First impression: Kuze no Honkai

Two emo teenagers can’t make it with the people they have a crush on but are still horny, so start fucking each other.

Kuze no Honkai: hopeless love

Yasuraoka Hanabi is in love with her older childhood friend, now her homeroom teacher. Awaya Mugi is in love with the music teacher. But childhood friend loves the music teacher and music teacher loves the childhood friend Both Hanabi and Mugi cannot have what they want, so they stick together and use each other as a substitute for their real love. If you’re into teenage angst, this is the series for you.

Kuze no Honkai: substitute

A stupid reason to hook up, but teenangers can do much more stupid things like this and the first episode does a good job of selling the idea of their coming together. It helps that these are actually horny teenagers. No dumb drama about whether or not it’s okay to hold hands yet: they kiss and do everything sort of outright fucking in the first episode. All while imaging doing it with their real crush. Over the top? Yes, but it still feels much more real than the usual chaste romance comedy.

Kuze no Honkai: consent

The climax (heh) of the first episode then is an extended sex scene, again much more explicit than the norm in anime. There’s a lot of fanservice and sexy sexiness in anime, but it’s usual a matter of camera angles, unlikely accidental gropings or extended shower scenes. Not so much two people coming together wanting to fool around. Mugi even explicitly asks for consent from Hanabi, after she initiated, whether she really wants to do it.

Kuze no Honkai: big dots

Much has been made of the way the series makes use of inset panels to mimic the look of the original manga, but what I noticed rewatching is the way the show Lichtensteins it up at key moments, mimicing the look of a cheaply printed comic. These are nice little tricks to liven up what’s otherwise a rather mundane adaptation. The other thing keeping it interesting is Anzai Chika’s voice acting, who does a very good job bringing over Hanabi’s frustraction.

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