I may not like everything I read or watch, and there are times were I am likely to be less satisified than others at the portrayal of Yuri in my chosen media, but that’s not because I don’t like Yuri. It’s because I *love* it. This is the classic disease of fans everywhere – we love a thing so much we become intolerant of its tropes and conventions, while we compare it unfavorably to the things we’ve retconned in our heads to be nearly perfect – usually the first thing we ever saw. ^_^
It’s part of my passion for Yuri that I gleefully watch and read loads of crap to comment on the Yuri in it. Folks, I’m here to remind you that we’re watching cartoons and reading comic books. A *lot* of it is crap.
Which brings me to the subject of today’s review, Touka Gettan. ^_^
When Touka Gettan was announced, the majority reaction was, “Ooh, this is by the same people involved with Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, so it ought to be good.” Cognitive dissonance is built right into the sentence. Here’s how cognitive dissonance works in this case – “This series has Yuri.” “I like Yuri.” “I like this series.” “I can’t possibly like something that isn’t good, because I have good taste, so… Yamibou is good.” Yamibou was certainly Yuri, but how *anyone* could say it was good, is beyond me. ^_^
Needless to say, when Touka Gettan was not good (there really was no reason to think it might be) people were disappointed. And it confused them, which made them angry. Personally, I thought it was howlingly funny. This was a series so bad that I couldn’t even watch it before Claymore to make that better, because Touka Gettan was so bad that it was funny, which didn’t help at all. ^_^
While Touka Gettan definitely had Yuri, I can’t call it a Yuri anime. It seemed like there was some kind of Yuri complication involving just about every female character, but the main relationship is heterosexual, if not “straight.”
The story, which was actually a little more complex than one might expect, involved the meeting of the lead characters in a magical world, in which a mythical past event and a magical current event are connected. Many of the characters are also shaped by a much more recent and “realistic” series of tragedies. The story is told in reverse chronological order (with some plots within specific episodes that couldn’t have been added without the reverse order.) In all honesty, I don’t think I would have been able to sit through this series if it hadn’t been in reverse order. It bothered many viewers, but I thought that it was this series’ one saving grace.
Touka, the anti-hero, is a male version of tsundere – by which I mean he’s a sulky, uncommunicative ass. Momoka, the heroine, is magical, and therefore does inexplicable things. Like fall in love with Touka.
But other than that relationship, the series wades around in a pool of Yuri of all kinds. There’s crushes that will go nowhere (Shouko’s feelings for Makoto) there’s akogare (Makoto’s feeling for Momoka), sisterly “affection,” (Nene and her cat-girl sister) and a threesome between Toukka, his mother and Momoka in which Momoka pretends that it is Touka touching her, not his mother. There’s even one or two relationships that aren’t eye-rollingly awful. I vaguely remember a kiss between two of the magical beings, Juna and Kikyou I think, that looked like it had actual affection behind it. But that was back at the beginning of the series (and therefore at the end of the story) where it is easily forgotten. Also, to ensure that Yamibou fans watched this series, Hatsumi, Hazuki and Lilith appear in one cross-over episode.
So, if you liked Yamibou and go into this open-minded about continuity and quality, it might offer some entertainment. Given the lack of Yuri in this season, it will at least give you something to stare at until spring. ^_^
Art – 5 (The art would make CLAMP sad)
Characters – 5
Story – 2
Yuri – 6
Service – 8
Overall – 4, but I only gave it an extra point because it made me laugh until I hurt
The absolute best thing about Touka Gettan was the woman who did the voiceovers for the title, eyecatch and “to be continued” She spoke the words as if the few things she had to say for this utter tripe might infect her somehow and she wished she could spit it out. Every single episode, when she said “Tsuzuku,” like she wanted to die, I laughed.