Quick Thoughts on Renai Boukun

renai boukon 3

It’s one of those shows. You know it the moment you see the cover. One of those shows where you look and immediately think, “This is gonna be pretty dumb.” That is the only context you need going in, because it will not leave you disappointed. Renai Boukun is pretty dumb.

That is its only merit. It is stupid fun for the sake of it. Should it have been that way all throughout, perhaps I would’ve liked it more. Much to my dismay, Renai Boukun gets ahead of itself and tries to take itself… seriously… by its final two episodes. Lord, have mercy on my soul, for thou hath given me a sumptuous pillar of sin.

It’s dumb fun, and that’s all it will ever be. So to try and incorporate serious dramatics into a series devoid of all seriousness, the series is effectively ruined. Love, bonding, character development; all that is a foreign concept that shouldn’t be trifled with. Should one throw fish on land? Should one try and put pigs in the sky? These things, these concepts, just do not exist. They do not happen. Without proper balance, neither does the dumb insanity, riddled in fan service, work with what Renai Boukun’s serious questions on love and commitment by its final episodes. The viewer couldn’t possibly take it seriously, and I would argue the series wouldn’t either.

The biggest asset to the anime’s arsenal is its almost parody-like aloofness. Harems are not normally subtle, but Renai Boukun takes every cliché and makes it seem necessary to its “plot.” It’s fairly intoxicating to see a series so willing to dine in on every meal on the menu without hesitation. Its expressiveness and enthusiasm isn’t entirely rare, but it serves itself well when it plays itself off as a play on its genre. But to then change course and have its cake and eat it, too, it effectively sabotages its chances of being, how should I say, ironically wonderful. Almost in a Cat Planet Cuties or Ladies vs. Butlers! kind of way.

There’s a lot to be said about how little can be said. Any more and I run the risk of overexplaining the obvious—that being that Renai Boukun screwed itself into being something almost transcendingly pleasurable. In a guilty way, of course. Initially, it almost seemed like one of those dumb series I could look back on fondly and reminisce about its wackiness. Now, it’ll be lucky to not fall within the category of “Oh, yeah. I watched that once.”

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

Early Impressions: Renai Boukun

renai boukon 3

Three episodes in, I’m having flashbacks to 2013.

What I mean by the above statement is that, for a time, my choice in anime was along the lines of satiating my base interests. This is a vague way of saying I watched a lot of stupid romcoms that one would categorize as “The cancer of anime.” Series such as MM!Mayoi Neko Overrun!Asobi ni Iku yo!, and other series ending in exclamation points. While I know they’re bottom of the barrel, there are a number of series like these that hold a dear place in my heart, nostalgia playing a part of heightening the rampant stupidity. What does this have to do with Renai Boukun? It has that same vibe to it.

renai boukun 1

This “vibe” wasn’t immediately present, as the first two episodes were something of a chore to sit through. Its debut ran through the introductory stages like a madman, leaving nothing out of the imagination in terms of unashamed fetishizing and appealing to base romantic affections. Like a rollercoaster without a safety bar running at hyperspeed, Renai Boukun seems to thrive on being spontaneous and rebellious. Coupled with some incredibly one-dimensional characters and a ridiculous plot that loopholes itself into cheesy, embarrassing situations, it has the potential of setting the brain ablaze.

Episode three seems to have latched onto my spirit and given me a feeling I haven’t felt in a very long time. Flashbacks of those stupid romcoms of years past began to show themselves around one of their kin. Renai Boukun has that sort of quality that almost makes fun of itself along with shows with such horrendous sexual bait as plot devices. Evidence of this exists in the first two episodes, though it wasn’t until episode three that the characters showed a tad more of their softer sides… or so I tell myself. Frankly, there’s so serious reason as to why it happened in episode three that I became accustomed to its tomfoolery. It happened suddenly, almost like the execution of the anime itself.

renai boukon 2

Enjoying a series like this hinges upon a viewer’s expectations. It’s dumb. The premise tells you that. The cover art tells you that. Going into this expecting anything more than it being dumb and flaunting its ridiculous brand of humor would be dumb. As unusual as it sounds, there’s potential here—not so much that it’ll become a masterpiece among anime, but as a top-tier dumb show. The type of anime people with guilty pleasures (like me) will be able to look forward to to appeal to their inner interests, shrouded behind a glossy persona of staunch cynicism. Renai Boukun will never be anything more than a dumb show, and for what it’s worth, it’s perfectly aware of that. From this point on, maximizing the potential of its place among dumb shows should be the aim for its twisted aloofness.