Kenka Bancho Otome -Girl Beats Boys- – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Orphaned heroine Hinako Nakayama suddenly reunites with her twin brother Hikaru, who asks her to take his place at Shishiku Academy, a private boys school infamous for its rough-and-tumble student body. Hikaru being the child of a powerful Yakuza family, the Onigashima, is obligated to become the leader of Shishiku Academy. Hinako will have to hide her identity and fight to control the school. How will Hinako deal with a school full of handsome boys who let their fists do the talking rather than discussing their feelings? (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis.)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Kenka Bancho has explored its characters very little, instead mostly set on pushing the plot’s progression to the forefront as our hero works to become the strongest in the school. We rarely dive into anyone’s motivations, not Hinako or any of the boys she beats into submission and friendship. It’s only when these motivations are integral to the plot, like when one guy’s younger brother is kidnapped, that we explore what truly drives them. Anyone looking for intriguing characters need know the cast is exceedingly 2D.
Linny: The show has these minute long interview like sections where we have the characters voice a few personal thoughts which might help viewers understand their mindset a bit but don’t expect indepth analysis. You get the bare minimum of information to help you understand if the character is an ally or foe and that’s it. So far, we’ve spent the most time pushing the plot forward and getting to see Hinako interact with her first two rivals turned allies, Totomaru and Takayuki, who reveal themselves both to be good guys more or less. We’ve also been given a barely plausible explanation as to why Hinako agreed to pose as someone else and join Shishiku Academy.
Tom: The big draw of course with Kenka Bancho is its absurd premise and over the top developments. The show sadly becomes a tad hit or miss as we progress. When it’s focused on the fighting, things are solid, but when the show is trying to retain a serious atmosphere while injecting heartfelt drama that’s when Kenka Bancho is at its weakest. In fact it’s strongest moments, outside of the street brawls, are when the series is focusing on the comedic antics of Hinako’s surprise sibling brother who roped her into all this.
Linny: Being a short form show, Girl Beats Boys has a simple premise that’s also got a lot of wtf factor. As said earlier, the main goal of the show seems to be getting Hinako to become the top fighter at the school. The jokes don’t always land and to be honest it’s strongest humor is found in its earliest episodes, but the short episode length means its over before you start to get too frustrated with the lack of laughs. That said, there’s still fun to be had, sometimes more so in the subtle gags, like watching Hinako acting as a boy being quizzed by her male pals about all the male idol posters plastered around her home, and her having to explain that they’re actually her sister’s, who’s actually a boy, unbeknownst to her friends.
Tom: One thing that keeps Kenka Bancho from being the best it can be is lackluster animation. What’s here is generally serviceable, but never lends the true weight needed to sell the fights as anything more than generic street brawls. It’s not that the fights should turn into epic wall busting showdowns of epic proportions, but what’s here doesn’t give any weight or strength to the attacks thrown about.
Linny: Considering how much Girl Beats Boys wavers in animation quality and comedy, it’s not a show that is guaranteed to entertain everyone. The absurd premise is fun but the show isn’t brimming with as much absurdity or gags as one would assume. At the same time, the absurd premise makes it hard for viewers to take the serious parts sincerely. If you’re short on time and want something quick and silly, Girl beats Boys is worth a try but otherwise, it needn’t be on your must watch list.
Tom: Overall Kenka Bancho isn’t quite as awesome and absurd as its first episode makes it out to be. It stumbles half the time, unable to make the fights as ridiculous and absurd as they could be, or focuses too much on drama that just isn’t going to fly in what’s obviously a pretty ridiculous idea. But when it’s good, Kenka Bancho is a ton of fun.