Maken-ki! Review

Hello there. This is review number forty nine and yes, one more until I reach my blogging goal. This was certainly a ride and I can’t wait to reach for a hundred next. The anime I’ll be reviewing is part of the Fall 2011 lineup. It’s Maken-ki! It’s a twelve episode anime about boobs and panty shots. Oh boy, that’ll be something. Let’s read on.

Story

We have our lead, Takeru Ohyama, enter high school in this newly co-ed school that used to be all girls. He meets his childhood friend there who is the vice-president of the school. Little did Takeru know that the school is actually a place where students hone their magical powers and fight each other using their “Maken” powered by their elements. Takeru has attracted the attention of one of the powerful girls in the school and she asked a fight with him. Unable to fight, Takeru almost found himself good as dead until a girl with a pretty powerful Maken saved him and declared to the entire school that she is her fiancée. She decides to live in the same dorm room as him. His childhood friend and the girl who attacked him decided to do the same and now Takeru is living with three beautiful girls under the same roof.

Taking the Pants Off

I know some people hate the ecchi genre because it basically ruins itself with constant fan service and senseless nudity without offering much to counter it like a decent story. I am easy to please so as long as there is a cohesive plot, I don’t care how many breasts I get to see because there is something to look forward too. That’s why I enjoy Highschool DxD. It was drowning in everything dirty but there was a plot and a nice build up that can get you going until the end.

Then there are some ecchi anime that doesn’t try hard and basically doesn’t do anything besides delivering its product. Maken-ki is the other kind of ecchi that has a weak plot and loaded with panty shots and girls with large breasts. I was really disappointed and I don’t blame people if they bash this anime because it’s really nothing but ecchi.

Maken ki is one of those anime that has potential because there is a plot and it’s pretty good if it was developed further. Naturally, you would expect Takeru to work hard and try to be one of the powerful fighters in school. He has this gentleman mentality that girls should not fight and he wants to protect them so I was expecting him to train himself and the audience will see his rise from underdog to cool guy. At least that is what I was expecting. I was also expecting Takeru to get closer to the girls and build himself a nice sturdy harem. None of those seemingly clichéd things happened in the anime.

Instead of a good plot development, the anime just gave us tons and tons of panty shots, boobs and fan service. When you thought the anime would focus on the action, they would suddenly have the girls lose their panties while fighting. Sweet corncob. There was no transformation for Takeru. He remained and idiot from episode one up until the end. There wasn’t even a cool moment for him to shine. I’m not counting boob grabbing of course.

The anime did decide to have some episodes to focus on the girls Takeru is living with. There was enough to keep us interested and I was seriously hoping the second half would dive deeper on those relationships. Nope. The anime decided to pile more girls on the anime. More one dimensional girls who have no other role in the anime other than to show their ass and provide fan service.

The characters in the anime aren’t all that impressive. They are greatly generic and superbly one dimensional. I was already overwhelmed by the number of girls in the anime in the second half where they introduced the members of the student council and the Maken-ki. There were the three main girls then the eight girls of club and there were even some teachers involved. Almost every corner of the anime is littered with one dimensional girl with big boobs that doesn’t really improve the anime. It honestly brings the anime down.  They were surely over compensating the lack of story by piling in more girls. In the second half, there were eight more introduced and at that point, the anime is just pointless school stuffs involving Takeru and some girls.

The anime did have a story but it was drowned by fan service. There was an impending threat trying to control the school and they were interested with Takeru, for some reason. The anime didn’t build up on it and so when they were presented on the final episodes, the feeling is lukewarm. The anime is more leaned towards non sense like a volleyball match or a pool fight than to dig deeper on its already established plot. By the time the anime end, there was no payoff for sitting through twelve episodes of fan service.

Might I also add that our lead, Takeru, is pathetic. Now I’ve seen the same archetype in other ecchi but the anime never really gave us a reason to like Takeru. Despite having three girls fight over him, he would still have the nerve to peep at other girls dressing. He is super weak with the story even telling us that he has no special ability and yet the bastard has the nerve to jump in on a fight. His excuse is that “girls shouldn’t fight”. The hell is wrong with him? With no chance to get stronger, he still jump in on fights trying to break it up and he  isn’t someone like Ueki (Law of Ueki) whose idiocy makes him a her o. Takeru is just pathetic and he really rubs me raw. Maybe I just prefer black haired dudes as my lead when it comes to ecchi. I actually prefer the other guy in the anime.

If you plan to watch this anime then don’t expect something serious. The story is weak and the characters aren’t that special. There was no pacing and no cohesion to the plot. This anime is just one big plate of fan service. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sight and Sound

I saw the censored version where they would add blinding light over panty shots to hide maybe the labial lip (google it). Its failed censoring though as split second panty shots are still seen and some there are some scenes that you actually thought they’d censor. It was pretty weird. The censor did hide most nipple exposures and extreme boob grabbing. It doesn’t make sense cause I’ve seen Ladies versus Butlers do more than what the anime did. If you want the full Maken ki experience, go watch an uncensored version.

The character design is plain and only the boobs stands out. They are bigger than any other part of any girl’s body in the anime. Some of the outfits are nice and super fan service~y. I specially love the nurse’s outfit in the hot spring where she only wore gauze. The panty shots definitely stands out and I’m not really sure how to describe it. It was the only thing the anime had going so you can bet it’ll be great.

The anime loves to use a camera angle so low that you can see the girl’s ass. It was absurd at times and it ruins the anime for me for the most part. I’m not a fan of super low camera angles when the characters are just talking. Geez.

The opening song was great. It fits the anime and it shows a lot of the things you can expect from the anime. It has bouncing gigantic boobs, panty shots and some decent action. “Fly Away” by Mizuki Togashi is a nice song to use for the opening. It was energetic like the anime.

The ending song was a bit different. “Baby, Baby” is the song name and it was sung by different duos each time. They were mostly sung by the seiyuus of the anime and it was a cute song to accompany the anime.  It had a chibi ending sequence but it was really enjoyable.

Overall Score

3/10 “Fan service is the only thing this anime possesses.“

If you enjoy boobs and all that dirty stuff without any confusing storyline to ruin it then this anime is for you. I would score the fan service aspects of the anime a 9/10 if it was the only criteria. They really did well on the ecchi side but hugely botched everything else.

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