This is review number three hundred and forty. This anime is part of the Fall 2010 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is called “MM!”. It’s a twelve episode anime about a guy that loves being punished by cute girls. Yeah, there’s not much to tell here, really. Let’s just read on.
Taro Sado is a normal high school kid, except he gets turned on when a girl hurts him physically or verbally. He breaks down and starts asking for more punishment. He wants to get rid of this curse, so he turns to the school club that solves student problems. The club president accepts his case, and the cure for his masochism ensues. How do you cure this strange thing? The only logical thing is to punish him so bad that he’ll register pain instead of pleasure, right? Yeah. Let’s give the guy that loves getting punished nothing but punishment until he is sick of it. It’s a solid plan, if there is ever one.
Taking the Pants Off
This anime is just downright stupid. That’s it. There’s your review. Let me sleep.
Ok, really, this is a Comedy anime that is just stupid. The redeeming value is pretty low, and there’s really nothing here. It’s just a really low brow slapstick comedy anime with a lot of forced Ecchi and Romance stuck in it, because why the hell not? The fascinating part is that this is a light novel anime. Someone actually wrote the descriptive idiocy of this show, and his work somehow got enough traction for an anime adaptation. I’ll be fair, I like the premise. We have a guy that is a massive masochist, and we have a bunch of girls that kinda likes him. In terms of a Harem Comedy anime, there is potential here. The problem is that this anime is pretty forgettable. It doesn’t really do the leg work to develop a story, and every episode just consists of empty cliché that feels horribly forced. Cliché isn’t really a bad thing if used correctly, but it can be overbearing when you don’t do anything to it. MM is a good example of an anime that doesn’t do anything useful with its cliché. It just stuck it on there, and really just let the stupidity run rampant. I honestly don’t mind stupid anime. In the same lineup this anime is released, we have another stupid show called Sora no Otoshimono. It got pretty idiotic in that anime as well, but you can tell they’re trying something new. There’s a reason why that anime surprisingly still has a good following to it. If Sora no Otoshimono didn’t put effort in its comedy, then it’d be as forgettable as this anime. MM didn’t even try. It just did a lot of nonsense, and it expected people to like it. I know there’s a good chunk of people that will say “this is the kind of anime where you need to turn your brain off” and I take that as an offense. An anime that doesn’t try to intrigue you shouldn’t exist. There should still be a semblance of effort coming from the show, as a sign that it respects its audience. If your main argument is that only a brainless idiot like you can like something catered for brainless idiots, then you’re watching anime wrong. Let’s just stop it. This anime is stupid and devoid of any value. I’ll now explain why.
First of all, it’s a Comedy anime. This isn’t the smart kind of comedy though. It’s the low brow slapstick humor you’d expect from a stupid comedy anime. It’s a show that goes by fast, and the main character is just constantly getting into situations that’ll end in him being abused by the female cast. It’s also the type of Comedy that abandons the story to create more visual gags, so you’re just watching the same thing over and over in the show’s entire run. That’s twelve episodes of the guy getting beaten up, getting into romantic/ perverted situations with the female characters and getting tortured for no reason. I honestly gave up in the first episode. Our main character, Taro Sado, is a masochist and he loses self-control when the abuse starts getting too hot for him. Whether intentional or not, the abuse turns him on and he starts groveling like a shameless fool. He asks for help, and a girl agrees to help him. What’s her cure? Abuse him. She wants to abuse him so much that he’ll grow sick of it. That makes sense, right? I mean if a drug addict is addicted to a certain vice then just give him tons of it. The problem will solve itself. I instinctively wanted to just drop this anime, because I know the stupidity can only get worse from here.
