What They Say:
Maiku Kamishiro grew up in an orphanage with no history of his family or of his past. Left with only a childhood picture of himself and another person in front of a house, he believes that the other person in the picture is his long lost twin sister. Upon discovering his old home, two young girls show up on his doorstep one day both claiming to be his long-lost sister. Maiku’s life is about to be turned upside down and with two pretty girls living under the same roof as him, how will Maiku be able to keep his mind on school and work while trying to figure out which one of these girls is his sister and which one is the love of his life?
The audio presentation for this series is decent and about what you’d expect as we get the original Japanese language in stereo as well as the English language dub, both of which are encoded at 192kbps. The show is pretty much dialogue driven with a few busy scenes here and there but nothing that stretches or stresses the mix in any way. The areas that make the most use of the mix are the opening and closing songs but occasionally we get some decent minor placement to the dialogue. There’s not a lot going on here, even in terms of depth of the acting, but it’s all serviceable and dialogue comes through clean and clear throughout without any noticeable dropouts or distortions.
Originally airing in 2003, the transfer for this series is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio. The license rescue for this means a new encoding and it makes the shift from four discs to three with a four/four/five layout. Much like Please Teacher, the show is filled with a lot of real-life settings and the colors to fill it well, though the character artwork and coloring has a bit of a flat feeling to it. What makes it shine though is the colors used in the outdoor settings with all the greens and blues and then the sunrise/sunset scenes are just so lush and beautiful here that it goes up a few extra notches. The green fields in particular that captivated me in Please Teacher are once against present here. The transfer, in general, manages to make out very well as there’s no noticeable cross coloration and the colors used avoid the gradation problem. But the main problem is still largely there in that it’s a product of its time with a standard definition release so there are a lot of soft elements about it. Aliasing is very minimal, especially with the limited amount of movement throughout here, and, in general, this is a very pleasing transfer.
The packaging design for this release is pretty spot on in making it look new and appealing but also adhering to its original time period with the color style. The front cover goes with the main trio together and has the familiar triangle in existence but with them set outside the house and all looking out at the viewer it has a very good sense of placement and connection. The top provides a close-up of their eyes in a fractured way that also works well to bring in a bit more pop of color but just style in general. The logo is kept along the bottom, but it’s enough of an eye-catch for those that had seen Please Teacher to give it a second look since it works the same style. The back cover has a lot of beige space for a background and it has a cute image of the two girls fighting over Maiku, but the amount of empty space always feels off-putting. The premise is well covered as is the breakdown of what’s included in the set. The strip of shots along the bottom are nicely colorful and appealing and the technical grid captures the specs cleanly and accurately. No show related inserts are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design is one that goes for simplicity and it largely works pretty well. With a lot of blank beige space to the background, the right side for each disc gives us different character configurations where the color choices have some good pop, particularly for the hair color, and they stand out well against the beige. The lower left has the series logo against a green backdrop while the navigation background just above it is in white. It’s straightforward in the navigation, but there’s a nice elegance to the simplicity here that’s quite appealing. Navigation is straightforward and easy both for the show itself, with episodes per disc kept to one menu screen, and the extras are easy enough to get around in as well.
The bulk of the extras for the release are the four image vocal pieces which are basically music videos for the show with the vocal songs that make appearances throughout it. They’re nicely done and add a good feel to the program since they’re the “music of” kind of pieces. In addition to these, there’s a promo clip that showcases the show from prior to its release as well as a promotional commercial for the series. The opening sequence is provided in textless form as is the ending sequence and we also get some of the commercials for the CD release for the series soundtracks.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the success of Please Teacher, which I’ll admit up front that I enjoyed more than I did Please Twins, I definitely looked forward to this show since it does a lot of things right that I enjoyed. A lot of it came down to the style of the show and its pacing with its lazy approach to bringing the characters together while also exploring who they all are. A lot of it also came down to just really liking the Mizuho character. What Please Teacher did, however, was tell a fairly complete story so there wasn’t exactly a lot of obvious room for a sequel. Please Twins does something that I like with some series and I think is going to work well here. It takes the events of the first series as its basis and launches into a different story with different characters that are tangentially connected to the original characters.
Taking place in the same community, we’re introduced to high school student Maiku Kamishiro. He’s been there for two months now and isn’t quite like most of the other students. Having lost his parents at an early age, he’s managed to prove himself in his teens enough so that he’s secured a prime programming contract job with a company that allows him to live on his own. His choice of residence though is surprising as it’s someplace he saw on TV some time prior. When the community that had all the UFO buzz about it was being broadcast about, one of the backgrounds was of a house that he has a picture of. The picture is something from a time he can’t remember, but it has him and a little girl together in a pool in front of that house. All that he can figure is that he grew up there and something happened to send him into the orphanages.
But with his programming job and the fact that he doesn’t have to be at the office, he went and bought the place and has spent the past two months getting it into a living condition. Between work and school, he’s not a terribly social person but he’s managed to become one of the more popular people due to his looks and his friendship with the other really popular and attractive male in the school. Maiku’s focus for the most part though is just to finish out his schooling and work on his programming job to ensure he has the money he needs to keep the house and live his life. Of course, this can’t last long in an anime series.
