What’s it about? Keiki Kiryu desperately needs a cute girlfriend to complete his ideal high school experience. When he finds a mysterious love letter, it seems like he may finally get his wish – and his secret admirer left a pair of panties behind as well! Is it his cool club senpai, his laid-back classmate, his cute kouhai, or… gulp… his clingy imouto? Whoever it is, they’re definitely a perv!
CONTENT WARNING for NSFW screenshots
Have you ever known anyone who treated a special interest as a substitute for having a personality? Once you strip away their obsession with weed or games or what have you, there’s nothing left but a boring, shallow individual with no real substance. I’m sure you have — we’re anime fans, after all. But it extends well beyond just our little subcultural niche. Perhaps the most insufferable ones to me are the vocal kinksters, who really just want everyone to know how weird their sex life is and off-the-wall their fetishes are. There’s nothing wrong with being kinky, but if your main personality trait is using your sex life as shock value, I don’t really want to spend time with you.
(Just kidding. Everyone knows self-identified gamers are way worse.)
Watching HenSuki is kind of like being trapped in a half-hour conversation with one of those people. It’s somehow even duller than your average harem pablum, but is dead convinced that it’s way better because it engages with ~perversions~.
The episode opens with a shot of a woman’s underwear-clad lower body, then her boobs enter the screen, perfectly setting the tone for the rest of the episode. “Aren’t I just so saucy!” it screams. Turns out Keiki was having *gasp* a sex dream, until he wakes up with his little sister in his bed. Saucy! Then, of course, his little sister makes him breakfast, because in shows like this little sisters exist exclusively to serve their older brothers instead of being people in their own right.
They go to school, and it immediately, before even telling us the girls’ names has them launch into a cute montage of cleaning up the messy club room! It felt more like the conclusion of an arc where the characters have to get along and help their poor overwhelmed senpai, but without any kind of buildup or emotional investment, it rings even more hollow than these kinds of scenes usually do. Afterwards, they all stand in a line and the main character says their full names (none of which I can be bothered to remember, or arsed to look up because let’s be real, none of y’all are going to watch this anyway).
Their personalities are as follows:
- Big-boobed senpai
- Medium-boobed classmate
- Flat-chested kouhai
- Little sister
And… that’s it. Later the flat-chested kouhai has a conversation with Keiki where she complains that he joined the club just because of senpai’s breasts. Girls don’t obsess over each other’s boobs like that!
Harem anime have never been a bastion of feminism, but at least their casts used to have personalities. These personalities were generally established before they fell in love with the protagonist, but since all the girls have clearly already fallen for Mr. Potato Cake, they never get a chance to develop traits beyond their bra size.
Well. There is one other thing.
See, the big end of episode twist comes when Tits-senpai takes off her shirt to reveal a collar and begs to be Potato Cake’s pet. I’ll bet you the national freaking debt that every single one of these girls turns out to be a so-called “pervert” in some way, so they don’t need individuality other than that!
I’ll be honest, this review is late because I watched the first episode of HenSuki first thing in the morning the other day. The rest of the day, I felt incapable of coherent thought. A five-year-old punched me. I left my keys at work and had to walk an extra mile to get our spare. After all that, I decided that instead of writing, the best thing would be to make brownies and hang out on the couch with my husband. Did this all happen because I started my day with HenSuki? Maybe not… but it probably was.
Don’t be like me. Don’t let HenSuki happen to you.