Meganebu! Review

This is review number two hundred and seventy three. This anime is part of the Fall 2013 lineup. It’s an anime called Meganebu. It’s a twelve episode show about some dudes wearing glasses and they’re all in a club and they’re all pretty boys and I sat through the entire show full of hot dudes. I can’t wait to finish this damn lineup. Anyways, hot dudes. Let’s read on.

Story

This show is about the five members of the glasses club of Himaraya Third Technical School. They are really passionate about their glasses that they actually worship it. The glasses club has one goal in mind. They hope to one day create the X-ray glasses that can see through clothes so they can one day stare at a girl and see her everything. The path to success is a painful one though because the club has gone through thirty prototypes and they all ended up blowing in their faces. They aren’t deterred though and every failure just makes them want it more. In the meantime, the club also indulges in a lot of non-sense and random activity as they spend their time together in their oddly specific club. The passionate leader would always have them do crazy things all in the name of glasses and it’s a good thing the rest of the members are as crazy as he is.

Taking the Pants Off

Ok, confession time. I am purposely avoiding this dark anime produced by KyoAni that they released back in Summer 2013. I’m talking about this fangirl haven called “Free”. I saw the first episode and I cringed in ways I never knew I could. It was just too shameless in the way it portray its fan service that I was immediately repulsed. When you see a guy in a bathing suit wearing an apron in the kitchen then you know KyoAni is just showing off. It was the ending sequence that sealed it though. I was waving my arms going NOPE and then I vowed to watch it last in the lineup after I saw all the other shows. I haven’t finished a lineup yet in my entire reviewing journey so there you go. If there’s one thing I learned after Free, it’s that a bunch of studios will try and recreate its success. I’m actually surprised that KyoAni was the one to hit a goldmine with the concept considering there are tons of studios that focuses on literally hot guys being hot guys. KyoAni opened the flood gates and it’s only a matter of time before hell is unleashed.

mgenbu32

Pictured: Hell being unleashed

Every studio has a specialty that they are actually proud of. Toei can be called the grandfather of shounen while KyoAni is known for its slice of life and high quality animation. Sanzingen is known for its CG and Production IG is known for its high profile releases. Gonzo is known for sucking at life and Sunrise is known for its mecha. When you’ve seen and reviewed as many anime as I have, you slowly learn the various quirks of a studio. One studio that is really proud of its “hot guy” shows is Studio Deen. They have really bland shows that are often hard to watch but you can rough through it because you’re watching really hot guys being hot guys in everything they release. You’re not watching for the story, you’re in it for incredibly handsome characters just being dumb rocks that you can stare at for thirty minutes. They have a fan base, if you can believe it, and that’s why I think they took it as an offense that the very first Ecchi show catered for girls was produced by a studio that literally had a talking parrot in their last release. Oh no, Studio Deen took it upon themselves to top whatever hell KyoAni gave us with Free. So in Fall 2013, one season after KyoAni made every newsfeed on tumblr full of Free GIFs, Studio Deen unleashed Meganebu. It’s a stupid show and it’s as bland as anything Studio Deen has ever released. They don’t really try to better themselves in terms of overall quality just as long as they can make a girl shameless watch their bland shows. They have a fan base so I think everyone is a loser at this point. Meganebu is your typical club themed anime where characters just do random junk in their clubroom. The ratio used to be all girls or one guy and a bunch of girls. I think this is the first time that a club themed anime featured a sausagefest and I believe that’s what makes this anime unique. It has nothing but hot guys. There are literally no girls in this show (except for one lunch lady). Everyone is a guy and they’re one penetration away into turning this sausage party into something I will forever regret watching. Shamelessness is, indeed, taken up a notch by Studio Deen.

What? How many guys are in this show, you ask?

Too many.

Too goddamn many.

