D Frag box art

  • Genre : harem, school club, comedy
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Brain’s Base

 

Kazama is enjoying his high school reputation as a terrifying delinquent. One wonders how he ever managed to earn it in the first place since he’s such a sweet guy but no matter. Now that he has it, he and his little gang of childhood friends \ hoods are going to milk it for all it’s worth at their new high school. Kazama just hadn’t expected to get (somewhat literally) roped into the school’s unofficial game creation club, along with the school’s adorable underground boss, frightening yet beautiful president and superpowered first year sweetheart. Even the faculty advisor seems unhinged. At this rate, Kazama will be lucky if he survives high school with his life intact, let alone his reputation.

Do you guys watch anime on Crunchyroll? If you do, you know that instead of the cover art, shows get a static screenshot from whatever episode you’re at. Do any of you know how those screenshots get generated? It seems impossible that they would be manually chosen, but we also never get a blank screen or some random object. Would an algorithm by able to detect if the image was significant based on predetermined variables?… Ok I literally just went of on a tangent while writing. I have a feeling not many people are going to read this review and that makes me sad because I’m really curious about those screenshots now.

Anyways, I brought it up because the first episode of D-Frag shows a visibly disturbed Kazama all tied up while Roka is taking the bag off his head. That is the total information I went on to add it to my cue. Not to brag but it was exactly what I expected!

D Frag Kazama
I guess it was pretty obvious

D-frag is a rigorously average offering in just about every way. I think average has gotten a bad rap lately. I don’t mean that as an insult. I just mean it’s average. The ar’t is fine. I would qualify both the art style and designs as “anime like”. The animation is competent and the sound design is unobstructive. I didn’t notice anything in particular about the voice acting.

And by this I mean I have no particular flaw to pick at. It’s possible that I wasn’t expecting that much out of this show but it also didn’t let me down in any way. The visuals are consistent and the audio is never unpleasant or distracting. Let’s call it a win!

And this harmless mediocrity is carried over in the story. It should be noted that I recently started watching Shin Sekai Yori, and it quickly became obvious to me that I would need a light, amusing little show to balance it out. This is how D-frag got to the top of my list. It also plays a role in why I didn’t drop it in the early episodes. Although I have nothing against the first few episodes of D-Frag, I also didn’t see any particular reason to keep watching. However, as a distraction and palate cleanser, it did the job quite well.

D Frag Sakura
thoroughly cleansed

To be fair the series did also grow on me and I was honestly enjoying it on its own terms by the last arc. In fact (possibly due in part to me underestimating just how much SSY would hit me) I ended up finishing all of D-Frag by the time I got to episode 9 of Shin and I had started 3 behind. Don’t get me wrong D-Frag starts out was a mostly harmless forgettable comedy / harem (heavy on the comedy, light to pretty much nonexistent on the romance) and ends up as a fairly forgettable pleasant enough one.

The characters are basic harem stereotypes pushed to ridiculous extremes but oddly enough more likeable than a lot of harem honeys I have watched. There’s also an unusually large and present cast of male characters who are their own brand of assorted weirdos.

Trying to give you an accurate idea, I would call it a comedic school club based slice of life with some harem inspiration. After rewatching the Daily Lives of High School Boys recently, D-Frag didn’t live up to it on a comedy side but it manage to get a few chuckles out of me.

For me, the best part of this agreeable little series is the characters. No D-Frag doesn’t offer any deeply touching moments or stirring revelations. It likely won’t make you rethink…well it likely won’t make you think at all. And the writing falls short of truly hilarious. But with all of this, I have to admit I cared more than I would have thought about those students. Even though everyone is a caricature, right down to Kazama being an extreme example of the boring male lead, the show manages to give them just enough substance for viewers to have something to hang onto while not overusing anyone to the point of making their extreme personalities annoying. That’s actually pretty impressive.

D Frag Harem
it’s actually kind of hard to find a pic of Kazama NOT tied up

So what’s the verdict. Well I don’t think I would suggest anyone go out of their way for this one. For me love tyrant (I’ve been watching a lot of harems lately…) was more entertaining for instance. But if you’re looking to distract yourself with a show that could occasionally make you laugh and is unlikely to offend you, this is a fair option.

