In commemoration of the release of Kenka Banchou Otome~Kanzen Muketsu no My Honey~ (fandisc) this week, I’ll be giving Kenka Banchou Otome -Girl Beats Boys- a little mini review 😆
You’ll have to keep in mind that its been a year since I played Kenka Banchou Otome so I might not remember things properly and may even say thing that are inaccurate. Sorry about that! Anyway, I’ll try my best to remember and give a quick, thorough comparison between the anime and the game.
The Kenka Banchou Otome is a 12 episode anime, spanning around 7~8 minutes, and basically covers maybe half or more of the common route in the game… even though the story telling is kinda all over the place and having to cut scenes to fill the run time. I don’t really understand why they opted to 8 minutes per episode (would’ve been great if it were maybe 12 or 14 minutes if they were gonna go with “short, but still cover the main plotline properly”), meanwhile you’ve got an anime about boys hooking up with girls in convenience stores in Konbini Kareshi that doesn’t have much plot going on but still has 24 minutes per episode. Y’all know they’re gonna end up with their respective girl who they’re crushing on, it ain’t that deep. I guess they kept it short because its more like advertisement for the game but at least do it properly.
The way I feel about this anime is that it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. Makes me wonder if its for the fans who played the game (even though story elements and scenes were cut) or if it was for making people interested in the game, who might get confused when playing the game because the anime isn’t quite closely written to what the game’s plot was. I mean if they just wanted to do shorts for Kenka Banchou Otome, why not make it like a bonus story, where they’re just comedy shorts about the cast doing stuff that wasn’t shown in the game and maybe have some goofy adventures. It doesn’t have to be “canon” it can be something for the fans to look forward to to see their favorite characters get into some new content and mischief, but whatever lol.
Now about things that the anime kind of cuts out is some scenes that makes you understand characters and how they tick, like scenes between Hinako and Hikaru where in the game it shows the contrast between the twins, how Hikaru is better at making female friends than Hinako and can act like a more feminine girl than our protagonist who had being trying hard in her life to make friends (that is until she finds friends at Shishiku Academy). They also seemed to cut the part where Mirako-senpai basically sabotaged Hinako’s school life at Shishiku by spreading the seed of doubt that she’s not a boy which resulted in the guys around her who accepted her as the top 1st year to turn their back on her. Having that cut and replaced by “fangirls of Mirako went on the internet spreading rumors about Hinako being a girl which resulted in the rival yankee school and the students at Shishiku to catch wind of it” kinda felt weird and I really enjoyed the plan and lead up to how the game resolved Mirako’s rumors by having Hikaru stand-in for Hinako and have his bare chest exposed for everyone to see that Hinako (AKA Hikaru’s twin sister who’s covering for him) is not a girl… The anime kinda tries to shoehorn that part in the last minute of the anime but it didn’t feel right. At least it gave Sakaguchi a great moment.
Another thing that I was looking forward was the sports carnival/brawl festival part or whatever it was called where Hinako and Konparu were forced to dress up as cheerleaders (I guess because they lost? lol). We could’ve seen it in its animation glory but I guess that’s for another day…
There were some missing characters in this anime too, like the side characters at Shishiku and Totomaru’s ex-friend who is part of this gang/another rival school that was a big part of the common route. Also Rintaro’s half/step-brother who is voiced by Tasuku Hatanaka wasn’t there, but considering he only popped up in Rintaro’s route I wasn’t expecting him to turn up at all but it would’ve been nice. It was good to see Konparu’s little siblings having character designs (but they all look like variations of Konparu which is hilarious, but I guess that’s what siblings look like?).
While they did take out stuff they sure did add some more stuff in that wasn’t part of the game. Such as the four exposition dudes who only talk about exposition and what’s happening in the anime while either pissing or shitting. These guys are actually voiced by the music group “Love Desire” who did the opening song as well as the ending song (when it isn’t sung by the main cast) and you can really tell it’s their first time being voice actors 😆 Don’t worry guys, it happens to most singers-turned-voice-actors-to-do-one-anime-gig.
It makes me wonder if they were added because the guys wanted to be in the anime or else they wouldn’t do the opening and ending songs or that the studio thought that it’d be a neat idea to add these guys to appeal to the fans of Love Desire and rope them into watching the anime, even though they had a small part in it.
I’m not sure if the rival school that appeared in the anime is new or anything (I can’t remember the uniform or what the rival school looked like, I’m sorry). Also hilarious that background characters are just shadow people that don’t move their mouth when talking and have little to none animation. I can see they were trying to go for a style but it’s just so jarring and stands out really badly like a sore thumb. Don’t do that.