Anyways, this anime is about a group of guys in the glasses club trying to create an X-ray glasses that can see through people clothes. At first, I actually liked the premise because it’s perverted and juvenile. Despite being hot guys that caters to fangirls everywhere, they’re still a bunch of people that wants to see the doctor’s assistant naked. If the show keeps on delivering this kind of relatable content then I don’t really mind seeing a bunch of characters that looks too damn pretty to exist. This doesn’t last long though. The first episode does introduce the noble premise of a bunch of guys trying to peek at a girl’s naked body but it just crumbles afterwards. In the same episode we are treated to a dude that really loves to eat cream puffs, a male character that openly adores another male character and some dudes just ripping their shirts off so they can run faster. I cringed. I am used to watching hot guys but I am not really a fan of this kind of excessiveness. The worst part is that the anime doesn’t really focus on the X-ray glasses all throughout the run of the show. It was immediately abandoned and we are soon treated to a bunch of guys being cute to each other and having fun in their own little club. That slight hope of juvenile perversion the first episode gave us soon faded and it was replaced with a lot of hot guys just really being hot guys. It’s your typical Studio Deen anime with a bland story and hot male characters. I guess I can relate the nonsense of the show to another Studio Deen anime: Axis Power Hetalia. Have you seen that show? Ignore the fact that it tried to make the holocaust look cute. It also featured a bunch of hot dudes in a bland story format. The main appeal is the hot guys just really being hot guys. It’s beyond ridiculous but the characters make the show interesting. I personally hate Hetalia but I still shamelessly watched the first season. The same thing goes for Meganebu. It had a bland story with a bunch of colorful characters carrying the show.

Despite not having any continuity, the show still has a basic structure that makes it easy to follow. As it stands, there are four plot points in this anime. The first one is the basic club themed one. There are a lot of club themed anime and they all have one thing in common. It always involves characters being stuck in their room and having fun together. It’s a pretty limited concept and it’s mostly entertaining because of the characters and their interaction. The idea of a club especially made for glasses wearer is a limited thing as well. The characters mostly just spend time talking about glasses or insulting the member with the fake glasses. They also spend time outside of school like going biking or travelling to the next town to buy some glass wipes and they really just make the trip crazy in some way. I guess the main appeal of this particular club is that the characters are really just insane. They’ve crossed the line of being quirky and just come off as plain insane. Their childlike behavior seems to contrast their handsome features and you’re often just caught up wondering why these characters are so weird. Every time they do something together, you can expect it to go out of control in a hurry. With their president leading the pack, nothing looks normal when it comes to the glasses club. From their love of glasses to communicating with other characters, everything is over the top and excessive. I guess that’s part of the appeal as well. The club members have their own little world and the audience is given a chance to take a look inside it. The format of the show is pretty unique though. The episodes are often divided into two mini episodes and one character is often the highlight of these episodes. The approach is often to introduce the characters and a little bit of their background in these small episodes. Some are often about the glasses club where one of them is the main character of the story and the others don’t really do anything that stands out. Certain skits like these involves one of the characters trying to take off the glasses of another character without him realizing it or it can even be about a character trying to find a way to defeat a grasshopper. It still has the over the top nature and excessive appeal of the show. You’re really just watching the characters go wild as they’re consumed by their task. The execution of these small episodes is nicely done as well. The jokes are nicely presented while also heavily featuring the characters highlighted.

While some episodes are specifically about the activities of the glasses club, others simply involve a character and his personal life. The second plot point is about the everyday life of the various characters. There is some nice character fleshing out when it comes to small episodes like these. It often explores the reasons why a character is laidback or why this certain character has a huge crush on the club president. Most of these episodes are dreadfully slow though. I remember one episode where a character woke up in his pajamas and the episode revolves around him washing his face. So if you aren’t into hot guys washing their faces then you’ll find these scenes a bit tedious. I like these episodes though because it is pretty personal. It would often explain why the characters act the way they do. Some of them really love glasses and these episodes would explain why. Some of them really just look up to the club president though and it is nicely featured as well. The only problem I have with these episodes is that they aren’t really incorporated in the rest of the anime. The show runs like an ADHD kid being distracted by something until another comes along. As much as you want to relate and connect with the characters with these rather personal episodes, the club activities would negate that immediately. While the characters do have a moment of weakness, they are still pretty damn weird to the point where it’s hard to really adjust to their level. I remember one episode where it was revealed one character has bad luck chasing him and he learned to cope with it when he met the president. It wasn’t mentioned ever again in the show. His bad luck was never incorporated into the rest of the show and his relationship with the president went back to that of a dude following another dude.

