Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Girls Bravo (2004-2005)

Directed by Ei Aoki
Starring Yuri Lowenthal, Michelle Ruff, Stephanie Sheh, Liam O'Brian

"Thank you very much for showing me all of these bathrooms, but if you don't mind, could you maybe carry me back to where Yukinari is waiting for me?"

I don't know about you, but I have spent an exorbitant amount of time in my life feeling as though I may be allergic to the opposite sex. Not all of them, mind you, but certainly a fair percentage of the populace of femininity. I get nervous around them, I don't know what to say, I sweat profusely, I experience horrible stomach cramps which lead to embarrassing public diarrhea - you know, typical stuff. For 2nd year high school student, Yukinari Sasaki, allergic reaction to females is a literal reality.

As far back as he can remember, Yukinari has been tormented and bullied by girls for his particularly diminutive stature. At first, the teasing had only a painful emotional effect on his fragile self-esteem, but as time wore on and wounds could no longer hide invisibly in Yukinari's shattered soul, his body reacted in the only way it knew how: By giving him hives.

Yes, as everything in life seems to go, things just got worse for poor Yukinari. Not only was he the target of nearly every female's sinister side, he also now had to bear the scars of his misery for the whole world to see. Sounds like the biography of my teen years.

One day after another school day filled with torment and itchy skin, Yukinari comes home to find his busty neighbor and fellow schoolmate Kiri Kojima nude in his bathroom. Being a typical girl in an anime, when she notices that Yukinari is catching an eyeful (albeit on accident), Kiri gets a running start and knees him in the face.

Yukinari flys backwards and falls into the bathtub behind him. Instead of splashing about wildly and begging for mercy as he'd usually do, he somehow vanishes - descending into a magical abyss of water.

When Yukinari finally sinks to the bottom of the now fathoms deep bath water, he finds himself in a large shallow pool; a pink-haired young beauty with three red dots on her forehead staring inquisitively at him.

This young lady, we learn, is named Miharu and she is an inhabitant of a planet outside of Earth's solar system called Seiren. Frightened by her knowledge of who he is (she can see into his world through her bath water) and her extremely touchy nature, Yukinari quickly finds out that he is not plagued by his allergy when touched by Miharu.

Yukinari finds out that he is now on this planet called Seiren and, to make things worse for his condition, men are an ultra-rare (only 7% of the population) commodity on this fine planet. When the town learns that a man is in town, they all make with the courting and hunt him down like a wild animal.

Miharu fiercely protects Yukinari from the hoard of hyserically horny homegirls - including her very own sister - and in the process learns of her sweet ability to blow shit up when she's upset.

Upon their escape from the masses, Yukinari and Miharu go back to Miharu's bathhouse and by some magical mystery event are both transported back to Yukinari's bathroom. Understandably, Kiri is relieved that her friend isn't dead, but she's also not exactly thrilled that he returned with a naked girl in tow.

Now Miharu is stuck on Earth without a clue as how to return to Seiren, has to learn how to fit into Earth's society structure, and must also continuously deflect the slimy advances of classmate and sly pervert Kazuharu Fukuyama.

Funimation does a great job with this complete 24 episode set. The transfer is nice, the box set presentation is superior, and although the subtitles are a bit hard to see, the top-notch English dub makes a great alternative.

If you like your anime on the harem/absurd comedy tip, Girls Bravo is some of the best out there. It's really funny, charmingly weird, and addictively entertaining. I highly recommend Girls Bravo and am already looking forward to watching the series again - starting with the hilarious and completely inappropriate clip below.

- Jeremy Vaca

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