Girls Bravo, The Complete Series – DVD Review

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 600 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now

The cure for allergies to girls is to have more girls in your life.

Harem shows are a dime a dozen in anime and believe me when I say that I’ve seen them all and not just for the fan service moments but in some hope that one of them might actually turn out to try something different with the genre. The Complete Series of Girls Bravo doesn’t offer anything different but – at times – this series still has enough moments that make it worth a look if you like plenty of nudity with your comedy.

The series introduces us to Yukinari Sasaki, a student at Muzino High School with a very big problem. You see, Yukinari is afraid of girls and on top of that, he also seems to be allergic to them to the point that touching one causes him to break out in an awful rash. That’s too bad, really, since his very attractive and busty childhood friend named Kirie Kojima seems to like him. Then again, she always seems to beat him up because he keeps accidentally walking in on her in some state of undress.

Yukinari is on the receiving end of one of these many beatings as he accidentally walks in on her in the bath but this time he is sent flying in his bathtub at the exact moment a portal opens. When he wakes up, Yukinari is on another planet called Seiren that happens to be filled with women. One of them is a cute girl named Miharu who (strangely enough) is the only girl who doesn’t cause him to break out in a rash. It’s clear that there’s something special about Miharu who actually treats him nicely enough that Yukinari enjoys her company.

Of course, when Yukinari does return to Earth, Miharu follows with him and since the young boy lives alone she stays at his house. While she has yet to learn much about life on Earth, Miharu makes herself at home in the planet and since she’s not quite human she has an appetite that has her venturing out on her own. Now that the cat is out of the bag, Miharu joins Yukinari and Kirie in school where they all have to deal with the school’s richest and most perverted student on campus … Kazuharu Fukuyama.

As it turns out, Fukuyama is one of the more colorful male characters in the series that is a refreshing change of pace when Yukinari’s wimpy attitude gets tiresome. Fukuyama is also one of the sleazier characters who is not only the ultimate peeping tom but also a groper and the reason that Miharu, Kirie and every other girl who comes to fancy ends up dressed in skimpy outfits. He also has a big secret that Yukinari finds out early in the series, which explains why Fukuyama dislikes him so much to the point of always referring to him as “Puny-Nari.”

Of course, what’s a harem show without more girls, right? Girls Bravo introduces us to more girls who suddenly come to live with Yukinari and another one who believes that he is her soul mate thanks to her astrological reading. We are introduced to Lisa Fukuyama, who happens to be Kazuhara’s young sister and a lover of the dark arts and the girl who sees herself as Yukinari’s soul mate. Then there’s Koyomi and Tomoka who come from Seiren and decide to stay with Yukinari and Miharu.

With a house filled with cute girls (a strange baby seal-like alien), Yukinari’s life becomes a whirlwind of madcap events and, of course, a lot of nudity. For the most part, these events are all centered on some perverted scheme that Fukuyama sets up just to see the girls nude whether its trying to get them to fill in as booth babes in a video game convention, play a pervy version of Mah Jong or trying to get the girls to enjoy his coed hot springs. This gets old quickly too so you’ll be thankful that Fukuyama’s antics are joined by Lisa’s plans to have Yukinari all to himself or Lisa’s sexy female bodyguard, Kosame, romantically pursuing Kirie.

The best episodes are the ones that get really crazy such as when Miharu tries alcohol for the first time and the result is that exploding clones of her start popping up and mindlessly search for food in an episode that is a hilarious nod to zombie movies. Then there’s an episode where the girls assume the role of the Phantom Rabbits, a crew of sexy thieves pursued by Inspector Fukuyama. Then there’s Miharu’s older sister that could have been an excellent addition to the household but, sadly, is reduced to just a few appearances.

Despite the lighthearted gags and antics, Girls Bravo deserves its MA rating for its excessive nudity as well as some over-the-top sexual innuendos that include tentacle groping and Miharu’s love for bananas and her funny way of eating them is, well, not very PG.

What we have in the Complete Series of Girls Bravo is your typical harem show with enough fan service moments that – believe it or not – begins to wear out its welcome pretty early. While it never really tries to be different, at least the series has a number of laugh-out-loud moments that make it fun enough to watch if harem comedies are your thing. This is far from a great series but there are moments that prove that some shows might not be perfect but they do have a number of really good scenes that make it worth watching anyway.


DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: C+
A young high school student named Yukinari is transported to a not-so distant planet filled with women … the only problem is that he’s allergic to them. However, he meets Miharu, a girl that doesn’t cause him to break out in a rash as she follows him back to Earth where he and other girls he befriends deal with a number of things that include a rich pervert and his nutty sister.

VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The episodes look really good on DVD in this collection but the animation isn’t anything to write home about in general. However, if excessive fan service (that includes a lot of nudity) is your thing then you will definitely not be disappointed. There are also some funny visual gags mixed in with some eye-rolling scenes as well.

AUDIO QUALITY: B+
The voice acting in the series is handled well when it comes to the Japanese voice cast but the English dub voice actors really make the jokes work well thanks to great performances by Yuri Lowenthal (best known as Sasuke Uchiha in Naruto) as Yukinari and Michelle Ruff (best known as Rukia Kuchiki in Bleach) as Miharu. The soundtrack is decent and the two opening and closing theme songs are actually kind of cute.

EXTRAS: D
There aren’t any real extras in this collection aside from the clean opening and closing songs from both seasons of this series and a few trailers.

OVERALL: C+
The Complete Series of Girls Bravo is a fun and shameless romp that doesn’t try to be anything but just another harem show with lots of nudity tossed in for good measure. At times, the series sacrifices story for fan service but when it does pay attention to the story it does so with a good sense of humor that is delightfully wacky and sometimes even truly funny. It’s not a bad series but it certainly could have been better.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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