Oddly enough I am curious to know what other people thought of this series. Maybe it’ll help me get a firmer stance. So if you have seen D-Frag, let me know your thoughts.

Favourite character: Minami

Diet Tip: When you think your hungry you may just be thirsty. Drink a pitcher of Sangria and see how you feel

Suggested drink: Monopoly

  • Every time Roka does a moe attack – take a sip
  • Every time anyone says foot fetish – take a sip
  • Every time Kazama gets hurt – take a sip
  • Every time Minami is sleepy – strecth
  • Every time anyone gets bagged – gasp
  • Every time Roka gets super depressed – take a sip
  • Every time anyone mentions Takao’s breasts – raise your glass
  • Every time Roka goes into Darkness form – take a sip, for courage
  • “Quest for Porn Mags in Space” – take a sip
  • Every time Chitose stps on someone – take a sip
  • Every time we see Kaama’s “gang” – toast!
D Frag cute anime girl
second best girl

59 thoughts on “D Frag! is a Darkness Type”

  1. Well, I’ve no opinion on this having not seen it, but it sounds like a million others so thanks for the heads-up!

    The screenshot thing is 100% algorithm, likely similar to YT. I’d imagine it’s just scanning for anime faces and, with it all being positioned so everyone looks great all the time, very likely you’ll get a decent pic.

  2. First off, I have no clue about the picture thing but that is interesting. If you can get Miles’ attention on Twitter he might tell ya.

    I had a fun time with D-Frag!, especially in the earlier episodes. My biggest problem with the show was that it isn’t one you can just sit down and watch. You really need to space it out because it can quickly become stale otherwise. Like you said, this show feels really average, but not in a bad way. Worth watching but there are definitely better comedy anime out there.

  3. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is a fun anime with harem elements. My only issue is that they rather left things hanging, even after the OVA.

  4. Another show this makes me appreciate more is Full Metal Panic, specifically Fumoffu. That was the best of the series. Its goofy, and uses the differences between the princess and the war orphan to show how strange they both are in Japan. The student council president also shows off their weirdness. Really, its quite hilarious. And it riffs to things like this show.

  5. The overt seikohara in this show reminds me strongly of the parody show Seitokai Yakuindomo. I will note here that Crunchyroll only has 2nd season, and its not as funny as first. First was cute, and helps you understand that the hero, with spiky hair, is actually dating the loli accountant, not the pervy VP or Prez who make constant crude jokes. That’s another show with a creepy and useless female teacher. Its like there’s a pattern or something.

  6. Ya know, if Kazama held the hand of the tiny blonde in charge of their club at random times she’d be so flustered she’d be less of a pain to deal with. As an adult, I know this to be the case, but poor Kazama is too young to understand such techniques. He lacks the wisdom of even the most common of Spaniards when it comes to women.

  7. Anyway, I like that the Disaster Zone teacher attends the club meetings mostly to sleep, wakes up long enough to complain she’s lazy, then drifts off again. She is a good example of the trope, which probably started in Azumangah Daioh. I don’t remember any before that pair of useless teachers. She spends a lot of time face down with her eyes closed. Its kinda impressive, when you think about it. Most of the teachers I know are pretty genki, even if they’re wrong about stuff they still feel enthusiastic.

  8. I’d forgotten that I’ve seen this show. And it was forgettable product, but entertaining enough. I do wish there’d be a crossover with Konosuba. They could argue “Hai, Kazama, desu.” “Hai, Kazuma desu.” Back and forth. It would have to be a quick cameo.

      1. Another show that needs to exist is a 3 minute recurring kid fight between the Chibi Nun and the Chibi vampire 9 year olds from Neighbors Club (Boku wa something something). Those kids were adorable.

            1. Imagine if there was a cute kids club in anime which included the little girl from Non Non Biyori, the rope girl from Barakamon, these two from Tomodachi, and Akira-san from Lucky Star as their evil leader. They could be great competition with Ouran.

