So during the four months I was living in motels looking for a home, my only solace was the free high-speed wi-fi and the various free streaming services. I’ve watched a lot of stuff. I’m even up to date on modern shows I wanted to watch like The Flash, Supergirl, the Librarians, etc.
And I’ve watched a lot of anime. Lots. Like so much anime.
The thing about anime is that it’s a mine field. Saying you’re going to watch some anime is like saying you’re going to watch live action western television: there are so many different genres and styles and brands of humor and drama that you could get anything just picking up a random series. Add in certain proclivities not necessarily in Japanese culture but in the anime and manga culture, and one wrong step and you can be deep in weird-ass panty-sniffing, underaged-girl-obsessed terrible. Even a lot of good or even great shows often have way too much jiggle and fan service.
And if you’re a fan of the medium, you build up a certain tolerance to all that. Otherwise you’ll miss out on some real gems like A Certain Magical Index or Spice and Wolf, both of which throw in naked because… because.
I like to consider myself a pretty progressive guy, but I’ve learned just to deal with fan service if the show is good enough. I also put up with certain cultural stereotypes like the fat obnoxious otaku, the hyper-perverted male, and the gooey teeth-rotting moe.
And then there’s Green Green.
Green Green… is awful in a way I find to be wholly remarkable. It’s not the unrelenting grimfest I usually hate on. In fact it’s incredibly lighthearted even though it has absolutely no right to be (more on that later). It’s stupid, yes, in the way that a lot of slapstick is, but with a mother who loves Paul Blart and Adam Sandler movies I’m used to even the dumbest slapstick.
No, Green Green is unique in that it is the first lighthearted show I’ve ever seen where literally no one in it is likeable. None. Oh, and the characters the series focus on save one are utterly loathsome. Let’s explore. Spoilers ahead, but there’s really no reason for you to watch this garbage because I did it for you.
Also, trigger warning for sexual assault. Yes that’s a thing in this show.
The story of Green Green is that a remote, all-boys school is becoming co-ed for a semester by inviting the members of an all-girl’s school to attend as an experiment before going fully co-ed. Not a very unique plot, but it’s one with potential and oddly enough one I can relate to, having attended a college that was until recently at that time all-girls.
Now, the opening narration will tell you that once there was a pair of lovers who were forbidden to be together and swore to find one another in the next life. Yes, Green Green is presented as a romance anime. That’s what got me to try it in the first place. This narration and the genre are both blatant lies. While it’s hinted at throughout the series, it only matters in the last episode and I’m using ‘matters’ in the absolute loosest sense of the word.
In truth, Green Green is actually a frat comedy about three of the worst human beings on Earth trying to get laid and one incredibly bland guy making friends with all the girls, obliviously forging a romance with one, and ignoring the one girl who knows the plot this thing is desperately trying to make happen but is too stupid to actually make progress on it.
Now, the oblivious bland guy surrounded by girls is standard harem formula and I’ll admit to liking a few harem shows like Love Hina or Trinity Seven, but the the key to those is that at least the girls are interesting. In Green Green? Nope.
There’s the decoy main girl who’s as dumb as a post and insists the main guy needs to remember her from a past life despite not even showing proof that she’s not just crazy until the final episode. Her method of making him remember her is sexual harassment at every turn which—interestingly for a show this dumb—is actually depicted as poor behavior that makes the bland guy uncomfortable and upset instead of cute and funny.
There’s the actual main girl who is ISO Standard Tsundere except her behavior is never explained where most tsundere’s have an explanation for their fits of rage. She just comes to the place with poor expectations of men, gets those low expectations totally justified by the worst characters ever created, and then falls in love with the first guy who isn’t a total shitheel. I can’t blame her for her rage at these dumbasses, but I can blame her for liking blandball the second he proves not to be the worst thing ever.
