Spring 2019 Anime

Study Buddies – ‘Ao-chan Can’t Study!’ Episode 1 Review

Study Buddies - An Anime QandA Review for 'Ao-chan Can't Study!' Episode 1

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What’s the show?Ao-chan Can’t Study! Episode 1.

And what’s it about? Ao is a… complicated girl. Her father is an erotic novelist who told her her name came from an orgasm face–a fact she relayed to her elementary school class and ever since she’s had a general disdain for youth, sexuality and men in particular. She knows men are only after one thing and she hates them all for it, so why does her heart go “doki-doki” whenever Kijima (a.k.a. “King of the Normies”) is near to her? Turns out her father’s had more of an impact on her life than she cares to admit.

You know what they say, opposites attract!

Oh boy… What?

This sound, uh… well let’s just say “right up your alley” and I’ll refrain from adding any extra insults. This is a comedic, romance slice of life with hints of ecchi throughout and yeah, it’s kind of wonderful for a bunch of reasons you may not expect…

Same.

Oh, and they are? Not to generalise, but I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to romance-centric anime–specifically with regard to whatever the gender intended audience they fall on. If it’s a romance targeted at female audiences the female protagonist is plain looking and kinda generic in personality while the men are all immaculate chiselled specimens. Whereas if the the target audience is men then the male protagonist is generic and bland while the women are the sexiest things to ever grace the earth.

Her dad has a lot of issues.

So wish fulfillment fantasy for whoever is the target audience? Basically. But where this series pivots unexpectedly is that it’s ostensibly a series for men (what with the general focus on erotica) but not only is the male “love interest” attractive and sensitive and nuanced but the female “protagonist” is also attractive but flawed and complicated.

Nawww.

Wait. But if the protagonist is a female doesn’t that usually mean it’s for a female audience. Again another key difference—a lot of Ao’s internal monologue could be argued to be pointedly “masculine” (if we’re gendering dialogue—which we shouldn’t but that’s a topic for another day) she has strong, hardline opinions which she’s not willing to back down on and she has a generally disdainful attitude towards the things she doesn’t like and isn’t afraid to show it.

That’s high school for ya!

Well that’s all well and good but what about the show itself? It’s a lot of fun! And it even manages a heartfelt moment too, it’s pretty well written and it’s an interesting concept. If you like your romantic comedies with an emphasis on the comedy and lewd jokes then this I’d recommend giving it a go!


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