In their teenage years, few things can hurt people more than the heartaches that come with unrequited love. Such is the case for Natsuo Fujii, who has found himself entranced by his school's ever-cheerful teacher Hina. Deflated by this unreachable desire, Natsuo humors his friends and attends a mixer. There he meets Rui, a girl whose lack of excitement rivals that of himself. After bonding over their mutual awkwardness, Rui takes Natsuo to her house and asks him to have sex with her, hoping that the experience will stop her friends from treating her like a clueless child. With his hopeless feelings towards Hina still on his mind, Natsuo hesitantly agrees. Equally unfulfilled by their "first times," the two decide to part ways as strangers. However, before he even has a chance to process this experience, Natsuo's father drops a major bombshell: he is getting remarried, and his new wife Tsukiko Tachibana is coming over now to meet Natsuo. As if that was not enough of a shock, her daughters—and, in turn, Natsuo's new sisters—are Hina and Rui Tachibana, the woman he's in love with and the girl with whom he shared his first night. Now, Natsuo must come to terms with the feelings he has for his step-siblings as his eyes open to a darker side of love. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Welcome aboard Domestic Dumpsterfire, the train to hell… Along the way we’ll see plenty of incest, degeneracy, forced drama, braindead characters, and the main reason why this show so popular, sex scenes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you, now is the time to grab a shovel and join me in burying abomination for good.
Once upon a time, there was a dumb sack of potatoes named Natsuo. Fittingly, his name sounds like nut-sack because that is his defining character trait. His sex addiction rivals the protagonist of School Days and it gets him into so much trouble with his harem of needy waifus. His harem includes:
1. Rui, a girl who he had sex with randomly to forget his crush, but now she’s his step sister.
2. Hina, his teacher who he has a crush on, and now she is also his step sister.
3. Momo, a depressed girl with big boobs who the writers forget about right after she’s introduced.
4. An annoying green haired girl who is so forgettable I can’t even remember her name.
Wow!!! What a positively electric cast full of chemistry! As for the story… The main conflict only involves Natsuo, Rui, and Hina, making a pseudo-incestuous love triangle. The only entertaining parts of the show are when giant melodrama bombs are dropped on us, shaking up the stale romantic tension. The first arc features Hina in an affair with a married man, then Natsuo butts his head into her business by sexually assaulting her. Don’t worry, she sexually assaults him shortly after. What an emotional roller coaster! No matter how much the writers try to raise the states, the plot is too hamfisted for it to be believable. Instead, they have to use plot contrivances and inconsistent character motivations to build artificial tension. With a premise this stupid, the only way for it to work is if the characters are even more stupid.
For the majority of the show, we’re treated to insultingly dull slice-of-life crap. The ‘comedy’ is just a gap between one melodramatic hentai subplot to the next. Girls compete for Natsuo’s attention, and he is as indecisive as a blank-slate dating-sim protagonist so he gives them all time. Very little time is spent trying to resolve his love for his teacher, and their scenes together are the most toxic, and unhealthy in the entire show. His one believable moment of introspection is at the start of the show when he resolves to forget his love and have sex with a Rui. Even though it is a bad decision, he accepts it in the heat of the moment. The mistake was a realistic one, but I expected the show to develop Natsuo from this as he learned better ways to overcome unrequited love. Instead, he just continues to make the same mistakes. No one in this show ever learns anything. They’re all infuriatingly brainless, I swear to god the entire cast has three brain cells in total and they’re all struggling to understand what common sense is. Whenever a love affair becomes too idiotic or repetitive, the show shifts to a new one. At times it is wrought with over the top melodrama to the point that it becomes self-parody.
Domestic Girlfriend redefines bland characters; we are left with plenty of dead air in between the salacious incest drama. So how do we solve this issue? Filler! So much pointless fluff. Entire episodes are occasionally dedicated to a one-off conflict that has zero effect on the show afterward. The rest of the awkward silence is filled with unfunny comedy. The parts of the story that are interesting are at best so-bad-it’s-good levels of stupidity. There is no part of Domestic Girlfriend that is remotely thought-provoking, it’s substanceless melodrama for the sake of shock value and taboo sex appeal. That doesn’t mean this show isn’t without intriguing questions such as…
“Is it incest if you shove a suppository up your sister’s ass?” and
“Is it wrong to fuck your underage student who is also legally your brother?”