This kind of comedy, with very little focus and overly reliant of visual gags, isn’t really something I can tolerate that much. Don’t get me wrong, I love comedy anime. As long as there is a theme to keep it focused then I’m pretty much up for it. A good example of the same comedy as this anime is “Detective Cuticle Inaba” where the BL jokes are plenty. The difference between Inaba and MM is that the story makes sense. Despite being fast paced, there is still enough exposition to keep the show tolerable. MM is just one big ball of dumb. The episodes do have a theme, but it isn’t focused in properly. In one episode, two characters go on a date but nothing worthwhile really developed from it. The episode just goes on a slapstick comedy rampage. See, that’s the problem. The Comedy in this anime is just forgettable. I don’t remember the gags because they were forced to happen. There’s no perfect timing for jokes, and they’re all bland in its execution. In Inaba, I still remember all the blushes the characters make for each other and I saw that anime two f*cking years ago. Comedy should have a payoff of a memorable scene that’ll stick with your audience. You need to make your audience laugh, and the best method is to be patient with the setup and really go “bang” with the execution. In MM, Taro just gets hurt…a lot, and it’s often in the same scenario over and over. He’ll be turned on and a girl will find it disgusting, so she’ll hit Taro in the face. He’ll be turned on and he’ll touch the androphobic girl, then she’ll scream her lines “I don’t like guys” and she’ll uppercut Taro to the sky. He’ll be subjected to some physical torture by a character trying to cure his masochism, but it’d end up just turning him on. These things just became unbearable the more it is constantly used by the anime. This is one of the problems with MM, it’s not f*cking funny. The visual gags don’t really do anything, and it got boring when you realize this is the only thing the anime can offer. With no story, character development or any form of payoff recognizable, there’s very little in it to make you want to watch it.
The Comedy isn’t the only thing unbearable about this anime. It’s also very cliché reliant. The show is about a guy with a harem, in a school club with the president thinking she is gawd. She sports a tsundere personality to top it all off. This reminds me of the premise of Haruhi Suzumiya, especially with the way our tsundere club president acts with very little regard to the concerns of others. Haruhi Suzumiya has a story though, since it has a lot of genres crammed in every fold, but MM does not. What exactly does it do with its tsundere character? Nothing. She’s just there for visual gags. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m only doing this because I want to cure your masochism, hmph!” is literally her only purpose. The school club angle? It’s never utilized in the anime. Their club is pretty stupid as well, as it is about them solving problems kinda like Sket Dance but devoid of any plot. The club theme is never used. The club formula is never used, and the show just jumps from one scene to another creating forced comedy out of it. The masochism is also badly utilized in this show. It’s mainly just used as an excuse to abuse our character. I mean, it’s just there to create stupid scenes like the girls torturing Taro. Did they seriously try to cure his masochism? No. Did they try to understand why he has that condition? No. Did they ever treat him like an actual human being? No. He is just the punching bag for all the physical comedy, and it’s pretty disappointing knowing the potential the premise holds. There’s so much you could’ve done to make this anime good, and yet no ounce of effort is seen in this show. The cliché is so badly used that I now remember why a lot of people hate them. They’re lazy excuses to do random things with very little effort on the anime’s part. This laziness is turned up to the max with this anime. It comes to a point where it’s mocking your intelligence. “Oh, you don’t need to like our characters. Even though there are scenes that we can create character development, I’m sure you’re just here to see Taro get called a pig and be tortured, because really, we don’t want to hurt your brain with all the exposition needed to make this show good. Instead, we’ll go down to your level and cram as much comedy your short attention span can handle.” No. I hate shows that don’t put effort in. I have put up with flash animated shorts with no movements, f*cking otome anime that all looks the same and gawddamn mind numbing original screenplays because I can appreciate the effort put behind them. Nothing irks me more than lazy redundant shows that think its idiocy can be passed off as “good”.
The thing I hate the most with this anime is that it forces a lot of things, and then follows it up with nothing. I think there’s an episode where Taro goes out with the Haruhi Suzumiya rip off. He didn’t ask her out though. He is forced to attend a date with her. While you’d chalk it up to the other cast being rambunctious trouble makers for setting the date up, the actual date is just crammed with forced scenes like holding hands for no reason and eating at the park. It isn’t naturally established. The characters just act out the holding hand scenes, then move on to the picnic scene after a gag is delivered. Nothing major happens though, because the club president is busy beating the sh*t out of Taro. At the end, for no reason, there is a wedding scene. The show just erratically jumps to it, and then some dramatic scene is forced on the characters as well. After dealing with that, you’d think that this development would change the character’s feelings towards each other. Well, no, nothing happened. Things revert back to the same status quo, and the date is long forgotten. This is an annoying pattern in the show. It thrusts characters in a situation, and it’d just milk the scene. It won’t develop the characters, but it’d just use the scene to create more physical jokes. The problem is that a harem is established later on, so you need to get the girls to properly like Taro. The anime didn’t do any leg work. Automatically, the girls just start to line up to crush on Taro. More insultingly, the show creates a love triangle in the later half and it is just so f*cking forced. There is actually time given for the two girls to develop something for Taro, but it’s thrown aside for more physical comedy. Perhaps more insulting is the last episode. As a sign that nothing relevant happened in the anime, it ends with a Christmas episode with a forced dramatic scene crammed in for good measure. Should you really care for the character at the last episode? It’s so obviously a plot device that it should warrant no emotional response from its viewers, except absolute disgust. Yeah, give it disgust.
