Review by: Brenda Gregson
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Running Time: 325 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
The long and winding road (to womanhood).
Promised free rent if four of the most gorgeous boys in the city turn a girl named Sunako Nakahara into a prim and proper lady, the boys thought they could dazzle her with their beauty and charm only to find themselves cowering in a huddle when they finally meet her. Sunako is anything but prim and nowhere near proper. In fact, she thinks of herself as a creature of the darkness as she holes herself in her dark room watching horror films with her treasured medical dummies and skeletons. Welcome to The Wallflower, one of the funniest romantic-comedy anime series you’ll find this year.
Part 2 of The Wallflower’s Complete Collection set finds Kyohei, Ranmaru, Takenaga and Yukinojo living a bit more comforatbly with Sunako than they were when she first came to live with them in the mansion. They had been through a lot together and even though Sunako still considers them “radiant creatures” she had changed enough that she is now even friends with Noi (the girl with the monster crush on Takenaga). Little by little, the boys begin to understand the girl and – in her own way – Sunako comes to understand them.
Then again, Sunako still finds comfort in her dark room and darn those radiant creatures that want to turn her into something that she’s not.
Part 2 begins with Ranmaru bored with his life. He’s dated just about every kind of woman and doesn’t want a commitment with any of them. Then his father calls and demands that he shows up to an arranged meeting with his future bride-to-be! Ranmaru even gets his friends to try to make him as repellent as possible in order to scare off the girl. It turns out that the girl – a rich girl named Tamao – isn’t scared off by him and likes him just the way he is without question. Tamao even shows up in later episodes to lend Ranmaru and the others a hand.
In another episode, the boys and Sunako are invited to an island owned by Auntie (Sunako’s aunt and the boys’ landlady). The only reason Sunako comes along is because the island is rumored to be the resting place of many a pirate so there’s sure to be real skeletons buring in the sand. When Sunako is, instead, possessed byt the spirit of known pirate, it is Kyohei who saves her. Despite that, Sunako makes it her mission to beat Kyohei in just about every event when their school holds a Sports Day event. The last time they competed this fiercely was during a ping-pong game in Part 1 that ended with the two accidentally kissing.
Still intent on turning her into a lady, the boys also start dressing like freaks themselves in one episode and do get her to put on a dress only to be humiliated in the marketplace by the local vendors (who show their dark side in another episode). In another episode, it’s Valentine’s Day and the boys dread this day seeing as hundreds of girls swarm to their home looking to deliver chocolates with hopes of winning them over. In another episode, Sunako’s father comes to visit and it’s clear to the boys where she got her scary side seeing as the big fellow freaks out the four Goth sisters.
A lot more is revealed about Sunako in Part 2 that goes well beyond what drove her to become the shut-in that she is now. In one episode, her favorite medical dummy – Hiroshi – is kidnapped by a group of girls that thinks it’s one of Kyohei’s prized possessions so they could us it to lure him to their place. In Part 1, we found out that Hiroshi is important to Sunako but here we see WHY she treasures him more than her favorite skeletons Josephine and Akira. Speaking of Kyohei, we also get a look into what happened between him and his parents … which leads to another revelation that leads him to leave the house until everyong, including Sunako, plead for him to come back home.
In the end, however, The Wallflower doesn’t rely on cheesy or obvious romantic-comedy elements. This isn’t an “Ugly Duckling” story that ends like a fairy tale. What we find here instead is a genuinely funny comedy that’s utterly zany but you’ll love every second of it. What we get in The Wallflower is a story of accepting yourself for who you are no matter what everyone around you says.
The Wallflower, Complete Colletion: Part 2 is definitely and even more wildly hilarious second part of the collection. As a whole, however, the series excels in bringing us a romantic-comedy that is not only wonderfully original but also a good lesson in acceptance and never judging a book by its cover because what is inside can surprise you in a good way.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Sunako Nakahara is nowhere close to being the presentable lady the four gorgeous (and scared) boys are still trying to transform. In the meantime, there are kidnappings, ghost pirate possession, satanic shop owners and Auntie to deal with in the final episodes of this series.
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
Once again, the sight gags are just as funny as the dialogue and we still get a kick out of seeing a deformed Sunako interacting with the pretty boys that will not fail to make you laugh when they start crying out of fear.
SOUND QUALITY: A
The voice acting in the English dub is top notch and a lot of that has to do with Hannah Alcorn who makes Sunako go from cute to super creepy so easily. The music also stands out, including the opening song.
This being the last part of the collection you would expect some juicy extras but, sadly, there isn’t much here except for the usual collection of trailers and clean opening and closing songs.
Part 2 of the Complete Collection that makes up The Wallflower series is a fitting end to a truly funny and thoroughly agreeable anime that will win you over. There are very few romantic-comedy series that stray away from the cookie-cutter mold of what a romantic-comedy should be and this one certainly does its own thing well enough. The Wallflower as a whole comes highly recommended.