Before Maiku knows it, two young women are winging their way into his life. Each of them has seen the images on TV about the house and both of them have a copy of the same picture that Maiku does. As they come to his house separately, each believes that they may be the girl in the picture, which means they’re his twin sister. But one of them isn’t which means they’re a stranger. All three of them though have the same unique eye color and all are fairly foreign in their appearance which also ties them together. For Maiku, his life of trying to just get by becomes incredibly complicated as before he really realizes it, both of them have moved in with him. To his advantage, though, he’s able to put them to work in the house with the cleaning and cooking as well as getting real jobs to help supplement their living.
It doesn’t always work out easy though since the girls also get into trouble when Maiku’s class vice president finds out, especially since she sees the girls as competition for Maiku’s affections when she’s the one who wants her. There’s enough potential for trouble for Maiku with the girls living with him so while they come up with a reasonable cover about their relationship, he’s also forced to put them in school and get them into the swing of things. Much like Please Teacher, the characters get into this routine of being together and slowly starting to unravel the things about themselves that make up who they are to each other. And there’re plenty of moments where it’s taken the wrong way and others react in an over the top manner that only causes more confusion.
What I really liked about the series is the way it’s letting some of the characters from the other series play in here as well but without feeling like they’re being brought on just for continuity or to hype things up. Mizuho gets some good little parts here and there that help further things along and Ichigo gets to play up her role as class president and is manipulating some things for her own amusement. The way she seems to know all is also continually amusing. But my favorite crossover character has to be Marie and the way she’s become something of a town regular as she shows up all over the place at different times in her near drunken style. There is something simply charming about this character.
The first act of the series certainly set things up well enough, though there is plenty that you can’t imagine really happening, it did make for a very easily accessible setup and with plenty of familiar characters, a very easy show to get into. While it didn’t have the same charms as Please Teacher for obvious reasons, much of what made that show so enjoyable beyond the primary characters is infused in this one and helps to elevate it a bit higher than it probably would be otherwise. Even still, Please Twins manages to stake out much of its own territory to become its own show.
Things have changed slightly since as we’ve now got both of the girls in the same school as Maiku and right from the start it causes problems. The biggest problem is that Maiku ends up feeling so overly protective of them that when he hears all the commotion and talk of the other boys he gets so agitated and nearly riled up over it that watching his expressions are priceless. What’s really amusing is just how much Shimazaki is during all of this as he continues to play his faux-gay mode with Maiku and the girls, being as gullible as they apparently are, fall for it so completely that they have to really prove it to themselves that Maiku is gay since it would crush many of their dreams.
This proves to be a very amusing segment in the show as both Karen and Miina go overboard at home to try and get Maiku to react to their femininity. While at the house, the two of them come up with their plan the covers everything from sleeping in his bed together to being practically naked in front of him to exercising and a multitude of other ideas. It’s all quite amusing and certainly serves up a huge dose of fanservice in the process because these two characters are quite attractive, though they are a bit too singularly focused on how their relationship with Maiku is. This actually becomes more of a problem when they’re somewhat competing for his attentions and Karen ends up accidentally kissing him, which leads to Miina forcing herself on him so as to catch up to Karen and still be in the running. But as each of them grapples with what they’ve done, there’s also the background idea that they’re actually related to him.
This does turn into something of a one-trick pony for a good chunk of this release as that’s the background and foreground thoughts for all three of the characters for a lot of the time here, though they do talk and act about other things. Maiku has it even worse since the girls are actively either trying to prove he’s not gay or just being themselves which is often quite attractive. But he’s also got the problem of dealing with Tsubaki who is also trying to win his affections and she’s got Ichigo on her side, which in itself leads to a number of very comical moments where she sets things up but not necessarily just for Tsubaki’s benefit. More often, things are done to benefit Ichigo’s humor which is usually just good enough.
One thing that I did like that they did here is that they found a way to get the trio to head to Okinawa to the same hotel as we saw in the Please Teacher! series. Naturally, others end up tagging along and there are some great recollections about it from the secondary characters, especially the “my friend became a man here” comments. This places it firmly a year after the same events of the Teacher series and it gives the newly formed alliance between Karen and Miina a chance to really work as they’re not competing anymore but just going to enjoy their time with Maiku until they figure out who is related and who isn’t.
The result is a fascinatingly enjoyable show that I wish could be retooled only slightly, because the concept of a show where the male lead has two women in love with him and he’s able to love them back and to play up the dynamic of a working threesome would be such a great change of pace and open all sorts of new story possibilities. It’s so close to that here in this episode with the exception of the thoughts lurking in the back of their mind. The way they’re all so much more open after the formed alliance works in their favor since it frees them from feeling jealousy or having to compete and instead simply lets them enjoy the time and presence of the other two. It’s so close to a working triad that it’s easy to root for all three of them to work in that direction.