Now to be fair, this show did get me to laugh at some of its overused jokes. The first time we see Taro give in to his masochism and started acting like a shameless dog is pretty funny. It lost its shine pretty early though, because it’s overdone to death. They keep doing the gag over and over that it lost its shine. Also, I like the episode where he is hypnotized to be a normal person. He turned out fine, until he started obsessing over his cross dressing friend. He turned BL, and it’s funny because it just means he can never be normal. Nothing in the world can make him normal, because he is just born screwed that way. It’s funny and I like that. I’m not done hating on this anime though, because this show also has one annoying cliché that I personally hate. Being a light novel adapted anime, this piece of sh*t has that one trait that I find intolerable in some LN anime. I’m talking about gawddamn accidental harems. Yes, sweet flaming Pikachu, this anime has the accidental harem cliché in it. I don’t mind the school girls suddenly swarming to Taro to create his harem. The one in this anime is especially cringe worthy because the harem has Taro’s sister and mother in it. What in the hell? The anime turned Taro’s relatives into girls that just want him inside them. It’s pretty bad, because they act like any of the girls trying to get intimate with him. The execution is just horrible, so it’s a bit hard to watch seeing Taro’s mother pretending to be pregnant with Taro’s child. It’s not funny. It’s creepy. I can see potential in the gag, since you don’t see a lot of harems tip over the line and include the mother in it, but it needs a much better execution than the garbage this anime presented. They also don’t explain why they like Taro. They just do, so it’s even creepier that way. I thought accidental harems couldn’t get any worse, and then here comes another reason to hate it. Why stop at mothers? Let’s get female dogs and anthropomorphic alarm clocks in it as well. Good gawd, where do you draw the line at the stupidity?
I mentioned before that this anime is adapted from a light novel, since it sports the annoying accidental harem. This seems a bit improbable because this show has no plot, and light novels love exposition. Either the LN is just garbage itself or the adaptation is really just a big bust. I doubt the LN being bad though, because I can’t imagine a book selling with just descriptions of visual gags. Clearly it needed to setup a lot of things to make reading a gag funny. I actually can’t imagine comedy being delivered in chapters or in book form, unless they’re really well paced and thought out jokes. You kinda get a feeling that there is potential in the show, and I think it stems from its original source. With that being said, the characters all have a good sign of potential within them but the anime ruined it quite splendidly. Taro is an interesting character. I can’t deny that. He is someone I wanted to like, but he is just used for comedy gags so there’s very little to actually like about him. Yeah, he plays the role of a concerned friend if the story calls for it but he lacks a definite personality to really make him standout. I think the problem is that we can’t really relate to him. We kinda did for three or four seconds though when the anime had a flashback when he first gained his masochism. He was slapped by a girl, and he liked it so much he asked for more but he did it in front of all his classmates. That was very well done. For that flashback alone, you kinda understood the pain this guy is going through. I honestly wanted to see more of that. I wanted to see him struggle some more and show us the normal guy beneath the perverted masochist. The show also had the chance to do that, since it had scenarios like various dates with other characters, but it just couldn’t properly do it. The more we see him act masochistic, the more we lose the normal guy that he is supposed to be. Soon, he is just defined by his masochistic tendencies so it’s very hard to take him seriously after that. Every charming moment with a girl doesn’t really matter anymore, since he’ll just end up as the butt of the visual gags anyways. As the show progresses, the problems related to his masochism is soon forgotten, and the girls even partake in making him grovel at their feet as he asks for more punishment.
