Tag Archives: Shuffle!

[NSFW] Anime Spotlight: Shuffle!

index[2]
(left to right) Nerine, Rin, Lisianthus, Kaede, Kareha
Now that I’m all-out on anime (y’know, watching 14 shows this season), I’m starting to realize how many shows I’m either watching or have watched are based on visual novels, a lot of them also being hentai visual novels. I’m not 100% sure, but I think Shuffle! was the first anime I watched that feel into this category.

And goddamn is it a good one, both in the visual novel and its anime.

(left to right) Primula, Lisianthus, Nerine, Kaede
(left to right) Primula, Lisianthus, Nerine, Kaede

This may end up being a Top 10 down the line, so ahead of time, I would see the Shuffle! anime and visual novel being up there as one of the best in terms of having a full cast of beautiful and interesting characters. Generally speaking, the majority of anime are at best a 66/33 ratio of girls I have at the very least a slight interest in. With Shuffle!, I’m pretty sure that number is at 100% and that goes for not just the main cast, but a lot of the side girls like Kareha, Mayumi and characters even deeper in the Shuffle! universe with related visual novels like Tick! Tack! and Really! Really! with girls like Tsubomi and Ai. In terms of personality, granted there’s more gaps in between the girls, but in terms of overall looks, the majority of them are so close, they’re smooshed together in a big (sexy) group hug.

They all have something to offer too, there’s really something for everyone (who’s attracted to girls) in this group. You want a great wife who’s going to cook and clean for you without an issue (she might snap once in a while, but whatever!), you’ve got Kaede. You want an energetic green-haired tomboy who’ll cling to you from behind while she’s topless, you’ve got Asa. You want a super-happy, outgoing God who’ll bash her father with a chair like she’s a pro wrestler, you’ve got Lisianthus. You want a proper, modest Devil with probably the most beautiful singing voice in the entire world, you’ve got Nerine. You want a cute, yet artificially created younger girl (though if she’s underage…just don’t) that’s relatively quiet, but loves cats, you’ve got Primula. You want a super-hot blonde God who is the cliche daydreamer and has her head constantly in the clouds, you’ve got Kareha. You want a heterochromia, flat-chested beauty who will spend every day until the day she dies defending her same-chested group until the very end, you’ve got Mayumi. Hell, you want the youngest, hottest MILF that will ever existed (that may be because of genetic experiments that have caused her body to stop aging), you even have Ama, who’s Asa’s mother. There’s a massive choice of girls and I’ve still left out plenty.

(left to right) Kareha, Asa, Rin
(left to right) Kareha, Asa, Rin

The show itself for the most part stays very close to the visual novel whether through key plot points, or the little details about the various characters, take for example Kareha being constantly lost in her own thoughts whenever something she perceives as romantic happens in front of her. The show does a great job of translating the insanity of the visual novel, while simultaneously managing to cut out the sex scenes and still retaining the pure sexiness of the series. The show could have really calmed down on the ecchi moments like some visual novel based anime ends up being, but other than not showing nipples and genitalia, there’s really no calming down. Hell, my favourite moment from the visual novel makes its return in anime form, Asa losing her swim top and having to press her chest against Rin’s back to hide her breasts from everyone else.

Like so

***MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD FROM HERE ON OUT!!!***

Which brings us to the part of the show that surprised me the most. If you haven’t read my Character Spotlight on Asa Shigure the day before this article goes up, in the visual novel you have many, many choices of girls to go with and end the game with. The anime had to do one of two things, pick one girl or end on a vague note like most harem anime does. Not only did they choose the one girl approach, they chose the one girl I thought there was no chance in hell they’d pick: Asa. I would’ve bet every dollar I had that they’d pick Kaede in the end, she’s the archetypical wife and Japan does love having their waifu. But no, they went with Asa, which includes her crazy, holy shit serious ending. For those unfamiliar with Asa, she’s half-human in a world with Gods and Devils living amongst humans. Her mother is a Devil who married a human male. Like other Devils, Asa does have magic powers, though she chooses not to use them. After being hospitalized near the end of the series, her refusal to use her magic becomes a major hindrance to her own life, which of course upsets Rin to no end, being in love with her and all. It gets to the “WHAT THE FUCK?!” point in the last episode where in order to force Asa to use her magic, Rin actually slits his wrist with a pair of boxcutters, telling her he refused to live without her. A bit extreme if you ask me and it certainly caught me off guard.