Then there’s a girl who is the one-two punch of underaged jailbait (how and why is she even in high school?) and a sick moe who exists to be cute and innocent and completely unaware of the world around her. I hate her. Not as much as other characters, but she is so useless and exists purely to motivate one of the terrible characters, so I want her to not exist any more.
The actual man girl has a sister who is admittedly the most interesting of the bunch—but that’s not saying much. She has a magic cactus. Like… it can warn her of danger and detect hostile intent. This is never explained and there’s no other magic in the series. It’s just there. She’s a cheerful and quirky character though, and this series would be much better if it was about her.
Meanwhile the fake main girl has a sidekick who knows her deal and is trying to stop her from ruining this poor guy’s life. She is absolutely right to do so and the show bears this out. That doesn’t stop it from punishing her as if she was obstructing true love.
There’s also the female chaperon/nurse who has nothing to do with anything and exists for exposition and fan service.
And finally there’s a female character who exist just to be ‘ugly’ even though she’s not drawn as unattractive except for her poses and I guess her glasses? In a culture that has a word specifically to describe a woman who is attractive because of her glasses. She’s just as horny and perverted as the three assholes, and that’s supposed to be funny. She barely interacts with anyone and if just there for gags about how ugly she’s supposed to be. If it wasn’t for the three assholes I’ll describe below, I would hate this show just for how she’s treated.
So there’s the female cast, effectively the backbone of a harem-style show and none of them is really fun to watch except the one that’s totally out of context.
Then there’s the male cast. Jaysus Croyst the male cast. Hold on, I need to take a drink before describing these… things.
Okay. So there’s the main character. He’s… unoffensive in the Tenchi school of harem protagonists. Romantically disinclined would be the word for him. It’s not that he’s bad with women, he just doesn’t try romantically with them. He’s just a basically decent human being. The problem is that decent isn’t enough to counterbalance the fact that his three friends are deplorable. He’d need to be a stronger, more interesting character to take the focus off them and frankly, the show itself is more interested in paying attention to them than him.
Speaking of his friends, they are all unique flavors of spine shiveringly creepy.
To make you understand just how terrible these guys are, the least offensive of them is a pick-up artist. That’s like saying it’s just handful of poison ivy stuffed in your underwear vs a handful of fire ants. The guy is sleezy to be sure, but at least he’s within the usual tolerance limits of a typical anime, just a pervy jackass who can’t stop trying to scam on women. He’s the high point.
Next is the actual pedophile. He’s a van and a length of chain away from being on an episode of Criminal Minds. His focus is entirely on the moe-blob up there, who he wants to call him ‘big brother’ and feed rice and sleep next to. Oh yeah, the rice. He’s got this thing about rice. This weird sexual serial killer level obsession with rice. He bring a pot of rice to a panty raid and eats it feverishly while leaning over the girl as she sleeps. While spying on girls in the hot spring, he wishes aloud that he’d bought some rice… for reasons. And by the back half of the series, two thirds of his dialog has devolved into muttering the girl’s name over and over.
The stunning part is that he’s not the worst one. How is it even possible that a fetishistic pedophile isn’t the worst character? Because rapist, that’s how.
The third and final head of this chimera of offal is a character who starts out with the already tedious trope that fat people are obnoxious and stupid. He’s always getting naked because fat people being naked is ‘funny’ and he’s drawn in such a way that he’s a distinctly different style than everyone else in order to rub in that fat people aren’t human. And I would hate this show for that already, but then we get to his actual characters.
Of the three, he’s the most aggressive with his advances, never missing a chance to touch and grab women without their permission at every turn. That’s bad enough, but he straight up rapes two people in the show. First, when the fake main girl’s sidekick locks thee trio in a stifling gym closet (we’ll get to this later) where they all have disgusting hallucinations about the women they’re after, he mounts the pick-up artist thinking he’s one of the girls, leading to a hallucinogenic gay orgy. Then, on the panty raid, he sneaks into what he thinks is the nurse’s room and ends up having sex with the ‘ugly girl’ in her sleep. That the ‘joke’ here is that they both get into it until they realize who it is (because of course the two horniest characters are also picky?), but it doesn’t change that his intent was to rape a woman in her sleep.
