes, THAT Eiken is coming under the review light. Really, given the reputation Eiken has, the only question that really needs to be asked is ‘Just how bad is it?’
Of course you had to hit the jump to get to read all the fun stuff, so now, let’s get down to business.
Eiken has no real plot besides fanservice in a school setting, but turned up to way beyond 11. It makes the fanservice content of adult games look like a poor underachiever that gets an ‘E’ rating. All of the standard school events are there, from fairs to dates and every single other stereotypical school activity that every other series seems to have done far better. The only main difference is the school in Eiken is for students of all ages, not just a high school or college or middle school based series, so the cast of characters is diverse in age.
While the cast may be diverse in age and appearance, their personalities are various character archetypes turned up way beyond 11. To add to it, some of the ones are just taken to the extreme in other ways… the clumsy teacher who tries to seduce a student when drunk, the super young girl who could kill someone with her chest, and the tiny girl who is a robot building genius. While the characters may be a bit forgettable and uninspired, they are an interesting blend of types which does serve to have some interesting things that could have been done with what story there is.
When I say every aspect, I mean every aspect. Not a chance is missed where a character can show off to the ultimate extreme some personality or physical trait, be it the idiot hair that seems to be as long as the girl is tall, giant breasts on a little girl, robots or other contraptions, or any other variation on what the characters are and do. The only character I can really recall is Kirika, who basically seems to be the one person who drives what semblance of a plot the series has. She constantly pushes the main character along or gets the Eiken club involved in some new activity that drives the plot for a bit. If the series was a more self-aware comedy, Kirika would be the character who breaks the fourth wall and drives most of the humor.
As far as humor, Eiken seems to seek refuge in audacity. So, so many series have done all the jokes to the point where people bleed from the eyes when they see yet another loveable loser who really isn’t a loser fall down stairs and land in the crotch or chest of some girl. Other series have tried to mix that formula up by adding some other element, like switching bodies or something, but the basic premise is still well worn. Eiken on the other hand almost seems to know that such things are tired, then directly plays them while taking the tropes up to 11 and beyond, and then the humor is more in just how ludicrous it gets. I honestly cannot tell if the series is just trying to take everything to the extreme to get attention, or if it is actually taking things to the extreme for laughs at the audacity and not the events, or if it is actually a clever series that is satirical of all those tropes and showing just how crazy they are by turning them up and going ‘See? See?’
Everything is taken to the extreme, from the size of the school (around 50,000 students I recall) to the events that happen. Not a moment that could be kept innocent is really kept clean, and any chance for fanservice is taken a dozen times. Honestly, there isn’t really much left to say about Eiken apart from I suggest reading or watching it, for reasons explained later.
Score: -5/5 So bad it’s good
Pros: humor is to be found in the level the series takes everything it does, and it never really fails to disappoint as long as you don’t take it seriously
Cons: Probably isn’t satirical at all. Actually very low quality, no real plot to speak of, forgettable characters, forgettable events, forgettable details, no real excitement or investment in the plot or characters
Final thoughts: As long as you can detach yourself a little and step back and see the humor in not what happens, but just how much of it happens since none of it really is that funny, Eiken is an experience. In a way, I would compare it to Rocky Horror. While viewing it isn’t the best, watching someone else see it for the first time is great fun.