Onegai Twins Episode 01

Onegai Twins

"Three Person Twins?"

Okay, I'll admit it. As much as I like to complain about the Onegai Teacher, I still watched every single episode of it, and enjoyed it. Most of that is probably the Ah! My Goddess fanboy in me speaking, but the gorgeous animation and character designs, along with good music and uh... well... an interesting (if not original) storyline made this one of the more popular anime series last year.

Fast forward to this year, and the announcement of Onegai Twins, a sequel of sorts to Onegai Teacher. I was wary at first, as what I would have preferred was a straight sequel to Onegai Teacher, but I was still willing to bite. The show starts out with a new theme song that very much puts you back in the Onegai _____ mood.

The character designs still look great, those this series has gone a bit lower on the age scale (which is probably a little surprising for Western audiences, where the subject matter of the first series was already tiptoeing on the taboo line). Anyone who watched the entirety of Onegai Teacher (along with the later OAV episode) knows about the progression of the sexual elements of the original series (increasing steadly until the OAV went far, far over the top), shouldn't be too surprised that 3:45 into the first episode, we have a girl on the receiving end of unwanted sexual advances. Other than this, the other bridge Twins has to Onegai Teacher is that it takes place in the same town, with Mizuho-sensei and the gang (sometimes making brief cameos).

Kamishiro Maiku takes over the reigns as main character of the new series. He's got a cold attitude (from the hard life of being an orphan, one would assume) and comes across as mostly caring only about himself and his own well-being (not quite the clumsy, lovable guy Kei was). The other of the eponymous twins is Miyafuji Miina, a bright and energetic girl with red hair.

As an additional point of interest, it's about 16:50 in when we have our first bath scene. A few minutes later, we get down to the nitty gritty: the first insinuation of incest between the Onegai Twins!

And since it wouldn't be much of a show if it was just about Miina and Maika getting together (through some Marmalade Boy-like plot device), at the end of the episode we're introduced to Onodera Karen, the third twin.

If Onegai Teacher was most easily compared to Ah! My Goddess (and it was), Onegai Twins, at this point, seems to be more of a Love Hina/Marmalade Boy inspired series. I didn't find it as immediately interesting as Onegai Teacher, but I'm willing to stick around and see if it picks up (and features more cameos by the cast of the first one!)

Oh! One other thing. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who finds it unnecessary how often the picture of the twins (only two of them!!!) in the wading pool naked is shown.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 09:42 PM | Comments (3)

Onegai Twins Episode 02

Onegai Twins

"We Might Relatives"

Let me start out by saying that I immediately disliked Karen's character. I'm sorry, but I'm tired of female anime characters who faint when they get nervous or excited.

The second episode of Onegai Twins formally introduces the wrinkle in the show's plot. Each of the three twins has a picture of a boy and a girl playing in a wading pool. The obvious problem is that there aren't three people in the picture. Considering they're supposed to be twins (at this point), Karen seems like the odd one out (coming across about two or three years younger than the other two characters). Her apparent age only makes it more uncomfortable when she gets an extended--and oh is it gratuitous--bath scene (Miina got one in the last episode, so I suppose it's only fair) early in the episode.

One of the annoying parts of Onegai Twins so far, is that it has made all the returning characters from Onegai Teacher look either stupid or weird. Mizuho is constantly being countermanded by students (she's completely useless as a teacher, apparently) ditzy and gullible. The one time we see Kei, he's sneezing and sick-looking, and Ichigo is just... weird.

This episode deals with the girls coming to terms with the fact that they might be completely welcome in Maiku's life (a thought somehow buried in their excitement to having found their old home), and Maiku trying to figure out if he can really handle living with them.

This show really takes its time. The pacing of each episode really plods along, and two episodes into it and I'm not really sure where the show is going. The only real saving grace of this show is the art. I'll keep watching it, but only because I liked Onegai Teacher (which I would say is a huge requirement if you feel like watching--and attempting to enjoy--this show.

