Gah, I’ve done it again! Up to now, I was only able to make 2 of the 20 reviews I promised long ago in my Upcoming Anime Reviews entry, and it’s been 6 months! I just get too busy sometimes and I lose the hype I currently feel about the show and just lay it off for awhile. Then come new interesting shows so I just end up doing reviews about them instead >.
Futakoi Alternative (Twin Love: Alternative), not to be mistaken from Futakoi, is actually a spin-off of the latter in which it loosely followed the concept of the original, be it with completely different characters, plot setting, central theme, etc. as practically everything else is changed. I was able to come across this anime via looking up the past works of my uber-favorite production house Ufotable (Kara No Kyoukai: Garden of Sinners, Fate/Zero), and I’m glad I did.
Plot: In a little town where the residents are mostly twins, possibly due to the people’s belief over the town’s Futagotamagawa (Twin Soul) River, works a 21-year old private detective that goes by the name of Rentarou Futaba. He is more known by the townspeople as Nidaime (2nd generation) because of his late father’s reputation of being helpful and friendly to everyone, and he is now living up to that expectation.
He has two assistants: the twins Sara and Souju Shiragane – similar in appearance, but complete opposites in personality. With the three of them comprising the detective agency, they help the people with their common everyday problems, handled in quite the most unique and comic ways possible. As the story progresses, you’d feel to be part of the town more since most scenes would indirectly focus on the bonds between the characters, and how they go about life together in that crazy little town of theirs.
The first part of the pilot episode wasn’t what I expected after reading a few synopses (two heavily armed twin lolis fighting a big-ass squid-like jelly inside an airplane in mid-flight) but I got hooked to the show by the scenes that followed. It seems that Rentarou has gotten himself wanted dead by the town’s Yakuza. His friend, the Yakuza’s 2nd top man, gave him their master’s parrot in order to escape the responsibility of taking care of it but they soon found out that Rentarou’s cat devoured the poor thing.
In all weirdness, Rentarou finds himself in a professional boxing match ready to fight the defending champion. His punishment was to actually die in the ring while the thugs would make money from the show via tickets and gambling. The boss of the Yakuza gives him a very important advice:
Meanwhile, his two assistants are around town each helping her own client with their dire predicaments that require immediate action. So yeah, if can just imagine how things went in the first episode – it’s pretty fast-paced and full of action! Crazy antics with guns, rocket launchers, flying motorbikes, helicopter explosions, crumbling buildings and delicious croquettes all chop-sueyed into one!
Upon writing this review, I’ve only watched up to episode 3 but after looking at some pictures online, one can guess what the rest of the episodes would be. Pretty much Rentarou, Sara and Souju would encounter other twins in town and get caught up with others’ problems, help them, and then be close friends. Your standard harem structure spiced up with comic action scenes, explosions and stuff. Very much quite fun to watch :D
Wiki quotes: “The criticisms about the show is normally the same as its accolades: namely, that it never settles completely into any one genre or style and switches between them from episode to episode (being almost equal parts romance, action, scifi/fantasy and comedy). However, it is a love story at its core.”
So, how do I feel about Futakoi Alternative? Seemingly cliche harem shows don’t usually appeal to me (an overload of moe-moe and fanservice crap isn’t really how I roll) but I guess this doesn’t fall into that category. The insane out-of-this-world stuff this show has to offer is just too reminiscent of the all-encompassing Gintama fun. Besides, it’s been produced by friggin’ Ufotable! No way I’d pass that up, right? I’m quite surprised too since compared to the Ufotable I know now, they really took their animation skills to the next level in just few years time.
Notable voice actors of our three main characters are that of Seki Tomokazu (Sousuke Sagara/Full Metal Panic, Chiaki Shinichi/Nodame Cantabile, etc), Kaori Mizuhashi (Minami Shimada/Baka Test, Mami Tomoe/Madoka Magica, etc) and Mai Kadowaki (Illyasviel Von Einsbern/Fate/Stay Night, Mimi Usa/Kodomo no Jikan, etc).
Too bad this 2005 anime only has 13 episodes. :(
Anyway, I’m gonna watch the rest now. Here’s the heartwarming 2nd ED :)