Hopefully you’ve all been following our regular Anime Club posts in which the Glorio crew has been going round-robin and making each other watch anime, no questions asked. We have plenty more of that in the works, but in the meantime nothing says we can’ have a little spontaneous bonus round on the side.
One of the most divisive topics among us (and there certainly are many of them) is comedy and how we all have different tastes in humor. While slaving away at our workstations in the depths of GLORIO headquarters, Lifesong has often mentioned Heaven’s Lost Property as a comedy I might like. As a counter-offer I said I would watch it if he watched Binbougami-ga, a comedy I’m always trying to get people into. And so just like that, the deal was made and we were off watching our respective shows. What did we think? Who got the better end of the deal? Read on to find out.
Jel: Binbougami-ga is the type of show that doesn’t really show its hand until about the third episode, so it’s a little hard to convince people there’s more to it than just the dumb, wacky reference humor it starts out with. It’s a shame that seems to turn some people away, because once the series starts developing the characters and their relationships it’s actually quite good. Lifesong and I don’t often see eye to eye on comedy, but I thought he might enjoy Binbougami-ga if I could make him watch long enough.
What did you think?
Lifesong: Binbogami starts on an annoying note. The whole annoying home invader wants to ruin your life shtick just irritated me on a level I have a hard time explaining. So back when this anime first aired I didn’t make it past episode one. Jel and Timmy both told me that I should give it another chance, but I just never got around to it.
There were a few elements I didn’t like. The Binbogami herself was obnoxious from start to finish, and many of the reference jokes fell flat for me. Despite all the things I didn’t like, the character drama and growth sold me on Bimbogami in the end. My favorite part of the story is when Ichiko gets turned into a little girl and hides from the Binbogami by befriending a poor neighbor girl. The girls family takes her in and cares for her despite how little they have and a power statement about happiness is made in the process.
Honestly I never did find Binbogami to be all that funny. It had some hilarious moments sure, but for the most part that wasn’t what kept me going. After the 3rd episode the references are toned back a bit and story settles into a fairly serious story about happiness, luck and poverty. At first I thought that turning happiness into a tangible energy source was silly and well… it was. Binbogami abuses it’s silly shonen gag setting for all it’s worth and pulls out a surprisingly emotional piece.
Why Heaven’s Lost Property?
Lifesong: Heaven’s Lost Property is one of the most absurd anime comedies I’ve watched, but also one of the funniest. It has something of a reputation as the flying panties anime. Trying to explain why the series has panties that act like migratory birds can be pretty hard. All the sexual antics in this show can be a real turn off for some people so this pick was a gamble in that regard. Beyond the absurd comedy there is also a decent story packed in between all the jokes. I know that Jel likes absurd comedy situations that offer a little bit more than cheap laughs so this seemed like a natural pick for Jel.
What did you think?
Jel: My opinion on Heaven’s Lost Property can probably be encapsulated in one scene in the last episode of the series: tension is mounting as the group begins to worry about the safety of their Angeloid friends, including one that has been a victim of physical and emotional abuse. We as the viewer are even more aware of the actual danger they are in, so what does the show do? Throw in a random, mid-conversation shot of one of the girl’s breasts in a tight sweater, complete with comical sound effect. How are we supposed to feel at that point? Do they want us to be worried and turned on at the same time?
I know it’s not unheard of for an ecchi comedy to shoehorn in some romance or drama as a plot device, but Heaven’s Lost Property does this weird thing where it does both pretty well and I’m not sure they mix. I mean I don’t mind if you’re going to shove boobs in my face, but it does make it hard to pay attention to other things at the same time. I probably would have liked the series a lot more had they dialed down the ecchi to normal anime fan service levels and put more of the focus on growing along with the characters… figuratively speaking, you perv. The cultural festival episode was a good example of the show at its best, depicting a group of oddball friends working together and using random fan service like a swimsuit maid cafe as a spice rather than the main course.
There were moments of ridiculous, over the top comedy I found amusing and I’ll admit the surprisingly serious ending turned out a lot better than I expected, but overall I found Heaven’s Lost Property to be too much of a mixed bag to say I truly liked it. Considering where the story ends I have a hunch season 2 may be closer to the kind of show I’d like to see, so I might check that out someday. For now though, I’m OK with moving on.