My Girlfriend is Shobitch – Anime Preview
Synopsis: An innocently lewd relationship begins when Shinozaki confesses to a girl who takes everything too seriously, including sex. (Official Anime Strike Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: My Girlfriend is Shobitch feels like an ecchi for the modest pervert; aka someone who wants the tease and titillation of suggestive content without the naked body parts gyrating onscreen every other minute. There are plenty of suggestive conversations and incidents in the first episode itself but they feel tame compared to similar shows, and most of the fan service so far has been limited to teasing upskirt like angles and maybe a quick butt or chest shot. And every time things start to get too suggestive, they are quickly shut down by our hero, Shonozaki Haruka.
Tom: Shonozaki Haruka is the classic good boy lead. He wants a girlfriend, but for near pure reasons. He’s the complete reverse of our lead from last season’s My First Girlfriend is a Gal and Kousaka Akiho, the reverse of its female lead. Akiho, the titular ‘shobitch’, isn’t exactly an extreme pervert, but she’s so wrapped up in the idea that that’s what boys want, she continually plays to that, subjecting poor Haruka to all manners of perversion, asking him what his fetishes are and attempting to cater to his non existent sexual whims. It’s a funny gag. One time.
Linny: Beyond the one note gag, Shobitch is already starting to show signs that it might just turn into yet another cliched harem. First off, the promotional material and credits sequences showcase numerous female characters, some not even present in the premiere, and barely feature our male lead. Second, even though the show has just begun, we already have a total of three girls who are either already romantically interested in our lead or very likely to end up developing feelings for him. Outside of Akiho, the other two seem to be highly popular/overdone harem cliches aka the little sister character and the childhood best friend.
Tom: The biggest problem with My Girlfriend is a Shobitch is that it doesn’t actually have a lot to offer. It’s got this one gag, about a girl being a pervert for her boyfriend when he doesn’t want her to be, and kinda beats you over the head with it. Again, and again. The best comedies find variety, find ways to utilize their core concept and branch out with it. The show almost does this toward the end of its first episode, but it’s just not enough. Compounding this lack of variety are various other elements hindering the show’s comedic edge. Music is too low key for the kind of comedy they’re going for, and the timing feels off, unable to truly sell the outrageous events that could be hitting so much stronger.
Linny: That’s not to say Shobitch is completely humourless. Some of the gags do land and will have you guffaw out loud. Heck, if you’re someone who is cracking up at the idea of a clueless girl constantly sexually misunderstanding her boyfriend’s most innocent suggestions, you might be tickled pink throughout. But for those who like their gags to feel refreshing, Shobitch runs the danger of coming off highly formulaic and repetitive. Every gag is basically: Akiho asking or doing something highly sexual/inappropriate, Haruka freaking out, Akihi backing down then dialing it back up and repeating this cycle again and again and again. There’s the childhood friend, Shizuku, who adds some of her own humour to the episode, which is basically her saying things in a manner that sounds sexual when really it’s very innocent. Which, when all is said and done, stays very in line with the show’s theme of innocent things being interpreted in an extremely sexual manner and thus might compound the feeling of repetition to a more lukewarm viewer.
Tom: Overall My Girlfriend is a Shobitch starts incredibly weak, but gradually rises up to just passable. It’s never great, and rarely does it produce a chuckle. It’s bland, one note, and entirely off base from what it needs to do to truly sell its gags. You can do a lot better when looking for a Comedy Romance this season, especially if you want raunchy as A Sister’s All You Need is certainly that and more.
Linny: As I said at the start of this review, My Girlfriend is Shobitch has a very specific audience; one that likes some naughtiness in their comedy but doesn’t want it going anywhere graphically raunchy..or at least that’s what it feels like for now. As a comedy, the show has started out really attached to its tagline/formula and that could potentially hinder it from gathering a larger fan base unless it manages to make its jokes feel more unique and varied. Also, if you do decide to pick it up, there’s a high chance it’s going to turn into a pseudo harem anime so prepare for the cliches that usually accompany that genre.
My Girlfriend is a Shobitch is available for streaming via Amazon’s Anime Strike Channel