Love Tyrant (Renai Boukun) is one of Spring’s 2017 anime. It has been adapted from the manga of the same name, written by Megane Mihoshi.
Here is the synopsis taken from My Anime List
A Kiss Note is a powerful notebook that makes anyone who has their name written together will instantly fall in love if they kiss each other regardless of any circumstances. This magical and very familiar item belongs to an angel named Guri whose job as cupid is to create couples. However, she accidentally writes down Aino Seiji, a regular high school student, and unless he kisses someone, Guri will die. She convinces Seiji to go kiss his crush, Hiyama Akane, the school’s popular girl who turns out has even stronger feelings for him, bordering on obsessive and psychotic. Eventually Akane and Seiji come together but not before Guri decides that she likes Seiji as well. What seems awesome to most guys becomes hell for Seiji who just wants a normal relationship with girls.
Comedy is evidently the leading force behind Love Tyrant, and I suppose it some respects it gets that right. And yet, it is not laugh out loud funny like some I have watched – Watamote, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Nichijou. Yet, it isn’t completely devoid of humour, and neither should it be. If it were, that would be a sorry state of affairs.
So, where does it fit in? Well, of course it takes ‘inspiration’ from Death Note, spinning it around to create the ‘Kiss Note.’ This itself isn’t a horrible thing, though neither is it original. In fact, the last thing Love Tyrant could be called is original.
In some sense, it knows this, and in this regard it is self-depreciating. But only is this on a trivial, aesthetic level, never is it intelligent – not even slightly. This isn’t a criticism, a show doesn’t need to be thought-provoking and deep to be good, though, it does have to compensate for that in other areas, and this is where I think Love Tyrant fails. Because rarely does it offer anything but worn clichés, and tired character archetypes. And even if this is in fact intentional, it isn’t examined enough for it to actually mean anything.
My biggest gripe with Love Tyrant, is that it’s frankly all over the place. Scenes are hashed together, the editing is jarring and completely un-immersive. There’s very little to keep the viewer hooked on one thing, and there is very little in the way of migrating our attention over to another. It seems like a number of random scenes have been selected, before cutting them at random intervals, and then patching them together without much attention or care. Now, some of this is down to the style of the narrative, no doubt. Yet, I can’t help feeling that this is a scapegoat for lack of better content.
As with many shows of this calibre, there’s some fan service thrown in there for the young-ish male audience that is its target audience. It’s nothing we’ve not seen before, and well, it is unecessary – but… well, I suppose the use of fan service itself is another topic, for another day. Also, there’s the recurrent stigma around homosexuality, that borders on offensive throughout the episode. It’s the reliance on things such as these for laughs, where Love Tyrant lets itself down.
Love Tyrant is one of those shows that has to be taken at face value, it demands to be. Not because it is inherently bad, and not because it is necessarily worthless, just because there’s little beneath the surface. And if you find yourself looking down there, you may also find yourself sorely disappointed.
Of course I can’t speak for the rest of its episodes – it might turn out to be the best thing ever. Though, that, I somehow doubt. Nevertheless, if you want to sit down, relax, and watch something that requires little though, Love Tyrant might just be for you. There’s nothing much there for myself… there might have been five years ago… but what does that say?
What did you lovely people think of Love Tyrant?