Friday, April 8, 2016

Sukisho Review

Sukisho Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the show Sukisho. If you wish not to know some plot details, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched the show. Or you know, you can continue to read, since you don't care about spoilers.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Well Sukisho, looks like you and I have finally encountered each other after we first crossed paths via an AMV on Youtube 3 years ago. Yeah, I know it took a while to watch you, but I had many anime series to watch over you, so I decided to wait a while.

But good news is that when I was wanting to have 2 series to watch in February, it was between you and Hyperdimension Neptunia to watch alongside Togainu no Chi (we know how that went). In the end, you won because I feel like I've known you slightly longer. Also, I put both Sora and Sunao in ANTM 1 cycle apart. So, you know, I guess you can call it a twist of fate.

Hey Hyperdimension Neptunia, don't fret. You're up next anyways. ;)

Okay, back to Sukisho. I've seen plenty of AMV's of this series and a couple of clips off from Youtube. Much like DRAMAtical Murder and Togainu no Chi, this anime is based off of a BL game. And I think much like those 2 games, there seems to be multiple routes (or multiple people to bang). Though let's be real, we all know who the main ship is anyways.

Despite it taking a while to watch the show, how did it turn out? Was it as good as I hoped it would be? Or did it leave me wanting more?

For the most part, I did really like this series. I thought the story was pretty good, some of the characters were either funny or nice, and the animation wasn't too bad in most places (though it wasn't really amazing either). But the show still managed to stumble at various points, especially towards the end. The last 2 episodes have some illogical plot twists that don't really make sense with the story, and the voice acting isn't really anything worthy of a gold star, as it is painfully average (minus a few seiyuus).

Let's start off with the show's story:


Sora Hashiba has just been released from the hospital after falling out of a window on the fourth floor of his school. His first night back at the dormitory is quite eventful. He wakes up to find a mysterious boy trying to seduce him in his sleep, who keeps on calling him Yoru. This person is Ran, who claims to be Sora's new roommate. In the morning however, the strange boy is revealed to be Sunao, one of Sora's childhood friends. The problem is that Sora doesn't seem to remember him. In fact, his memory's been pretty sketchy since he fell out of that window in the first place. But why is that?

Sora later finds out that Yoru is in fact his alternate personality after he is drawn out during a ploy designed for that purpose. Sunao also has one too, and both of them are lovers. Yeah, it gets pretty awkward when these 2 barely get along or are forced into situations during the day, but at night, they exhibit passion. Of course, the 2 do get closer as the series goes on, but Yoru and Ran kind of put a damper on things. :P

But, these alternate personalities could serve as an important connection to connecting the links of Sora's lost memories. Add this with antics from their other childhood best friend, Matsuri, participating in the school group "The Do-It-All Team" (some parts against Sora's will), along with various characters that could be causing some trouble, and you've got yourself some chaos.

After Matsuri plans an activity that forces Sora and Sunao back together after Sunao begins to act distant (is he involved in something?), it seems like Sora is ready to explore why he fell out the window, and the moments that he can't remember about in the past. Especially one important one that might as well solve everything, including the parts when Sunao got distant.

Overall, the story for this anime isn't terrible. At the beginning, I was smiling often at the school comedy aspects of this series and wasn't annoyed by them. At the halfway point though, I was wondering where the supernatural parts were going to pop up, seeing as the only times where they popped up to that point where through some flashbacks/memories popping up, and Yoru and Ran themselves.

But it's unfortunately where the supernatural elements make their full impact that things start to unravel. It starts after the activity to get Sora and Sunao back together, where Sora wants to see the window where he fell out off in order to remember what happens. After he does, he confesses his feelings for Sunao, and they end up having sex in front of said window (which I may add, has light flooding behind it, which basically makes it shiny. OMG THEY DIDSH IT UN FUNT OF ZE SHUNY WINDUH)

Jokes aside, Sunao completely disappears after this. It is then when Shinichiro is asked to come to Soushi's apartment (a lawyer who first appears in Episode 8 who likes to flirt with Nanami specifically to annoy Shinichiro) where Sunao basically explains the reason why he left. We've been getting brief glimpses at this, since at this point, he's had a couple of conversations with Nagase, the school's chemistry professor, related to Sora. Apparently, this was a revenge scheme to get Sora to return to Aizawa, the main antagonist of this series.

