Asobi ni Ikuyo – Wrap-up

Asobi ni Ikuyo! wraps everything up with a tight, spandex, rushed little bow. How to solve the problem of three knockout babes loving the same whelp? They can all be his lovers! Really? Way to dial it in with the story! And even after all three lay big wet end-of-the-world smooches upon his lucky countenance, the whelp still has no idea what’s going on. This kid is hopeless, and I won’t miss him. Obviously I wasn’t expecting him to realize even one of the ladies had romantic feelings for him, let alone all three, but a properly written series would have at least made him sweat over who to choose, or something. Not so here.

In fact, I don’t think I’ll really miss Asobi ni Ikuyo period. It ran its course, and I’m kind of glad it’s over. I really only enjoyed the dynamic between the two girls with guns; all the cat girls were flat and annoying, including Eris. The bright, shiny, and vivid Okinawa setting was welcome however, as was the very jaunty opening sequence and most of the soundtrack throughout. The CGI was decent, but ultimately uninspired. And as I said before, the whole intergalactic Cats vs. Dogs premise was not only silly, but poorly paced executed. It just seemed like an excuse to have a good vs. evil battle where the motivations are simply implied due to the generally understood rivalry between the two animals.

So while Asobi was pretty and there were some brief glimmers of decent characterization and story, I cannot recommend this series. That said, I never got up and said “That’s it, I can’t take it anymore!” and switched it off either, so average will have to do. Rating: 2.5

Asobi ni Ikuyo – Thru 11

Yes…that is a big cat bell around the guy’s neck. I know what you’d say: that’s ridiculous. You’re right; it is. But much of Asobi ni Ikuyo is ridiculous. It knows it is, and it’s not shy about it. Private ocean liners owned by cat-ear enthusiast cults, young women running around naked with guns, little dogs who only communicate by laughing through their teeth…and bells that can be used to construct spaceships. If this series were human, it may be inclined to lick windows.

Things in this series simply don’t always have to make sense, and it’s okay with that. Yet despite the rather tired premise of three girls after the same lame guy, most other aspects of this show are actually fairly imaginative and fresh, and the show is exceedingly vibrant and well-animated. It certainly keeps you guessing.

That combination of unpredictability and refusal to take itself too seriously has kept this show consistently fun to watch, even if it’s about as deep as a petri dish. The shit hits the fan in episode 10, and preparations to resolve the conflict take place in episode 11. We’ll see if the last episode can bring home the bacon, or just have us laughing “meh” through our teeth.  Rating: 3

Asobi ni Ikuyo! – Thru 7

This show can be pretty weird sometimes (a armed, private cruise ship run by cat-ear fanatics??), but most of the time it just feels generic. I always worry when more than three girls start to like the same guy at the same time, especially when the kid is utterly ordinary and is too dense to realize the competition over him in the first place. I also have a serious problem with the extraterrestrial humanoid cats versus dogs conflict, and I do not like the cat robots that look nothing like cats.

The redeeming qualities of Asobi ni Ikuyo! include a generally upbeat atmosphere, a really colorful setting, and the two non-alien female leads, Manami and Aoi, are brought to life with great character design, competent combat animation, and above-average efforts from Haruka Tomatsu and Kana Hanazawa.

I’m not expecting anything particularly thrilling for the last five episodes, and chances are the kid won’t end up with any one woman by the end, but then again my expectations weren’t exactly stratospheric to begin with – the premise of the show is horny cat-eared aliens with big racks, for crying out loud. Rating: 2.5

Asobi ni Ikuyo! – First Impressions

I was reminded of Ookami Kakushi in that a seemingly peaceful and ordinary kid’s life is being orbited by several characters with hidden motives/allegiances; those they use in his vicinity, and their real ones. Although this may be because a large-breasted cat-girl-alien decided to move in with him.

Beyond the catgirl silliness, there could well be some interesting mysteries lurking in the shadows waiting to be unveiled in later episodes, and the character designs, while nothing exceptional, are clean and attractive. There are some elements I find irritating, but also enough intriguing bits I can stand a few more episodes to see how things unfold. Rating: 2.5

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