Towards the second half, more characters are introduced in the show. It also opened up another plot point. The third plot point is about the student council and their relationship with the glasses club. As I said before, the glasses club is weird. They are so weird that the student council actually has a hard time dealing with them. The student council mostly does some schemes that would disrupt the glasses club and end them once and for all. One of the members of the council actually has a grudge with the club president and he has since tried to take his frustration out by finding a way to disband the glasses club. At first, I thought that a story is about to materialize from the show with the introduction of the student council. I was wrong though. Much like the other plot points, this one also just appears when it wants to. Keeping to the short attention span of the show, this plot point would just be featured but it really won’t be incorporated into the show that much. I actually like the student council. They look like straight lace guys but they are actually as crazy as the glasses club and I love the fact that they try to distance themselves from our main characters. Instead of just accepting their own craziness, the student council would try to find a way to disrupt the glasses club and end their weird activities once and for all.

The last plot point and actually my favorite involves those episodes where it isn’t divided into two parts and just features one normal episode with a really decent story in it. I think it just appeared three times in the anime and they happened at random. It involves the characters just doing something stupid but it grows into something more. One episode would be about a character finding out who left a bunch of eggplants in front of their door and it spins into a detective story with the guy chasing down the culprit. These episodes are different because the buildup is fairly long and precise. It also has a decent amount of payoff for the viewers. This detective story would end with the characters learning an important lesson and I like the fact that the show is mindful of it. Despite its short attention span, it still has time to deliver well thought out episodes. Some of them are bit out of nowhere though like an episode involving a ghost but it still had a payoff that you won’t find anywhere else in the anime. The show is willing to use some sentimentality in the way it features the episodes and I really like it. It’s unlike the rest of the show and I often wonder how such decent writing managed to sneak into the anime. Much like anything established in the show though, these episodes are easily forgotten as well since the show is trying to preserve the crazy personality of the club and the weirdness of its members.

This anime lives and dies by the colorful cast. If you don’t like the characters then you won’t like the show. It featured bishie tropes just delivering fan service at any given moment. All the characters are eccentric in their own right. The club president, Akira Souma, is a massive glasses fanatic. He really loves glasses to the point where he even discriminate other people for not wearing glasses. His passion for the eye wear is so strong that it captivates the rest of the members. Majority of the episodes involves the captain just showing his intense love for glasses and describes the lengths he goes to prove his deep devotion to it. It is borderline abnormal, to be honest. I remember one time where he was lecturing a character for being a casual glass wearer. He spouted nonsense about the character only using his glasses when reading or attending meetings and Akira is disgusted by it. He would claim, in a really loud voice, that he is doing a really grave sin and he doesn’t deserve to be a glasses wearer. It’s pretty damn excessive. The appeal of the character is actually his extreme love for glasses because it’s the reason why the other characters are in the club as well. Akira’s ideals for something you put on to help your eye sight can be funny at times but it can also really be preachy to the point where it’s no longer cute. Akira has this belief that bad guys don’t wear glasses therefore anyone he meets with glasses on is considered a good person. His over the top nature can be seen as endearing of an idiot that shouldn’t be taken seriously. I understand his appeal. I believe his excessiveness pushes things too far though that he is eventually being a dirty racist with all of his glasses supremacy nonsense. To be fair, this might be part of his appeal as well. He might be being racist on purpose but he pokes his fake glasses wearing club member too much that I really find it a bit off putting.

