Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! – Season 1

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! – Season 1

IMG_1478.PNGThis is the story of five teenage boys who are part of the ‘Earth Defence Club’ (a club where they basically just laze around) at Binan High School. One day, as some of the members soaked in a communal bath, a mysterious pink wombat-type creature appears out of nowhere. This creature wants the members of the Earth Defense Club to help it protect the Earth from those who would threaten it. The wombat gives the boys special bracelets, which enable them to transform into their magical boy alter-egos.

After only five minutes of watch the first episode of this series, I knew I was going to be hooked. Essentially an amusing parody of the typical magical girl format, it is both outrageously camp and very funny. Who would have thought something so simple as changing the gender of a team of evil-fighting teenagers would be so brilliant?

IMG_1482.PNGBespectacled Atsushi Kinugawa and lazy En Yufuin find their bathing time interrupted by a talking pink wombat, who starts pleading with them to help it save the world with the power of love. But before he can elaborate, he is driven from the baths by the bathhouse owner’s son, Yumoto Hakone, who just wants to give the wombat cuddles.

IMG_1483.PNGAfter meeting up with the other club members, Ryu Zaou – the flirtatious ladies man – and money-obsessed Io Naruko, the boys find themselves ambushed by the wombat yet again. This peculiar creature reveals himself to be from another planet and, before they can object, he gives the boys each a special bracelet called a ‘Loveracelet’. Then a monster begins to attack the high school – and this is where things get even weirder.

IMG_1481.PNGThe way this series mocks the usual ‘monster of the day’ magical girl fight is just perfect. Before the battle, the boys find themselves automatically barking out embarrassing statements to their target about love, while striking strange poses. In order to transform into ‘magical boys’ they have to kiss their Lovracelets, exclaiming the phrase “Love Making!”, and undergo a drastically-long transformation before re-appearing in bizarre costumes. With the wombat’s guidance, they eventually defeat the monster (with varying amounts of gusto from the team members), but the club is unaware of why the monster was there in the first place. It is the work of the student council, who are actually the ‘Conquest Club’: Kinshiro Kusatsu, Ibushi Arima and Akoya Gero, who are guided by a talking green hedgehog called Lord Zundar.

Sounds perfect.

Having watched the first few episodes, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! has proven itself to be a highly entertaining show, mainly because of its knowing parody atmosphere. The series successfully mocks all of the normal magical girl tropes: exaggerated poses, long-winded monologues, even longer transformations or amusing attack names. The fact that the characters are male rather than female just makes things even funnier.

IMG_1500.JPGWith regards to the main characters, again, you have all the standard troupes mocked: Yumoto is your shota-type; Zaou is a bit like of a Princely-type; money-manipulating Naruko is the Little Devil-type; bespectacled Kinugawa certainly qualifies appearance-wise and probably in terms of attitude to the stereotypical Cool-type; and Yufuin thus ends up akin to being like the Strong, Silent-type (when he bothers to make an effort. Of course, you can’t have a magical girl/boy team without a talking animal. Sailormoon had cats, Puella Magi Madoka Magica had Kyubey and the Earth Defense Club have a corpse-possessing fluffy pink wombat. Having just typed that, I wonder if all the years of anime weirdness has desensitised me a little.

IMG_1488.PNGBut let’s not forget the real reason that people will enjoy this series (and probably not admit to). Essentially, it’s five good-looking boys trying to act cool and fighting evil. While the boys in this anime may currently hate the position they are in (I laughed out loud when they irritably decided to fight a monster because they “Just want to go home”), in people’s heads it’s known that boys love other things, which may also involve their tongue-in-cheek ‘Love Making’.

IMG_1484.PNGHopefully this anime will keep up the quality of the first few episodes. Though it may be early days, this one is shaping up to be one of my personal highlights of this season.