Ao Horie is the daughter of a successful erotic author known as the “Pleasure Master”. He is obsessed with sex, to the point of eating breast-shaped pudding and naming his daughter “Ao” as a shortening of “orgasm face”. Her father’s lewd, irresponsible behavior has caused her to hate all men and desire independence from her embarrassing family. As a result, she is extremely serious, studies hard, has few friends and openly detests the boys in her class.
However, despite this professed hatred of men, Ao continuously has lewd thoughts about Kijima, a popular boy with the nickname “Normie King”. One day, she decides to tell Kijima that she hates him and demand that he stay away from her. Instead, due to a series of “comical” mishaps (caused by…her father sneaking into the school to mess with her?) Kijima winds up confessing his love to her.
Because this is a short, I gave it a second episode to see if it got any better. Yeah, it…definitely didn’t. Ao spends most of the second episode worrying about the size of Kijima’s, er, “equipment” and whether it will be too big. Then, Ao’s father replaces some of her study books with his erotic novels, ruining Kijima’s attempt to ask Ao on a study date when Ao gets embarrassed and runs away.
Man, is it just me, or have there been a lot of…really anime anime this season? By that I mean, cliche-filled shows that feel like they could have come out a decade or two ago and been totally normal, but feel really out of place in 2019.
Regardless, that was my biggest takeaway from Ao-chan: it felt dated. The idea that “women have dirty thoughts, too,” is nothing new and not nearly enough to sustain an entire show as the central plot element. A female main character who can charitably be described as “extreme tsundere” with little else in the way of personality is fairly out of style these days as well. Not to mention, nearly every “comedic misunderstanding between romantic couple” trope is hit. Falling so the guy’s face ends up in the girl’s chest? Check. Conversation where one person is talking about sex and the other isn’t? Check. Endless dates/cute moments ruined by failures to communicate? Check, check, and double check.
And that’s not even getting into Ao-chan’s greatest offense: the main character’s father, the so-called “Pleasure Master,” Hanasaki Horie. Ao’s father is a bald, baby-sized old man with the personality of a toddler who is drawn in a chibi style and is pretty much nothing more than a walking collection of crude sex jokes. He’s like a cheap, bargain-bin off-brand version of other “dirty little old man” characters from more popular series (such as Happosai from Ranma 1/2 or Master Roshi from Dragon Ball). Take a character type which is already controversial and none too popular, make them far too prominent in each episode and add a double helping cringe in the form of sexually harassing his own daughter (by pulling up her shirt with a fishing pole, no less) and you have a guy who’s just downright disgusting.
I suppose I do have to give some credit to the voice actors in this show, though, as they do a good job establishing Ao’s attempts at being outwardly collected vs. her “lewd” inner thoughts or the father’s squeaky, raspy normal voice vs. his attempts to sound “cool”. I just wish that talent could have been used on something with an actual quality plot or tolerable characters…
Overall, Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai is about as pleasant and “fresh” an experience as eating moldy, expired bread, and I cannot give it any higher of a Dio rating than: