Story: 5/10 Average
When there’s no humor to enjoy, there’s no real story in Ao-chan. It’s such a silly and average show that I can’t take any of the romantic drama parts seriously. Even if I could take it seriously, it’s a poor story with no originality. Just your average school romance full of misunderstandings and pointless drama. That’s why I thought episode 4 sucked. However, the next episode had some good, funny lines that got me smiling again. As for structure of the story, episodes 4 and 5 in a 12-episode series don’t have to be anything special, and they weren’t. Episode 6, however, is key, as it’s the climax of the first half of the series. Even in an ecchi rom-com that’s all for laughs, the sixth episode should capture audience attention.
So, did Ao-chan succeed in this? Not really. The plot progressed, but not in an especially powerful way. Episode 6 showed Nijima mistaking Ao-chan and Yabe-san for a couple and Ao-chan mistaking Nijima and Miyabi for a couple, resulting in typical drama and jealousy. But every time I got ready to give up and declare this a pointless experience, the series got me laughing again with its silly and sexual humor. In addition to the usual comedy, there was one moment that was clearly a parody of the well-loved, high-budget anime movie “Your Name.”
Visuals: 5/10 Average
The art and animation are still average. Ao-chan pretty much looks like an anime from 5 years ago, except sometimes the eyes are more detailed. Detail doesn’t always good, though. The super sparkly eyes don’t fit in with the rest and look over-the-top to me. Lighting and shots were pretty awful in episode 4, though there were a few much better ones in episode 5. Character designs continue to be either boring (like Miyabi-san) or just plain weird (like the bald soccer Senpai). I still can’t get over how freaky Ao’s dad looks. As for episode 6, there was more variation in what was animated, since we’re not in school, and the scenes at the festival looked pretty good to me. Also, the last scene of Ao and Nijima at the park succeeded in looking romantic.
Audio: 7/10 Good
The sound of the instrumental music in Ao-chan is a really positive element, as I noted in my review of episodes 1-3. Opening song “Wonderful Wonder” by Edoga-Sullvan is always fun to hear. So is the ED, “Miracle of Love” by Spira Spica. The lyrics to both are kind of stupid and sappy, but they sound great if you don’t understand them. 😛 Voice-acting is decent, though there aren’t many opportunities for the main cast to show their potential talent, aside from Kenjirou Tsuda, voice of Ao’s father. He has a lively role. I don’t like the way his voice sounds, and in this case, I don’t really like his character, but I do have to admit Mr. Tsuda is a talented voice actor. I’m a fan of Azumi Waki, voice of Ao, as well as Maika in Blend S and Elly in Ms. Vampire.
Characters: 6/10 Fine
Characters are mostly boring, but since their lines and interactions can be funny– especially Ao herself– they are a bit above just being average. Nijima is getting a little character development, becoming less and less tolerant of Ao’s silliness, but at the time, more and more in love with her. The character of Yabe-san was also rather amusing. I think we saw him once before in the first or second episode, but we didn’t get a feel for his character type until episode 6.
Personal Enjoyment: 6/10 Fine
What can I say? I laughed so many times. When I first started watching Ao-chan, my enjoyment was much lower, but something about it made me come back and keep giving it more chances. Like I mentioned before, every time I am ready to give up on this show, it makes me laugh again. So I think this series is worth watching even though it’s just silly and ecchi.
—Overall Score So Far: 5.8/10 Average–
Basically, Ao-chan is just an average ecchi romantic comedy, but it isn’t really bad– partly because the audio and music are so good, and partly because it keeps amusing me and boosting my personal enjoyment, reflecting how I rate the show. By the way, from now on, I’ll try to make my episode reviews and thoughts more creative instead of always being structured the same way like this. This has been Anime Rants! Ja ne!