I honestly wish these characters fell into wood chippers on screen. Which is odd because I still think the humor in this series is too cruel even to them.
How cruel and mean-spirited can this show get?
Well that rapist asshole? He gets raped by a bear. Like an actual animal bear. Earlier in the series, the trio get mauled by bears, but then in another episode—one where they’re really not doing anything wrong for once—he gets lost in the woods thanks to the dumb girl abandoning him to harass the bland guy… and he gets caught and raped by a bear. For hours. In fact, the stinger for the episode is to show that he’s still being raped by the bear.
Or let’s go back tot he part where they were left in the gym supply room. In a lot of shows, this wouldn’t be shown as cruel, just slapstick, but the character that locks them in there specifically says she wants them to die and they really do suffer heat stroke and hallucinate. Even if they didn’t start sexually assaulting each other, the whole episode plays out like Saw instead of a lighthearted romp. The crime for which they’re being ‘punished’ by the way in this one was believing that the girls they had things for wanted to meet them in private.
Not that the character that tried to murder them didn’t get off scot free. For the awful crime of getting in the way of a romance she correctly says can’t happen, she’s sexually assaulted by monkeys! Yes, that’s a thing that happens. She tries to stop the dumb girl from once again ruining bland guy’s day, said dumb girl sics a trio of horny monkeys on her and she falls off screen with them humping her upper body.
I wish this show had a face so I could punch it.
Other highlights include a magic cactus being ground into a man’s face—both when he does deserve it, then later when he’s trying to protect cactus girl. Oh, and violent things keep happening to ‘ugly’ girl whenever she thinks she’s going to get some attention.
I want to do a whole article on meanspiritedness, but this particular show heaped it on top of having either unremarkable or loathsome characters, and a nothing plot.
Oh yes, the plot. There isn’t one. The show thinks there’s one, but hahaha—no. No, you stupid, stupid show it is not a plot to leave clever hints that there’s a plot ever three or so episodes only to hastily introduce and wrap up that plot in THE LAST EPISODE. It’s also not a plot to slowly give one and only one character unearned character development in the form of an irrational growing attraction that ISN’R EVEN RESOLVED IN THE SERIES.
That’s literally it for plot. We start with this girl babbling about past lives, her friend saying it’s dangerous and wrong for her to pursue it, and twelve episodes later, we find out she’s a time traveler from the future, their love always ends in tragedy and… their love ends in tragedy when she has to sacrifice most of her life force to save him from something stupid she did and has to go back to the future.
Why does their love always end in tragedy? What was their past life like? If she was from the future, why did she come back to the past? How did she time travel? The show answers these with a giant middle finger and then erases dumb girl from everyone’s memory except for the guy whose life she made worse. He remembers all of that, plus the reincarnation romance he’s now lost forever.
And it had no bearing on anything that happened in the series.
This jarring incongruous is your just reward for watching a show so dumb it could be in Trump’s cabinet.
I hate this thing so much. As much as I hate thinks like grimdark and torture porn, at least they know what they are. This show takes the seediest, more disgusting things and tells you it’s not just funny, but that it’s innocent fun.
And hell, I know there are worse shows in this same vein out there: Mr. Pickles and modern Family Guy for example, but this goddamn thing isn’t even trying to be ‘adult’ comedy like its Western counterparts do. It’s billed as a romantic comedy with fanservice and… bear rape and rice pedos happen. It tricked me into watching it while those are loud and proud about what they are.
I wanted my return to doing articles to be something more writing-forward, but I felt an obligation of sorts to run screaming to you, begging for you to stay away from it. It really is that bad.
Next week, I’ll be doing more writing talk than complaining and trying to get things back on track. Please check out this post on my current situation and how you can help.