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The 'Hentai' Prince and the Stony Cat (Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko) - First Thoughts PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 14 April 2013 21:03
Yokodera is a bit of a pervert - the sort of guy you'd usually find trying to peek at the girls during their swim class, for example. On the other hand, he's also the rising star of the track club, heir-apparent to the club president. It's a job he'd rather not have - eats into your letching time, for a start - but Yokodera's also not the sort who can speak his mind when put on the spot. There's an statue near his home, though - a stony cat - where, rumour has it, if you leave it something you don't need, it'll grant you something that you do. Like a metaphorical pair of balls, perhaps. But when leaving his beloved ero hug-pillow Barbara at the statue's shrine, Yokodera encounters - and thoroughly frightens - a young girl, Tsukiko, who's leaving the cat a gift of her own...

Yokodera feels he needs the ability to speak his mind; Tsukiko feels she needs the ability to hide her emotions. The cat statue happily grants both their wishes, but in the tradition of “be careful what you wish for...”, they’re granted in ways that create more problems than they solve: Yokodera’s inner thoughts - like how appealing the flat chest of school idol Azuki can be - come bursting forth without control, while Tsukiko finds she’s gone from being unable to control her emotions to being unable to show any at all. Safe to say they both wish there was an ‘undo’ button on their wishes, and they join forces to see what they can do to make that happen.

No surprises for guessing that it’s a comedy, then. Being the shallow fool that I am, I was initially drawn to the series by the character designs (blame Kantoku and tartan pattern for that), but I have to admit that I found myself smiling along for most of the episode. Most of the fun comes from the character interactions - some of what Yokodera in particular comes off with after the cat works its magic is well into “things you should never say” territory, and the reactions of both him and the people around him are pretty much priceless - for now, at least. I’m sure that’ll wear off with time.

It doesn’t take a genius, though, to see that Yokodera and Tsukiko are completely missing the point of what’s happened to them - even when they sit down and talk through what’s happened to them and what they need to do next, they both seem to miss the obvious: what they need is each other. On such things many a romcom is based, though.

THE GOOD: Funny, well-presented, and with a decent idea at the heart of it. Also, Kantoku character designs.

THE BAD: Lack of originality, and a format that can easily get stuck in a very repetitive rut.

Not something I could honestly say was an essential piece of viewing, but I’ll admit to enjoying it - certainly didn’t regret spending the 25 minutes watching it, and I’m quite looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. As with all such shows, it could be very easy for it to get bogged down in doing that same thing week after week, but this is a decent start.

The 'Hentai' Prince and the Stony Cat is streamed by Crunchyroll.

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