Some spoilers. Like your average high school boy Ryosuke Kaga cant stop thinking perverted thoughts. Unlike the average high school boy he wont shut up about it and cares little for anything other than breasts butts breasts napes breasts panties breasts and Um Underarms. It makes more sense when he says it. Yes they may have debunked the theory that men think about sex every seven seconds but thats only because nobody studied this kid. Anyway on his way home from school he sees a beautiful redhaired girl standing all alone in the rain outside of his house. Not content to just stare at her wet transparent shirt he offers her his umbrella and invites her in for a change and a shower. No sooner are they indoors and alone then she begins to hold him close And just when hes getting ready to ditch his Vcard she winds up penetrating him through the heart with a giant sword. As it turns out her name is Lisara and shes a grim reaper You know those things that were cool until Soul Eater And in order to complete her mission on earth she needed to form a contract with somebody who had inexplicably high amounts of life energy. Which Ryosuke apparently has in spades. Once a contract is made she draws her power directly from the one thing that makes her new partner love his life so much. Unfortunately for her she finds out that Ryosuke drives his passion from his perversion so she can only be at full power when hes popping a woody Which works out perfectly because without that power she gets her ass kicked faster than Lina Inverse on her period losing her clothes in the process. At first glance youd think this was the perfect setup for an ecchi fanservice series Well yes and no. Well get to the meat of this review in a few paragraphs but for the moment I must give credit where credit is due. So I Cant Play H Which Ill simply be calling H from now on Was produced by a company called feel and while Id love to say some smartsounding words about their track record and production history Ive never actually heard of this company before. Theyve done inbetween animation on a few shows Ive seen but up until now the only show theyve directly produced and animated that Ive actually seen was Corpse Princess Which I only remember dropping out of boredom. I cant say anything about feel but whatever their eternally lowercased history may be this show is drop dead gorgeous. The occasional CG is breathtaking whether its taking the form of a simple escalator or the teleportation field around a reaper. This is CG rendering that even Sword Art Online would be gasping at even if the color scheme does kind of become an eyesore in the final few episodes. The backgrounds are exquisitely detailed expertly framed and they will absolutely dazzle you with their use of lighting and shading. The animation for the characters is much simpler but not bad by any means Their designs are very standard a little on the bland side and nowhere near as realistic as the aesthetic would have you believe but their movement is still quite a bit more fluid than what youd find in most shows of a similar ilk. Key frames and speedlines are rare and theyre used fairly well for what they are. So when youre talking about ecchi titles the bar is consistently a low one Titty showcases arent typically known for having good writing original ideas or any value outside of the perverse. Its entirely possible for ecchi shows to be enjoyable outside of the skin content that they offer Strike Witches is a prime example of this But actual depth and creativity are rare elements indeed. So why am I bringing this up while talking about a show thats basically just Bleach meets Girls Bravo with an older version of Shana in the lead role? Because believe it or not So I Cant Play H came dangerously close to impressing me. With the plot being set up the way it is H had a potentially brilliant subversion right in the palm of its hand. With Ryosuke being a hopeless pervert who values women solely for their bodies and whos depth of character only reaches the level of I like different poses and Lisara drawing her energy from that pervert power the only thing this show had to do to have me eating out of its hand was to not have anybody fall in love with him. If he was simply used as an object as Lisara proclaimed in episode 1 then it would have been a very clever play on his habit of objectifying women. I can take the plot at face value Trust me theres a lot worse ideas out there And it makes sense that under this arrangement shed eventually get used to being naked around him. From there she should have grown to see him as a necessary annoyance A being less than a man who she doesnt feel remotely threatened by like a little kid or a brainless dog. In fact the entire harem could have seen him this way adding a surprising edge of feminism to the heaping helping of boobs that the show throws at us. And as far as the romantic aspect of H goes this change would have also helped Ryosuke become a much better character He could have been emasculated by their treatment of him faced his immature flaws and forced himself to develop and grow in order to win more than just Lisaras time. I cant even begin to describe how refreshing a dynamic this would be and I certainly cant express how much good will I would have had for this title. But alas this isnt how things went Lisaras promise to use him as a power source was nothing more than the same old cliched Tsundere bullshit that weve grown accustomed to. Every girl in the harem falls madly in love with this skeezwad and he doesnt start to show monogamous interest in anybody until the third quarter of the series and it comes from pretty much out of nowhere proving to the viewer that male perversion can only be overcome if a woman is willing to accept and tolerate it. Yeah just love that womanizing douchebag and hell only have eyes for you eventually. I wasnt really expecting any better than that but it would have been nice. Then again its not like that message will ever reach the ears of anybody whom it could damage I cant for the life of me imagine anybody enjoying this show without a bottle of lotion sitting beside them and any negative message it sends will fly right over the heads of THAT market. Oh and speaking of all the girls falling in love with him the funniest thing about H by far is how little it understands human emotion Yeah I know big surprise no harem characters are realistic. But were talking about a whole other level here. Its not uncommon for harem girls to fall in love with the main character for no reason whatsoever but this has to be the first anime Ive ever seen where one of the girls doesnt start to show an interest in him until another girl suggests it. Yep No exaggeration there. One of them says We both like Ryosuke and in so many words the other one says I do? Oh yeah I do And the laziest love interest in the series was born. Do I even have to mention that it gets worse than that? Theres a reveal halfway through thats probably one of the most bewildering anime moments Ive seen in a long time. Ryosuke skypes his mother for spoiler reasons and a girl in the