ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 27th February 2016, by NEO Staff

So, I Can’t Play H!

There’s something pitiable about high-schooler Ryosuke Kaga. Absent of any father figure and left alone while his mother works in Germany, he looks after the household and nurtures that most important aspect of his persona – his perverted soul. By perversion, though, he means a fixation on boobs that any adolescent lad could claim, rather than plumbing the gruelling erotic depths of, say, Flowers of Evil.

Walking home from school, Ryosuke meets Lisara Restall, stood stoic in the rain. Unable to shed the idea that women are ‘treasures that need protecting’, he takes her home. There he learns that Lisara is a top grim reaper, a term she both shuns and embraces. To preserve one another’s lives, they form a provisional contact, intertwining their souls like a cut-price Ichigo and Rukia.

Continuing the Bleach analogy, Ryosuke’s zanpakuto would be his so-called perversity. In the dreary fight sequences, Lisara’s loss of energy is marked by her clothes receding to nought but panties. To top up her endurance, she siphons Ryosuke for all he’s got, and the hornier he gets, the more he provides.

The embarrassing ecchi shadows any aspect that might otherwise redeem it. Take Ryosuke’s relationship with his mother; the two commune over webcam, and it’s a surprisingly well-crafted interaction. Or perhaps the gorgeous settings and quality character models. And yet, it’s only ever a frame away from hentai, with the bare breasts, bondage and tentacles a cynical and demeaning celebration of the male ego and entitlement.

Based on the light novels of Pan Tachibana, So, I Can’t Play H! sees its female ensemble tarred with the same brush, painted either as manipulative, jealous, riddled with self-loathing or all of the above. At the centre is a lead whose unwavering nature is so thoroughly off-putting, you’re left feeling only apoplectic.

The anime equivalent of the delivery guy or plumber in porno – a gossamer thin plot to enable the naughty bits.
SCORE: 1.5/5
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