The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

MM!

Title: MM!
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Company: Xebec
Format: 12 episodes
Date: 2 Oct 2010 – 18 Dec 2010

Synopsis: Sado Tarou looks like any other high school student on the outside, but he has a dark secret: he is a masochist who gets turned on when physically or verbally abused by attractive girls. Desperately wanting to keep this from his crush, he seeks ways to cure his embarrassing ways and comes across the school’s “2nd Volunteer Club”, a student body that grants students’ wishes. The head of the club is Isurugi Mio, a cute senior student with an extreme superiority complex…

The Highlights
Characters: Calling them asylum escapees is a gross understatement.
Story: Incoherent and even lacks common sense.
Premises: Distasteful product of two unfitting genres.
Comedy: Watching Fukuyama Jun‘s character begging for abuse gets weary quickly.
Drama: Piss-poor and more importantly, unnecessary.
Resemblance to Working!: Unforgivable.

Every anime season usually features shows that are unexpectedly good, mediocre or disappointing. But there always seem to be the single lowest common denominator of a show that sets the benchmark lower than any other for that season. Asobi ni Iku Yo! fits the bill for summer this year, for which its final episode was so preposterous, it felt like my intelligence quotient dropped by a few points. For the fall season though, this dubious title is handed to MM!, a show that viewers need to mentally switch off just to stand an episode without feeling insulted. The gags are entertaining at first, but it loses its novelty as soon as the second episode. From there on, the show hurls just about every absurd complication or trope that it musters, be it an amnesic case or a trip to the beach.

The premises seem hilarious at first: Fukuyama Jun, a seiyuu with a knack for embodying cocky or flamboyant male leads, voices the submissive Taro who is paired with Kugimiya-tsundere archetype Mio who ironically tries to cure him through agony. However, things get stale very soon and, rather than seeing something different even for once, every episode features Mio putting Taro in varying torturing contraptions, with ineffective comic effect. If the two leading characters aren’t weird enough, the rest of the cast includes a loli genius and her lolicon assistant, a lesbian, a voyeuristic nurse and even an incestous family. The lowest point of this show is the blatantly plagiaristic attempt at creating the androphobic character Yuno, a pathetic version of Inami from Working!. Dump all the kooky characters together, and it results in a circus freak show that lacks decent common sense.

MM! is completely beyond help when its off-the-wall cast is coupled with an half-assed story that has a jarring combination of drama and comedy. On one end, the drama even turns morbid once when a heinous scene hints sexual abuse in the victim’s own home. On the other end, the mostly dry comedy is lulzy as every episode revolves around sadomasochistic gags or slapstick humor. The show tries to blend these two completely polar genres together, and the outcome is unpalatable. Perhaps the hardest aspect to swallow about the story is the root cause of Taro’s disturbing psychological disorder, which involves an single slap. It’s either this or an over-the-top episode parodying Dragonball Z.

Every time I watch an episode of MM!, I wonder what really went through the heads of the people behind the show. I sometimes even question their intentions for even realizing a show as crappy as this. Almost everything about the show is worth slamming: the storyline, the ludicrous characters, etc. Even the animation and artwork gets gradually shoddier, showcasing the show’s dipping production values. Simply put, maybe I was expecting too much when MM! first began. I’m just elated that this is a half-length series, and it ended soon enough.

The Rating: 3
3/10

Reviewed by: AC

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