Yoshiki Maeda has just started life at his new school, Baramon High! Everywhere he turns, pointy-chinned pretty boys sweep him off his feet, from his home room teacher to his childhood friend. The principal soon tracks him down to ask him which of these very handsome boys he will pursue a romance with, but they’re just all so amazingly beautiful that Yoshiki’s going to find it hard to choose.
I usually don’t bother with shorts unless they’re really good or really terrible, but I appreciate the existence of Gakuen Handsome so much that I waited until there were two episodes worth of content to review just so there’s a little more to talk about, given how short it is.
As you can probably tell, the big joke about Gakuen Handsome is that it looks terrible. It’s based on an actual real BL dating sim that was also intentionally terrible, parodying some of the uglier cliches in the genre by taking them to their illogical extremes. (And if you think these chins are pointy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.) As someone who thoroughly enjoys hating on crappily drawn BL, I find this all very amusing, but how well it works for you rests entirely on how funny you find this main joke. Because it’s really the only joke the show has so far – despite how very obviously tongue in cheek it is in appearance, it’s played pretty straight in terms of content. (at least, so far. In that ‘if this had very detailed artwork and the same stupid bullshit happening it would just be a regular shitty BL manga that isn’t even meant to be a comedy’ kind of way.)
The most amusing thing about the anime version to me is actually the fact that it proves that drawing intentionally shitty is harder than it looks, because in all honesty, this show still looks better than some of the fugly-ass shows I’ve reviewed on here in the past. If I compare it to the art from the game, it’s actually too good. This may be the first time I have ever seen an anime which didn’t have art shitty enough to be perfect, but there’s a first time for everything.
I’m really glad they decided to make Gakuen Handsome a short, because as amusing as it is I really don’t think I could handle more than short bursts of it at a time. This really is the perfect format for it, and I look forward to laughing at it every week. I’m not sure how long the main joke will stay funny, but there’s always the end theme which made me crack up more than anything else in this season so far.