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THE WALLFLOWER LESSON 1 – MY FAIR BISHONEN (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

December 12, 2007 by  



ANIME: THE WALLFLOWER LESSON 1 – MY FAIR BISHONEN

JAPANESE TITLE: Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihinge

Distributed by ADV Films

DVD INFO: Region 1, 4:3, Duration: 125 minutes (Episodes 1-5), Audio: English 5.1, Japanese 2.0 with English Subtitles, Contains Animated Mild Violence, Rating: TV 14D

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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From the director of “Excel Saga” comes the anime “THE WALLFLOWER” which will satisfy every Bishonen/J-Rock fan out there.

The popular 25-episode anime is based on the manga series by Hayakawa Tomoko and serialized in “Bessatsu Friend” in Japan and by Del Rey Manga in the US and is now being distributed in the US by ADV Films.

The story revolves around 4 guys – the dark haired Oda Takenaga, the short hair blonde Toyama Yuki, the red head flirt Morii Ranmaru and the blonde Kyohei Takano.

The four men are pretty boys that the girls gush over and happen to live in a lavish mansion courtesy of the Landlady who has given the men a mission.

The goal is to make the Landlady’s niece, Sunako, to an elegant lady. If they managed to, they get free rent. If they don’t, they will have to pay three times the amount to live there.

Of course, the guys want to make sure they succeed and feel that there should be no problem until they meet Sunako. A dark girl who doesn’t dress all that well. She wears a stained sweatshirt, amoeba-like design dress and bad tennis shoes. Her bangs are so long that it covers the face and she happens to be scary.

Why Sunako is like this stems from a past guy that she liked and told her straight out that he would never date someone so ugly.

So, Sunako has become a recluse and totally into the weirdest things and her best friend happens to be Hiroshi, those examining type of models used to show the guts and innards of a human being. Adding to her creepiness, she digs really dark and scary things and she can’t take how these guys are trying to make her beautiful. In fact, she gets creepy thoughts of how to kill the guys (or mostly Kyohei who is the guy who seems to have gotten the closest to help Sunako early in the series).

The first lesson titled “My Fair Bishonen” features the first 5 episodes, which show the guys trying to help out Sunako. At first, they are very creeped out by her but you start to see with each episode that the guys start to see somewhat of a beauty within her.

One of the coolest things about this anime is that the creator, Hayakawa Tomoko is a fan of J-Rock artist Kiyoharu and Kiyoharu sings the opening and ending theme for the series. As a fan of Japanese rock music and as a guy who happens to dig the style, I felt it was very cool to see an anime like this. It’s very different and unique and quite humorous to watch because I have friends who are “pretty boys” who always try to remake their girlfriends or friends in general and try to make them stylish.

I watched the series both in English and Japanese and both voice work are very cool and like both equally the same. Another cool dubbed anime from ADV Films. Again, this is coming from a guy who tends to watch anime mostly in Japanese.

The animation is pretty cool as it goes back and forth from serious to something humorous. For example, with Sunako, when she has this creep side to her, she’s shown as a girl with no eyes, but then sometimes shown as a girl with beautiful eyes and then when she goes crazy over seeing Kyohei, she gets these “Crayon Shin Chan” looking eyes.

Another example shows the guys when they are creeped out about Sunako, they turn into white pale figures like ghosts. It’s a very interesting take on how the series showcases the main characters in different situations.

As for the DVD special features, you get the clean opening and closing animation and the on-air opening for episodes 1-13. I wish there was an interview segment with the creator but all in all, a lot of anime DVD’s are pretty much featuring what comes from Japan and the Japanese DVD releases are often barebones to begin with. So, at least we got some sort of special feature.

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All in all, I found “THE WALLFLOWER” to be stylishly vibrant, funny and unique.

The characters are quite interesting and are different from the swashbuckling, adventurous Final Fantasy-esque pretty boys and I want to make it clear right away that this is not a gay anime.

It’s just an interesting take on the bishonen/J-Rock stylish guys and a parody on the “Queer Eye of the Straight Guy” series and putting the guys together with an unusual girl.  It’s actually interesting because the high school, the girls are just so crazy over these guys and they just can’t figure out why they hang out with such a creepy girl.  It’s hilarious!

I actually find the character of Sunako very interesting because she is so creepy and just her reaction to the guys is very crazy.  Also, you wonder if one of the guys is actually developing some feelings for Sunako.  Hmm…

All in all, “THE WALLFLOWER” is not an anime that tries to showcase a quirkiness or take a dramatic turn ala “Hana Yori no Dango”.  If anything, the anime series is more on the humorous side and rarely becomes a drama (in the first volume so far).

Again, it’s like a unique take on the bishonen/J-Rock/Visual Kei style of guys and the various reality shows that are about fashion remakes.   And similar to Queer Eye, you also get a tips segment right after the show has ended which was a nice touch for those familiar with the show.

So, I’m stoked to see something unique and different. Not sure if the casual anime fan, especially the guys would dig an anime about pretty boys helping out a creepy girl but I think those who are used to watching bishonen men or fan of J-Rock or visual kei may take a high interest in an anime like this.

Very cool and I highly recommend checking this anime out!

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Comments

  • im a fan of japanese anime the yamato nadeshiko the wallflower .i wnt to grab a picture of the cartoon anime in this series….tnx

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