Title: B Gata H Kei
Company: Hal Film Maker
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 1 Apr 2010 – 17 Jun 2010
Synopsis: Yamada is hot, and she knows it. Upon entering high school, she pledges to have sex with 100 different partners by graduation. However, despite her good looks and predatory nature, there is one small snag in her plans: she’s never had sex before. Afraid of rejection by more sexually experienced partners, she attempts to find a mediocre-looking virgin male as her mate. As luck would have it, she meets Kosuda Takeshi, a boy in her class who fits her bill exactly.
Yamada: Horniest female lead, ever.
Kosuda: Passive, clueless and sexually inept.
Romantic rival: An incestuous pervert bent on Yamada’s destruction.
Which makes this show: The greatest rom-com ever made.
Picture a beautiful girl, in the shower, admiring her slim figure while soaping herself up. Suddenly, she stands and screams, “I’m going to have sex with a hundred men!”
Meet Yamada, the protagonist of B Gata H Kei. She wants to get laid, and badly.
Unlike most standard rom-coms, B Gata H Kei is not the story of a girl seeking the love of her life, nor is it the story of a guy trying to get with the girl of his dreams. Yamada seeks the most mundane of people to be her partner, mostly because her narcissistic pride doesn’t allow her to admit that she’s a virgin.
Then there’s Kosuda. He’s exactly what Yamada wants: mundane and run-of-the-mill. There’s nothing that sets him apart from most guys. He’s more confused than attracted by Yamada’s overtly sexual advances towards him, which often take the form of forcing him to fondle her or exposing herself to him.
Yet, despite Yamada and Kosuda’s comedic quirks, the true key to B Gata H Kei‘s eventual success is the chemistry between them. Never before has an anime conceived of such an awkward pairing. Most of the tension and comedy in the series is supplied by Yamada herself: desperately trying to get laid, narcissistic to the point of annoyance – yet we forgive her for all her faults, mainly because she has no idea what she needs to do in order to get laid. Her mind is like that of a hormone-crazed 12 year old’s: constantly filled with dirty thoughts and wildly misinformed on all matters sexual.
Kosuda, naturally, has absolutely no clue how to react to any of this. He can’t keep up with her pace, but as a man, he feels like he should be the assertive one. This often leads to situations where both characters fly right over each other’s heads: Kosuda asks Yamada out on a date, and she blurts out that she wants him to bed her.
Surprisingly, this joke never gets old. The creators manage to keep the punchline fresh by subtly changing the relationship between Yamada and Kosuda. There isn’t a moment where their relationship is static; it’s constantly shifting away from carnal fascination slowly towards love. At the same time, Yamada is extremely dishonest with herself – up until the last few episodes, she avoids thinking about how she truly feels about Kosuda, and focuses exclusively on having sex. She’s lovable because she’s so conflicted with herself. She maintains her outward image of a sex-loving bimbo while she slowly warms to Kosuda on the inside. Her inner change is fascinating to watch.
Naturally, no rom-com is complete without romantic rivals. B Gata H Kei‘s insane twist on this rom-com cliche comes in the form of Kanejo Kyoka. Rich, beautiful and delicately mannered, her introduction led me to believe that B Gata H Kei would become more conventional… a foolish idea indeed. Kyoka quickly devolves from a romantic rival into comedic fodder, becoming increasingly more perverted and desperate as the series progresses until she morphs into a twisted, sinister caricature of Yamada.
From the first moment all the way until the hilarious ending, B Gata H Kei never devolves into cheesy melodrama. Everything in the show is served up with ample amounts of hijinks and shenanigans. Not all of the humor in this series is juvenile though – one episode ended up becoming a brilliant meta-parody of the romantic comedy genre of anime. And indeed, that is the essence of B Gata H Kei: it laughs in the face of all romantic comedies before it, ruthlessly tears down all conventions and makes an absolute mockery out of its pathetic predecessors – all the while giving viewers stomach cramps from its deft humor. Ultimately, B Gata H Kei has done the nigh impossible: it has rejuvenated a cliched genre which has been done to death, and just for that simple fact, it deserves a look.
The Rating: 9
Reviewed by: Akira