01

That’s something this series does quite a bit, especially in the second half. The first half is very cheerful, a lot of fun, sexy fun at that. But once we pass the halfway mark of this 24-episode beauty, things start to get a little twisted, a little dark and a little uncomfortable. Kaede is the other half really of the twisted sections of Shuffle! as she’s portrayed as the likely candidate for Rin’s affection. She’s been taking care of him since they were kids after an accident that claimed the lives of her mother and Rin’s parents. When Rin initially starting getting close with Asa, she suddenly turned very violent (and I mean VERY VIOLENT!), the already trouble mind of a girl who lost her mother and was starting to lose really the closest thing she had left in terms of family activating and turning the volume up to 11. Well…more like turning up the crazy to 11. It’s those events that are the reason for her perfect wife portrayal around Rin, it’s the way she tried to atone for her actions. Though she still gets a little crazy when all the new girls start showing up as well.

Kaede and Asa’s story arcs are two extremes, one I did not anticipate when watching this anime. I really did go into this thinking it would just be a fun ecchi harem anime, but man was I wrong! At a time, Kaede exudes the “yandere” characterization that is uncommon in most anime, least the ones I’ve watched. Yandere essentially describes a character who while showing affection to their respective love interest, is also a psychotic and extremely violent person. Thankfully she doesn’t fully snap and manages to catch herself before seriously injuring or even killing someone in the process. And believe me, if she killed Asa Shigure, I’d be spending the rest of my life trying to figure out how to make anime characters real. Asa’s situation on the other hand was just irritating to me. The whole slitting Rin’s wrist thing was extremely unnecessary, I thought. There had to be a better way to accomplish what they set out to do. They didn’t need to tread on ground that I reserve solely for School Days, an anime I would never impose on someone, even if I hated them.

01

Taking away just the ending of the series (I didn’t mind Kaede’s yandere stuff, mainly cause nothing serious happened), I still enjoyed a lot of Shuffle!, though if I was to suggest it to people to stop around Episode 20 or so, avoiding the final episode at all costs, I really got super uncomfortable at the end, though I’m not big on blood and gore, especially self-inflicted so it could just be me here. But in terms of a good comedic harem anime, Shuffle! certainly does the job, it’s funny, there’s a ton of girls for the viewer to choose from and is just overall a very entertaining show.

I’m just gonna pretend the anime chose to go the vague path and everyone’s still chasing Rin at the end. And that’s actually not because I want Asa all to myself, I just don’t want to put up with the violent drama. I was enjoying the sexy fun, Shuffle! Why’d you have to kill my buzz, man?!

01

[NSFW] Character Spotlight: Asa Shigure

01

Our first character spotlight that’s originally from a hentai visual novel! Woooooo! When a character is from that kind of media and is worthy of being one of the many lovely ladies featured in this series, you know she’s something special. Granted, there are actually a number of girls in visual novels that will be in this series at some point (Angela from Princess Waltz, you’re next!), but out of all of them, Asa’s the shining example. After all, she is #4 on the anime waifu list.

01

It’s crazy to think that out of all the girls in the entire Shuffle! series, I essentially picked the one who is the only one without a gimmick. Think about it. Lisianthus, Nerine, they’re sweet girls but they’re also a God or a Devil. Kareha is a god, but also has the “head way too high in the clouds” personality. Primula is the tiny, quiet girl…who may also be severely underage. Kaede seems normal, except she’s given the “perfect wife” treatment and oh, SHE SNAPS INTO A VIOLENT RAGE SOMETIMES! No, thank you! Mayumi’s probably the closest thing we have to a normal girl, except she’s got the anime distinction of being the girl with heterochromia (two different coloured eyes).

While Asa is indeed half-human, half-devil, there’s nothing physically that shows that and personality-wise, she’s a normal as you can get in the series. She’s very energetic, that happy-all-the-time kind of girl that you just can’t help but smile when you’re around her. But the biggest feather in her cap is that she’s a tomboy, which is an immediately plus for me and a giant one at that. I absolutely adore tomboys (need to make an article on this), almost every major tomboy character in an anime or video game (and is at the very least decently good-looking) I’m an absolute fan of and Asa is no exception. The upside though with her, is she’s not the cliche “I only like manly stuff” kind of tomboy, she still dresses very much like a normal girl, hell she’s still super good at cooking, though that’s not exactly reserved as a girly skill anymore, we’re finally getting past the woman stays in the kitchen bullshit. She doesn’t sacrifice her looks because she’s a tomboy, she dresses how she wants and acts how she wants.

