May 22, 2014
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Title: D-Frag!
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Rating: 7.6/10

D-Frag

Summary: Kazama Kenji likes to believe he is something of a delinquent. Moreover, others seem to like to agree that he is. Of course, Kenji’s gang finds their way to a group of four not-so-normal girls—Chitose, Sakura, Minami and Roka—and all at once, whatever reputation he may have is nothing compared to the outrageous behavior of the girls. Shanghaied into joining their club, what will happen to his everyday life from that point on?

Review: I’m not surprised that this anime got some high reviews  because it was one of the better comedies I’ve seen in recent years. It had me laughing from start to finish; sometimes I laughed so hard I couldn’t continue reading the subtitles. What really brought this anime together were the characters, Kazama specifically. The main lead of any anime can make or break a series based on how they react to certain situations. His logical and more realistic reactions to the crazy plots of anime and character designs made the series all the better. It was like D-Frag! continually broke down the fourth wall while still staying in its element. However, it’s difficult to give a comedy very high ratings in my book because it doesn’t offer any lingering effects as many other plot driven anime do. Nevertheless I do consider this to be a very fitting rating for this anime and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a solid comedy.

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As many comedies go there wasn’t much emphases on the art. It makes sense because art can only take you so far in terms of humor, what really matters is the dialogue and plot scenarios. Let’s get back to the art style for a second; it was nothing special and it actually was probably the worst part about D-Frag!. It was pretty simplistic and actually makes the anime look quite old even in high definition. The character designs were the typical whacky colored twin tailed, long haired, and short haired makeup. I can’t say that any of it really impressed me other than the occasional background shifts during one of the comedy gags. Thankfully art wasn’t the reason I continued to watch D-Frag! because it did offer a lot more in terms of content.

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The character relationship in D-Frag! is among the top in terms of comedies. It’s very rare to see such great synergy between personalities that really bring about good execution. Kenji, the male lead in this harem of strange girls was one of my favorite characters of Winter 2014. I enjoyed the fact that he wasn’t the typical male lead who takes advantage over all the fawning girls and realizes that they all have a screw loose. He was also the reason why the series was so funny. His very real reactions to the ridiculous situations had to me on the floor laughing. However, after a few episodes you started to realize the pattern of the jokes. One of the girls (most likely Roka) will say or do something ridiculous and Kenji would inevitably yell at the top of his lungs about how nothing makes sense. While it was funny at first the laughs did die off toward the end, and it actually took me quite a few weeks after the series ended to watch the final episode.  D-Frag! started to suffer from what most comedies do over time, stagnation. The jokes were always new, but the delivery wasn’t which made things rather predictable. I can’t take away too much credit though because it did a lot better than most comedies which is why  you should take my rating of 7.6 with a grain of salt. Going back to the character relationships, it is possible to consider D-Frag! a romance anime because it did have a lot of sweet and clear moments of romance. However, I didn’t place it as the genre because it followed the typical harem approach of never actually siding with one girl or the other due to sheer stupidity and the oblivious nature anime guys tend to have. I do use the term “harem” lightly because the series didn’t really push all of the girls toward Kenji. In fact, most of the girls simply tortured him or teased him without showing any signs of remorse. D-Frag! surprisingly had a good bit of development as well which is rare for a comedy. Now it wasn’t the same level as SKET Dance but it had it’s moments. It definitely kept me interested enough to want a second season just so see how the other girls managed to come across their “super powers”.

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The soundtrack for D-Frag! wasn’t anything special so I’ll only give it a brief mention. The opening and endings were both the typical fast, high pitch music you generally here in this style of anime. I did like the fact that Shizuka Itou, voice actress for Takao, and Hanazawa Kana, voice actress for Roka, both did a theme song performance for the series. I really encourage VA to go beyond just acting out lines and try their skills in music as well. It really makes the anime feel like a unique experience and pulls you into the world.

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Final statements: D-Frag! was a pretty solid comedy and I got more than a few laughs out of the series; I even had to pause the video on occasion just so I could finish laughing before the next joke. The only reason I didn’t give it a higher rating is because the joke delivery got very repetitive even if the jokes were unique. Still it is well deserving of a preferred watch and a solid comedy for anyone to pick up. It wasn’t too long or too short and kept me entertained for the entire Winter 2014 season. I’ll probably pick it up again if it does decide to continue.

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