First Look: The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten

angel 01-1

Alternative title(s): Otonari no Tenchi-sama ni Itsu no Ma ni ka Dame Ningen ni Sareteita Ken
Light Novel Adaptation by Project No. 9
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Amane seems like an OK guy but he’s kind of a slob. On a rainy day he gives his umbrella to Mahiru, the beautiful, popular “angel” of the school. To repay him, she takes up cooking, cleaning, and doing whatever it takes to help get his life in order.

angel 01-2

Jel’s verdict: A little “too” angelic

On the surface, this is a very nice story about a nice girl being nice to a nice boy who happens to be her neighbor. The only initial criticism I have is the two main characters both being quiet and soft spoken, and maybe a little too sensible. A lot of this episode is just two people with blank stares talking in a monotone voice to each other. It’s clear they like each other, but the actual on screen chemistry is lacking. It’s a little hard to stay awake while watching. Nevertheless, if you like nice people being nice and you enjoyed this, that’s fine. More power to you.

HOWEVER, we here at the GLORIO blog do not live on the surface level. We have to overthink and overanalyze everything. And to me, watching The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten felt a little creepy. Dude gives the girl his umbrella, which I know in anime is equal to a marriage proposal but still, I did not expect her to actually become his perfect, traditional housewife. Not only does she cook and clean for him, but she is pure and innocent and will not stand for even a glimpse of his bare stomach! And it’s a good thing too, because dude clearly can’t take care of himself. Boys will be boys, am I right?

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To be fair, I don’t think the author is intentionally trying to reinforce traditional gender roles, or really say anything at all. It’s implied this girl just likes him and this is her way of expressing her affection. Intentional or not though, it’s all there and it’s heavily embedded in every scene. It’s also weighted toward the male perspective in a way that makes this feel like wish fulfillment. Sure, it’s a lot more subtle than most light novels. There are no boobs being smashed in your face or harems of female slaves. But there is the fantasy of having a beautiful, pure young woman cooking and cleaning for you, as a good traditional wife would. All in exchange for a small amount of basic human decency (or, side note, good chance they will go for the cliché where he did some small thing for her a long time ago that he doesn’t remember). For me, that at least raises an eyebrow.

In conclusion, I have spent way too much time thinking and writing about an anime I found boring and slightly creepy. If you’re really hard up for an extremely chaste, slow burn romance, then this will probably be fine. But if you’re like me and that sounds a little too dull, it’s not worth it.

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