Rating: C

Posted by Kei at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 03

Onegai Twins

"We Might Be Strangers"

After the introductory two episodes, the plot of Onegai Twins takes a markedly more incestual turn in the third. We start out with Miina being molested by Maiku (maybe a bit too strong of a description). It turns out that it was just a dream, but that while she was sleeping, she's managed to molest Karen (maybe a bit too weak of a description). This is just the start, as the next twenty minutes are involved with Karen and Miina trying to understand there markedly unsisterly feelings towards Maiku (note the title of the episode).

There are some wacky funny moments between Miina and Tsubaki (Maiku's sempai and vice-president of the school) as they compete for Maiku's attention. I'd like to note here that though Tsubaki is (in theory) only a year or two older than the twins, her breast size is significantly increased. I can only assume that this will become a plot point at some later point in this series.

If there's any high point to this episode, it's the brief explanation of Karen's situation, and why she came to live with Maiku. It's a sad story, but doesn't really make any sense. I mean seriously, a parent/guardian that abandons their daughter just because they're having money problems... Well, maybe things are different across the Pacific.

Also of note is the third bath scene in Onegai Twins (no, it's not Maiku's turn). The series is batting 1.000, going three for three!

Unfortunately, the quality of the show isn't quite that high.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 11:10 PM | Comments (1)

Onegai Twins Episode 04

Onegai Twins

"Be Kind to You"

For those of you keeping score, Onegai Twins opens with a bath scene between the two female twins, keeping the bath scene streak alive.

I forgot to mention it the first time he popped up, but this episode features Shimazaki, one of Maiku's classmates who is rather openly gay, and attempts to garner sexual favors from Maiku in exchange for his assistance in finding Miina and Karen part-time jobs. I think his character was purely thrown in to make the (I have to assume) predominately horny male audience that is watching this show feel as uncomfortable as possible, but who knows?

After two episodes dealing with the incestual nature of the twins' relationship, it appears that the two girls have made up their minds that they don't care if they're related to Maiku or not, they're going to try to win his affection. Either that or they're heavily banking on the fact that they are just a bunch of strangers, and the series' creators just didn't find it necessary to let the audience in on this internal dialogue. Meanwhile, Maiku doesn't seem to have gone down this path much at all, and falls into the role of big brother to Karen and Miina.

Anyways, the girls seem to finally have realized that staying with Maiku is causing him trouble with his finances. Hoping to help with his money problems, they try to find jobs. Their search is more or less one long slow descent into disaster, but in the end, big brother Maiku bails them out and finds them a job at the Herikawas' store (that's Koishi's family for Onegai Teacher fans), and we see the twins actually act like a family for once.

There's one interesting question that remains unanswered in this episode, at least. When on the subject of whether or not the twins will go to school, it's revealed that Miina didn't attend school previously. She doesn't want to talk about it, but hopefully it'll be explained in the future (especially now that Maiku has made arrangements for the girls to attend his school).

More disappointing in this episode is the continued degradation of Mizuho's character. Though she slightly redeems herself with an insightful explanation of Maiku's character to the girls (and to any viewers who haven't puzzled out his rather generic persona).

This show doesn't seem to be going anywhere quickly, and I'm really curious what aspect of the twins' relationship will turn into the main plot. The mention of the Herikawas' store gives me hope that Koishi might have a cameo in upcoming episodes (and hopefully her character won't be completely destroyed like the others), but other than curiousity and the great-looking artwork and occasionally nice music, there's not much else keeping me engaged with this show.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 05

Onegai Twins

"Do You Like Girls?"

There's always time in my schedule for a little hentai!

But unfortunately, I'm watching Onegai Twins.

Having already tackled the wild world of incest in previous installments of this show, we move on to homosexuality, a topic brought up through Maiku's interaction with his positively flaming classmate, Shimazaki. Because of Maiku's lifestyle, and his untrusting nature, there are widespread rumors at school that he's actually gay. His disinterest in girls is illustrated (and by illustrated, I mean hit with a frying pan) by his lack of positive reaction to seeing Tsubaki, Mizuho and Ichigo in their swimsuits.

