Waifu Wars

These ladies are a bit much
by Bob Johnson

Too Dere

Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess!) vs Yura Onoda (Futari Ecchi)

Futari Ecchi is like the “Naruto” of sex comedies, having run continuously in Japanese lad mags since 1997 and spawned 2 OVAs. The essential humour of the series relies on Yura and Makoto being absolutely clueless but being unflappably tolerant of whatever kind of weird sex stuff starts happening around them, occasionally getting swept up themselves.

Ah! My Goddess! is yet another one of those “You Fail Theology Forever” mangas where western concepts of Heaven and/or Norse mythology get filtered through Japanese concepts of animism, bureaucracy, and the absolute necessity that all forms of spirituality be mediated through sexy shrine maidens.

Comparing the shows as a whole is like apples and oranges. However, these two characters are birds of a feather when it comes to being sweeter than a kilo of erythritol. I can no more imagine Belldandy leaving Keiichi than Yura leaving Makoto, and that’s a little more damning for Yura. Makoto can be a bit of a troublemaker in ways that would never occur to Keiichi.

What makes Yura so terrible, especially compared to other pure-type waifus, is her total lack of ability, ambition, or personality. Sure, she has household chore powers, but even her Office Lady skills are no match for the the other women in Makoto’s life. By contrast, Belldandy has ultimate cosmic power, she could do literally anything else, and yet she chooses to continue to stay with her husbando.

On the other hand, Belldandy is not commonly seen getting busier than a kiss. The one point I can give Yura is that she’s super DTF, a very healthy quality in a waifu. Still, it’s not hard to make a call here: Belldandy by a mile.

Too Freaky

Stocking (Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt) vs Darkness (Konosuba)

Konosuba is yet another genre-savvy isekai whose focus is on RPG mechanics and its over-the-top characters. So Darkness, as the fighter, is supposed to be the hit-point sponge and soak up battle damage? Wouldn’t it be funny if she was super *into* that sort of thing? Ha ha. Watermelons ensue.

Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is an irreverent ecchi action-adventure show where the drive-by sex jokes are just as important as the actual plot of the episode. Stocking is a gothed-out suicide girl nominally from heaven, but oddly well-versed in the dark arts, and an enthusiast of rope-and-whip scenarios. What could possibly go wrong?

Of the two of them, Darkness is more straightforward. There’s no hidden game scurrying somewhere behind her eyes. She honestly craves the sting of battle, to the point of letting bad guys win even when she could easily turn them into bloody paste. Often Darkness’ scenes are just plain embarrassing for everyone, and the show even indulges in how this same embarrassment feeds back into her complex.

Stocking is more mysterious: at first glance, she might seem to be the tame, sweets-loving alternative to Panty. In action, though, she proves to be diabolically devious, eager to thrust herself into mortal danger, and date shitty guys. As the series progresses, we learn that Stocking is simply more subtle about her sex life than Panty, rather than being a boring “pure” waifu. And Stocking’s dark streak takes a turn for the worse that the waifu-collector simply has to ignore.

It’s harder to make a call here as to which is truly worse, so I’ll declare them both bad waifus: Stocking’s inscrutable complex and poor taste in men making her a too-hard, trash waifu, and Darkness being a buxom beauty with a not-so-secret kink makes her a too-easy, trash waifu.

Too Tsun

Hayase Nagatoro (Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro-san) vs Hana Uzaki (Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!)

Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! is a romantic comedy with ecchi elements, based around teasy-flirts and rotating forms of retail therapy, with the twist that Sakurai is the only one who doesn’t realize he’s Uzaki’s boyfriend for most of the show.

Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro-san is about the kinds of low-grade torture that are common in a prison or school environment where people can’t easily escape each other, played off like a comedic ecchi and mainly inflicted by the title character, who truly enjoys the fact that sadistic humiliation is her chief export.

Guess which of these shows hasfirst got a second season?!

If you fail to see the distinction between Nagatoro-san and Uzaki-chan, you might chalk both of them up to simple pablum for the crush-my-junk-with-your-high-heels crowd. But comparatively, Uzaki has a lot going for her: 1) she’s actually been in love with Senpai for a long time, 2) she’s a 100% confirmed college-going adult, and 3) her massive chest chonkers, clearly advertised as SUGOI DEKAI, are the stuff of instant legend on par with the MEGA MILK of days gone by.

Now, Nagatoro might have the edge in cunning, but she only applies her powers for evil. Yeah, Uzaki might tease a bit, but at the end of the day she’s snuggling on her beau’s arm, whereas Nagatoro leaves a brother hanging, or worse. Playing hard-to-get can have its place – but straight-up sadism is another thing entirely. Getting off on torture is bad news! Don’t bully your senpai.

