Here’s everything that is wrong with Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi in 30 or so seconds:
Ok, so I may not be entirely fair to this series. Enishi is season 2 to the original anime series. Apparently the first few episodes of season 1 is a decent romance story. Unfortunately, the anime series then takes a turn and becomes the bastard lovechild of a romance story (presumably for female appeal) and a harem comedy (presumably for male appeal). A harem comedy is a Japanese “genre” where there is a male character surrounded by multiple female characters. The word harem is slightly misleading for me because to me harem implies that there is a male sleeping with multiple women (which is not the case with that sort of anime). And harem is derogatory as it reflects North American views that look down upon other cultures that are weird because not all of them are monogamous. But it is ok for men to sleep with multiple sex objects… it’s just not cool to get married to more than one of them. Yo, got it!
Anyways, in the harem comedy part of Ai Yori Aoshi, the male character is living with his love interest Aoi, her friends (all of which “happen” to be attractive), a voluptuous maid, and a mistress who manages the house. Ok.
There is plenty of fan service (shots or scenes inserted to please the fans)… in this case they are plenty of gratuitous upskirt shots, panty shots, nude shots (but the women are nippleless so this DVD is supposedly 13+), etc. The comedy part of harem comedy comes about because the characters do “funny” things. Aoi’s American friend harasses the other girls by grabbing their breasts… this supposedly fits her American stereotype because that is what American girls do. Right. But perhaps I am missing something about Japanese culture??? In an episode of Pokemon that is banned in the US, James cross-dresses as a woman and makes fun of Misty’s smaller chest size.
So what it comes down to is this: I don’t claim to understand Japanese culture. It is weird. Perhaps I am misrepresenting it. I haven’t heard of the phrases fan service or harem comedy until researching this anime series. So next week, I will try to do a better job of understanding Japanese culture and see if there is something redeeming about the first few episodes of this series (which I have not yet seen). To be continued…