            2. I suppose it is best that you are not a parent, after all. Many kids are that cute some of the time. Most aren’t as cynical as Akira, though she’s fantastic comedy. Maybe get the loli from ww3 takeover as their muscle?

              Akira of Lucky Channel is so well done. Also, Shiraishi was one of the minor characters in Haruhi Suzumiya that walks in on Kyon while he’s holding library alien after their battle with stabber princess. “Wa wa wa, de aresu” which is supposed to be a reference to Kyon’s name, since he’s named after an Enka song and we never actually learn his name in the whole series. Kyon’s little sister would be a nice addition to crowd of little girls.

            3. Ah, sorry. Didn’t think you’d take it so hard. I’m not a parent either and I desperately wanted a family when I was married. You’re still young enough, but I have passed my prime.

            4. This said, the cast is made up of fairly homogeneous supporting characters that will have no foils to play off of. It’s very unbalanced and doesn’t lend itself well to the types of themes I enjoy exploring trough fiction

            5. Huh. Okay. So they’re so moe that they lack main-character drive? They react rather than drive the action? None of them has spiky hair, so they aren’t the protagonist?

            6. Is that what you understood..let me try again. A lot of these characters have similar archetypes that won’t be able to shine without contrasting characters to play off of so they will need to rely in specific plot devices instead. Supporting characters are usually more strinking and interesting than main ones since they have less time on screen and therefore need to make a more immediate impact. Main characters tend to be more even keeled and let’s face it duller by comparison but the narrative can use them as a connective device to add flexibility to plot lines.
              I don’t think hairstyles should be relevant.

            7. Oh, you’ve never seen that short film. Its from Strongbad. About 12 years ago. Here’s the more modern text definition: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ShonenHair
              So oddly, spiky hair is nearly always the identifier of the hero in the anime. The one with the spikiest is usually that guy.
              Good points about why supporting characters have wilder personalities due to lack of screen time, yet don’t move the plot much. I suppose that moving the plot but still leaving the decisions to the hero is very trope-ish.

            8. Does this mean you generally dislike aimless slice of life stories? I thought you’d listed some in your favorites. Non Non Biyori is one of the sol shows I like, and Barakamon has a little plot, but I always thought the real story was the guy rediscovering his place in humanity by exposure to the lively kids and the village on that island, teaching him to be less of a yuppie jerk. That’s what Moe shows are about, to me. They’re about the joys of parenting, and why kids are great. It helps fill this gap in my life that’s never going to be fixed.

            9. I just thought of a different sort of cast group. What if a team of darkness types were assembled? Kyoya from Ouran, Roka, makeup woman from Kawai complex, anee san from Heaven’s Lost property, and the teacher from SNAFU as their club leader. She doesn’t realize she’s a darkness type. These characters avoid the faults of the moe characters, and being darkness types they’d blunder into many events, or get terrible ideas to lead them into trouble. They could be protagonists.

            10. one note casts usually all end up with the same problem. Because they can’t play off each other the plot has to be contrived to suit the characters and it rarely ends up interesting. Everybody reacts the same way – you might as well just have a solitary character do a solo journey. In my opinon

            11. Hmm. Well, that’s disappointing. Still, these characters brought good comic moments to their shows, and I suppose that’s what they were for if your observation is true.

  9. As I said in my reply to Cactus Matt, I pretty much agree with your take on the show. I might have been slightly more susceptible to the show’s humour, though I’m not actually sure. Hilarious this wasn’t, but it was sort of lowkey enjoyable. A good example is the club recognising the little sister by the spikiness of her hair; this scene is character consistent, and takes on the little sister and spiky-haired protagonist trope all at once. The show’s humour is a lot like this.

    It’s a lesser GJ Bu. I call this sub-genre the boy-gets-roped-into-club-full-of-girls-and-instead-of-becoming-their-saviour-becomes-their-pet.

