Watching a comedy anime that draws its laughs from surreal humor is like playing a game of chicken. Absurdist humors comedic chops are invariably based on how far an already unrealistic and irrational situation can be taken and whether the audience happens to find such humor funny in the first place. The feeling you get when watching a good surreal comedy is always that the story knows it should probably stop but since its already kneedeep in the water it might as well see how deep the rabbit hole goes. With Love Tyrant the plot always feels too aware of its own shortcomings to take its depravity and tastelessness to the next level. Love Tyrant is subsequently unable to turn its unbearably cliched setting and painfully drab cast of characters into more than the sum of its parts and squanders its potential as a result. Nothing about the series is so weird that you cant help but laugh but that in itself becomes a weakness. A comedy that requires you to completely shut down your brain might still be worth a watch on the darkest of days Love Tyrant unfortunately doesnt quite hit that mark. Premise 2/5: The coupling of romantic comedies with the historicallyingrained human obsession over the notions of angelic and demonic entities is nothing new. Love Tyrant doesnt stray far from the beaten path though its portrayals of Heaven and Hell as a tatamifloored room and a bustling office district respectively are at least relatively novel. However everything you need to know about the series can easily be summarized in a blurb or synopsis and sometimes it can feel as if Love Tyrant is allergic to plot twists given the straightforward way in which it lays out its premise. You know whats going to happen you know what each character is going to say. Some will appreciate that sort of nononsense storytelling but in an absurdist comedy such frankness of development can be fatal. Despite the settings flaws theres a surprising level of depth regarding the backgrounds of each character that deserves at least a mention. Unfortunately perhaps as a result of the animes relatively short episodic length those backgrounds are never quite explored to anywhere near their fullest though you wouldnt really expect much else from a series where the focus is chiefly on the jokes and little else. 600 A familiar story. Characters 2/5: Its rare to see a yandere character take center stage in a romcom in the way that Akane Hiyama does in Love Tyrant. That in itself is interesting and a source of much hilarity throughout the story. Nevertheless the rest of the cast are as bland and uninspired as they come: Seiji is the punching bag that occasionally summons an inexplicable sense of pride and honor out of nowhere Guri is the happygolucky seemingly stupid and shallow halfangelhalfdemon who to her credit probably undergoes the most character development in the series though that isnt much by Love Tyrants standards Yuzu is the haughty rich ojousama whose heart is easily swayed Shikimi is the detestable neardemonic presence whose sole role in life is to be as much of a homewrecker as possible Aqua is the tsundere little sister who hides her affection for her brother behind a veneer of violence and tomboyish nonchalance. The other minor characters dart in and out of focus never making much of an impression. Nothing out of the ordinary and certainly nothing to be sympathetic about. The more the story of Love Tyrant wears on the more it feels like the romantic subplots rely on Akanes yandere antics to get going. Maybe its because I have a soft spot for wellendowed redheads with manic obsessions towards their chosen targets of affection. Maybe not. But its certainly clear from the title that the tyrant is supposed to be the focus of the anime so it feels a little cheap when she somehow doesnt really end up being the final focus of the attention or the mostdeveloped character in the series those awards instead go to Guri the true main female character. Disappointing but not surprising. 600 The last thing you see before you die. Audiovisuals 3/5: A surreal comedy that generates its humor from straightman acts and other similar interactions between its characters needs to display that capacity for absurdity in as imaginative a way as possible. From Akanes features darkening as her yandere side is awakened to Guri having her everchanging moods written all over her face Love Tyrant does a decent job of bringing the comedy to life on the screen. The background art is of an average quality and the foreground art which features some interesting choices of lining color mostly brings out the best of each character. The fanservice is neither here nor there sometimes coming out in full flow sometimes seeming almost reluctant to appear and this wishywashyness is somewhat symbolic of the series as a whole. The soundtrack is just as average as the background art which isnt really a flaw in any sense. The sound effects are welltimed and appropriate the voiceacting is of the standard you would expect from most anime and the OP and ED are alright. Its difficult to make a judgment on the audio aspects as a whole given how unmemorable they are but its enough for me to know that they do their job. 600 Comedic caricatures where appropriate. Execution 2/5: I read the manga a long long time ago so it initially surprised me that it took so long for me to get around to watching the anime adaptation. From what Ive now seen of the anime if the anime is a faithful rendering of the manga then I probably understand why. Absurd comedies require viewers to take a lot for granted but Love Tyrant asks a little too much for my liking. For example you never really see how the passage of time works in the anime given that the main characters need to fulfill their roles as cupids in order to save their souls it seems somewhat strange that after the first couple of episodes they barely get any of their duties done instead choosing to forget about them and faff around with each other until the end. But maybe thats just me nitpicking. Love Tyrant never seems to know whether it wants to focus on stretching the limits regarding the audiovisuals or the character development or the premise or any other facet of the anime. Its good value for money for the few hearty laughs that pop up from time to time but other than that it doesnt really offer much. If you want a good comedy about angels and demons watch Gabriel Dropout. If you want a good romance with supernatural elements I can point you to many other series such as Kokoro Connect. And so on and so forth. Ultimately nothing about Love Tyrant makes it stand out because it doesnt really try to. And thats what kills it in the end. Overall rating: 2/5
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