Ao-chan Can’t Study! – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Ao Horie wants to focus on school instead of pursuing romance, but there’s just one problem: Kijima, her handsome classmate, just confessed his love to her! And to make matters worse, she can’t stop thinking dirty thoughts about him! (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Ao-chan’s comedy is pretty one note; watching Ao-chan get into embarrassing situations due to her overactive imagination and lack of real life experience as Kijima attempts to get to know Ao in honestly innocent scenarios. But because the scenarios Ao-Chan conjures up in her head or encounters in real life can get rather ridiculous, they manage to produce some amusing entertainment even if you aren’t laughing out loud every time. It’s fun to see Ao take Kijima’s advances and paint them in a far more erotic light that he ever intended. It’s likely to keep fans of absurd erotic themed comedy hooked wondering what ridiculous scenario is going to pop up next.
Tom: Ao-Chan manages to remain charming thanks to Ao’s defiant yet naive personality and the awkward yet honest romance between her and Kijima. What fan service the series chooses to indulge in rarely seems to be for titillation, but rather to further the comedic misunderstandings between Ao and Kijima. By keeping it centered on that the series feels approachable for all audiences looking for a youthful sex comedy that never gets too risque (Although Episode 7’s preview hints that maybe the series will dip straight into ecchi pandering with an upcoming swimsuit episode prepared to seemingly hit every cliche in the book.)
Linny: There’s no denying that parts of Ao-chan can be rather cliche and contrived. Besides the oh so predictable fan service, it also features an extremely trope ridden character in the form of Ao’s childhood frenemy, Miyabi Takaoka. Not only does Miyabi seem to be hellbent on seducing and pursuing Kijima to create a very lame and one sided love triangle, Ao is completely blind to the vicious side of Miyabi when the plot needs her to be. Ao places the blame completely on Kijima in every situation, despite Miyabi making her efforts no big secret. Even when Ao witnesses and acknowledges Miyabi engaging in betrayal worthy activities, she goes running to her all for the sake of a gag. Yes, Ao-chan’s comedy is all about the ridiculous, but this particular ‘gag’ wears out its welcome the second it enters the show thanks to its forced nature. As shorts go, Ao-chan Can’t Study is one of the more entertaining ones thanks to having likeable leads, even if they are paper thin. Watching the two leads navigate teen love while figuring out self made and sometimes genuine obstacles makes for an entertaining and quick 13 minute episode almost every time. Pair that with a peppy OP song that’s filled with hilarious and cute animation and it’s sure to get most comedy fans psyched. Assuming that you are fine with humour that’s racy, Ao-chan is definitely one of the must try shows for comedy fans this season. Just remember to brace for all the flaws we’ve mentioned in this review.
Tom: Ao-Chan Can’t Study! is no prize pig. The animation does the job, but only just and rarely produces visuals worth raving about. While the show is often charming, those lulls in comedy can damage the flow and some episodes creep along slower than others. Since most of the comedy comes from misunderstandings things can feel a little repetitive, although this is offset by the fact that Ao and Kijima’s relationship does feel like it’s moving and the two are, slowly but surely, growing closer. Ao-Chan’s dad helps keep things lively too, acting as the show’s most risque character, but one who brings an additional level of absurdity to events. Ultimately Ao-Chan Can’t Study isn’t remarkable, and perhaps speaks to how weak this Spring Season is on a whole, but a short-form comedy like this gets the job done, and still comes out as one of the few worthwhile offerings this Spring.