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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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