Our own choices are hard enough. Pervy, cruel choices from a substitute God? Even worse!
What They Say:
Due to a strange curse called Absolute Choice, Kanade Amakusa’s life has turned into a “choose your own adventure” game from Hell. Series of options that seem designed to cause him the maximum possible duress and/or public embarrassment randomly appear in front of him, and if he doesn’t choose one he suffers agonizing pain. Needless to say, his resulting bizarre behavior has already branded him as one of his school’s five worst social misfits, and things get even weirder when he chooses one of the strangest options yet: “have a beautiful girl fall from the sky.”
Not only does the adorable Chocolat drop on him like a bag of bricks, but she seems to have been sent to help remove the curse! Only, she can’t remember how because she has amnesia. But it has something to do with missions he has to perform, and if he fails to achieve the objective of any of them, he’ll be stuck with the curse for life!
Contains episodes 1-11.
The audio presentation for this release is rather straightforward as we get only the original Japanese language track here in stereo encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The show is one that basically plays to the comedy and wacky situations, so we get a good mix of dialogue placement through movement across the forward soundstage and some pretty amusing quirks to the action as well. There’s the internal dialogue as well which has a larger feeling that fills the soundstage pretty good with enough differences from the main dialogue. There’s some good stuff with it as well with the action that hits with the way the characters can get thrown about while also having some decent bits with the narration that deals with the choices and God’s voice playing with our lead too. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in late 2013, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The release has the ten episode TV run and the spring 2014 OVA as well all on one disc. Animated by Diomedea, the show has a bright and colorful look about it that definitely makes it busy and engaging to watch. The transfer really brings the colors to light in a great way, especially with all the choices that pop-up throughout the show as they’re quite vibrant. The character designs have a lot of life and great color applied to them as well which makes it a lot of fun. There’s some good detail in a lot of the scenes but it also has a kind of standard look as well so it doesn’t go into heavy detail in some ways. It’s a good looking show overall that comes to life well here with a clean palette and no problems outside of a touch of noise in a few backgrounds from time to time.
The packaging for this release comes in a standard sized Blu-ray case the holds the single disc against the interior wall. The front cover gives us a look at three of the main girls from the show as they all cling together wearing different uniform pieces while having plenty of big smiles. There’s an appealing look to the characters and designs, though it doesn’t say much about the show itself when you get down to it. That’s left to the ttile, which is certainly pretty long and complicated in its own way. The back cover carries through the color design with them being used in larger areas and the mix of the white, green and pink really does make it colorful and appealing. There’s a nice slate of shots from the show and a cute image of Yuouji as well that certainly plays up the fanservice. The premise is lengthy but it gets things covered right while the rest is given over to the usual production credits and technical information that lays out everything cleanly and clearly. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release use the same color combination background as we get from the front cover, which makes it a light and colorful pastel style piece that works nicely. The foreground is made up of our same three girls, though this time around they go for some sexier designs with the costumes to give it a bit more flair and appeal. The right side has the navigation strip that breaks down the episodes by number and title which has some good light colors to use with it that makes it busy and bouncy but also easy to use and navigate.
The only extras included in this release are the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
NouCome, aka Ore no Nōnai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (aka My Mental Multiple-Choice Power Is Completely Ruining My School Romantic Comedy) is one of the latest in the crazy long names that we’ve been getting here and there for the last couple of seasons. While it’s getting fully translated through Sentai Filmworks for the release, we’re going to stick with the shortened version of the name since this is yet another series with a crazy long title that can drive fans nuts. The series comes from the light novels by Takeru Kasukabe, of which there are eight of so far since it began in February 2012 and the animation was produced by Diomedea with Takayuki Inagaki directing it while Hiroko Kanasugi will be handling the scripts.
The show is one that has a certainly unusual approach to things in some ways in that it’s not really story driven, especially in the first half, and relies on just being humorous. That can work easily enough if you have the right cast, which includes the lead male of Kanade. We initially see him as a high school student that stumbles upon a pervy magazine in a park who has the choice to read it or not. And then, upon giving in to his natural instincts, he has to make the choice whether to sniff it real good or eat it. And that sets off a flurry of problems for him which is comical to watch with how his mind works. But the show also wants to spend a lot of time, post opening credits, showing some of the bigger choices made over the course of history. It’s the kind of lengthy series of one-line gags with the visuals to go with it that really does make me feel sorry for the translators that have to attack so much, so quickly – and across multiple languages. But the results are hilarious in seeing how the choices unfold and the style that’s used.
Kanade’s choices in life are certainly fun to watch as his mind even offers him the chance to feel up a classmate at school, though he takes it in a great direction, accidentally, that catches everyone else’s attention since it’s all about saying boobies. If he tries to resist the choices, he gets a crushing migraine that you suspect will kill him if it goes on too long. This takes up a good chunk of the series as it just gets more and more silly as Kanade has to go along with what he he’s forced to do and it gets complicated when others start to get involved. It’s definitely the whole series of bad choices angle that happens to him here and watching him struggle with it and the consequences is great. Especially since it does lead to discovering a bit of what’s going on with how he’s hit with these choices in his head, through the manipulation of someone else, and it’s totally making his life difficult. As he says, the thrill of absolute choices at first was definitely a rush, but now that it’s becoming more obvious what it means, it’s proving to be extremely dangerous.