You see, Sora and Sunao were taken to a laboratory as kids after Matsuri moved away, where they were tested on, which developed the alternate personalites. When Shinichiro and Nanami helped them escape (since this whole dilemma seems to be linked to Nanami in the first place. Poor him), Sunao had to be left behind. At first, we thought it was a little too late. But in actuality, Sora had tried to take Sunao with him, but let go of his hand at the last second due to Aizawa somehow controlling his mind to do so. This honestly complicated things for me, since I thought back to the flashbacks upon seeing that and realized that an error was made in terms of continuity.

As a whole, the whole balance of the story turns into a see-saw. On one side, we have the cute moments where the boys just experience some high school hijinks and it being super cute:

And on the other, we have the supernatural elements that are mixed in that end up becoming really messy and managed to lose me on several occasions:

So overall, this story isn't too bad until the last 3 episodes. There, it starts turning into a confusing mess which feels like it should evoke emotions from me, but I'm left feeling underwhelmed.

What about the characters?


Eh is all I really have to say. As a whole, this character cast is pretty weak in terms of actual development. Basically, I feel like I could remove half the side characters from this anime and still feel like I would lose absolutely nothing. Some of them are either too boring in terms of design, personality, or substance. and others don't really appear or even do anything until past halfway through the series.

To be honest, the characters I liked the best were Yoru and Matsui. I'll go over why later. But Yoru's going right now, considering that he and Sora are the same person. Let's do this, shall we?

Besides being the character that people seem to REALLY want a hair cut for, Sora isn't too bad of a lead character. He's pretty headstrong, knows what he wants, and eventually faces the danger he gets into with a brave face (it does kind of come out of nowhere, but still, go him I guess). He can get annoyed easily, and at some points is dense, but I can see why he would make the perfect love interest, though he can be kind of grating at points.

Yoru interests me much more as a whole though. When Yoru awakens, Sora's left eye changes colors to a yellow. As the dominant male in his and Ran's relationship (the seme), he can be pretty flirtatious, especially towards Ran. And besides showing signs of protecting him, since you know, they're lovers, he also has the need of protecting Sora as well.

For starters, he is reluctant to let Sora see that defining childhood memory that Sunao wants to extract vengeance. Sora seems to also call him out without knowledge of it, especially when Sunao tries to learn how to swim after a mission for the Do It All Club doesn't necessarily go as planned. Sure, he can be pretty lewd towards Ran (I mean, he does suck his neck once), but he can be sweet when he needs to be. Ideal boyfriend goals people!

The saddest part of this anime was when Sora let him go because he felt he was strong enough to go after Aizawa on his own, since Yoru seems to care a lot about him, even though he's just a created personality. He's much more engaging and memorable like I said before, and him being not needed feels like a waste, considering that Ran is dropped out without any mention. But hey, I still ship the main couple, so it's not a total loss.

Sunao/Ran time!

Sunao often acts pretty hostile around Sora at first, considering the fact that Sora doesn't even remember him. He will occasionally sucker punch Sora at the beginning of this series, saying that he hates guys like him. Though as the series goes on, he starts to fall in love with him, even though the plan that he's working on with Aizawa and Nagase is in motion.

Ran, however, is much more open and often demanding towards Yoru, being psychically obsessed with him. While Sunao's eyes are a light pink, his are a deep red. He will occasionally appear in front of Sora, sometimes talking to him about Yoru or trying to seduce him. Either way, it's often kind of funny hearing Ran say over and over again to Sora that he has a alternate personality, and Sora isn't having any of it until he believes.

As the show went on, I found it easier to like Sunao even with the dumb plan. Because even though he's a part of it and going against Sora, he still loves him even though what happens could traumatize him (I won't spoil, but it involves Shinichiro). They're pretty much shippable from Day 1, and it does grow as Sunao begins to trust him again.

Ran, on the other hand, is also pretty likable, even though he can be a bit of a pain. He's pretty clingy to Yoru, and sometimes it can be a little intolerable. His first appearance will probably rub some viewers the wrong way (after all, he does pretty much go up Sora's shirt), but I did grow on him. So we're all good there.

Last but not least, let's talk about the other childhood friend, Matsuri:

Matsuri is the dorm leader, as well as the founder and official president of the Do It All Club. He is a very upbeat person, often teasing Sora and Sunao/tricking them into doing work for the club, such as getting them to dress up in costumes, or to do things they don't want to do, such as signing up for a rowing club. He also occasionally brings along a camera and takes photos of humorous situations. He does have moments of seriousness to him as well, which I didn't expect when I first saw him.

