Opening flashback – check. Mopey male lead – check. Goofy, horny best friend – check. Harem representing every HS girl trope – check. Brocon younger sister – check. Lunchtime cafeteria bread scene – check. You pretty much have all your dating simulation/harem romance anime needs met with this one.
In spite of all that, I didn’t dislike the first episode – I just didn’t find any of it especially memorable. OP was pretty generic, reminding me quite a bit of Hatsukoi Limited visually (in fact, the character designs reminded me of it as well). I’m not a huge fan of Tomoaki Maeno‘s work, and he failed to make much of an impression on me as Jun’ichi here. And none of the girls really stood out as especially interesting or unique.
Harem adaptations are tricky things if you haven’t played the game. You pretty much have to develop a strong rooting interest in one of the girls if your interest is going to be sustained for an entire cour. That could certainly happen – I’d like to see if one of the girls leaps out at me after the second episode. But at this point what I’d like more than anything is to see the series do something to stamp itself as unusual and different, or even mildly surprising. That’s what I’ll be looking for next week.
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi
This is a big “we’ll see” for me. I wasn’t especially impressed with the Arai Satomi in-your-face narration, or most of the humor. I’m always keen to see what Irinu Miyu is up to – he’s one of the best seiyuu in the business IMHO – and he’s fine as Ryoushi, a timid, freshman stricken by scopophobia (Jiii…). But neither tsundere female lead Ookami (Itou Shizuka) or her moe BF Ringo (Itou Kanae) move beyond predictable 21st Century anime cliche here. The premise – a “bank” of seven students who perform services for their fellows in exchange for some unspecified (but presumably ghastly) future fee is moderately interesting. JC Staff’s work can range from the enormously mundane and predictable to the genuinely interesting, and director Yoshiaki Iawaki has nothing in his resume to suggest genius, so the jury is still very much out on this one. There’s potential for some real humor in the outlandish premise, but if the narration continues to be as omnipresent and broad, it’s going to be hard to stick around ling enough to find out.