• Titles: Fairy Ranmaru: Anata no Kokoro Otasuke Shimasu
  • Genre: Comedy, urban fantasy, magical boy
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Studio Comet

The fairy world is in danger of tearing apart at the seams. And that would be very bad news for everyone, including lowly humans. Thankfully, the fairy queen has a plan. The one thing that can save everybody is more arrangements, what we humans might call love, passion or even hope. If enough can be generated and then collected for the use of the kingdom, maybe things can be patched together once more. This is why the queen has sent five fairy representatives, one from has domain (fire, water, nature, metal and light) to earth to complete the task. These dashing young fairy men will save the world and steal your heart.

I almost dropped Fairy Ranmaru before starting it half a dozen times. Sure it sounds like the type of ridiculousness I enjoy but it has an atrocious rating and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say one good thing about the show. General consensus seems to be that it is an atrocious mess of an anime. All I can say is that it certainly is an anime.

I can tell it’s an anime because I’m an expert! It’s o.k. if you couldn’t

Production

I  expected barging bin production on this one. And don’t get me wrong, Fairy Renmaru definitely didn’t have much of a budget and it shows, but it looks a lot better than I would have expected. The main weak point in the production is the very heavy use of stills to the extent that some sequences started looking more like slideshows.

But using stills is one of the most common tricks of an anime production that has overextended its budget. And even though Fairy Renmaru might do it more than most, to put it plainly, it just doesn’t bother me. Still shots are something that I always notice in anime but it has never dampened my enjoyment.

However, there is also a lot of visual flair that I never expected from a show like Fairy Ranmaru. Every episode or so, there is a fight sequence in what I  can only describe as a subliminal space. And during those fight scenes, everything other than the main character is rendered in a completely different art style using a variety of techniques. And it’s a new technique every episode. 

It looks cool. Not just cool for this show, cool in general. Some of the techniques have a thematic link to the story, like using a simili of woodcut paintings for the staunchly traditional character and so on. Others not so much, or at least I didn’t pick up on it, but they all look really great. It’s a level of creativity and cares for the visuals I don’t often see in some much higher marquee anime. I was impressed by that.

Otherwise, would say Fairy Ranmaru does what it can with a shoestring budget. 

the comic book world was cute

Story & Characters

Visuals are all well and good but they won’t save a horrible story. And Fairy Ranmaru has a reputation to be a borderline unwatchable mess. It’s that messy reputation that made me consider just quietly deleting the show from my to-watch list on numerous occasions. But is that reputation earned? Can you really just go by that?

Well yes, yes it is. Fairy Ranmaru is definitely a mess of a show, and depending on your tolerance for camp and out-of-the-blue BL moments, it might really try your patience. I have a note here that reads: 50% of this dialogue is nonsense. I might have been generous.

I’ll give it to you straight, Fairy Renmaru is not an objectively good anime. The characters are consistent, but their motivations are baffling, and their development is spotty at best. The plot is basic light fantasy fair but throws in all sorts of odd and sometimes jarring elements making it difficult to understand who they were aiming this show at.

The basic themes are simple and handled in a really naïve way which could be entertaining for younger viewers but there are a few rather lewd scenes which might give parents pause. The morality of the show is a bit of a moving target to the point where I was wondering who was supposed to be the good guy more than a few times, but the narrative is presented in a rather definitive way which makes you think that the story wants you to pick a good guy.

I guess I should just pick the guy radiating rainbows… that’s always a safe bet!

There really is no denying it, the show is a mess. I would not recommend it to the average anime fan and although my readers tend to be a bit more accepting, I still think Fairy Renmaru isn’t for the majority of you guys.

There’s a lot of text left in this post, isn’t there? And those of you who follow me on AniList may have noticed that I gave the show a rather decent score…

Ok so first of all, I am not nor will I ever be an arbiter of good taste. That’s just the way it is, let’s all agree to it.

Second, there are some mitigating factors as far as my personal enjoyment is concerned. First, I don’t mind lewd or BL elements. Oddly enough these two are quite separate in the show. Second, I have a high threshold for nonsense, I even sort of like it. But most of all, Fairy Renmaru is aiming for something I appreciate.

