Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
Who says love doesn’t have to hurt so good?
Pain … to most of us it is a sensation we tend to avoid and dislike but for some other it is a pleasurable feeling depending on who is dishing out said pain. Taro Sado is one of those guys who enjoys a good beating and being berated by a pretty girl and he sees this as a problem that needs to be cured but, in a school filled with perverts, how could he? This is what makes the Complete Collection of MM! a fun and delightfully twisted comedy that is genuinely funny enough to please fans of the genre.
Spanning 12 episodes, MM! finds Sakuramori High School student Taro embarrassed and worried about his masochistic tendencies that are beyond normal in his case. In fact, he is emotionally scarred by an incident that took place in junior high when he publicly enjoyed a physical attack by pretty classmate Arashiko Yuno who just so happens to be his classmate now. So Taro turns to his only salvation, a school club known as the Second Volunteer Club whose club captain happens to specialize in solving fellow students’ problems and fixing them.
As it turns out, the attractive club captain named Mio Isurugi decides to take on this humongous task of “curing” Taro of his masochist ways by doing exactly what Taro enjoys … being physically injured and demeaned by a pretty girl. OK, this might not be the best approach as it is making Taro become even more of a super masochist in the process. However, Mio sees herself as God and she will not stop until he is cured.
Still, Taro learns that he’s not the only person with problems as he discovers that the busty Arashiko is suffering from androphobia (a strong fear of men) to the point that whenever one touches her she can’t help but punch him. Then there’s Taro best friend and classmate, Tatsukichi, who – during work – drops a major bomb. You see, the girl that Taro has a major crush on just so happens to be Tatsukichi in drag! Then there’s the perverted school nurse named Michiru Onigawara who is not only something of a voyeur but she is also likes to dress up girls in sexy cosplay outfits.
Then there’s Yumi Mamiya, a girl who happens to be a friend of Arashiko and happens to greet her with a good groping as she reveals that she loves coping a feel of all the hot girls that happen to be within her line of sight. Later, we meet Nao Hiiragi, the school genius who starts off wanting to turn the school into complete perverts with his insane inventions and awakening in Taro a Goku-like power (“Hen-tai-ha!”) that’s a hilarious nod to the Dragon Ball series.
Despite the fact that he’s far from being cured of his perversion, Taro finds friendship with each of his fellow perverts as well as become entangled in a love triangle between Arashiko and Mio who both like the boy in their own interesting way. It isn’t easy loving Taro when there’s also his sexy mother and sister (both who have an unhealthy attraction for Taro) as well as Nao who comes to really like him. Still, the Arashiko-Mio-Taro romance – although quite predictable – makes for satisfyingly awkward and fun moments between them. Even the fun rivalry that develops between Mio and Arashiko is fun to watch.
Speaking of predictable, MM!’s biggest weakness is that it relies heavily on elements we’ve seen hundreds of time in other anime comedies. The girl who’s so afraid of boys (yet likes the main character) and ends up hitting him each time have been covered. Taro putting on a dress and actually looking good in it has been done to death as well. The girl who spends the entire series curing him out and smacking him around but ends up falling for her victim in the end, yeah, that’s been done.
However, the series’ redeeming quality is that it actually is quite funny and we do like Taro Sado enough that you’ll cheer for the guy. You’ll even come to love his perverted nature as he jumps at any chance to be treated like a dog and enjoys every punch and kick in his general direction. In fact, his best Christmas present comes from Mio who offers him a very Merry Christmas and a roundhouse kick as the cheery on top. You can’t hate a guy who steps up to the plate to help a friend such as the time he takes a beating for Arashiko when she runs into the reason she’s so scared of men.
Even more interesting, I should tell you, is that the series doesn’t even rely on heavy fan service. Even the trip to the beach is just made up of just bikinis, although Nao groping of the girls she likes falls on the slightly naughty side.
The Complete Collection of MM! hits all the familiar notes that make up this genre and doesn’t even try to do anything unique but, when it comes down to the comedy, it does not fail to produce enough laughs to have you enjoying its warped sense of humor. While the ladies come straight out of other comedies, it’s Taro who steals the show as a pervert you can’t help to like from the very start. If you like your comedies quirky and pervy, definitely give MM! a try.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Taro is afraid the entire school will find out his terribly embarrassing secret that he’s a super masochist who enjoys being degraded and beaten by pretty girls so he turns to a club run by a girl who believes she is God in hopes that she will cure him. However, Taro finds out that he’s not the only pervert in the school as he discovers the secrets those closest to him are hiding. Could a masochist truly be cured and could they find love as well?
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The series doesn’t show us anything new visually but it makes up for it with the sight gags throughout the series as well as cute girls that – surprisingly enough – don’t resort to excessive fan service to be seen as appealing. You definitely have to watch this on DVD.
AUDIO QUALITY: A-
No English dub for this series but, then again, with an excellent Japanese voice cast you will not mind one bit seeing as Jun Fukuyama (as Taro) and Ayana Taketatsu (as Mio) are simply outstanding. The music is appropriately lighthearted and the opening and closing theme songs are just downright cute.
The two-disc set comes with the original Japanese promotional videos for the TV series as well as promo spots for the DVD release. Then there’s the clean opening and closing animation as well as a few Sentai Filmworks trailers.
Still, the best stuff comes in the from of a 9-part feature entitled “A Rather Extreme Short Story” that offer short bonus scenes that play up the fan service to an excessive degree just in case you thought the 12-episode series was lacking in that department. Then there’s the audio commentary track with Ayana Taketatsu and Saori Hayami (who voices Arashiko) that’s fun to listen to since both actors are very lively and even insightful.
While it won‘t change the way you see romance-comedy, the Complete Collection of MM! still manages to be hilarious and outrageous enough to be an entertaining series that does the genre justice. The twisted humor and fun – albeit familiar – cast of characters will keep you laughing along with the pervy antics until the very end.
Review copy provided by Sentai Filmworks