Rui and Hina are very thinly characterized, but Hina gets more focus. It’s a shame considering she is the worst of the two. Rui is very stupid mind you, she doesn’t realize her stepbrother disappears to every night to fuck her sister. No Rui, he is not going to hang out with his friend. At the very least, I understand why she decides to throw away her virginity in the first episode. She wanted to be an adult. Hina talked down to her for never being ‘held by someone,’ just like a child. Sadly that’s all the depth Rui has. When she gets desperate for Natsuo’s attention, she kisses him in a way that suggests love. Then directly after she acts like a kid annoyed with him for picking her older—bustier—sister. On the other hand, Hina is more of a controversial character. Her love affair at the start of the show is a basic telenovela drama, then it ends abruptly so she can pursue her brother. She continuously acknowledges how morally wrong it is to mess around with her student/brother/underage teen, but continues to do so anyway. Destined to become another red dot on the sex offender registry. Hina gets punished for her poor decisions plenty of times, but it’s impossible to pity someone who dug their own grave; at some point, she’d have to lie in it. Potato man AKA Natuso is the worst of the three. He has sex because at the start of the show Rui throws herself at him before they even know each other, but then he regrets it because he has a crush on his teacher. Great, another generic blank slate self-insert.
None of the side characters have any development at all. Anytime they are on screen they’re wasting time. Their main purpose is to dispense comedy with some weightless melodrama tossed here and there. The story is so haphazardly put together that it’s hard to tell what it is actually trying to be about. Momo, the prominent side hoe, is braindead. Her whole introduction to Rui was so contrived. She puts on a blatantly fake nice girl, with a secret dark side. She tried to kill herself, revealed in a soft-core porn scene and handled as delicately as a screwdriver. Other than that, she wanted to fuck the potato protagonist. Shortly after she’s introduced, the writers pretty much forgot about her. The same issue affects Miu, the green haired one (I looked up her name). While she never gets romantically involved with Natsuo, she serves as more waifu-bait fodder. Both side hoes get placed into the story by plot contrivances. They come out of nowhere just to shake up the love triangle before it starts to get boring. The love-pentagon unfortunately never happens. Miu and Momo are relegated to literature club scenes; essentially the Harem Rejects Club. It’s the worst excuse for filler in the whole show. During every monotonous club scene, I prayed for pray for the awful incest shit to come back. Some say the pacing issues were due to a shitty adaptation, and that it would be better to read the manga. Personally, I wouldn’t want to touch this series again with a ten-foot pole.
The main attraction of this show is pretty obvious, the sex scenes. These scenes without a doubt get the most time and attention from the animation team. With a story that was probably ripped straight from hentai, yet it’s never more than teasing to keep you watching. The kissing, sex, and any other kind of provocative lewd scene come out of absolutely nowhere, seemingly to satisfy a sex-quota rather than to fit with the story. Casual conversations turn into foreplay at the drop of a hat, there’s always a contrived wrench thrown in to lead to sex. In one instance, Natsuo peeps on his sister masturbating because cuckolding is so SEXY. The characters are all honry, and it’s treated as a deep personality trait and taken so seriously. Even when Natsuo commits his love to Hina, he kisses Rui just because she asked him to in the next scene… And this all happens with the door left open so that Hina can watch! Why does no one in this shitfest know how to close a door?!
There’s a unique atmosphere to this anime that really fits all of this thrilling drama. In other words, there is none.
Sometimes the best background music in a scene is none at all, but that saying shouldn’t apply to half of the show. There are some simplistic piano pieces and ambient effects here and there, but the rest is so boring. The actual soundtrack is repetitive elevator music with such a slow tempo. There is one single saving grace in the whole show, the opening theme. Even in a show as phoned in as this one, the performer Minami delivers one of the best openings of this season. Diomedea is not exactly known for they’re visual prowess, but this is one series where they seemed to have more budget than usual, well in the first couple of episodes. Character designs struggle to stay on model, looping animation is used constantly to cut corners. The scene transitions are reminiscent of a PowerPoint presentation with their amateur dissolve fades. Each episode ends with a bizarre shot of an underwear model, sometimes it comes directly after the final scene finishes. Natsuo and Hina tenderly embracing one another in the final moments, then suddenly SMASH CUT TO NAKED WOMAN! It’s perfect.
The background art is barren of visual information and feels like rather than as a stylistic choice this was done out of a lack of care. You can tell a story through showing rather than telling, but Domestic Girlfriend is content with just telling. For example, revealing information about a character through how their home is decorated is a great way of developing their personality without needing heavy-handed dialogue. Visually, it is at best barren of anything interesting to look at, and at worst it’s a hideous hilariously ugly. Across the board, this anime is a clusterfuck of bad ideas and even worse execution.
Great job Diomedea, you have outdone yourself yet again. The moment I read the plot synopsis I knew this would be trash, but my expectations were blown away. Even though I lowered the bar as far down as I could, this anime still exceeded all levels of hot steaming garbage I could expect from a romance. This is a spectacular dumpster fire that must be experienced firsthand, but after you do, don’t forget to bury it when you’re done, and never dig it up again.