The way the relationships are working is one of the things that really makes this series so much fun for me. Having a near true threesome of sorts being so openly happy with each other is amusing and a change for a lot of series which would rather just have them fighting on and on for years on end. With the trio here, it’s definitely causing people to notice though and they’re all unsure of how to take it since it’s being done so publicly at times. The person it’s the worst for though is Tsubaki since she still feels strongly for Maiku. In a way, it’s been hard to figure out who to really root for if you’re not rooting for the threesome mode and Tsubaki has always been the odd cog out in this since she’s the one with no true relation and supposedly honest feelings for Maiku that’s not related to being so close to him so constantly.
But the episode that has her allowing the class president to manipulate things so that she does spend a lot of time with Maiku and it keeps him away from the other two so Tsubaki starts to get the time she’s been thinking she’s wanted with him and getting closer to him. Maiku doesn’t treat it as much of anything though he knows he’s being manipulated but since he’s being paid for it, he’s not complaining much. While Tsubaki does continually try to draw him out, her own mindset causes her to break things dramatically when she accidentally falls and he catches her, but not without his own hand accidentally gropes her. Her overreaction to this begins a new series of revelations that changes the make-up of the group entirely as we learn that she had been seeing someone prior to Maiku’s arrival in town and that he had gone a bit too fast for her, or rather, in a way that she didn’t want things to progress since it didn’t match her magical dreamy vision of a young couple in love.
There are also some good revelations given later in the volume with regards to Miina as she ends up dealing with a surprise in her life as an old friend of hers arrives in town. To her surprise, the Inter-High meeting is taking place in this small sleepy town so people from all over are showing up there. The arrival of Yuka brings a flood of memories back about her past that she hasn’t revealed to anyone since her own arrival in the town and the conflict is very apparent across her face. She ends up spending a good deal of time away from the others and Yuka herself while she tries to work things out but as the pieces start to be put together, the character of Miina becomes much clearer and it explains a number of her early mannerisms when the series started.
This segment of the series also has something of a comical episode that deals with the two girls coping with the strain of their Love Alliance as each of them gets perilously close to breaking one of the rules, but overall it’s a very light episode that goes towards providing some basic skin shots and fanservice as well as letting the girls go through their usual angst about their situation, something that I can imagine any young woman at that age thinking about constantly if she were in it. I also liked that they brought in some of the other couples throughout the episode and usually at awkward times to help flesh it out a bit more. It’s a very light episode for the most part and it sort of gets dragged out at the end but considering the heavier episodes as the bookends of the release it was definitely needed.
As Please Twins comes to its conclusion, we knew that Karen had found something in the house across the way and that they had all been looking at the picture wrong from the start, not taking in the detail of it being across the street and all. Her discovery brings her to a journal whose text is kept from us, but it seems to settle things in her mind easily enough. She doesn’t follow the rules of her Love Alliance with Miina though and ends up keeping the information to herself as she grapples with the revelation that she doesn’t share in any form and begins to pull back from everyone. With this small shift in her personality it’s done just right so that the viewer can’t tell for sure which way it’s going either up until Karen finally reveals the truth to Maiku after sneaking him out for their first date.
Maiku does his best to understand things up until this point since both he and Miina are confused about it, though it was amusing that everyone wondered if it was just her time of the month, but the guys are all clueless as was Haruko. Once things do get revealed to all three of them, though, it shifts the balance again and Miina now finds herself grappling with the reality of it and trying to figure out what her place will really be in the scheme of things, so much so that she actually leaves the house for some time and refuses to speak to either of them by “pleading the fifth” as the papers she places all around indicate. Though they had all been decent about talking to each other before the truth, the reality of things has turned them into typical teenagers who make everything in their heads much bigger than it is and continue to build upon it by not getting it out into the open.
Similar to the end of Please Teacher, the final episode is an OVA that lets them go a bit more wild with fanservice and mess with the characters more. This time they end up in a camping environment by the lake where Maiku was initially setup so he could get some work done over the summer vacation to ease for the rest of the year, but eventually everyone comes down to camp out and have fun. This means lots of water antics in skimpy clothes – the Gainax bounce is alive and well in this production I’m happy to say – and plenty of bloody noses for Shidou, especially when Mizuho arrives in a very skimpy two-piece. Even better is Ichigo who sneaks cameras into everyone’s tents so she can watch them as they all “make summer memories.” She’s definitely the most perverted of the group which explains why I like her so much..
While the show has plenty of harem style aspects to it, and some plainly goofy moments, it does a good job of not turning this into a harem show or some other completely unrealistic piece. Though there’s always the issue of three teenagers living by themselves, the show has played things straight for the most part and kept from having too much filler material or overly angsty periods where people wallow in self-pity over their situation. The revelations of the truth come pretty quickly going by the actual timeline of the show and they avoid any sort of silliness like bringing the mother into play or something equally unsuitable. The show does a really good job of showing that you can love more than one person and that it’s not wrong to do so. While it does resolve into a standard relationship, the potential that they showed for something more interesting definitely earned this series some points. Solid character designs and decent animation, simple and elegant music as well as an interesting story with good characters, Please Twins ends on the up note and leaves me with a very big smile and fond memories..
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, Image Vocal Pieces, Commercials, Promo
Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Nozomi Entertainment
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation 3 via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.