Sometimes a middle school club can go down the wrong path.
What They Say:
The cramped town of Keiko-cho is stained black with factory exhaust and oil. Late one night, a piercing whistle echoes from some ruins in a seemingly empty corner of the town, accompanied by the eerie echoes of harsh words spoken in German. The sounds come from a group of nine boys dressed in the starched collars and caps of high school uniforms. There in the darkness stands a secret base built by these nine boys under the leadership of Zera, the “king of the ruins,” known as the Light Club.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga of the same name by Usamaru Furuya, Lychee Light Club is a spoof of sorts of the single volume release from 2005-2006 and the prequel series that was done in 2011 to 2012. The manga series isn’t exactly a hugely in-depth work because it is short run overall, but the anime series goes in a different direction as it’s more humor oriented compared to the way the manga gets pretty depraved. With the manga being all about the way that the club leader, Zera, works towards the construction of Lychee, an AI that’s designed to abduct beautiful girls for the club. There’s a struggle within the group because the former leader doesn’t care for how the Light Club has changed, but none of that really has any impact here.
Here, in this short-form series where the eight episodes run about three minutes each, Zera is fully in charge, Tamiya is uncertain about things and Lychee the AI is fully built and pretty fun to be around overall, though he’s a bit slow in some ways. With the club full of men, they get a little female influence from their goddess, Kanon, who considers Lychee to be a good friend of hers and the two of them kind of stand apart a bit. The show works the puns and gags pretty well as it revolves around the weird things that Zera wants to do, from going to the beach in custom bikini briefs with the black star of power that he made for all of them to abducting one girl because she’s more accessible than their goddess, Kanon. It’s amusing that they go on about how since she’s a few rungs down the ladder in comparison, it makes her naughtier and more desirable. A few gags involved costume changes for Lychee and the show opens with figuring out how to torture one of the guys in the club. But unlike the manga, it’s more cute and silly than depraved, which makes it a fun little twisty off-shoot of the original.
The Lychee Light Club manga wasn’t exactly up my alley but I had a good bit of fun with this series. With the whole thing able to be viewed in twenty-four minutes, it’s a light commitment to be sure and there’s some appeal in that. The fun here is in watching how Zera tries to run the club and has so many loyalists there, but they’re loyal only so far. But it’s the weird things that get them to balk, like the swimsuits, and they all start getting a lot more comfortable with Lychee as it goes on. Kanon has some cute bits but mostly it’s just the intensity of the situation – especially with the heavy black uniforms that present a near militaristic feel – combined with the absurdity of it all that allows it to work. It’s not a high art piece and I can see it as a show that I would have struggled with on a weekly basis, but with eight episodes and a quick hit, it made me smile more than I expected.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.