Going onto the choices they did for the anime: I’m not sure why they added cuts to characters voicing their inner thoughts like they’re being interviewed by some unseen force. I thought that at the end of the anime it’ll explain it by showing maybe an interviewer or something but it isn’t really explained or mentioned, it’s just there to help the audience understand the thoughts of the characters which is ok but still kinda? I mean, in Totomaru’s monologue he’s in an arcade with a cameo of Magical Days, which is not an arcade game but a mobile game (and also product placement bc they had a deal for a collab). It would’ve been hard to notice if not for the HUGE LETTERS SAYING MAGICAL DAYS as well as the BRIGHT NEON LIGHTS AND FLASHING SCREEN, it’s almost begging to be google searched for those who don’t know what it is.
Also because it doesn’t go too deep into the story you won’t be seeing much romance going on. Maybe a few hints and a little blush here and there but this anime is basically going down the “friend” route, which is perfectly fine though for those who were looking forward to the romance… Well what did you expect? Most animes that are based on otome game don’t really have the girl choose a guy out of her many suitors to end up with so it’s prolly best if Hinako just ends up with all of them but as best friends (because she never really had friends to begin with the poor gal).
Anyway, onto my thoughts about the animation itself. I’d prolly have to thank the short run time for each episode for the animation being consistently all right, it doesn’t drastically lose quality like other animes over time, one that comes to mind is B-Project where animation quality kept skyrocketing down after every single episode it was hilarious. There may be some scenes that were a bit lesser in quality but nothing too offendingly bad. My favorite episode in terms of animation quality is Episode 10, thanks to the sunset the animators could play around with making the best complimenting color pallettes (mainly the orange and blue contrast they used, like most movie posters adopt, can’t go wrong with that) as well as really high quality close ups of Hinako’s and Rintaro’s faces. Like goddamn, the quality felt like it was going through the roof.
The fight scene in Episode 10 was good as well, mainly because it lasted longer and also because you see both sides taking punches and it’s an equal match unlike the other times where Hinako mops the floor with everyone so it’s nice to see she isn’t invincible. Another good fight scene, while still short, was Hinako vs Konparu, it may need a bit more improvement but it was still all right. Most of the fight scenes in this anime needs a bit more impact to it, sometimes it looks a little too light and kinda needed to improve. Watching Mob Psycho‘s fight scenes always got me on the edge of my seat because it feels more heavy with each action a character does and leaves an impact on me, Kenka Bancho Otome’s fights aren’t at that kind of level but it’s fine, I guess.
Though, Totomaru vs Hinako was pretty hilarious just seeing Totomaru being beaten up so easily. Totomaru step up your game.
Besides Episode 10 being one of my favorites, Episode 5 was also a joy to watch, mainly because Hinako, Totomaru and Konparu just hang out as friends and don’t have to worry about getting to the top of the school. It had a couple of good moments like Totomaru and Konparu mistaking the Mirako posters on the wall to be Houou’s obsession/hobby and other moments where they’re just broing it up, we also get to see the dynamic between Sakaguchi, Hikaru and Hinako even for a little bit and Sakaguchi’s over-protectiveness over Hikaru and Hinako. Wished the anime had more of these moments where they’re just chilling as friends and having fun, but yeah, all I can do is wish lol.
Overall thoughts: Like I stated before, it’s not bad, it’s not great it just falls in the middle and sometimes ya don’t wanna fall in the middle but it’s better than being outrageously bad like other animes I’ve watched. I wished each episode had 23 minutes to actually properly let the plot flow and not cut corners/scenes just to fit the time or bumble around with plots that it makes it a bit confusing. With a plot like Kenka Banchou Otome, there’s so much information and plot you’ve got to put across for your audience to understand and with a restricted time like 7~8 minutes it kinda sells it short of what the story is about. If you’re gonna have shorts at least just have it be comedy shorts, like they do as spin-off animes which usually have SD/chibi characters and mainly focuses on doing gags or skits, something for the fans to enjoy.
It was interesting that they did their best to recreate shots/scenes that were in the game so anyone who had played the game can easily recognise some CGs, hell, as soon as I saw a recreation of a CG I immediately went “Oh hey, that’s the shot from this scene”. Here’s a collection of some of CGs/stills they recreated in the anime:
I’d maybe recommend this to those who played the game but aren’t completely fluent in Japanese to watch this for the subtitles so they can understand some plot points. Maybe to fans also? Maybe also for those who are interested in the game and hope to get an introduction to it through the anime but be warned that it isn’t 100% the same as the common route’s plot.
Here’s hoping that the fandisc will provide some more sweet memories! (and that it won’t be something that backpedals stuff like some fandiscs sometimes do).
As always, thank you for reading.