Anyways, Karen and Miina decide to take it upon themselves to enflame Maiku's passion for girls (amazingly, Karen comes up with this idea)... Just in time for bath scene number five! Keeping the streak alive! On the topic, this might just be the Western cultural influences in me, but is it really normal for girls of this age (sisters included) to be bathing with each other?

As you might expect, given the story this episode is following, the art is suitably gratuitous. One thing stands out, though, and that's that the artists have apparently forgotten how to draw Mizuho, because she looks absolutely terrible in the few scenes she's in. It also makes me wonder if it is really necessary to have three different prepubescent ("super lolita", to use a show term) girls running around the screen (I should also mention that there's a scene in this episode with the girls' entire class...). I suppose this is to contrast Onegai Teacher, which featured much more developed female characters (excepting Ichigo).

Okay, maybe we weren't done with the incest story. We're treated to one scene where Maiku, alone, has obviously been more than a little tormented by the girls' enticing behavior. Also, for some reason, Matagu (another Onegai Teacher alumnus), has been exhibiting some strange behavior around his little sister, Haruko (if strange includes being insanely overprotective and spying at her in the pool using binoculars).

If there's any saving grace to this episode, when you finally figure out what Karen and Miina were planning, it's kind of funny. That doesn't quite salvage it, though.

Here's what's wrong with this series. This is a show about a possibly incestuous relationship between three twins. Now, if they sort of glossed over this (or ignored it, like in Marmalade Boy), the audience can sort of just accept the show. However, since this show is pretty much all about incest, the characters continue to hammer this idea into your head... which, for most normal people, makes the story a little hard to enjoy (after all, we don't *really* want to see the characters getting together, do we?).

The best line in this episode is probably when Maiku says, "I am gradually losing confidence in you," to Mizuho. That pretty much sums up how I feel about this show.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 06

Onegai Twins

"Love Alliance"

First, the important statistic. Six out of six episodes with bath scenes (this one went a while without one, so I was getting worried that the streak was in jeopardy!).

Honestly, if I ever hear any of the characters say "We might be relatives, but..." or "We might be strangers, so..." (if you've been watching the show, you know what I mean), I'm going to stab my eyes out with a pencil. Okay, luckily I won't do this, because those particular phrases are delivered at least a dozen times by the twins, in considering their wonderfully incestuous relationships.

In this installment of Onegai Twins, pretty much nothing happens. Really. The twins spend two-thirds of the show thinking about what's happened (which is really two-thirds of the entire series so far), and then finally decide that they won't tell Maiku that they're in love with him, and that when they find out which one of them is the relative, the other will support the non-relative as his lover (the "love alliance").

Five minutes probably would have been enough for this episode.

Rating: C-

Posted by Kei at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 07

Onegai Twins

"Making Memories"

I'm getting a little tired of Onegai Twins' (and, I think Onegai Teacher) frequent use of two characters reading the same line. It happens so much that it stands out. Just about every single episode seems to end with Miina and Karen saying some line together. I don't understand why the show's writers seem to like this technique so much. It really doesn't add anything... and it doesn't really make sense when it's used.

Anyways, we get this episode started off on a sour note. A cameo appearance from Onegai Teacher... but it's the girl who sees Kei on the beach and falls in love with him. Not quite what you'd call a major character. Oh yeah, by the way, this is the requisite beach episode of the series. (But don't worry, the change of scenery doesn't stop this episode from making it seven out of seven for bath scenes!)

And for the love of god, we get a scene of Miina and Karen taking turns licking a popsicle. Real subtle, guys. Thanks.

There's a few more cameos in the episode, with Shidou getting some more goofball time (why they decided he would be the returning character with the most screen time, I have no idea... I guess his oddly incestous relationship with his little sister Haruko fits the story or something), as well as Ichigo (ugh), Mizuho (still not drawn as well as in the last series), and... wait for it... Kei (who still hasn't said anything).