Overall, what makes Matsuri a strong character in my eyes is the fact that he is just so upbeat about life and the things in it, as well as spreading a good name for the Do It All club across campus. He seems like the kind of person in real life that various other people would hate since he can be really annoying, but some people could get close to. Also, he sounds like the person who would totally shoot rubber bands or spitballs in class.

Other characters include Nanami, the school nurse, Shinichiro, the school's math teacher who is also Nanami's boyfriend, Gaku, who is friends with Sora and is a year younger than him. He also has a crush on the lab manager of the chemistry class, Kai Nagase, who is Aizawa's son. Sei, Ren, and Fuuta are 3 boys that are known as The Chibis who start off their run by taking some of the Do It All Club's jobs, before helping out with them on some tasks. Sei looks very strikingly similar to Sora, besides a few unkept hair strands; they are often joked about as being brothers in Sei's first appearance. Soushi Asaka, a lawyer who helps participate in some testing of Sora and Sunao (but is unneeded for the plot), Ryouya Kozuki (or otherwise known as Ayano-chan), a doctor who can do ventriloquism (who is also unneeded for the plot), Kano, Ayano's adapted child who rarely speaks, Hiromu, a boy whose spirit runs wild in Episode 5. He also has a crush on Sora. Yoshihiro, Fuuta's stepbrother and Gaku's classmate, Chris, a priest who only appears in the OVA who can be pretty humorous. And finally, Aizawa, the main antagonist.


The animation for this series was produced by Zexcs, who would later become known for Shonen Hollywood, Diabolik Lovers, and Say "I love you."

As a whole, I'd say the animation for this series is pretty average. While the colors for most of the characters' hair is pretty vibrant, the backgrounds turning a really dull green and blue when Yoru and Ran came out, and the next time preview when s**t went down (though it wasn't good s**t), nothing really stood out for me to demand my attention. There were some good qualities to it, but this came out the same year that Paradise Kiss came out, though earlier. And that had better production values than this (then again, it was Madhouse). I guess I was expecting a little more than I was.

So yeah, the animation for this series let me down a bit. I'm hoping this was one of Zexcs' first animation efforts, since a couple of their later shows do look better.


The score for this series was composed by Naoki Sato, who's also known for working on Assassination Classroom, Blood-C, and the first person behind the OST of the Pretty Cure franchise up to Fresh Pretty Cure (no, I'm not joking).

Considering I found out the Pretty Cure stuff recently, I guess it makes sense why the score sounds so upbeat 75% of the time. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but there's a couple of times where the score seem to go between the lines of sounding happy and cheap. There's also some good dramatic tracks here, but like the animation, the score doesn't really stick in my mind.

Same goes with the voice acting as well. This is the part that let me down the most, considering that in majority of the anime I watch other than a select few, the acting has always been really good. Here, it's well below average. Either some of the seiyuu's voices are too annoying (I swear, if I hear Soichiro Hoshi say Ku-chan one more time in that whiny tone, I'm finding earplugs), not memorable, or just sound really bored. It's weird, considering that DRAMAtical Murder was also based off a BL game, and that series has much better acting in general.

Highlights out of the voice cast though are Takehito Koyasu, Susumu Chiba, Akira Ishida, Shinichiro Miki (who voices Shinichiro baa dum tss), Atsushi Kisaichi, Yu Kobayashi, Toshiyuki Morikawa, and Hiro Yuuki.


As a whole, this show was pretty good. It isn't amazing, or the best thing ever, but then again, it's not too bad. I just wish certain elements were better (especially the voice acting and how the story played out in the 2nd half), but what can you do? The OVA did help my overall feeling towards this series, and was just plain dumb fun. I'd recommend viewers to watch it once they're done with this series.

As for the rest, I'd probably recommend this show to fans of yaoi (I mean, of course), and fans who love alternate personality plotlines. Just don't expect this show to blow you out of the water though. But if you don't know the history of Valentine's Day, expect that. That was fun trivia!

Score: 7/10


School comedy aspects at the beginning are pretty fun.

A couple of characters are good.

Pieces of animation, score, voice acting are decent.

What we see of Yoru and Ran's relationship dynamic.


Story becomes sloppy in latter episodes.

Supernatural elements not mixed well.

Illogical or non continual plot twists.

Some characters, animation, score, and voice acting leave something to be desired. 

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