Title: Girls Bravo First Season
Company: Fuji TV/Girls Bravo Production Committee/Kadokawa Shoten
Format: 11 episodes
Dates: 5 Jul 2004 – 28 Sep 2004
Synopsis: The constant abuse suffered by Sasaki Yukinari at the hands of women his entire life has caused him to develop a chronic fear of the opposite sex. This phobia manifests itself physically as a breakout of hives when he’s touched by a female. One day Yukinari finds himself magically transported to a nearby planet, invisible from Earth and known to locals as “Seiren”. There he meets Miharu Sena Kanaka, a local girl that, for some reason, does not induce Yukinari’s allergic reaction. However, Seiren has an extremely low concentration of males, giving Yukinari a massive amount of popularity among the local women – something he doesn’t totally appreciate.
Plot and characters: Ah… this is a harem anime.
Aesthetics: Ah… this is a harem anime.
Comedy: Low-brow, but not overly repetitive.
Girls Bravo has developed an infamous reputation for being nothing but a fanservice-laden harem. True this may be, but for its inconsequential nature and a plot nothing short of mind-numbing and clichéd, Girls Bravo is actually entertaining… provided you’re willing to turn off your brain.
It speaks volumes about how copy-cat harem anime tend to be of one another, but every time I write about one of these titles I usually find myself wanting to repeat things I have said in previous reviews, almost verbatim. But all the good stuff is in Girls Bravo too: one-dimensional characters taken straight from the cookie-cutter, stupidity in episodic form that the creators expect us to swallow as a “plot”, and the usual uninspired reasons for explaining why every single female character craves the main male lead badly, as if there weren’t any men left on the planet (…oh, wait.)
Girls Bravo employs all the safe strategies harem anime producers have mastered to guarantee a financial hit (as opposed to possibly making something unique and interesting that could be considered by some as “artistic”) – the “strategies” that us normal people call “clichés”. But, for all the mediocrity, particularly concerning its story and characters, Girls Bravo does have something that sets it apart from other harem anime: fanservice. Before you start doubting the sanity of this particular reviewer, I’ll explain: when I say “fanservice” I really mean “fanservice above and beyond the call of duty”. Girls Bravo never dabbles in doubt regarding what it’s trying to be. When you start watching Girls Bravo expect fanservice, because damn it, you’re going to get fanservice. But, it’s this very attitude towards itself that makes it a salvageable, and at times, entertaining experience. The audience is never insulted by the flaccid attempts at drama that plague other, similar series, such as Green Green, Maburaho or Ichigo 100%. All it serves is brainless (but, thankfully, not repetitive) comedy, the type even the most discriminating anime connoisseur can enjoy when looking for respite from the thought-provoking or the heart-wrenching.
If you’re looking for an intelligent anime that tackles difficult issues you’d be best to stay away from Girls Bravo… far away. But, if you’re willing to watch something so mindless and low-brow that it’s almost refreshing, this title is right up your alley. Girls Bravo showcases the worst that anime has to offer in such an extreme way that it’s almost novel, but very much entertaining. Girls Bravo is one of those odd pieces, not dissimilar to Raimuiro Senkitan or Dawn of the Dead, in that it’s so bad it’s good. Expect lots of fanservice, including a final episode that’s illegal in Canada, and a mind-numbing plot, and you won’t be disappointed.
Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun