What They Say:
When Haruka asks his classmate Akiho to go out with him, he’s hoping that she’ll say ‘yes’. What he isn’t expecting is for her to agree, then approach their relationship with an emotionally detached attitude as if she was writing a research paper with sex as the topic!
It’s all about maximizing compatibility, Akiho says, but when preparation for a first date requires Haruka to divulge a comprehensive list of his sexual fetishes in advance for planning purposes, perhaps there’s something to be said for getting to know each other the old-fashioned way! And if Akiho’s clinical approach isn’t awkward enough, things get really weird when it’s time to meet the parents and Haruka learns where Akiho’s odd demeanor comes from! It’s the romantic comedy where T.M.I. and A-Type personalities collide!
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with the English language dub, both of which are encoded using the DTS-HD MA lossless codec. The series has its wild take moments throughout for added comedy value but it’s mostly a dialogue-driven show with a lot of variable levels to it. From quiet moments of sultry material to just plain yelling, the mix handles it all pretty well. There are some fun placement and depth at times with how the situations play out but it’s a fairly standard design overall that serves the show just right. The opening and closing sequences get to stretch a bit more with the music that definitely hits some fun notes and the incidental music throughout gets a solidly full feeling as well. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2017, the transfer for this TV series and OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The eleven episodes are spread across two discs in a nine/two format that gives it plenty of room to work with. Animated by Diomedea and Studio Blanc, the show has a fun and bright pop color kind of look to it that you get with a lot of standard comedy pieces. There’s appeal in some well-done backgrounds but this is not a show going for a photorealistic world but rather something that’ll set the right tone for sexual silliness. We do get some good designs with the characters while making them easier to animate and that plays well into the encoding with lots of solid color fields and all. It’s a clean looking encode for the most part with the colors looking good but you can see some gradients in the backgrounds based on the animation style for it which doesn’t lead to blocking but you can see the separation a bit more clearly.
With some very fun choices available for key visuals, the cover artwork for this release is the expected but mildly disappointing piece. It gives us the main group of girls together on the floor in the classroom with the banana in front of them and they’re all looking at it with different expressions that are fun to explore. The top has the blackboard which is where the logo is kept and it works nicely, again with the banana element in the Shobitch part of the title itself. The back cover plays up some school elements in a light way but leans into lots of colors with Kosaka looking pretty sensual here on her pillow. The filmstrip of shots from the show itself is colorful and fun and adds to the whole thing nicely. The premise is well-laid out and we get a good breakdown of the extras included with it. The bottom sets a blue background where we get the production credits and a pink and white technical grid that accurately represents how the set is put together. No show related extras are included nor is there a reversible cover.
The menu design for this release is certainly fun as we get the static images for it where the girls are in some mildly pervy situations. The first disc, for example, has the trio on their knees in school with a peeled banana in front of them and they each have a different blushing expression that sets the tone well. The use of the opening song sets some additional energy and that combined with the menu design makes me grin. The navigation along the right has a piece of graph paper with the holes along the left side while the episodes are listed with titles and numbers – and bananas along the left side. That changes to a pair of cherries for the episode selected and that definitely makes you grin in how it all comes together. The release is quick and easy to navigate both as the main menu and as the pop-up menu during playback with simple language selection and easy to navigate extras on the second disc.
The extras for this release brings us a number of familiar and welcome pieces. The original promos are included along with the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences. We also get a thirteen-minute segment where it focuses on the dirty joke side and uses some of the material playing the subtitles up with lots of ASS-aspects to the dialogue with the leads. It’s a fun and weird little “character commentary theater” bit that plays the first part of the first episode is an amusing way.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga by Namuri Matsumoto, My Girlfriend is a Shobitch is a ten episode series that aired in the fall 2017 season that had a follow-up OVA in March 2018. The show originally aired on Anime Strike in North America but got expanded release on HIDIVE. The manga itself runs in Comics Ace and has since 2015 but it only has four volumes out as it’s not a fast producing kind of series. Which is one reason this was probably a ten-episode series, which I don’t mind as Kadokawa has played with that a number of times to decent effect as it keeps some shows from feeling like they overstay their welcome. I do think this one could have been fine with a few more episodes as it plays up its silly sexuality well in a way that will make a lot of people laugh.
This property is one that delights more than I expected in some ways, but I should have expected some of it as well. When you get a work that plays a bit more toward the stronger material and more “open” dialogue, it tends to progress faster. The central premise is that we get Haruka asking the popular girl Akiho to be his girlfriend. It’s a big play by an otherwise average guy – especially since he doesn’t even ask her out, just to be his girlfriend – but she agrees to it which shocks him. But that’s the smallest of shocks that comes his way as she’s pretty forward (and comes by it naturally, going by her family time we see here and there). Akiho is new to this whole relationship thing as well and while there may be expectations that she has a handle on the do’s and don’ts of it based on how society implies, she’s got a whole lot of questions. And interests. And asks him about them, in what’s both a mix of deadpan and pragmatic ways.
The gist of it is that her being blunt and talking about sex is shocking.
I know, I know. Whoa.
That does in some ways keep the show predictable across its run once it gets into a rhythm (method) as she continually surprises Haruka but also the growing number of women in his orbit. Haruka admittedly handles it well once he has an idea of what she’s like and it’s an area where you can see why it would scare some people on the receiving end, male or female. But he’s got a keen interest in her and her openness is refreshing as she tries to understand the whole dating dynamic but also wanting to understand his interests as well so as to please him. Of course, it does need just a bit more of him understanding her in this regard so it’s a bit more even, but the humor of the show revolves around the way this deadpan girl can be as forward as she is and it kind of dominates the situation. It did have me questioning myself because there is there are many studies about how men hear how women talk differently from men in that even if it’s the same amount they think the women are talking more. But really, Akiho is the lead here and she’s “on” almost all of the time, making it something that’s a strong push (and makes me recommend just a couple of episodes at a time because it is a wave of comedy).
There are a number of other characters that populate the show and it does lean female-heavy as you can tell from the cover and promotional material, but at its core, it is all about these two. The other characters range from shock to interest in how Akiho composes herself and interact with Haruka and that does lead to some of them becoming more forward themselves while also just pulling back some because it really isn’t their style, which is great to see. There’s a lot of flirting going on in general, lots of innuendoes and blunt suggestions as well, but it also works it in a way where there are a lot of smaller slice of life moments that factor in, just with a more realistic(?) kind of banter and interplay that was appealing to see instead of the usual stoic and distant material we get. The uncertainty is always got a solid basis in reality but shows like this make it welcome to see this because it isn’t the norm and it’s still largely geared toward male characters in the lead acting like Akiho.
The show plays well to the sexytimes and we get lots of moments where it gets fairly sexual, though it’s the OVA where it gets more overt but even there avoids going full-on hentai, thankfully. The love hotel stuff shows up regularly and there are more raunchy moments in the post-credits sequences more often than not which ramps things up nice. The series has a solid look to it but it also keeps it a little more basic in a way, avoiding the photorealistic look of other shows in order to nudge up the comedy factor nicely. That doesn’t mean it looks bad or cheap or anything but it goes with colors that pop a bit more and it doesn’t overplay its hand when it comes to the details. I love the look of the show as it completely fits the approach of the original work and works that candy coating nicely so that it’s not quite as harshly viewed as it could be considering how Akiho acts in her deadpan way.
Shows like this delight me and have for years. It’s also one that I think works great in both languages in a way that some dubs don’t click for me, as the devilish approach to innuendo in the inflection is something that hits a little sweeter in the dub. With the show coming in at ten episodes and an OVA, there’s a lot of fun with how it positions itself and it definitely left me laughing and enjoying some of the absurdity of it but also the frustration that the teens feel with all the things they don’t know and understand. Sentai’s release delivers a solid looking show overall with a very fun dub and a good looking package. It’s one that won’t click for everyone because of its approach to sexuality but it’s a lot of laughs and silliness that tickled me in all the right ways.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Japanese Preview & Promos, Fat Load of Dirty Jokes Character Commentary Theater, Clean Opening Animation, and Clean Closing Animation
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: February 12th, 2019
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.