Full Anime Series Review: DearS
Back in the early 2000s, there were certain anime series I missed, being too busy with school and with watching the actually good anime that were aired at the time, like Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, YuYu Hakusho, G Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, etc. As a result, I had overlooked this show for a long time, even though a friend had told me about it. When I finally got around to watching it, I realized that 1) this wasn't exactly a masterpiece I had overlooked and 2) it's another one of those annoying 12-13 episode animes that just ends without a very satisfying conclusion. But I know that that has to do with a lot of things having to do with the seedy underside of the anime industry, and that even good shows get canceled too quickly sometimes. This isn't one of them.
DearS is an anime about a world where a bunch of cute human-like aliens have come to Earth, called "dears" because they're so charming and cute. Takeya, our standard cut-and-paste ecchi/harem protagonist, has one show up and crash at his apartment like some uninvited party guest. Her name is very long, so he shortens it to "Ren". Ren runs around doing borderline mentally retarded cutesy "ooh look at the naive alien girl who doesn't know about our ways" schtick before running afoul of another dear, Myu.
Myu is mad because Ren isn't a good slave to Takeya, who she calls her "master". Yes, you heard that right. Apparently, dears are a slave race, and something happened to their master race (there really isn't enough exposition about this issue, because God forbid we cut time that can be devoted to more jokes about melon bread), and they want to be good slaves to the next species they've encountered, humans. There's some plot happening with Ren being considered a defective "dear", and something about her being their Chosen One or something, but like I said before, the anime just cuts off before resolving any major plot threads definitively. And often, plot elements are put on the back burner so the show can just be cute and funny. And it is, for a while. The jokes quickly get repetitious and therefore stale if you watch a bunch of episodes in a row.
So yeah, I wasn't too happy with this anime. Basically, the main characters are all flat and stereotypical. We have Takeya, who is pretty boring, pretty much a stereotypical ecchi protagonist, and way too angry and insulting to Ren. Ren is a complete moron, her innocence is played as sexy or cute in the show, but she just comes across as too dumb to remember to breathe. Myu was one of my favorite characters, but she follows a typical pattern of going from hating and challenging the protagonist to liking him (typical tsundere, even though she lacks a romantic interest in Takeya even after softening towards him). Takeya has an apartment manager CHILDHOOD FRIEND girl who is very boring and tomboyish, and seems to always be violating Takeya's privacy and bossing him around, and yet we're supposed to root for her, because reasons. They also have a horrendously inappropriate high school teacher, and it's funny at first, but after a few episodes, you'll be groaning "ugh, will she just stop and act like an actual adult for once".
While the comedy coming from these characters playing off of each other is good at first, it begins to get stale and you realize after a while that the creators ran out of new ideas. Either that, or they were planning to build up to something great involving minor characters that is not fully explored because the anime ended so abruptly. Basically, it's cute at first, but it's ultimately a waste of time, because it just doesn't go anywhere.