Hayato Kimata is the butt of all of Akira’s jokes. When Akira goes on his idealistic speeches, he always makes sure to single out Hayato for doing things wrong. He would also explain that it’s the reason why he doesn’t respect Hayato as well. This guy certainly is the comic relief of the group where he takes all the jokes and just laughs along with the rest. He also has a clueless personality where he would often say the wrong things at important moments and he would do stupid things that would set Akira off. I love this character though for being a good sport. He has a positive attitude despite being ignored a lot and being left out of his club. He doesn’t take no for an answer and just charge in with his positive attitude hoping things would turn out OK. Some moments don’t turn out okay because the show is trying to be funny by using him as the punchline. There is too many times where he would be poked in the eyes because he doesn’t have lenses on and members would intentionally drop heavy things at his foot. I mean, it is pretty funny because Hayato react rather exaggeratedly so jokes that are borderline bullying just looks funny when people watch it. I think the show just bullied him too many times for me to really enjoy the anime. I remember a scene where it was raining hard and the dude was left alone in the shed soaking wet while the other characters just walk off with their umbrellas. That’s not funny to me. The show takes things a bit too far, in my opinion.

Mitsuki Kamatani is the first year student that is literally in love with Akira. It was explained that he used to hate his glasses but Akira changed all that for him. Akira is the magical rainbow that brightens up Mitsuki’s life. He is massively obsessed with the guy that he often doesn’t function when he isn’t around and he has this really uncomfortable crush that Akira just tolerates. Everything this character do is for Akira. He would shut Hayato up so he doesn’t upset Akira and he would go to extreme lengths to make the dude happy. He also has dreams where he is with Akira and its pushes the boundary at times. I guess you can call his character cute. His extreme love for another man comes off like a loli character that has a major crush on the protagonist. Mitsuki just happens to be a dude but he still skips happily and smiles as if he is a cute loli. If you’re into that stuff then I guess you’ll like Mitsuki. I personally find him weird though. He is too feminine to be a guy and the way he clings onto Akira makes me want to punch him. Seriously, I want to punch him. When he was counting his 999 pictures of Akira, I wanted to punch him. When he was raising his hand to be the person Akira would use the X-ray glasses on, I wanted to punch him. When he was pouting off that he wanted Akira to fix his broken glasses, I wanted to grab a piece of metal pipe and bash him. It just doesn’t feel right that such a character exists.

The last two characters are Takuya Hachimine and Yukiya Minabe. Takuya is the dude that loves cream puffs. He is this large guy with long hair that loves to eat sweet things and exclaims it in a really happy voice kinda the same as Italy from Hetalia. He is also a pretty happy go lucky guy. He doesn’t do much in the show except eat cream puffs. There was even a scene where he was dreaming about eating cream puffs. It’s really the only thing he does. Yukiya is the genius of the group. He is a silent one and he is the one that mostly works on the X-ray glasses since he is the only one that understands the blueprints. He would often be seen just tinkering around with an X-ray glasses hoping to make it work. If he isn’t doing that then he’ll just be playing around with his ypad because the dude is really quiet and keeps to himself. When the club president does something stupid though, you can expect these two to go along with the craziness.

There are a lot of side characters and the anime also explores their relationship with each other. There are the student council members that are all handsome animals and they also have a few quirks of their own. I love how the student council president gets a stomach ache whenever he is stressed and the vice president would play around with him not giving his medicine while he watches as he suffers. They are all one dimensional though. With the lack of a story, you can’t really expect the side characters to do anything remarkable. They all love to monologue though because hot guys love doing that but they don’t do much beyond that. Aside from the student council, there is also the glasses club’s adviser. He is this strict dude with a soft spot for the weirdos. He usually hangs around with the school doctor and this café owner that loves to cook omelette dishes with tonkatsu on top. They’re a tight bunch but they don’t much in the show as well other than look extremely handsome. There are a lot of young hot guys in the show, I guess, so old guys with young faces balances things out. Who the hell knows what they were thinking. It’s all for fan service, really. You probably haven’t met an overactive teenage girl who literally lets out a faint scream when she reads a romance manga. If you have then you’ll understand that simply having this many handsome characters in a show is enough to get them going. That’s also the reason why I’m stuffing as many pictures as I can in this review.