Nothing happens in this episode that is much different than any of the others... At the end, Maiku passes out from being teased by Miina and Karen and drinking Ichigo's "super juice".

I know how he feels.

Rating: C

Posted by Kei at 11:47 PM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 08

Onegai Twins

"Honest Love"

There's only one real reason why I continue to watch this show, honestly:

Can the streak continue?

And it does! Eight out of eight episodes with bath scenes! (Really, does anyone else notice things like this, or do they just think to themselves, "Gee, I wonder why I like this show so much?") I should probably point out there are actually *two* bath scenes in this episode. (This one's an A+ for sure!)

Wow, we get a montage in this episode! This is a good thing, because it means stuff that usually took a majority of an episode (this show does not move along quickly at all), gets by in a flash!

In this episode, we get an insight into Shimazaki (Maiku's gay classmate), and discover that the reason he "turned" gay, is because he hurt Tsubaki (Maiku's upperclassman, the girl trying to pursue him) by coming on too strong while they were dating. Because of this, he tried to restrain his feelings about girls... and became interested in Maiku instead. Right.

So basically, we find out that Tsubaki cannot get close to guys, because she's afraid of intimacy. This is why she latches on to Maiku, because he's too serious to do anything. The outcome of the whole episode is that Tsubaki is more or less eliminated as a challenger for Maiku, which further exacerbates one of the problems with this show: it's a romantic drama in which there is no contest. The two girls that are pursuing him have basically decided that one of them will be disqualified (by finding out that she's Maiku's sibling) and the other will win him.

The only challenge to their relationship is the fact that they're related, which they obviously don't really care about. On top of that, Maiku will have to choose between one of the two girls (we assume), but he doesn't really seem to like one more than the other, so that's another avenue of interest that is cut out. With all this, it's a little hard to generate real, believable drama that can draw the watcher in.

As ridiculous as it is, I actually enjoy Shimazaki and Tsubaki as characters (with their stories) more than the three leads of this show. In five minutes of this episode, they've been more compelling than Maiku, Karen and Miina have ever been. Also, this is the first episode that makes reference to teitai (which was a huge plot point in the first series), but it's fairly off the cuff, and you're not missing anything if you don't understand it.

I feel I need to clarify my rating, too. It would have been higher if this episode had *only* involved Shimazaki and Tsubaki. Unfortunately, it didn't, so their stuff brings down the overall score.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 09

Onegai Twins

"Don't Rush"

My favorite part about watching this show is watching the opening credits.

Good title for this episode, it more or less describes the pace of the plot of this series so far.

Best line of the episode: After the rote recitation of, "We might be relatives, but we might be strangers." Maiku says, "Don't say things like that." If only!

I think the worst part about this episode, is that you have to experience the same scene (though slightly changed) once for each of the two girls. As if this show didn't move at a slow enough pace, now you're getting half the stuff in the same amount of time. If the show's creators were so out of ideas, maybe they should have made it Onegai Triplets, and worked from there.

Another observation. Over 50% of the lines in this particular episode were one of the main characters' names... I think this is more or less true for all the episodes. I remember this happening a lot in Ah! My Goddess, too.

Phew, it was a close call this episode, but with just seconds to go before the credits, we hit our ninth straight bath scene! And after all, isn't that what really matters.

Oh, and don't worry, nothing happened in this episode.

Rating: C-

Posted by Kei at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 10

Onegai Twins

"I Want to Run Again"

Not wasting time to get to the tenth bath scene in a row, coming in right after the opening credits.

This episode was a lot better than the majority of episodes in this series so far, but it still makes you wonder where exactly it's all going. We found out a little bit more about Miina's life (not that it amounts to much), generally developing her character in a very non-character-developing sort of way. You might say that she grows in a fashion that doesn't actually add or detract from her character. Okay, so that's not really growing, but I guess that's sort of what I'm trying to say.