  10. I must admit, I really enjoyed this series.It was actually one of my first reviews way back in 2015, and also featured in one of Manga vs. Anime posts.
    I think that, for me, the focus being on the bonkers stuff rather than romance was the key to my enjoyment. I loved how mad it was. I did feel that before the Shrine Water OVA, Sakura kinda had less attention in the anime series, which was a shame, because she’s a favourite of mine in the manga. I’d say that I enjoy the manga a little more though. It’s gone way beyond where the anime got to now, and it’s full of mad stuff. It was actually one of three series that I always looked forward to getting new books from, along with Balck Lagoon and Dogs: Bulelts nad Carnage. Then Black Lagoon and Dogs went on hiatus, and D-Frag! was the only one left standing for me.

  11. I’ve too often wondered how those episode screencaps on Crunchy are generated! It absolutely has to be done by an algorithm because I’ve seen some pretty dodgy looking ones too, but as you said never a blank screen or a shot from an OP.

    You should watch better harem anime! Not “average” stuff like this! P.S. I haven’t seen this show but it looks like you saved me some time from having to watch it myself!

    1. I’m a little afraid to ask what a better Harem anime is…
      I’m notoriously am not a fan of Snafu or Toradora and think Love, Chuuni went way down in season 2…
      Also I’m not a fan of romance.
      Anything to suggest?

      1. If we’re going strictly off what my absolute favourite is it’s The Grisaia series. Don’t worry it’s very light on the romance. But then again you’ve played the Visual Novels so you might find it too hard to watch without comparing.

        Other favourites that are light on romance:
        ‘High School DxD’ (it gets more “romance” as it goes but not seriously until like season 4, tons of action and plot)
        ‘Yusibu: I Couldn’t Become A Hero So I Reluctantly Got A Job’ (retail based slice of life fantasy harem, really weird mash-up but really good)
        ‘Shomin Sample’ (more comedic than romance)
        ‘No-Rin’ (farming school comedy + random idol stuff with light harem elements)
        ‘Monster Musume’ (king of monster girl related fan-service)

        Worth mentioning that with the exception of ‘No-Rin’ all of these shows are quite heavy ecchi.

        1. I watched No-Rin but I don’t remeber any of it. However I will try the others as the best examples of the genre!
          My personal favourite harem animes are KonoSuba and Steins;Gate…

          1. Yeah Konosuba is amazing but didn’t mention it because I knew you’d watched it, never really considered Steins;Gate a harem but I guess it feels more like on in the Visual Novel. Also, another more recent pick that I forget to mention that you should absolutely watch is ‘How Not To Summon A Demon Lord’. Very light, almost non-existent on romance, harem is more friendship/respect focused but with the requisite ecchi-style shenanigans.

            1. I guess I thought of Steins;Gate that way because it’s the story of one nerdy guy with all the girls in love with him… Also all the harem archetyoes are there (tsun, best friend, sexy cat girl, otokonoko…)
              It might not fall into the genre officially. I’m not sure.

            2. For me, and this probably says more about the harem anime I watch than the genre itself so take it with a grain of salt. But I don’t consider even Toradora to be a harem. To me a harem is a show where girls are literally falling over themselves to get the leads attention (or depending on the type of girl, protesting a lot/hitting them) while at the same time getting into all sorts of sexy shenanigans. Just having a large circle of female friends of whom some are ~vaguely~ interested in the protagonist doesn’t cut it for me. But then again I like my harems like I like breasts, not subtle and in my face.

            3. I think Steins;Gate qualifies. Mayurii and Kurisu have both openly stated to be madly in love. Faris litterally jumps on Okabe every time she sees him and desperately tries to get his attention. Ruka had an existential crisis over falling for him… It’s a lot more clear than with KonoSuba at least – where everyone kinda hates Kazuma…

            4. Yeah, Steins;Gate qualifies. It’s just the “harem shenanigans” comes second to the actual plot of the show. I’d say DxD is in the same boat, it’s very plot driven but every so often remembers it’s an ecchi harem and delivers the service. Whereas a show like Monster Musume the plot IS the fact this guy lives in a harem and how insane that is, also they’re monster girls. I think Monster Musume is the show I want you to watch the most out of my picks, but make sure to watch it uncensored!