01g

Asa plays both sides as well when it comes to how she dresses and acts. She can be very innocent, beautiful and elegant. She’ll look nice and pretty when she has to, after all she clearly spends a little time with her hair and makeup. But she can also be a little cheeky, a little sexy, she has no problem showing herself off to the one she loves. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in fact it’s freaking fantastic to have a girl that can nail both sides of the coin without hating either side. When it comes to her attitude, it’s no different. While she’s very energetic and sometimes a little too straightforward, she can be very polite when she has to be. But when it’s time to get serious and you’ve got a man you want to nab before the infinite amount of sexy Gods and Devils get to him, you’re willing to wrap your arms around him from behind and hug your topless body right up against him and be just a little flirtatious. While wearing this weird…jean bikini bottom? Oh, and you never intended for your bikini top to fall off, shit just happened. Perhaps it was a sign? I don’t think Rin gave a shit at that point, he had the best pair of breasts in the entire series against his back.

01

And that’s the thing about Asa that really sets her apart from the rest of the girls. While most of the rest have visual gimmicks like the long, pointy ears, Asa is as pretty as the rest of them without having something extra to set her apart physically from the rest of them. There’s a lot of emphasis on the rest of them as being drop dead gorgeous, though unless you pick Asa’s story arc in the visual novel, you don’t get that from her nearly as much. She’s just cute the majority of the time, until you get to the sexy scenes with her, where she shines brighter than all. She pretty much has the perfect body, I love her hairstyle and colour, beautiful violet eyes, the perfect bust size, not too big and not too small, and of course that perfect ass of hers. And with all that, she still comes off like a best friend, she’s not a bitch, she’s not a princess, she’s just a girl. And she isn’t held down to one style. Like I said earlier with her elegant to sexy traits, she’ll wear odd stuff like the jean bikini bottoms and the overalls kind of looking dress, to well…super cute panties like these:

01

The most shocking thing with Asa though is how the anime handles her, specifically the plot. Honestly when it comes to the girls in the first half of the anime, Asa feels like #5 on the totem pole underneath Primula, then Lisianthus and Nerine, with Kaede on top as the girls destined to be with Rin. And then out of nowhere, she’s the one picked to be the love interest of the anime, which is actually even more surprising, given most harem anime never show their hand at the end, you’re left with no clear winner. Not only does Asa win, but she wins outright and crazy shit happens, which I’ll discuss in the Anime Spotlight tomorrow, which just happens to be the Shuffle! anime.

Y’know I feel like this article is a little light on words, like there’s nothing too special about Asa. I think that’s the beauty of her, she is just that, normal. She’s super pretty, a tomboy and just feels like your best friend in life. And when it all comes down to it, the girl you end up spending the rest of your life with (or guy, whatever you’re into) should be just that, your best friend.

And if he/she’s this damn sexy too, that’s a major freaking bonus!

01

Top 10 Anime Girls I’d Marry

A couple weeks ago I had the difficult decision to pick the Top 10 girls in all of anime that I’d list for a one-night stand. That was all fun and games, but now it’s time to get serious! These ten have to be more than a pretty face and body, they have to also have the personality that would work with me and the feeling that I’d want more than to just hang out with them. Also it helps that they aren’t likely to kill me or hurt me pretty badly…

As usual this is my own list taking into account my own preferences, so my list will be way different than yours. And there’s always characters I’ve never heard of or haven’t watched so I don’t know them inside and out. And because some characters may have difficulty applying to real life (cause, y’know…it’s anime), there’ll be a couple characters I adjust slightly to work with this situation.

Anyways, let’s get to it!

 

10

My first anime crush, Cagalli has been etched into my psyche for a long time now. The downside to that is there’s been plenty of time to take her further and further down the totem pole. However she’s still leaps and bounds more interesting than the majority of anime girls out there, she’s a tough girl with a tiny bit of a laid back personality when she’s not fighting for her life. She of course gets extra points being a tomboy, something that always works well with me. Man…I still can remember that sequence in Gundam Seed with her and Athrun on that deserted island as if I watched it yesterday.

09

Lynette’s an absolute freaking sweetheart, she’s awesome. She’s also got that shy side of her as well that’s really cute. A huge plus for me is she’s a pretty good cook (I’m god awful in the kitchen right now), so it would certainly be nice to have someone directing me rather than leaving me to burn the house down. I suppose her being in an alternate WWII-era anime requires some change to bring her into the present day, but given her look and attitude, I don’t see that being an issue.

08

Right off the bat, yes I know she’s a tiny alien inside an AI unit designed exactly like her in human size. So let’s just assume the AI unit is the actual human body for this. Nagisa is a crazy mixture all over, she can be that adorable girl, but she’s also so unpredictable and a little crazy, which can be fun (when she’s not holding a Memory Erasure Apparatus, I mean…hammer…) as well. Not to mention the blue hair/green eyes combination looks fantastic on her. One of my favourite girls from this year’s worth of anime.