The best part of the episode is probably the last few minutes, where Karen (loathe her voice) discovers that the house they live in is quite possibly not the house they grew up in. Because of the angle of the picture, she surmises that the ramshackle house across the way is actually where they lived. (It should be noted that the fact they were in the wrong house should have been really obvious from a careful examination of the photo.)

It's an interesting new direction for the show, but boy, you'd think they'd have noticed their mistake earlier.

Rating: C+

Posted by Kei at 03:05 AM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 11

Onegai Twins

"I Want to Tell You I Love You"

Almost five minutes into the episode until our eleventh consecutive bath scene! You know, if they put them at the end of the episode, I might be able to maintain interest better, just with worrying about the streak.

Here's my theory about the show:

The twins are aliens. No, hear me out. Because you wouldn't really complain too much about incest if it was between aliens right? Beady eyes and claws and such. Who cares if they want to keep it in the family? This is the Onegai _____ world, after all. We do have aliens! Maybe Maiku has tentacles or something!

Without spoiling too much, let's just say that I am extremely skeptical that the show will play out with the things that were revealed in this episode. Give it another thirty minutes and the tables will be turned. The way this show was set up, I completely find it unbelievable that either of the girls will be shut out from Maiku's love. Could be I'm wrong, though, it's just my impression. I have to figure that Karen and Miina have equal followings, and as they share the spotlight as main characters, I don't see the show's creators giving the other the shaft.

So, getting to the last few minutes of the show, I hope that the backstory with Karen being a runner wasn't all just to make this part a little more acceptable...

Not a great episode, but for the first time in this entire series' run, I'm actually curious what happens next.

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 01:01 AM | Comments (0)

Onegai Twins Episode 12

Onegai Twins

"Three Person Twins"

Eleven episodes later, the answer. (The first episode of the show was called "Three Person Twins?)

I might be completely off my gourd, but I thought the art was a little more appealing than usual in this episode.

(Don't worry, the streak continues.)

Now that we've got the important stuff out of the way, let me do the series breakdown.

Spoilers exist below!

This show has the dumbest plot in a romantic drama/comedy I've ever seen. This enormous build up (okay, so it isn't that big, but that's literally all we've got!) over who of the three twins are actually are the twins in the picture, and who's the outsider.

There's no clever Marmalade Boy payoff. As it turns out, the revelation in the last episode that Karen is the twin is actually true. HOWEVER, it's Miina in the picture.

If you were expecting any backstory, you expected wrong!

The show was basically a set of one dozen standalone episodes that don't really advance the relationships of the characters. Honestly, I feel like this story could have been effectively told in a three episode OAV as an accompaniment to Onegai Teacher.

Let's breakdown the characters:

1. Maiku. Maiku started knowing just about nothing about his parents, led by a picture of him and his twin (which apparently his mother lied to him about) to the Onegai world. At the end, he knows just about nothing about his parents, but now has a sister (who is more or less in love with him in a non-sisterly way), and a girlfriend. As a character, he has not advanced. He advanced from being the stuck-up, it's all about me character in about episode two.

2. Miina. Miina started knowing just about nothing about her parents, led by a picture of her and her twin (which apparently her mother lied to her about) to the Onegai world. At the end, she knows just about nothing about her parents, but now has a "sister" (pretty much in every way but blood), and a boyfriend. As a character, she has not advanced. We learned she liked to run.

3. Karen. Karen started knowing just about nothing about her parents, led by a picture of her and her twin (which apparently her mother lied to her about) to the Onegai world. At the end, she knows just about nothing about her parents, but now has a brother (who she is in love with in a more or less non-sisterly way), and a "sister" (pretty much in every way but blood). As a character, she has not advanced. She still faints whenever she gets freaked out or excited, and she's still in love with Maiku.

To sum up: Twelve episodes of the same story repeated over and over again. On episode eleven, realize we're running out of space. Have the twin discover her identity through random chance discovering a diary in an abandoned house.

The alien story would have been better than this.

Rating: D

Posted by Kei at 11:39 PM | Comments (9)