- Alt. Name
- Astarotte no Omocha!
- Release Date
- Spring 2011
- No. of Episodes
Astarotte’s Toy is a 2011 Fantasy comedy series created by a Japanese animation studio with a weird track record for their anime series topics. While Diomedea may not have the best track record, they possess some of the most intriguing creations within the 2010s. For instance, nearly one-third of their entire catalog is targeted toward the ecchi genre in one way or another, and this series is no different. Though the interesting part about this studio is their series are either controversial on social media or just plain weird, either way, that’s what makes a series more entertaining. However, the real question is, can an anime series tend to be ecchi and be entertaining without crossing boundaries? Only time will tell.
Like the young princess Astarotte “Lotte” Ygvar, Succubi requires the life seed from men to survive, replenish their magic, and continue the royal lineage of the magical realm. This means succubi are required to keep a harem of men closes at hand. Ironically, Lotte despises men, which will put her life at risk once she matures. To convince her to fulfill her duties, one of her attendants, Judith Snorrevik, goes to the human realm to find a human male whom Lotte can tolerate. Though to Lotte’s point of view, that feat is impossible since nobody has seen a human male in quite some time.
Judith returns with a 23-year-old Naoya Touhara, a single father who unfortunately leaves his daughter, Asuha, behind in the human realm. As the first member of Lotte’s harem, Naoya quickly adapts to this new environment, service to the princesses as she sees fit, no matter what, as long as it makes her happy. His plan is simple; rather than viewing her with sexual intent, try to bring her hatred of men to a close.
Unfortunately, when his daughter is allowed to arrive in the magical realm, Naoya’s relationship quickly worsens as quickly as it progressed. Even so, he strives to patch their relationship up no matter what the cost. Though throughout Naoya and his daughter’s presence throughout the magical realm, it soon becomes clear that they’ve made an impact. Strange things start to happen within the kingdom, and it’s believed to be caused by the mysterious lore within the realm itself. As Naoya’s relationship strengthens with Lotte, fate begins to pull in the other direction that ties not only him but everyone else within this enchanted world apart. Can Naoya help Lotte and save the magical realm? Or will he be crushed before he can even begin?
When it comes to trying to find something positive to say about Astarotte’s Toy, this series seems extremely difficult to talk about without alerting the FBI. Sure this series has decent pacing and a fair amount of moments that truly make the viewer feel for the characters, which was remarkably shocking given the series’s content. Another positive aspect of this series is that the central focus is given within the first episode. They don’t beat around the bush. They tell the viewer what Lotte will do with her all-male harem, so if this series isn’t for the viewer, nothing gained, nothing lost.
Unlike the positives within this story, there are many negatives, but unfortunately, we’ll focus on the biggest ones. While having an ecchi series isn’t harmful, the viewer may find this series rather difficult to watch given that the main point of the series is to have a twenty-three-year-old man have a sexual relationship with a ten-year-old girl. Outside of the pedophilia within this series, she’s not the only one who wants to get with him. Another negative aspect within this narrative is that the series is two parted, meaning the first half gently brushes up on the subject once or twice but nothing more. But once the series reaches the halfway point, Astarotte’s Toy suddenly takes off on full cylinders.
Taking the series for what it truly is, this story is pretty generic in almost every sense of the word. It has cute characters that are rarely seen but somehow seem important. Most characters don’t add anything towards the plot progression regardless of whether the episode is about them or not, but what makes it even worse is that sometimes the characters are bland. Boring characters are acceptable; it could be their personality, but when the characters are just there to fill up space and time, that’s the pathetic atmosphere created within this story.
Astarotte’s Toy has something interesting when it comes to its art style. The art is decently presented and very vibrant in most scenes. The characters’ designs are attractive but a tad generic, with nothing about them being original. The scenery is generic but decent to look at throughout the series. However, when it comes to the color scheme, that’s when the art shines. Though the art is a bit generic and dull, this series doesn’t try to outperform itself when it knows it can’t; they work with the available resources. With the amount of bright, colorful characters, the art’s generic qualities are a bit of a letdown regarding the series mainly set in a fantasy realm.
However, this series shockingly may pass the viewers’ expectations concerning the series animation production values. The opening theme is excellent, and the animation is simply beautiful, though not perfect. The ending theme is minimalistic, yet a pleasant touch to end the episodes. Though the art may have been wasted on this series, it showcases the average quality within this animation’s production even though it was generic. Perhaps this series may have been better off with a shorter episode limit or even a shorter amount of time. The production is one of the only few positives within this series.
Throughout Astarotte’s Toy, the characters range from lukewarm to mediocre at best, and the main characters aren’t any different. Lotte, the ten-year-old princess, is a typical Tsundere with a tail. She’s cold and tends to be mean at times, but she tries to be a great person deep down. Naoya is the sole member of Lotte’s harem and the father of ten-year-old Asuha. Though he seems somewhat distant from the idea of having Lotte “suck his life seed,” he quickly shows that he’s smarter than he may look. Albeit he’s sometimes dense, he’s overall a good character though not the best.
The last of the main characters is Asuha Tohara; while she is also the same age as Lotte, she has a more mature demeanor. She’s best described as a free spirit and is known for not wearing her underwear. While she may be too friendly and caring at times, she doesn’t present herself as conceited or annoying throughout the series. Though as the series progresses, her IQ seems to decrease with each episode.
While there are a few other characters throughout this series, they are mainly used as plot progressors or gags. However, even when they’re part of the story, the narrative doesn’t give the viewer an emotional connection towards them as to why they should care about them. Overall these characters aren’t the best, but given what the series is about and taken into context, they’re still below average.
While this series is not meant for everyone, Astarotte’s Toy is something that people shouldn’t shy away from their potential series to watch. Though the premise may be borderline pedophilic, the comedy is there, and the amount of ecchi isn’t too out there. Albeit it’s within the “what the fuck” category, and that’s being relatively gentle. This series isn’t perfect by any means, and it clearly shows its mistakes within the first few episodes; however, it is still adequately written and performed. Especially when one views the series for what genre it essentially is, an ecchi fantasy comedy.
Can this series be on anyone’s favorites list? I’d hope not and couldn’t see anyone outside of the sheer dark comedy genre enjoying this series. Though the series has many faults, it was decently entertaining and more or less rewatchable. This series can be fun given the right amount of circumstances or the right amount of drinks, but towards the end of the series, the entire series seemed to implode upon itself. Having done that shows that this series isn’t fair nor decent; it’s below average in almost every way possible.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.