            5. Toradora is a proper Romance anime. Its a Japanese adaptation of the French novel “Cyrano de Bergerac”. Various aspects are changed, but its still basically about how people are treated based on their looks, and why real friendship goes beyond that. Several of the characters have to overcome that issue, including the pretty women in the story (like the model and the genki softball player). I agree with you that that show is NOT a harem anime.

            6. Absolutely. Not a harem at all. It is obvious the start that Taiga Aisaka is the only girl for the guy even though he wants someone else. There were so many people in that show I really cared for!

              A classic plotline is a classic because it is good. It is good to update the story every now and then.

        2. Ooh, other than Yushibu and Monster Musume, these are all shows I like a lot less than D-Frag! (and I pretty much agree with Irina on that show). It’s as if you went through my anime list and picked shows I dropped, forgot (it took me half a minute to remember what Shomin sample was, and even then I have only a spotty memory now – I think I remember the opening the most), or eye-rolled my way through.

          Yushibu was fun, though, and Monster Musume is every-bit as dedicated to the harem genre as Haikyuu! is to the sports genre. What’s especially fun is that the show has anime boob physics, but is mostly realistic when it comes to moving animal parts – and somehow it works out as hilarious.

          As far as I remember, D-Frag! doesn’t really fit your core-harem type. Only two of the girls are interested in our hero, and the rest just think he’s fun to tease. I don’t remember any ecchi either, though there are boob-size jokes (e.g. “zipper attack”).

          The point of this post? I think we’re rather incompatible when it comes to harems, but we do overlap on Monster Musume.

        3. I’ll second ‘Yusibu: I Couldn’t Become A Hero So I Reluctantly Got A Job’ (retail based slice of life fantasy harem, really weird mash-up but really good) and ‘Monster Musume’ (king of monster girl related fan-service). The first had a solid under current of social commentary and the second, well, had Miia!

      2. Going through your MAL, it seems you haven’t seen any of these:

        Kare Kano
        Koi Kaze
        Paradise Kiss
        Spice & Wolf
        Tamako Love Story

        I liked all of these to some degree. Do you tend to be indifferent to romantic stuff in general or just the anime ones you’ve seen?

        As for harems, I personally loved & would recommend The World God Only Knows, it’s a jolly little comedy displaying tired harem tropes before slapping them down with a wink. Basic premise: lead character is some real life kid in the middle of a harem show, and he must use his dating sim skills to conquer the hearts of his haremettes so he can save them from evil!

        Unlike most harems, I thought one of the show’s strengths was the engaging / confident lead character, who’s certainly no Boring Blank Slate Nipponjin. Without spoiling too much, I think his growth in the 3rd season elevates the show — which you could say ends up being a thorough repudiation of wish-fulfillment fantasies. But it still remains kind & loving towards the genre & those who are drawn to it, which is why I love it so much!

        Anyway, I believe you’d enjoy the bubbly mood if nothing else.

        1. This is why you can’t trust my MAL – Ther only ones I haven’t seen are Koi Kaze and
          Paradise Kiss. I do like the rest though, so I’ll give tehm a try.
          I actually dropped The World God Only Knows, super early on – like 5 minutes in. I’ll give it another try though – you sell it well.

          1. I think you were right to drop World God Only Knows. The second season is super hammy, and not in a fun way. You’re better off watching Dog and Scissors if you want supernatural fun. Or that one about the telepath girl with the ecchi boyfriend, can’t remember the name at the moment. He distracts her from all the evil stuff she overhears people thinking around her. Telepathy would be the WORST superpower.

            1. YES! That’s the one. Her plink-plink-plink outrage of helpless fists against her boyfriends’ shoulder when he THINKS something ecchi at her was so very cute.

          2. I enjoyed the Goddesses arc (the last season) — but it was just a more dramatic application of the previous ideas, so if you didn’t like it, I’m not sure if I can recommend it…

            Though it really was more affecting than the previous seasons!

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