The comedy of the show is pretty decent. Again, it’s all about the characters. Majority of the jokes involves the characters just going crazy. They have a pretty decent interaction that is fun to watch. I enjoyed it whenever Hayato would be left behind or when he is being mistreated by the group. It feels mean at times but there are also moments where the execution is pretty smart that I find myself laughing at it. I also laugh whenever he gets a plier dropped on his feet. His reaction is what mostly gets me. He is the reason I laugh. Others time though, it’s really the club president’s hyperactive personality that comes off as funny. I still stand by the fact that it’s a bit racist but his nonsensical ramblings are funny because you can’t believe how he has convinced himself of the things he is spouting. His over the top personality can be dazzling at times. The comedy is really just a small part of the show though. You’re really in it for the hot guys and you’re staying for the hot guys. I stayed for the hot guys and I don’t regret it. Anyways, some of the scenes in the show are setup to be comedic but I just find them a bit overdone at times. I remember a scene where the cream puff dude run towards the others with flowers and leaves on his face. It wasn’t funny. It looked hot because it is still fan service but it also came off a really weird. The leaves were supposed to help fix his glasses and I just didn’t get it. It was just way out there for me to understand.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ll be subjected to the dangerous side effects Free has unleashed. This is a thing now. Shows that caters for girls that are way into yaoi is now slowly becoming a trend now and Meganabu is just a sign of things staring. We will more shows like these, I can guarantee that. I think it’s actually a good thing. The anime industry is expanding and it’s covering more ground. It won’t take long before shounen ai and shoujo ai becomes mainstream. We need more same sex romances, damn it. As for Meganebu though, Studio Deen is really just doing their regular thing. I’ve always had a hard time agreeing with this studio because they mostly rely on their hot guys. That’s why shows like Hiiro no Kakera and Hakkenden feel a bit tasking to watch. The thing I hate the most though is that I also know they don’t have to change because they have a small niche of people that appreciate their work. For godsakes, they can make Miyuki Abe’s characters ten times dreamier and they are really proud of that. Their shows often lack direction and a solid plot progression but it has a lot of dudes though and it’s really what makes them a notable studio.

Sight and Sound

Character design is your typical bishie features. The characters all have handsome faces with pointy chins and broad shoulders that are attached to their long body that gives them nice sexy curves. The design looks pretty generic but the small details make the characters standout. There are characters are really tall and handsome. They often have slim limbs to put the focus on their sexy hips and their fierce faces that can easily make a girl melt. It’s a tried and proven design that Studio Deen has actually mastered. I particularly like the masculine necks of the characters. It often emphasizes the beautiful roundness of a characters face that invites you to stare at their beautiful eyes and stylish hair. The glasses added an extra dimension of appeal to a character that I also appreciate. Aside from the neck, I also love the nicely detailed collar bones in the characters. It adds masculinity while the rest of the body screams sexy. I often worry that I’m the only person that notices these things and I should really stop. If the characters aren’t tall and handsome then they’d be small and cute. Cute refers to characters having adorable faces as oppose to the fierce style tall characters have. These characters would often have really big clothes to make them even smaller but then you’ll notice how innocent their faces look. This tall/handsome and small/cute design is actually deliberate because the characters employ the seme and uke rule. Just…goggle it. The outfits of the characters stand out as well. The bright color is refreshing and it actually has a “summer” appeal to it. It feels vibrant but also calming at the same time. The colors aren’t aggressively bright and it actually feels cool in the eyes. The outfits are particularly nice because even side characters stand out wonderfully because of how their outfits match the flashiness of their design. They become all the more eye candy with how stylish their clothes look on them.