room asks her for some information regarding his bloodline. She says in so many words Oh by the way I lied about your father being dead. Thats it. No hesitation no reluctance she just drops what should have been a ton of bricks on him out of nowhere and with not nearly enough prodding to suddenly break sixteen years of silence. And his reaction? Mild surprise at best. She gives him a quick explanation and the subject gets dropped faster than the beat at a Skrillex concert. And no thats not a spoiler worthy of a warning I wanted it to be as I was pretty damn sure the villain would turn out to be his father in a mask but it never gets brought up again. Its even more bafflingly stupid than Ryosukes mental dictionary. Which reminds me Remember that plot I mentioned earlier? The one I begrudgingly decided to take at face value? Yeah its about as consistent as an everlasting gobstopper. According to the back of the DVD cover Ryosuke cant be perverted after Lisaras used him for power so he wants to help her so she can leave and his life can return to normal. Yeah at no point in the show is that ever true. First of all thats not the reason hes helping her Hes doing it because she says he only has 3 months to live and he wants her to save him. Second of all he never stops being perverted Although even when shes buck naked right in front of him he has to I wish I didnt remember this memorize all of the dirty words in a dictionary so he can call any dirty word to his mind when needed. Because it takes obsessive studying to come up with the word Bath. And third of all his childhood friend makes a contract with Lisaras childhood friend and her passion for life comes from her love of Ryosuke Spoiler yes but youll figure that out long before its revealed. And get this The exploitation of her life force NEVER causes her to stop being in love with him. I think thats a problem dont you? That is aside from the problem of her being in love with a skeezwad. And oh I know what youre thinking It doesnt matter if its stupid and shamelessly puts flesh on parade despite some gaping plot holes inhuman behavior and elements that make absolutely no sense. Hell Strike Witches was a booby show and the logic revolving around the panties makes for an incomprehensible plot hole and you love Strike Witches. Yeah youre right. Strike Witches was a stupid idiotic mess with copious amounts of bare boobs. But you know what it wasnt? Pretentious. Strike Witches was a blast from start to finish because it never tried to be anything deeper than actionpacked cheesecake. But that wasnt enough for H. See the story gets serious in the second half Well at least it tries but all it ends up doing is making even less sense And it tries its hand at some real drama. Ill spare you most of it including Ryosukes uncanny transformation into a perfect gentleman the moment he gets a legitimate chance to pork somebody And talk about the villains motive which is going to be a difficult thing to do without giving away any spoilers. To put it in ambiguous terms the villains motivation is driven by a disturbingly real threat to the very existence of life on this planet Its a threat that nobody is talking about yet as its even more controversial than climate change and the people who try to take a stand against it are demonized for their efforts. This is quite possibly the first time Ive seen a fictional story try to tackle this issue but as I learned before I wasnt expecting too much. Ryosuke and his harem are conflicted over this issue which seems to be far too great a necessary evil to face And I swear to god the solution this story comes up with is one of the most contrived fictional solutions I have ever heard for anything. Its steeped entirely in ignorance of human nature and whimsical scifi fantasy which makes H feel all the more shallow and stupid for its efforts. Its like listening to a ten year old say that Israel and Palestine should just hug it out or seeing Superman solve the worlds problems by sending all the nukes into space. Its a cute idea but for the love of god please dont write a freaking story bout it If I havent already made this clear H is incompetent down to its lowest possible level. The jokes are bad none of the characters are likeable the nudity is too constant and oversaturated to remain sexy for longer than the space of a single episode and the music is made up of cookiecutter dating sim tunes. Its childish and stupid down to its very core and while its offensive to women in some very creative ways the only thing that keeps it from becoming completely morally repulsive is the fact that the harem in question doesnt include any incestuous or lolicon characters. Hell the one harem girl whos still in junior high is also the only girl in the entire show who never does any unobscured nudity because yeah THATs going to save it at this point. The only reason I can see anybody watching this is because of the boobs And if thats enough for you then congratulations youre eternally 14. So I Cant Play H is available on DVD and Bluray from Sentai Filmworks. Its fairly inexpensive on most sites with Amazon copies selling from 26 to 35 dollars but if you were lucky enough had it for 17.99 or 23.99 depending on your preferred format. Theres no dub as of yet but knowing Sentai theyre probably just waiting tentatively to see if this title is popular enough to justify spending money on a dub. Its a shame they have the rights to it because a show like this really belongs in the hands of Funimation. Its one of the few titles Id actually LIKE to see Jamie Marchi write the script for. The DVD doesnt include the final thirteenth OVA episode and while that omission may be a completionists nightmare I really think its better to just pretend that episode doesnt exist. Why? Well remember all those female characters that youve already seen naked in every possible form of undress and from every possible angle that wont violate Japans decency laws? Well the final episode is a swimsuit competition Yeah thats exactly what this show needed No I dont want to learn more about the villain or the whereabouts of Ryosukes dad or the societal results of this shows idiotic conclusion I wanna see my fetishes catered to even harder and more gratuitously than before in an episode that isnt even a tenth as well animated as the series that preceded it. So as worthless as this show is I cant really call it the bottom of the barrel. The animation quite frankly is too beautiful for that. But its close. And keep in mind the ecchi genre dwells in a barrel thats every bit as deep as the Mariana trench and its bottom is littered with even more despicable 1/10or below titles like Dears Eiken Love Love Popotan and Master of Martial Hearts. H is floating just a few feet above those titles and about a dozen feet below School Days. Thats not a place any anime wants to be Trust me its really cold and dark down there but its where this title belongs and I cant wait to post this review and instantly go about the task of forgetting about it. I give So I Cant Play H a 2/10.
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