Unfortunately, I’ve spotted Nagatoro merch in the wild – and not just safely on a shelf at a con, but literally as a daily driver T-Shirt amid regular folks at the department store. I wonder, on the off chance you meet another fan, what kind of conversation is everyone else nearby going to have to suffer through? I mean, I did my 3EW of her garbage and I need therapy already.

So final call in this waifu war: Uzaki wins by default! Nagatoro’s antics are a hard DQ.

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Since When does Production I.G adapt BL Mangas?
by Bolt Vanderhuge

I have to admit that I probably wouldn’t have bothered to watch Moriarty the Communist Patriot if not for my anime group voting for it. I had actually never heard of this before, so I went into it completely unbiased when I started. The fact that Production I.G had done it gave me some hope initially, because back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, they had actually made some pretty good stuff, even it was pretty obvious one or more people there had a huge anti-America boner. While the same attention to technical detail is still alive there, as someone obviously did their homework on Victorian-era Britain. But while the art skills are still there, the writing skill apparently is not.

At first I thought this series might just be some attempt to make the character of Moriarty more sympathetic (as the title calling him a patriot suggests), or at least an attempt to try some kind of a twist on the old Sherlock Holmes franchise by focusing on this character. Essentially, Moriarty shows all the same deductive skills that are stereotypically associated with Holmes, but the “twist” ends up being that the perpetrator of the crimes he solves are all rich aristocrats and the “service” he offers is to arrange for someone else to murder them.

While was not immediately apparent to my dense self, but after the opening monologue started in the second episode and the flashback featured therein, it became obvious that this series is really just socialist revenge fantasy, which frankly was quite horrifying for a freedom-lover like myself to watch.

The English dub of this scene is … less discriminate.

The strict class separation of Victorian England really lends itself well to socialist talking points, but the show really does go overboard on it. Part of me wonders if they are just using England as a proxy for Japan, given the taboo against criticizing the Imperial family, but that’s probably giving the writers too much credit given how cartoonishly evil all the aristocrats in this series are depicted. Except for Albert Moriarty, who proves his virtue by murdering his entire family after first talking them into adopting William and his brother Louis. Only after the senior Moriarty paid for Louis to get life-saving surgery, though.

The first part of the series was very formulaic, consisting entirely of some aristocrat doing something completely inhumanly evil, William showing how smart he is by figuring out who committed said wrongdoing and/or finding all the details he needs for him and his crew of fellow commies to murder said aristocrat without getting caught. These “perfect crimes” were to be part of some plan to somehow reform the British Empire, but it wasn’t really apparent how this would be accomplished since it really seemed to be all about the revenge aspect and just how smart William was. I would even have gone as far as to accuse him of being a Wesley Crusher level Gary Stu if not for the fact that he was basically just the pop culture stereotype of Sherlock Holmes but evil.

I was honestly getting bored of this series once the initial shock of Production I.G having gone full commie on me had worn off, but just as I was starting to zone out, the series changed things up by introducing the famous detective and archenemy of Moriarty, Sherlock Holmes. It was at times actually somewhat interesting to see these two play off of each other, but it was also pretty apparent that the show was basically morphing into a yaoi fan-fic. It later became the ultimate crossover fic after introducing a few other characters from the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle series by doing some … interesting things with them. For example, Irene Adler went from being able to disguise herself as a man (somehow, in spite of being built like Danni Ashe), to being trans, and being able to beat the crap out of people, to actually being the first James Bond, and first agent of MI6, which was totally invented thanks to William Moriarty’s influence. Upon the reveal of her new name, I laughed my ass off. A character named Billy the Kid also turns up. Stuff like this was the only real entertainment I got out of this series. It’s literally the ultimate yaoi socialist self-insert cross-over fan-fiction.

Literally the ultimate yaoi socialist self-insert cross-over fan-fiction.

I guess another example of the hilarity of this show is that it seemed to be structured like the 1997 Berserk series in that it started in 1911 New York City (with a period-accurate skyline) and then flashed back to William Moriarty’s beginning in London, but it’s like the writers forgot to bookend the series, and rather than ending up back in 1911 New York City, it ended in Switzerland. This Rian Johnson level of subverting expectations may be accurate to the manga (I don’t know or care), but it is still pretty funny.

So should you watch this show? Well, that depends. Are you a communist BL fan who also likes Sherlock Holmes? If so, you’d probably like this show, and hijacking planes to get to Red Zone Cuba. Do you like watching absurd things and making fun of them? You will find plenty to make fun of in this series, but it only really picks up toward the end and you really have to wait for the laughs before that. If you don’t want to wade through propaganda to get to the stupidly fun second season, or were foolishly hoping this show might do an actual adaptation of a Conan Doyle mystery, I would recommend that you skip this one and maybe watch Sherlock Hound instead.

Maybe Check It Out:

Moriarty the Patriot
Directed by Kazuya Nomura
Based on the manga written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Hikaru Miyoshi
Produced by Production I.G

Streaming (press time): Crunchyroll