Posted by psgels on 7 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews



I have no idea how horrifically bad the original Futakoi was, and I really don’t want to find out. Still, having heard that its sequel, Futakoi Alternative was nothing like it, completely different and story-wise had nothing to do with it; that it was supposed to be a really random and experimental series, my interest got sparked. After watching it, I do have to say: Futakoi Alternative was indeed a fine attempt to add some originality into the harem genre. But it’s in NO WAY perfect.

The show tells about a 21-year-old guy whose father resembles Nabeshin and whose yakuza friend looks like that guy from Getbackers, who works as a private investigator and has two cute 15-year-old assistants/girlfriends (pedophilia, anyone?). But those two girls aren’t just two regular cute girls; no, they’re twins. In fact, this show is full of them: they’re all identical twins (on a side-note: have there EVER been twins in anime that aren’t identical?), they even dress the same, have the same hairstyle, hair-length and love interest. The only things at which they differ are their personality and one accessory that they have different. And that’s the case for every single one of them. Seriously, it feels like the designers simply went through a checklist to create all of them.

Futakoi Alternative can really be classified as one of those series that are just… weird. It basically consists out of two subplots: one is a quiet character-study between the lead character and the twins; the second one… is about the quest to destroy an evil mutant squid who breathes fire. Yeah it’s like combining Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann with True Tears in one show. Especially that first episode is very misleading: it’s extremely fast paced. full of explosions and awesome animation, only for the pacing the next seven or so episodes to slow down completely and the show taking itself much more seriously.

But there’s one thing that this series does really well: the narration. Basically, the narrator is the lead character himself, but his lines are inspired and quite a significant amount of time is spent on the history of the different characters: to show how they were a couple of years before the start of the story. That really helped to prevent these people from turning into a bunch of paper bags and they’re quite enjoyable to watch.

In the end though, this is a series that you don’t want to be taking seriously. Not just because of the evil squids and all, but also because of the huge amount of plot-holes. Especially in the second half, this show likes to take huge leaps through its logic and some of the most urging questions are never answered: why did the twins choose the lead character, of all people, to go to (no really; they’re just there… no explanation whatsoever)? Why did nobody object to such a ridiculous arranged marriage? Why did that awesome cop get so little screen-time!?

It’s really strange: this show really had a surprisingly solid middle part; I was really taking this show seriously when the evil Nazi squids suddenly popped up from out of nowhere and turned out to be the source of all evil (no, seriously). It’s definitely different and original which is something that the harem genre really needs, but I feel that even without the weirdness, it would have been an even better series.

There are a lot of things wrong with this series. For example, if the creators weren’t obliged to insert cameos from the original series that really have absolutely NOTHING to do with the story at all, they could have used this extra time to fill in the plot-holes left. We’ve really got ourselves an enjoyable show here, but because we never know why the three lead characters got together in the first place, it lacks foundations a bit.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

7 Responses

  1. senerikfred says:

    “evil nazi squids popped up from nowhere and turned out to be the source of all evil”

    I was already planning to watch this as something potentially enjoyable, but now I’m really looking forward to it. GL+True Tears also sounds kind of awesome. Flawed, but awesome.

  2. Zizhou says:

    Oh god…I remember forcing myself through the first series before watching this one because a friend said, “Futakoi Alternative will be that much better!”

    I will never wish that sort of thing on anyone…although, in a sense, he was right-I think I would have found *anything* to be better after sitting through that dreck.

  3. dm00 says:

    Futakoi Alternative was why I had high hopes for Coyote Ragtime Show (which also had a dazzling first episode but which didn’t really pan out). They took what I assume was the only thing that redeemed Futakoi (the character designs) and had a great deal of non-sensical fun.

    I enjoyed the way the ending paid homage to Castle of Cagliostro, and the “Goth-loli-mask” episode was also a joy to behold.

