Seto no Hanayome: Gonzo’s attempt at comedy, and what a fine attempt it is. It’s very much the spiritual successor of Magikano: both series share directors, both feature cute girls and both managed to take an incredibly clichéd premise and turned it into something worthwhile. Seto no Hanayome is a bit tamer than Magikano was, and it’s also not the best comedy out there, but if you’re looking for something to laugh at, then it’s a great recommendation.
The key to the success here is the combination between the incredibly distorted faces that were also prevalent in Magikano, combined with a frantic pacing that hardly ever takes a break. Especially during the first half, this series makes sure to keep the laughs coming and coming, and it never seems to run out of inspiration for its next jokes. The characters are smartly not introduced all at once, so that each of them gets enough time to introduce his quirks to the audience.
Then, as the series entered its second half, the humour thank goodness didn’t get dull, and there still was plenty to laugh at. The characters thankfully receive enough depth to prevent them from getting dull after two or three episodes, which is very much appreciated, but this series does have some other problems, which pop up as it hits its second half, and the drama starts kicking in.
Don’t get me wrong, I usually love touching characters, but this is one of these series where drama just doesn’t belong. It gets in the way of the comedy and it’s also not that good anyway. Every time the characters started acting all serious, I kept longing back to the first half, where episodes just kept the jokes coming and coming. Thankfully, at least the series goes quickly back to comedy after these serious moments, but there’s one big exception to this: the bloody ending.
Oh, how deep does this series fall in its final two episodes. I guess it was to be expected with the director of Magikano behind it, but let’s just say that the climax of the story removes all traces of comedy whatsoever and goes down a predictable road with a story about a generic bad guy who tests the strength of the relationship of the two main characters. It’s predictable, dull and pretty much pointless.
It’s a pity when you watch a comedy with an identity crisis: no matter how hilarious the characters are, for some strange reason the creators find that they always need to close off their series with a big, epic and serious climax. The thing is though, that if I wanted to watch a good drama, I wouldn’t go for this series at all. Seto no Hanayome is all about comedy, and at least it’s got that part nailed very nicely. I especially wanted to give credit to the female lead: San. When compared to her counterparts in other romantic comedies, she feels really refreshing. She had a mind of her own, and she actually was one of my favourite characters in this series. I’m very easily bored by romantic comedies, but Seto no Hanayome has showed me yet again that the genre also has a fine selection of gems. The flaws remain, but in this case the pros do very much outweigh the cons.