SPOILER ALERT!'Without a summer job boredom comes quite easily, and when one is bored one watches anime. Apparently the folks over at Anime Season were thinking of poor saps like me when they designed a random "picker" of anime on their site. So I decided to test it out. After a few anime that just looked too damn gross for me to seriously consider viewing I stumbled upon Akane-Ino Ni Somaru Saka, and learned my first lesson of random anime viewing: RESEARCH YOUR ANIME BEFORE VIEWING IT!
Gaaaah.... where do I start? Akane's an anime that's based on an adult visual novel where the main character, Junichi, rescues a girl only to find out that they've been arranged to marry. From here starts the weirdest attempt by a shallow anime to be a lot more. Don't worry, I won't keep you in suspense.
It fails. Epically.
This isn't to say that the anime has all bad points, it's just that the good points are so shallow and unoriginal that it really doesn't matter how funny it is that Junichi's nickname is Geno Killer because of a spot of bad behavior in his youth. The whole idea of a nice guy that's got the identity as a delinquent is done to death, so why do it again? The girls all fall prey to the same tropes used in romance anime (the harsh but actually insecure girl, the incredibly beautiful sister the main character lusts after, you know the drill).
Use of tropes isn't a bad thing when they're used well and moved beyond. My favorite show, Clannad, is stereotypical from start to finish, so being stereotypical really isn't the trouble. It's the fact that not one single stereotype is moved beyond in a way that's satisfying. The guy is attracted to his sister, and he decides that he's going to date and screw her, instead of the main love interest they've been setting up the entire time? But it's not really his sister, as we find out. So what? He doesn't know, and so in his mind he's committing incest.
Overall, the show left me with a feeling that it could have been so much... more. Instead of actually looking at the effects and consequences of growing up and leaving your family to start a new one the show degrades into senseless and repetitive tropes and fan service.
It's essentially Clannad gone wrong. Which is painful.