    But you’re right that the series was ultimately somewhat disappointing because of its lack of explanation. Not just the things you mention, but also things like the hole in Rentarou’s ceiling, the vague post-apocalyptic feel, more about the local yakuza overlord (with a heart of gold). Or even more about the fire-breathing squid!

  4. cody says:

    not even just that. Despite all the action I found the series a bit boring. High paced crazy action isn’t always excitable. For example. Real Drive’s best episode was 13 or 12 (can’t remember) which was a VERY quiet episode that took a look into Haru’s past.

  5. Kurisu says:

    “pedophilia” – Utter fucking retard, anyone? If this was supposed to be a joke, congrats, it’s certainly the worst of the month. Of all the anime out there, hundreds of series featuring blatant sexual overtones and naked prepubescent characters – like on of your favourites Pani Poni Dash – you accuse /this/ of pedophilia? If someone ever wondered whether your taste is the sign of a genius or a twit, look no further, the answer has been given.

    Zizhou: You must be a really disgusting person for thinking the original Futakoi was “dreck”. It’s just a cute, simple, harmless series, obviously for a different and younger audience than “Futakoi Alternative”. The series have nothing in common except for younger versions of the characters. If you didn’t like it, you shouldn’t have watched it!

  6. psgels psgels says:

    I really have to wonder, if you hate this site so much (at least, you talk like you hate me with passion), then why do you keep returning? The pedo-thing was indeed an innocent joke, because aside from Kodomo no Jikan I can’t think of any other show in which an adult actually had some sort of romantic relationship with a kid (either that, or I must have really missed something in Pani Poni Dash).

  7. Jliltoe says:

    Ahh yes, once a show I considered in my top 5. Haven’t watched it in ages though, but I remember loving the complete insanity of it. Maybe I should pick it up again…

    Futakoi was… okay. I would count it as one of the better Harem series, but that’s mostly because I hate tactless fanservice of which it had very little (or none? it’s been awhile).

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  • ratsgnoF
    (Tuesday, Jun 30. 2015 07:27 AM)
    @Emma I agree. When you look back, teenagers are retarded and do a lot of stupid stuff.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jun 30. 2015 01:51 AM)
    @ak184: Sporadically mildly entertaining with an enjoyable final stretch. Though at times I found myself falling in and out with the series.
    @Aidan: I would be more than happy to read your yahari review.
    @RatsgnoF: Looking back at being a teenager, I can’t say that moment of a persons life isn’t free of melodrama.
  • ak184
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 11:53 PM)
    Out of curiosity, for those who were watching it, what did you all thought of jojo stardust crusaders? Now that it has recently ended
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 05:35 PM)
    IMO I think that emphasizes how important their relationships are with each other. It shows how the characters have developed and change. They’re very vocal about how they feel and what they want. To the point where it would seem melodramatic.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 03:17 PM)
    @Emma, I never disliked the movie. And I do think it did that archer vs Shirou fight much better. But the problem with it is that it basically removes coherency from the story. People would just be downright confused watching it if they have no knowledge. The movie is pretty much fan service.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 03:13 PM)
    I was actually thinking of writing up a Yahari review. Overall I enjoyed it but I felt that it got far too melodramatic at points over relatively little. It just felt like the characters where making mountains out of molehills.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 07:59 AM)
    That exactly why it’s so good. It’s not very cliche like most animes. The characters themselves have very interesting personalities. Personalities that are actually unique. Not those personalities that every main lead has. Very cliched anime is bad. I can literally predict what happens next watching it the first time. Seeing those 3 interact and struggle is very enjoyable It’s kinda down to earth in a way.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 07:02 AM)
    I think, watching Yahari, that its time I stopped bashing the “Too many teenagers thing in anime”, better to make the teenage characters we get actually interesting people.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 06:57 AM)
    If they do plan a season 3, it probably won’t be out for about a year or two. The last 2 episodes were adapted from volume 11 which was released 5 days ago.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Jun 29. 2015 06:48 AM)
    That final episode of Yahari’s second season pretty much left me saying “Season 3 where and now”
    And “You can’t end this here”.

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