You see, this show knows what it is. It’s not taking itself seriously, it doesn’t expect to be the next fantasy epic or emotional touchpoint for anime fans the world over. But it’s not cynical, we know we’re doing a bad show on purpose anime either. It’s a show that is creating fairy boy ridiculousness because it thinks that there are some people out there who like fairy boy ridiculousness. That’s it. It’s trying to be fun, and nothing more.

why did I think this would illustrate my point?

Nos even in that context there certainly are things that Fairy Renmaru could have done better but I have a hard time to really blame the show for that. There are so many things working against a series like this and through it all, you get the sense that the production of Fairy Renmaru just thought f** it, let’s just have a party. That’s an attitude I can get behind. And at the end of the day, I had more brainless fun watching this show than a lot of objectively better anime.

So should YOU watch Fairy Ranmaru? Probably not, the show is a complete mess…

You might like this anime if:

I mean… I don’t know man. If my review hasn’t discouraged you, you’re going to have a great tie!

My favourite character:

Homura, and it’s because of design. I’m not even gonna hide it. Nothing else just design.

you don’t suck…

Suggested drink:

Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder (cause it’s the green fairy and also the saying goes with one of the themes of the show… This is one of my favourite suggested cocktails ever)

  • Every time a fairy transforms – take a sip
  • Every time there’s a musical number – be amazed
  • Every time Ranmaru wonders what love is – drink
  • Every time we see the Queen – raise your glass
  • Every time the boys share a bath – what?
  • Every time anyone eats curry – get a snack
  • Every time we see a business card – take a sip
  • Every time anyone is looking through a keyhole – take a sip
  • Every time Homura blushes – awwwww
  • Every time Uruu and Homura bicker – take a sip
  • Every time anyone mentions the 10 laws – take notes
  • Every time anyone says “Beetlegeuse” – say it twice more
  • Every time Ranmaru is cool – take a sip
  • Every time anyone sees their mother – take a sip

I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.

8 thoughts

  1. As possibly the only translator for this series, aside from the one/s paid by Crunchyroll and one of an extreme minority who watched it week-to-week, I kind of have to be this anime’s cheerleader…I’d call it “unfocussed, but a wild ride”. Like Samurai Flamenco without the ep 7 swerve…Then again, this is unapologetically magical boys. This is my domain, like it or not.

    Even if you read the blog posts on the website – that QR code in the OP sends you there and I was meant to deeply rework my translations for said posts a year or so ago (<- it's…the least prioritised task on my list right now) – you don't learn all that much about the world except for some terms for things, although you do learn about behind-the-scenes recording stuff. The biggest non-surprise from what I've learnt about the series is F-Ran (as it's known for short) was inspired by Boueibu.

  2. Oh, I remember this. I dropped it at episode one, but I wasn’t sure I did until I didn’t start episode 2, and it was close. I adored the fab sillienss, but the plot was just so meanspirited. Cyberbullying is okay if its for revenge? A taste of your own medicine? I was so torn between watching the second episode or not that I genuinely didn’t know I would drop the show until the second episode aired. I think I’d have watched more had I marathoned it. But a week to wait inbetween doesn’t do the show any favour. It’s the bad that stays in the memory more than the fab fun. But that was definitely there, too.

    1. Oh I couldn’t imagine watching in from week to week. It hardly holds together when watching it in one go

  3. I think that’s one of the things I love about you – and that we have in common. We can always find the good in things – even things others might judge as bad. Mind you, I’m not gonna run off and watch this, but I still appreciate the sentiment. There’s a crew that worked really hard on this anime somewhere who is happy today to finally read a positive review. And there is something to be said for silliness and pretty boys. 😀

  4. I tried to watch this anime a few months ago, and I do love fairies and silliness, but I just couldn’t even get through the first episode. It was just sooo weird! Kudos to you for managing to get through the whole series and even finding some good points about the anime! You’re a very optimistic person!

Leave me a comment and make my day!