The girls are all one dimensional as hell. I don’t appreciate the bundle of stereotypes that is our club president. I don’t remember her name, and I don’t want to look it up. She’s just annoying as hell. I do appreciate the fact that she is troubled, and a bit insane like the rest of the cast, but the drama is so forced that I hate every single forced moment squeezed out of her. It’s not her fault, but I can’t hate anyone else. She is also stuck just giving Taro punishment, and it honestly lost its charm by the second half. It isn’t fun to watch the more you realize that character development is sacrificed to give us more of the visual comedy. The show can’t even play her cliché right. Her tsundere attitude isn’t properly presented, and she doesn’t play the role of a good sadist as well. She’s really just that girl that does stuff, and she even fades into the background when the show give other girls a turn at abusing Taro.
Arashiko is a character that I initially liked in at first. I just love her reaction towards Taro. Look at it, she’s utterly disgusted. The show even explores the fact that her disgust stems from fearing men, and she would beat Taro because of it. Whenever a guy touches her, she would freak out. The anime initially explored her backstory, and even dedicated a chapter to her falling in love with Taro, but progress is immediately dropped for the comedy. I’ll give points for the relationship she has with Taro, because it is pretty good. There is effort given to those episodes where Taro tries to cure her fear of men. I think that’s the basic idea of the anime. The characters are all abnormal, but they’re still people beyond their weirdness. They still feel stuff, and people should make the effort of knowing the guy behind the masochistic tendencies before cruelly judging him. Yeah, the idea is a pretty thin one but I think the anime can actually make it work. It requires effort on its part though, so f*ck it. Let’s just do overused gags to fill up the show. Arashiko is a character you can easily like, because she tries to be friendly to guys but she just can’t get past her phobia. She’s relatable in that sense. She tries, fails but then picks herself back up and tries again. I think when the harem rolled around she’s the only character that you can really root for. The rest of the cast had very little build up, so naturally you’re drawn to the girl that put in more effort. She also has a timid personality, so you really feel for her when she does try because timid characters are adorable when they do their best. I think she’s really the only saving grace in this anime, because she an ideal character for a smart comedy. She has a personality beyond the gags that the anime keeps shoving down our throat.
Keeping up with the theme of a cast full of weirdos, we also have a smart loli character that is shunned for looking like a little girl. Her character would’ve worked except she is bundled with a pedophile character and you just feel the cringe climb up your body. I don’t find child molestation jokes funny, so I just want the lolicon guy to stay away. He does give us one of the show’s truly stupid moments though, and I want to GIF this so my readers can feel the cringe I felt. Enjoy.
Did you enjoy that? I didn’t. In fact, the episodes go a little out of control whenever the loli character appears. She does inventions, and they’re often stupidly improbable that you often hate her for even appearing. It doesn’t add anything to the show except turn everything just a tad more batsh*t crazy. There’s also the character that loves massaging girls, and yeah, I have a GIF of her as well.
I bet you all enjoyed that. The problem is that there is very little scene with this pink haired girl, so you rarely get fan service scenes like that. She does develop a crush with the show’s resident cross dresser though, and I kinda liked that angle with her. She doesn’t realize the guy cross dresses, and the guy has no interest in her whatsoever. They have wonderful chemistry though, and it’s a shame their pairing never goes anywhere. Tatsukichi is also one of those characters burdened by their weird personalities, and the show did highlight a bit about his pain. The backstory of him wanting to be called pretty kinda hit a soft spot, because it has that pathetic relatable moment I wish the show has more of. Sadly, he is relegated to overused gags as the show went on as well. He dons a pompous personality whenever he cross dresses, and the heartfelt moment established early on is forgotten to keep this pompous character in tune with the same blandness as the rest of the cast.
I really think this is a pretty forgettable anime. I got bored by the end of it, so I wanted to check if the light novel is really just as bad. With my cool googling skills, I found this. As I read the synopsis, it’s pretty much like the anime and I am really confused. If the LN is as directionless and pointless as the anime, then why do people like it? I do agree that anime is a subjective experience, but there has to be something wrong here for people to find this enjoyable. Or maybe I’m the screwed up one that doesn’t appreciate when gold is handed to him? All I can say is that I can’t really draw a proper conclusion until I read the actual LN, and I can also say that 2010 is a different year. I’ve been spoiled by the comedy shows after this anime came out, so my bias might be a bit too harsh. As a reviewer though, I want to stand by how much I hate this anime. Standards have thankfully gone up that we rarely get stupid shows like these anymore, but it does make me worry that I’ll come across more idiocy like this if I keep going backwards with my reviews. Yeah, it’s time to pick a more recent lineup after Fall 2010. Anyways, this is brought to us by Xebec. It makes sense considering that their expertise is the sexually charged up shows like MM. They also have a good range of pointless comedy shows, so I do think MM falls comfortably to their lists of works. Tsuyoshi Nagasawa is a surprisingly good comedy director. He also handled Nyaruko and Kyou no Go no Ni, and they’re both pretty good comedy shows. MM is a pretty decent show under his belt as well, and it is interesting how he solely directs comedy shows. That’s pretty cool. I bet he can make more stupid comedy shows if given the chance. I guess as good as this one, since a lot of people kinda like it.
