WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers. Proceed with a LOT of caution. Spend enough time around the anime block and youre bound to at least hear about anime that have a particular combination of genres: ecchi and harem. The premise of one guy being involved with multiple girls has been done time and time again and will continue to be done and most of those times fanservice will be sprinkled into the mix. A couple of my favorite anime may be part of these two genres but like many others I have grown slightly weary of them. For that reason when I came across a screenshot from a certain ecchi/harem anime that had just started airing I expected it to just be another generic ecchi/harem anime looking into it however led me to discover that it was an original anime as in not based on a manga light novel visual novel etc. and for some reason that convinced me to watch the first episode. Despite thinking Id drop it after that first episode something about it made me feel like there was more than what meets the eye so I kept watching. One entire season later here we are with me trying not to do a victory dance over being proven that I was right that something was going on with Renai Flops. Although it takes place in a more futuristic setting than most Renai Flops starts like any other romcom anime with our hapless hero Asahi Kashiwagi having five different risqu encounters with five different people Aoi Izumisawa Amelia Irving Ilya Ilyukhin Bai Mongfa and Karin Istel. When he finally arrives at school he discovers that Mongfa is his new teacher and the rest of them are transfer students in his class. To top it all off these five all confess their love for Asahi and even move in with him. So begins Asahis life with these five with their feelings for him developing more with each episode. Pretty standard setup for a harem anime right? Well. you know what? Well get to that later. First and foremost I should talk about the technical aspects of this anime starting with the art. The character designs are pretty solid for the kind of anime this is the backgrounds are quite pretty and the animation was nice and fluid. At the very least its easy to see that Passione put some passion into this project Cue someone throwing a banana peel at my face. The voice cast is full of allstars such as Ryouta Oosaka and Ayana Taketatsu who also do a solid job at their roles. The music is probably the best part of the anime with the opening and ending themes being quite pleasant to listen to heck I went out of my way to purchase the opening theme Love? Reason why by Konomi Suzuki on iTunes One song that stands out in my mind however is the insert song that plays during the final episode as of now I dont know the name of the song but I do know that its sung by Miku Itou and that it accompanied by the scene that it played in almost made me cry Unfortunately Renai Flopss story and characters arent entirely at the same quality as the art and sound.although that statement might be debatable. At the very least the first half of the series will take a lot of patience to get through. Not only are there almost all if not all of the clichs that can come with an ecchi/harem anime there tend to be played out in such an overthetop way that I found myself cringing. There are a few moments that make it stand out among the crowd but those moments are few and far between. In the first half the characters are also pretty standard for this type of anime with not a whole lot to make them stand out among other characters like them. All of this is on purpose as is made clear later but even knowing that doesnt make the first half of Renai Flops any less exhausting to watch. There is one thing I can honestly praise the first half of Renai Flops for though and that is its foreshadowing. From episode 1 there are hints that something isnt quite right here. These hints range from pretty obvious like when Asahi fails to remember his best friend to blinkandyoullmissittype moments such as the date on Asahis alarm clock inexplicably changing. A conspiracy theorist could have a field day with those hints and ultimately by the time episode 7 ends they would be doing a victory dance over how correct they were all along. Well if their theory was that none of your waifus were real anyway. To be more specific Asahi was part of a simulation and Aoi Amelia Irina Ilya Mongfa and Karin were all artificial intelligences. This plot twist is probably a predictable outcome given the animes setting and all of the hints that were dropped previously however those who arent paying close enough attention will be caught offguard and even those who are may not be able to predict the full extent. The moment the plot twist is unveiled the story steadily begins to improve. There is less fanservice the characters develop in a way that make you care about them more than before and as I briefly mentioned earlier there are some nearlytearjerking moments during the second half. The ending does raise a few questions but I wouldnt say it was a bad ending by any means. Overall I think Renai Flops was alright. Fans of the ecchi and harem genres and those who have a lot of patience may find themselves appreciating what it has to bring to the table. Those who dont like those genres and dont have the patience to sit through it however? Sorry but youll probably see this as a flop.
73 /100
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