The arrival of Chocolat at the end of the first episode, literally falling from the sky into his life, is certainly difficult since she sets herself up in his house without a second thought, but he gets intrigued by her as she may be able to help him get past his choice problem that’s screwing up his life. Unfortunately, the only real way to do it that she knows of is to talk with God himself, who ends up giving him a ring on the phone and has a pretty laid back and comical tone about him that’s just off-putting to Kanade for obvious reasons. But what we learn is that you shouldn’t talk to God about things since he has a sense of humor that just screws with Kanade in a hilarious way as his gender changes. Even worse, God doesn’t have much knowledge of curses – we see him going through a book to find out some answers – and instead makes it a choice thing with how to deal with his problem. That sort of resets things in a way but still puts Kanade in the same problem where he’s just trying desperately to get rid of this curse.
As Kanade’s life goes on, he finds that things are only going to get more complicated, especially since God throws a curveball or two his way which creates some difficult choices he has to make, including squealing like a pig. As it progresses though, we get a bit more information that comes out as it turns out that he’s on various missions for God and they’re the things that could help him with getting the curse lifted. But on the flip side, failing at the missions – or the choices as they’ll come out to be – means that he’ll never get the curse lifted. Such as the mission here in making a particularly difficult young woman laugh, which is near impossible based on what we know of her and the way Kanade composes himself. What should be a help in the form of Chocolat trying to assist him, is more of a hindrance even though it’s in her best interest for him to get rid of the curse too since that’s what’s tying them together now.
So with a wacky situation set up in the first episodes, which runs through a lot of the episodes overall, the series has a standard premise that just tries to outdo itself along the way. Kanade is trying to figure out how to get past all of this and be done with the curse, though he doesn’t get much help from Utage, a pint-sized teacher who suffered from the curse before him. She’s at least a little understanding, but only so much. Once we get the interactions with the stand-in God while the real one is away on maternity leave though, things start to take shape. It’s a bit of a game to him as he tries to figure out his abilities and he ends up setting Kanade on a mission that will help him move towards removing the curse. That involves him having to get five of the girls he knows to admit that they like him. Which has its moments of being easy, but it also gets incredibly complicated because so many choices are thrown at him along the way that just makes it awkward as hell to say the least.
The show works with a decent cast, though of course there are very few guys in it as it’s all about Kanade and the women. In fact, the only other guys we regularly see are one of the girls’ fan clubs who come and beat the snot out of him regularly – while also comically admiring his ass. The girls are all basically standard archetypes and they each have quirks and interests in Kanade as well because he does have his moments of being cool, but he tends to have it all blown up in his face by the actions he’s forced to take through the choices. I like the girls well enough, but there isn’t anyone that you really feel for in a big way. Which is unfortunate, but in a way it feels better than just dealing heavily with one of them or making individual story episodes focusing on them. They all weave in and out of his life over the series and get caught up in events regularly. The playful nature of it all manages to work surprisingly well.
Once the main “I like you” missin arc plays out over several episodes, it opts to just have fun once again while also playing with a few quirks. Guided into events, Kanade has to basically take all the girls to Aqua Galaxy, a massive indoor swimming resort. With the challenge put before him to find happiness while there with some dangerous addendums to it, Kanade is faced with so many things that just plain make it difficult. Just in the way he’s messed with when it comes to his own attire is great, but he’s got to deal with some wandering eyes. It gets so bad so fast that even God is giggling with delight over the situation. His laughter is utterly infectious even as we see Kanade put into such a terrible situation when you get down to it. You don’t want to like God here, but damn if he doesn’t toy with Kanade in all the right ways.
Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of back and forth with all the girls there and the kind of jockeying for position that goes along with it since they all have agendas and Kanade is constantly thrown into a state of fear over what may happen. The competitive nature of the girls definitely goes big as we get a couple of them throwing their minions at each other, which has a strange combination of types turning into a pile of half naked male bodies. But we also get some rather good action – in tiny swimsuits – that’s given such a serious treatment that it becomes hilarious because of how much attention is given to the fluidity of breasts bouncing. And the utterly sexually blunt moment when a gun is used in a quite possibly the most hilarious of ways. At least it’s just a water gun. Oppai indeed.
NouCome is a series that I really had a hard time wrapping my head around when I first watched it because it does take a few episodes before it explains itself with what it’s trying to do. While I suspect there really is a larger story in the novels taking place, what we get here is mostly intended to just be fun. And it is a whole lot of fun, if you have the right mindset while watching it and just enjoy the pervy silliness that goes on from all angles. It originally aired for just ten episodes so it didn’t feel like it was overstaying its welcome. Getting that plus the OVA here, which is mostly just more of the same in a different location for Kanade, makes this a very fun show. It’s one that I can easily see myself playing every year to revisit since it works the fanservice in a fun way and it’s great to show it to other people just to see how they react. I hate the long title that it has, but I was won over with its wacky self and just how far it tries to go sometimes. It could go even further too, which I kind of wish they had. But in the end, I left the simulcast with very positive feelings and found myself thoroughly enjoying the marathon session in a big way.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing
Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: November 11th, 2014
Running Time: 275 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.