07

I seem to like a lot of girls in sci-fi kind of anime, the third character of the first four so far that has something to do with outer space. I’m not even convinced I’d need to take away Marika’s space pirate work, she doesn’t seem to let it change her to the point of the stereotypical rum-drinking, cursing, violent pirate. Instead she’s an absolute sweetheart, very fun loving and let’s be honest here, she’s gorgeous. I don’t think even in full pirate getup and holding a gun right to my head, I still wouldn’t think in the back of my head “Damn she’s pretty…”.

06

Granted, this character is inside a video game, so we can safely assume the role of the character’s self in the real world, Shizuka Hanekura. Specifically in Log Horizon, Akatsuki is easily the cutest assassin I’ve ever seen in any form of media. She has to be when one of the side characters tries to dress her up in pretty clothes and hugs the shit out of her every time she comes across her. Personality-wise, I really don’t pay much attention to her “my lord” portion, other than the fact you know she’s loyal to you once you’ve earned her respect. Otherwise, she is clearly very shy and reserved, looking even more adorable when doing so. I just hope Akatsuki is the only part of Shizuka that’s swung a sharp object.

05

Looking at the rest of this list, I can safely say we’re away from all the outer space ladies, but something will remain consistent for almost the entire Top 5: tomboys. Makoto is the tomboyish character in Idolmaster that wants to be a girly pop idol like everyone else, but her tomboyish figure for the most part prevents that, everyone prefers to dress her more like a guy. Honestly, I could go either way, she looks really good in her more masculine clothes such as the tanktop and shorts she’s wearing in the picture above. But I’d have zero issues with her in a cute top, skirt and thigh high socks if that’s what she wants to do. She’s pretty enough that she can pull off both sides.

04

It’s crazy that in an anime/visual novel where there’s so many to choose from, especially ones designed to be perfect (Nerine, Lisianthus, Kareha, etc.), Asa’s the one I’d pick by not just a small margin, but by a landslide. This green-haired sporty tomboy is fucking awesome, she really gives off that best friend in the entire world attitude. But she also backs up her awesome personality with pure beauty, past the joking and stuff she is an absolutely beautiful girl and is very adorable when you get close enough to her to unlock that part of her personality. Though the denim shorts cut into bikini bottoms still baffles me. Tomboy, I guess.

03

Rikka’s probably the closest character in terms of her overall looks and personality to my actual real-life girlfriend and before you even think it, no, my girlfriend is 27 like me. Minus the acting like she’s still an anime heroine, Rikka is easily the cutest of all the girls on this list in terms of personality. She’s very over-exaggerating with her emotions, whether she shows that by her facial expressions, or waving her hands about (my girlfriend does this a lot when she speaks). She’s totally adorable, you just want to give her the biggest hug ever. I imagine once she’s grown up a little more, probably after high school, she’s the perfect mixture of a young adult who still has a little bit of their inner child out there.

02

I said so many good things about Charlotte in my Top 10 Infinite Stratos Girls list, but she just misses the #1 spot. But it’s no easy feat to get #2 and Charlotte works hard to do that. She’s one of very few blonde-haired characters that’s really gotten my attention, it helps that she dressed like a guy for half the first season and has a curious mixture of a tomboy, but seems to lean to a more girly side once her real gender is discovered. And then there’s that French accent of her, which is sexy as fuck. She really gives off that sweet girl feeling, the kind of girl you’d want to take out to a nice dinner to, not just a movie or something trivial like that. You think she’s worth the effort, as certainly do I.

 

But if Charlotte, the girl I’ve been talking endlessly about these past couple weeks isn’t #1, who is? Well…

01

I don’t even want to remove her cat ears and tail, fuck it, have nekojin exist in our world for this, it only adds to how beautiful this woman is. The first time I saw Kuon in Episode 1 of Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen, I thought she was really cute, but wasn’t sure how I’d feel about her personality. Generally speaking, characters that look like how she does can often be a little hyper, or too overly cute. But by the end of Episode 1 after watching how this woman acts, the only thought coming to my head was “Holy shit, if this girl was real…”, though of course I am in a great 8-year relationship, I’m not the kind of terrible guy who’d drop a girl just because he came across a prettier one who’s into him. Putting all that aside though, there’s no denying the perfection that is Kuon. She’s one of the prettiest girls in any fictional media I’ve ever come across and may just have the best personality out of all of them. She’s sweet, she’s loving, she’s caring, she’s funny, she’s adorable and she has no problem getting serious when she has to. She’s the total package and easily the #1 candidate for an anime marriage if one could ever exist.

 

Hope you enjoyed the list, once again I had a blast/hard time making this one up. If you’ve got your own opinions, especially involving characters I didn’t even mention, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments below!