B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time [Blu-ray + DVD] [Import]
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OMG! There’s this girl at school, Yamada, who wants to make like a hundred sex friends. She totally thinks she can de-virginize one hundred different boys! Can you believe that? That’s like every boy in the school. Who does she think she is? I heard from my friend’s neighbor’s cousin’s lab partner that Yamada’s never even been kissed. Oh. My. God. I would totally die. That’s like burn all your makeup and shave off your eyebrows embarrassing. I can’t even think about it. Today at lunch I saw Yamada flirting, like for reals flirting, with that geek Kosuda. You know the guy. Photography club, no muscles, boring face, kind of reminds you of a black-and-white movie. Super lame. If Yamada can’t even make the sex with him, she’ll never score a hundred cherry boys. She needs to take like Sex Ed or something because I heard she can’t give it away!
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Top Customer Reviews
Funimation wastes a little of our money with their now-common bluray-dvd combos - with bluray players under $80 now, and hdtvs available for $200 and up, few people now are stuck with old tvs and dvd players, and those aren't likely to buy a bluray combo anyway. But the quality of the bluray is quite good, and the censoring is reduced from the Japanese broadcast version. Not that there was much to censor anyway...no complete nudity, let alone sex. "Demon Seal Brand" was trasnalted hjere as "Ogre brand," but that works. The ads and cameos recur throughout the series. Have fun with them.
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Yamada is perhaps more perverted than even the boys in her school. Her life goal is to bed 100 guys before graduating high school, and with a whole wave of them wanting to get with her, one would figure that it wouldn't be that hard. But one would be mistaken, because the poor girl is clueless when it comes to seducing men, on account of the fact that actually having sex outside the context of romance makes her nervous to the point of blushing intensely. And so it ends up that her first "victim", an average Joe by the name of Kosuda, becomes somewhat of a love interest throughout the whole series. Yamada attempts to fornicate with him time and time again, but it always fails on account of her being too darn bashful for her own good.
This seems like a set-up for a nonstop barrage of fan service, but what sets this show apart from the rest is how little of it there actually is. Panty shots are generally obscured, there's never any tasteless nudity, and the outfits the female characters are garbed in are far more modest those found in other series cut from similar cloths. No, "B Gata H Kei" is taste in it's visual content, which makes for an overall more enjoyable series to watch.
All of the raciness had to go somewhere, of course, and that's where the completely R-rated dialogue comes in. People sensitive to explicit references to genitalia, consistent use of profanity, and a general mood of raunchiness should probably not watch this, if they were planning to anyway. Yamada is a walking encyclopedia of debauchery, possessing a vast knowledge of everything sexual except for how to actually engage in intercourse. The same can be said of her rival, Kanejo, who has a fake elegant front for her bizarre sexual interest in one of her close family members. The writers frequently make light of sex, incest and prurient interests, playing it off casually much like a Kevin Smith movie.
Kevin Smith is perhaps the best comparison to this series for another reason as well. That's because underneath all of the riotous comedy and awkward shenanigans, this is really a human story. It's the classic "girl-loves-boy" story for my generation of youth, the generation who are glued to their computers, always connected, and spew off sexual dialogue like it's not offensive one bit. Personally, I relate to Yamada a good bit. Despite her grand ambitions (however ignoble they may be), she realizes that underneath her posturing, she's a normal girl who is susceptible to things such as hurt feelings and falling in love. There's a great deal of weakness inside of her, which makes her a far more compelling protagonist than ones from other erotic comedies. Her interactions with other characters often times feel, much like conversations I would have with friends. It really succeeds at painting a believable picture of today's teenagers.
Also aiding the story are the side characters, who all serve a purpose. My personal favorite is Yamada's best friend Miharu, who acts as a sort of foil to her pal's daily antics and varying fits of sexual frustration and romantic confusion. She's one of the most tolerant and believable best friends I've personally ever seen in an anime. Also enjoyable is aforementioned love interest Kosuda, who is so painfully ordinary that it's funny. Everything from his face to his mannerisms are unforgettably vanilla, which ironically makes him very memorable. Other characters, like "rivals" Kanejo and Mayu, are all given their moments to shine, making for an inordinately balanced comedy.
It would be a crime not to mention, however, that the two funniest side characters are actually inside Kosuda and Yamada themselves. Both of them possess an "Eros Deity", i.e. their secretly perverted consciousnesses. Yamada's is a chibi version of her, only with a giant grey mustache slapped on her face. She rides around on a little cloud and constantly yells at Yamada to be more aggressive, and frequently serves as a narrator. Kosuda's is also a chibi version of himself, but with perpetually closed eyes, that typically remains quiet but often serves as a metaphor for the poor boy getting an erection around Yamada. He even substitutes for Kosuda's actual genitalia at one point in the series, so that while Yamada sees his beans and franks, the viewer sees a little man on his crotch. The placement of these deities is always hilarious, and just another quirk that makes this series so good.
On the technical side of things, "B Gata H Kei" isn't go to win any awards, but it's certainly not lackluster. The animation is very crisp, frequently shifting according to the narrative situation. There's never a noticeable dip in budget, making it consistently pleasant to look at throughout the entirety of the series. It also helps that the designs for all of the characters look incredibly attractive, even for the boys. There's some serious animated eye candy on display here, for those who care.
What really won me over, though, was the music and voice acting. The opening and ending ditties are dangerously infectious, but nowhere near as much as the song "B Gata H Kei" that appears about three-quarters of the way through the show, which will be lodged in your cranium for months. The voice acting is also top-notch, with Yamada's voice actress shining above everybody else in both versions. Both Yukari Tamura and Brittney Karbowski bring something unique to the table with the character; Tamura emphasizes Yamada's innocent and demure interior, while Karbowski plays up the debauched side for the big laughs. Both versions work incredibly well, and the same can be said for the rest of both the English and Japanese casts.
When it was released, many critics seemed to hate "B Gata H Kei", but average viewers adored it. Being one of those viewers, it's been interesting to see the critical opinion change somewhat over the course of almost two years. Well, interesting and gratifying, because "B Gata H Kei" is truly a good series, deserving of every bit of praise it gets. It succeeds as both a social satire of today's youth and a ribald sex comedy, with both sides getting equal treatment. Even with FUNimation's ludicrous price (which seems to be the norm for them nowadays), this is one series that is worth splurging on if you know what you're getting into. Not only a great comedy, but a great overall show.
The series comes in two DVD cases with one housing the DVDs and the other housing the blu rays. Both fit nicely into the cardboard outer box. The episdodes on the DVDs are split into 6 episodes each and the ones on the blu rays are split into 8 and 4. Both DVDs and blu rays have the exact same extras in that the first disc has an episode 1 commentary and the second has episode 11 commentary, outtakes, clean opening and closing credits and trailers. Extras were kind of weak to me as I wanted some cast interviews, linearts and stuff. All four discs have the exact same silk screen with the only difference being the color.
The boy she selects to be her first time, hence the us releases title, is your average joe. Picked because she thinks he'd be an easy target, he ends up being quite the charmer, if dense as a rock. Basically a perfect fit for our dense heroine.
What follows is a rather cute show, about the transition from lust to love, with some great characters, crisp art, and a good sound mix. Listened mainly to the subtitled version, and the subs appear to match more or less, although a few liberties were taken here and there.
Overall, I greatly enjoyed the show, and would recommend it to others seeking a mildly fanservicey romantic comedy.