If there is something I’m not a fan of design-wise, it’ll be the lack of details on background characters. They’re portrayed as stiff figures made up of shapes and it often makes the show look cheap. They put so much effort on making a character look handsome but they can’t make background characters look decent. Towards the end of the anime though, when the background characters wear glasses, they suddenly become normal characters and this just supports my claim that the club president’s preaching are a bit racist.

Animation is pretty decent. There are a lot of characters that moves around a lot and the show was able to capture their craziness. The anime also employs manga panels in the animation to act out a sequence. It looks pretty stylish despite being lazy animation wise. I also love the rather Shaft style of presentation. The kind of solid color animation is usually done by Shaft and Studio Deen seems to have employed it wonderfully as well. It’s not as visually assaulting as Shaft though but it has enough elements to resemble one. The various action scenes are nicely animated and I also love the use of camera angles in certain scenes to enhance the mood through animation. I am a huge fan of the visuals though. The background design for this show is outstanding. I especially love the rice fields. The show is set in a rural town and you can see that the show doesn’t have a lot of crowded places in it. It’s mostly because there aren’t a lot of people to begin with. The empty places look great for when the characters go crazy because it isn’t as embarrassing. The way the trains go through fields of grass with the wonderful blue behind it really looks amazing. The “summer” colors of the anime works great with the amazing visuals. The thing I fell in love with are the rice fields though. It would be displayed at the side of the road and you’ll just notice water would reflect the sky. It is very picturesque. It’s a shame that it’s not focused as much though by the show since you’re really being treated to another kind of beautiful picture.

The anime’s OP is “World’s End” by MUCC. I love this song.  The instrumentals are pretty impressive. It’s fast paced but also cleverly arranged that you are easily entranced by it. It then becomes more awesome with the singer’s voice. The lyrics are a bit iffy but the song still has a catchy rhythm to it. It also explodes into a really wonderful chorus that I can’t stop listening to. The OP sequence features all the characters hanging out together and having fun. It also features the wonderful visuals of the anime.

The anime’s ED is “Colorful World” by Tomohisa Sako. This song is really cute. The singer’s voice makes it special because he has a nice slow pace that is highlighted by the high notes he hits. It’s calm and composed while the beat of the song gives it some energy. It then leads to a really catchy chorus but it’s still a bit composed with the singer’s voice really setting a wonderful pace you can’t help but enjoy listening to. The ED sequence features real place. I’m guessing it’s where the scenic town of the anime is set in. It has the same laidback feel as the song but it has some quirky animation to it. It’s a pretty decent ED.

Overall Score

5/10 “It’s visually appealing but it lacks content beyond that.”

It’s a cute show. A club themed show full of boys seems to have some potential behind it. Meganebu is an interesting show full of handsome characters but it really needs a story to balance things out. It also could’ve tried to incorporate its elements together to create a better anime experience instead of running around with a short attention span. It still has a lot of handsome characters though and some fan service that people can enjoy. If you enjoy club themed anime then you’ll like this show. If you like hot guys in your shows then you should check this one out. If you like some story in your shows then this won’t work for you. It’s just one big ball of fan service with comedy on the side and I think that’s good enough.

10 thoughts on “Meganebu! Review

  1. I hear Meganebu was made on a tight budget, so I must praise the background visuals for being so vibrant-looking.

    As a straight male viewer, I don’t get why Free! is so badly viewed by other males. I know some parts can… go there, but it was very fun to watch, and I’ll be watching the upcoming Season 2 as well. Plus the ED song for Season 1 was surprisingly catchy(w/o visuals, of course), and a hit with Japan’s radio charts.

  2. Apparently, KyoAni didn’t make Meganebu, but Studio Deen.

    Congratulations for your blog’s 2nd anniversary. Keep up the good work and hope you get to the thousand reviews soon.

      • I wanna see it just to see its wacky factor but seriously all guys no girls makes it feel like a gay paradise of the worst sort. I mean seriously; you watched Ai no Kusabi and that showed that an over population of one sex is clearly not a nirvana 😄

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