This review contains some NSFW images and mild spoilers.
What’s the show? Tachibanakan To Lie Angle (2018).
And wh— Or Tachibanakan Triangle… or maybe Love to Lie Angle. It’s kind of got a few different names depending on who you ask, or where you’re watching it.
Right… and what’s it about? Before we get into the review proper, a little backstory, if you don’t mind?
Whatever man, it’s your site. So way back in the lead-up to the Spring 2018 anime series I was looking through all the show’s that’d be airing in the upcoming Spring season and one series in particular piqued my interest! It was a yuri (girls love) and an ecchi (for perverts) and a harem (more or less) and it had an aesthetic that’s very much one of my favourites! So naturally it became one of my most anticipated titles—that was until I found out it was to be a 3 minute long anime…
So I guess that’s why you didn’t bother with week-to-week reviews. Watching a 3-minute anime isn’t the end of the world, but watching it one episode at a time with a week’s gap in between? No way I was going to do that, so I bided my time and now here we are!
Quite the journey… so uh, did it live up to your expectations? Well~ yes and no. It’s hard to be truly disappointed by something that amounts to 36 minutes in total over the 12 episodes (minus the 30 second end credits for each one). And yet at the same time, there’s actually a lot of potential in this series that feels squandered by the limited run-time and rushed pace.
What kind of potential are we talking? Well other than the fact that I wanted to spend a lot more time in this setting and some of the characters are genuinely interesting—the most wasted potential comes in the form of the unexpectedly warm romance that forms between our protagonist Hanabi, her childhood friend Konomi and the low-key pervert new girl Iori. I was actually invested in each character’s happiness, a rare feat especially given the brief time we’re given to get to know them and I just wish this was a full length anime, I really do!
Well wishing about it isn’t going to get you anywhere… That’s true…
So I’m not really getting a sense what this show is about, the setting, etcetera. Care to elaborate? With pleasure! So Hanabi moves back to her hometown to study for high school and moves into a dorm—except everyone in the dorm is various shades of gay. From the combative and blushing Konomi, too the totally aloof and just loving for the sake of love Iori. Then there’s the side characters who are—by the way—not high schoolers like the main three but actually drinking age adults which makes for an interesting change! There’s the dorm matron Yoriko who is the least developed character in terms of narrative but most developed in chest size. Then there’s Sonoa, a late addition to the dorm who is pretty much bisexual without it being explicitly said so. And last but not least is Yuu and she’s pretty special if I do say so myself.
What makes her so special? Well Yuu, in addition to being the most outspoken and high-spirited of the residents is also sexually active with multiple sexual partners (Sonoa is the only one that’s confirmed, others are implied) she also frequently uses sex toys and kudos to this show for not shying away from female sexuality and lesbian sexuality at that!
Allow me to play devil’s advocate as seems to be among my many functions here, but is such a short form, comedic anime series really deserving of congratulation in this area when what you see as representation could just as easily be seen as fetishisation and comedic effect? I mean every instance of a sex-toy being show on screen is censored with ‘pixilation’ is it not? Way to be a buzz kill (pun intended), yes in the TV-version they were censored but that’s more to do with Japanese regulations than this show’s stance on the matter—in the blu-ray version they’re fully uncensored (among other things). And as for the comedy, well… sex-toys are inherently funny things to wave around, and she’s a funny character of course they’re going to be used as an occasional comedic punch line, doesn’t change the fact that Yuu uses them off-screen to pleasure herself and her lovers. Boom! Representation!
Hmm, well I guess I’ll take your word for it— Still don’t believe me? What if I told you the mangaka (manga author) is a woman! Aha! Can’t dispute that now can you!
…Well I probably could, but I think we’ve discussed this enough, we should probably move on. Pfft, you just can’t admit you were wrong and I was right!
Sure, whatever. So what can you recommend about this show, why should other people watch it? What kind of question is that?!
This is a review isn’t it? That’s what reviews usually do, they inform the reader on the qualities of a product to allow them to make the judgment if said product is right for them? Uh~ I guess, if you like cute anime girls fooling around in a safe environment then this is the show for you! Just be prepared for a lot of fan-service—a lot of ecchi/harem genre tropes too like breast groping and wind blowing up skirts and bath shenanigans and tripping over and landing on someone’s breasts.
But it’s more than just that? Absolutely. The level of characterisation in proportion to the limited run-time is astoundingly high and while it could have easily been one of my favourite ever-series’ if it had been a full 22-minute per episode production—the truncated run-time does have its benefits.
Such as? In a comparable (albeit more chaste) show like Comic Girls the comedy is sporadic but impactful and the pacing is almost glacial but deliberate. Here the comedy is direct and almost belligerent and the pace is like watching a show on fast-forward, you get the gist of the scenario without the nuance. But there’s a pleasure in being able to watch a show that’d ordinarily take it’s time in such a hastened pace, it gets you to the climax a lot quicker than expected and here the climax is very much a part of the appeal.
Eww… Oh grow up!
Whatever. So what score do you give Tachibana—whatever this show is called? Ordinarily I’d say there’s a specific audience for this kind of show and that much is still true but I did watch this series through (and uncensored) with the @irlwaifu and she seemed to enjoy it. Especially the several jokes/references to self-pleasure and sex-toys. Indeed what we have here is seemingly two different shows co-existing harmoniously alongside one-another, a fan-service laden ecchi romance about three high-school girls competing for each-other’s affections as they discover more about their own sexuality. And a show about three 20-something girls in various stages of their lives, eating, drinking, having fun and making the most out of the promiscuity their gender and sexual orientation affords them. It’s a nostalgic reflection on the past (a past perhaps imagined and exaggerated) and a comfortable look at the present (assumedly, I can only presume one or more of these characters are facets of the mangaka’s real life personality. Tachibanakan To Lie Angle, is a show that means more the more you infer and as a reviewer inferring is practically all I do. Nothing obtuse about this (a)cute angle; 83 out of 100.
Triangle puns? Really? Shuddup!
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