Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
It's time for the magical boys to join the fight
Warning: this review does contain a few vague spoilers.
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! (美男高校地球防衛部 - Binan Kōkō Chikyū Bōei-bu LOVE!) is an early 2015 magical boy anime series created by Kurari Umatani and produced by Diomedéa.
There's always at least one magical girl anime every year, but Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! is a tad different. This is a magical boy anime. I'm talking full magical hero transformations, unique powers, combined attacks, out-of-this-world enemies, aliens, and all, only with boys instead of girls. If you've seen a magical girl anime before, you will know what to expect.
There is one major detail that separates this anime from the others, besides the gender change - this is a parody. Not just any parody, the best parody I've ever seen. It follows the genre perfectly while it plays with all the flaws and stereotypes in outrageously funny ways. It also pokes fun at other anime genres as it goes, and even makes a few cracks in the fourth wall. Not even the infamous 1990s English translations were safe from this anime's attacks.
This entire series was fantastic, but that didn't stop the characters from stealing the show. The main five heroes, the villains, the aliens and enemies were all absolutely amazing! Wombat was the best pet/mascot/guide I've ever seen in these series, especially when he's with Mr. Tawarayama and his love/fear relationship with Yumoto. The five heroes were highly entertaining on their own, too, but when dealing with their "Love Making" and their encounters with the "Loveless" they were hysterically perfect. I particularly loved how all the student characters never felt or acted like anything more than real students, despite what they were going through, or what they were tasked to complete. In so many other series the characters become more mature, or have significant emotional shifts when they change, but in this series the characters are the same with or without the flamboyant costumes. Don't worry, the enemies were just as hilarious.
Storywise, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! doesn't feel all that special, but as a parody, it works. It basically just follows a group of students who were imbued with powers and need fight the monster of the week. The final two episodes certainly moved away from this staple and provided a very welcome conclusion, though. I especially loved how the story concluded, yet left the door open for the story to continue if they decided to have a second season. (I really hope it does get a second season.)
The animation quality is actually quite high for this type of anime. Sure, it repeats certain animations frequently, but that's obviously by design to match the style of a certain cheaply made magical girl series, especially since they do vary when needed. The detail on the transformations was exceptionally well detailed... almost too detailed, though.
The music was fantastic, too. The opening and closing songs were very memorable, but the battle music and standard background music fit in perfectly. Although, the final closing song sung by the main characters was defintely the best of them all.
I think you've figured out by now that I definitely recommend everyone to watch Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, especially long time anime fans. Just don't expect anything resembling a serious story - there is nothing serious about this anime, and it's a much more enjoyable because of it.
The Best and Worst Parts of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
(This area contains detailed spoilers.)
The Top 5:
- The Enemies: These were the most ridiculous ideas for baddies I've ever seen. I especially liked how so many of them revolved around food, but it the giant kotatsu monster was definitely my favourite. I am almost disappointed that we didn't get a rampaging sushi, though.
- Wombat Cuddling: Hakone Yumoto's love of Wombat (aka ?%*@#$!?) made even the most dire situations a hilarious event.
- The Dialogue: This series had so many priceless lines, but their transformation introductions were one of the best parts of Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! Although, none of those matched the perfection that was "The Sparkling Prince is gonna sparkle your sparkles off!"
- Mr. Tawarayama: The series certainly wouldn't have been the same without their teacher's undead problems. Although, his revival only to be killed off again in the training camp was definitely his high point.
- All of Episode 4: Cute Little Boys of Love was by far my favourite episode. Their special transformations, the limpness of their powers, their emotional changes, the enemy, the leaf censors... Can have an entire season dedicated to this condition next time?
Honourable Mention: The main characters singing the theme song at the very end of the series.
The Worst 3:
This should have been the worst 5, but I could find enough annoyances to fill the list.
- The Towel Drop scene: Yes, so many series have males acting in extremely homophobic ways, but this just didn't make any sense given the circumstances. I mean, they are in a public bath, and using public open showers, yet they have problems seeing someone naked in the changing room.
- Episode 3: Feel Love, Narcissus wasn't a terrible episode, but it had one of the most ridiculous ideas for a plot ever - A pretty boy contest at an all-boys school. Really? They could have at least made it a public event, where visitors from an all-girl school came by to vote, or something.
- The Ending: The ending wasn't bad, not by a long shot. The problem I have is that it exists! I want more!