Sight and Sound
The original character design is done by the artist named “QP:flapper”. His designs are all pretty decent. They’re a combination of the cute character type, with the big heads, and the fan service Ecchi types that highlights the cute character’s bodies. They’re all pretty generic though, but good art nonetheless. The one thing that beautifully stands out is the color scheme he uses. The bright colors are enough to really give his design personality and make the small details really come out making the simple designs pretty beautiful to look at. I’d also give points to the way he emphasizes the big bug eyes of his characters. It’s not much, but it’s a nice way to tell that he designed his characters. He’s becoming pretty prominent, since his designs are also used in Etomama and Sora no Method. In this anime, the bright colors are intact so the appeal of the characters does nicely come out. I guess it adds something more to the one dimensional personality the characters have. I’d also give points for the large range of character design, but they still pretty generic.
The animation is pretty great. For 2010, to be able to capture the wild energy of the show and make it entertaining, the animation is really solid. The visual gags are effective, because the presentation is really good. Whether it’s funny or not, the animation always looks great with smooth transitions and some cool camera work from time to time. Facial reactions are also pretty great, as properly expressed by Arashiko’s disgusted face. The anime is missing one important aspect though, since it already went the extra mile to be a clichéd comedy show. It is missing some fan service. The show does have it, but it isn’t really that impressive. It could’ve been done a lot better. There are some from time to time, but it’s more focused on comedy than anything else. It doesn’t really overuse the Ecchi as much as the Comedy, and I think it’s a shame. I would love to see the torture scenes looking a bit more sexual, since Taro is turned on by them. The show could’ve benefitted from trying to make the audience enjoy the torture scenes as well. It sounds f*cked up, but it’s a novelty that would’ve added some unique aspects to the show. The anime could’ve also benefitted in making the characters look more visually appealing. Fan service is there, so they should’ve gone for it more.
The anime’s OP is “Help!! -Heaven side-” by Ayana Taketatsu and Saori Hayami. This is as cutesy song and it’s pretty energized as well. I think it’s a little stupid with its mixed random English words, but I guess it’s a product of its time. The song is pretty generic, but it does fit the anime well. It captures the zaniness of the show, and I think the song is about their club helping people, but it still sounds a bit stupid. I’ll give points for the singer’s voices since they are a good aspect of the song. The OP sequence is a decent summary of the show, and it does remind about the good things I enjoyed about the show. It’s a shame the show itself is a bit forgettable. The anime’s ED is “More-more LOVERS!!” by Natsuko Asou. It’s a harmless but nothing really special. It’s a generic energized song about some random stuff. Again, I hate the mixed English. Why do they do it? It’s annoying. The song is pretty catchy, but also a bit stupid so you can’t enjoy it as much. The ED sequence features a dance routine between the two main girls. It’s pretty good with some complex animation, but you can tell it’s also a bit lackadaisical. It’s like they were forced to do the routine and it lacks a little bit of energy to match the song. If it’s there to just be visually impressive then it does a decent job of it. I think it’s like the ED of Hentai Neko to Warawanai, but you can tell it’s just missing something to make it more desirable.
4/10 “The premise is pretty smart, but the recycled gags got boring pretty fast.”
This is just my opinion, and please understand that comedy is a pretty fickle genre, so I might not enjoy what you would think is funny. For me, this show could’ve done more and actually tried to have some semblance of plot amidst its stupid comedy. There is potential here, and I’m a bit bummed that the show never really cares to achieve it. In the end, we got a boring comedy show with overused gags, one dimensional characters, and episodes strung together with cliché and forced moments. If you enjoy physical humor with a lot of scenes of guys getting beaten up by girls, then you’ll like this anime. If you think masochism is a good enough motivation for comedy, then try this show out as well. It does have its moments, but the negatives overwhelmed all the good stuff though.