Content Warning: Pedophilia, grooming, NSFW screenshots
What’s it about? 12-year-old Nagumo Koishi has nowhere to go after his house burns down and his father skips town; “fortunately,” he’s taken in as the newfound dorm mother for the troublemakers of Seikan Women’s University’s Goddess Dormitory.
“If I have to sit through a fanservice show, I wish it would at least be about adult women,” I thought to myself, unaware of the enormous monkey’s paw apparently stapled to my hand at all times. And here we are. This show that opens on an uncensored shot of a bathing woman’s drippy nipples does indeed take place at a college. Huzzah. Then those college women spend the next twenty minutes variously flashing or molesting a middle-school boy.
It’s the same skin-crawling bullshit that populates half of DOGA KOBO’s body of work these days, except it’s going to get even more apologism because society has normalized the idea that it’s a cool and sexy fantasy for adult women to sexually assault male children. This is what we mean when we bang that tired old drum about feminism benefiting everyone.
If this had been a show about a soft, gentle college freshman working as a domestic and being flustered and overwhelmed by the sexy forwardness of all these hawt older women, I would’ve just shrugged the show off as “not for me.” Lots of shy, inexperienced people have fantasies about older or more confident people wanting to take the lead. But there’s no getting around the fact that this is one cutesified little elephant sticker censor away from being straight-up kiddie porn. Around the time that the helpless, terrified middle-schooler fell face first into a college girl’s clit and she moaned before bursting into an old-school nosebleed, I strongly felt that I should be burning my hard drive and selling my possessions to feed the poor. Pretty sure I’m on a watchlist now either way.
I’m also not sure whether it’s more insulting when the show is pretending to be self-aware or when it’s going for pathos. It’s a standard play at this point for anime that sexualize children to have a character (often the endangered child) loudly point out how incredibly creepy and inappropriate the predatory adult is being. Having proudly declared that it knows it’s being creepy, the show can then get back to the business of wallowing around in its own shit. Goddess’ Dormitory does one better by giving this role to the anxious and virginal moral scold whose character arc is about learning to loosen up around men (by having sex with a child).
But then it tries to have a tender moment between that same character and Koishi where he reassures her that it’s okay to set boundaries and move through her traumas at her own pace and fuck this show for pretending it’s anything but shota masturbation material. I honestly feel bad for Sentai Filmworks, who’ve been steadily muscled out of the seasonal licensing game by the Sony-backed Funimation and Crunchyroll. While HiDive has an extremely respectable catalogue of classics (they’re The Legend of the Galactic Heroes Service to some, I’m sure) and a few really good seasonal titles like Land of the Lustrous, Outburst Dreamer Boys, and O Maidens in Your Savage Season, it increasingly seems like Sentai is left to munch on the rancid scraps that the bigger streamers won’t touch.
It’s sad. And maybe ultimately that disappoints me more than a show that only its intended audience was ever gonna watch. But don’t let me forget the biggest punchline of them all: Goddess’ Dormitory, with its singular raison d’etre didn’t even manage to corner the market on anime about adults wanting to fuck children this season.