I have never been a big fan of shojo anime, since I often find them a tad too weepy-feely and melodramatic for my taste. However, there are some shows among this genre that I did watch and was surprised to find enjoyable. The first of these is the show I would like to talk about today. First introduced to me back in highschool, I was attracted to its somewhat interesting twist on the standard shojo anime fare.
Today I want to take a look over the gothic romantic-comedy The Wallflower!
The Wallflower follows the premise of four wealthy and fabulously handsome young men living in an upper class dorm. They live near perfect lives, being the heartthrob of every woman they encounter and enjoying the finer joys of life. However everything changes for them when they make a deal with their resident-hall director; if they can turn her niece into a proper lady she will grant them free rent as long as they are in the dorm. Thinking such a task will be simple, they take the wager…only to find out that the niece, Sunako, is far from an average girl.
From there things spiral into chaos, hilarity and offbeat romance.
The stand out character of the show is easily Sunako, the titular wallflower. A reclusive goth girl who was harshly rejected in the past, she cares nothing for her appearance or being “girly” in the slightest. Spending her time locked away in her room, watching gory horror flicks, she holds no interest in interacting with the “creatures of light” she is now forced to live with. However much to her dismay the most brash of those creatures, Kyohei, forces his way into her life in hopes of winning the bet and, after a hilarious misunderstanding involving a fish and a kitchen knife, starts to slowly break open her emotional shell.
The characters are by far what sets The Wallflower apart for most other shojo anime. They are cynical and somewhat selfish, the main leads primarily. However with all the ridiculous situations they get into and growth into better people, the show makes them likable. It reveals that even seemingly perfect people have their faults and even those that fall outside the standards of beauty can find love.
There really isn’t much to talk about in terms of animation with this show, being fairly average for the 2006-2007 era of anime in which it was made. The only thing that does stands out is the shows use of darker tones and red, giving it more of the gothic tone it’s going for. So overall while it’s watchable (so long as you don’t mind older anime), it’s by no means visually spectacular.
In terms of sound however, I have a few more thoughts. Back when I first watched this show I had no problem with it, blowing through it pretty quickly. However recently when I attempted to rewatch it I noticed something that I hadn’t before; there is a lot of yelling. It’s probably the biggest mark against this show, as the near constant noise can be somewhat grating on the ears. This problem could just be with the dubbed version however, as I have not watched the original Japanese voicework. On the other hand the shows opening is immensely enjoyable and its theme, “Slow” by Kiyoharu, is one of my favorite anime songs of all times. It’s somewhat methodic, subdued pace fits the more goth aspects of the show perfectly, while still having a slight bit of ridiculousness to match the comedy. I never get tired of listening to it.
The Wallflower is a show that’s well suited to those like me who aren’t fans of the overly sweet and cheery nature of most shojo anime. That mixed with its rather ridiculous humor and you have something at least slightly unique. It’s a decent watch, and while I may not love it as much as I originally did, I still recommend giving at least the first few episodes a watch to see if you enjoy it. Just maybe turn down the volume a tad.
Now I again turn things over to you, mates! Have you seen The Wallflower, or are you interested in watching it? Give me your thoughts, I’d love to hear them! Also don’t forget to check out EhTaku on Twitter, where there’s polls and updates about new posts.
Stay tuned for next week!