Penguin Musume Heart ペンギン娘 ♥ はぁと - Review by Hira! <3
Shassu! This time it's Penguin Musume Heart! <3
*****Before you continue reading, this review may contain spoilers, so if this bothers you, go watch the pilot episode here before reading any further!******
The first thing of note in this anime is that it has a very healthy dose of ecchi. Panty-shots, bloomer-shots, butt-shots and censored nudity are aplenty so it is unsuitable for those under 16 years old.
The title character is Nankyoku Sakura, a.k.a. Penguin Girl and the episode begins with her being late for school. We can see right off the bat that she is a Cosplay Otaku Girl, ergo the main source of fanservice in the show.
She's filthy rich, and her bedroom contains a bamboo forest. Her superpower of sorts is the ability to take on the personalities and abilities of the characters that she cosplays. (Cue random costume changes!) Her driving motivation is the desire to see classmate, Kujira Etorofu, cosplay as her favourite anime character - Takenoko (bamboo).
Hyper-reactive characters are not new to Kataoka Azusa, the voice behind Sakura and who also voiced Uta Yumeno from Onegai My Melody. I'm not a fan of the hoarseness in her voice, as it makes the character sound more mature though she is annoyingly cute.
As it is only the first episode, only one other character personality is established, the masculine Kujira Etorofu. I'm totally in love with her low voice. We learn that she is athletically talented and responsible as well. She isn't above dealing out a well-deserved bashing to our dear Penguin Girl however!
The storyline is arbitrary and does not take itself seriously. In this pilot episode, a tie in votes for the student body president must be broken with a series of sports matches (excuse for wearing bloomers and swimwear). The setting flicks from classroom to volleyball court to swimming pool and there is no lack of random gags at every turn. The pacing is fairly slow and it's relaxing to watch.
There are several distinct side characters that will hopefully be fleshed out more as the show progresses. I'm looking to see and hear more of Nene and Sakura's sister!
As a rule, the anime goes with whatever would make the most fun. So what would be funnier, the responsible girl winning, or the girl who promises to change the male school uniform to butler costumes? Thus far it seems quite promising, and I'm curious to see what the show can deliver in the next episodes. As a side note, the subtitles seem to have been translated from a Korean voiceover, with Korean honorifics and the romanisation of 'Takenoko' as 'Juk-sun' (Korean for 'bamboo').
I'm disappointed that Etorofu's attack wasn't subtitled, but it is overall quite accurate with only a little loss of information. Strange about the Korean words!
I enjoyed the both the main characters' voices, but nothing stands out particularly. A good effort from both seiyuus.
There is a buttload of exaggerated animation that reminds me of Baka to Test to Shokanjuu. It fits in very well with the style of the anime, especially to illustrate Penguin's hyperactive, limitless spirit and energy.
Story and Characters 3/5
Story? What story? Thus far nothing much is happening, and both the main characters are not particularly original, but enjoyable. The main character Penguin carries the show with Kujira as a suitable balance to her extreme nature. There is nothing new to see here - the plot devices and jokes are very predictable. Though there is nothing to surprise the viewer, it's not a bad effort and still manages to amuse with sheer ridiculousness and fun.
Final Verdict: 3/5 ★★★✰✰
Original, mind-blowing, hysterically funny? Not quite. But the series has heart and is good fun. The show takes you by the hand, leads you to a sofa and invites you to rest your brain and unwind. With each episode a short 14 minutes, it' an enjoyable way to burn time.