- Alt. Name
- Redei x Bato
- Release Date
- Winter 2010
- No. of Episodes
- Light Novel
When it comes to genres of anime, there are always going to be ones that are produced for a specific targeted audience. Whether it be young children for Pokémon or teenagers for Attack on Titan, however, unlike those shows who are highly rated, some series are more targeted towards the male – in other ways. While this is destitute at times and troublesome to some extent, a few people have sent in emails stating this series needed to be reviewed. Though I’ve never heard of this series before, I’m going into it with an open mind, and perhaps I’ll come out of it with a better understanding as to why I’ve received a few requests to review this anime.
For information on our star rating system please click here.
Ladies Versus Butlers is an Ecchi Comedy anime series released in 2010 by the now-defunct studio Xebec. Even though the studio is no longer active, it doesn’t mean that any of its creations are terrible, nor does it say anything about its employees; things happen that are sometimes out of our control. This series did seem to have some hype or, at the very least, had semi-high hopes towards it since the first episode was given an early special broadcast back in December 2009. However, since this series is somewhat of a harem, I assume that it was due to cute girls and fan service that pushed this show forward.
The story within this series is in something of a fool’s gold type category and, at times, became more bitter than sweet. Akiharu Hino lost his parents when he was quite young and subsequently adopted into his uncle’s family – though none of this declared within the anime. He decides to enter a boarding school, Hakureiryo Academy because he no longer wants to burden his relatives. When Akiharu passes the exam to enter the school, he soon learns that he will be joining the House Management Department, where the students train to be servants for high society. He wants to become a butler, but succeeding from his delinquent appearance has proven to be problematic, especially since he tends to frighten the girls – who make up for a majority of the populous.
Being unable to get along with his classmates, Akiharu reunites with his childhood friend Tomomi Saikyo, a girl whose bite is worse than her bark and traumatized him many times throughout his childhood. Another girl named Selnia lori Flameheart chases after him because of his looks and calls him a suspicious person. Still, Akiharu starts finding his feet at the school, and his relationships with the girls are constantly changing, especially with all the hijinks going on.
Although this story sounds like its set up for a perfect comedy mixed in with some harem elements, you’d be correct in that assumption. This series has a great set up and doesn’t hold back any punches when it comes to fanservice. The pacing of this series is above average, though not by much, it’s easy to follow motif is wonderfully crafted throughout and makes it’s audience have the ability to keep up with the show. However, outside of that, the story is rather atrocious.
The negatives within this story are rather easy to spot and prone to multiple tropes, some good and miserable, though each is to one’s liking. The first episode does lead to revealing a majority of its cards, which leaves the viewer knowing three-fourths of the series structure, which leaves the series using the same jokes multiple times throughout and doesn’t include others outside of what is within the first couple of episodes. Another negative within this series is the excessive use of ecchi as an actual form of plot progression. Ladies Vs. Butlers! is meant for young males to watch alone at night and doesn’t offer anything other than girls with different breast sizes.
Outside of those two chief criticisms are ones that may turn a lot of viewers away from the series. One is that there is little to no character development, especially within the main characters. Another problem is that if one is looking to watch this comedy series, only view the first two episodes because, after that, it just throws away the story and pretty much becomes a full-on ecchi series. However, the most egregious aspect of this series is that it has no ending within the series. The series had somewhat of a conclusion, but it was more of a filler episode and filled with one last ecchi chance. If a show – no matter the genre – will have a final episode, I believe it must wrap up all the loose ends within the story. However, I don’t fault Ladies Versus Butlers! on this, given there was no real story.
The art style within this series very pleasant, and that’s rather unfortunate given the almost absent story. This artistic style is one of the better features of the whole show, and that’s not saying a lot. However, I can’t help but recollect an earlier XEBEC production, Kanokon. And though the character designs may be a little off-putting for some, this will not stop them from the overall enjoyment of the series. Not much can be said towards this artistic style due to its average all the way around, and quite frankly, Kanokon, which premiered in 2005, holds a better artistic style then this one, which is rather unfortunate.
When it comes to this series in terms of production values, one will be questioning what happened? The opening and closing songs were decently adequate for a series of this caliber – though not in a proper way – but won’t be remembered at the end of the day. The voice acting within this series was well suited to each character’s personality, surprisingly well. The unfortunate aspect of this production was the lack of background music, which was virtually nonexistent. However, the viewer within this demographic won’t notice it missing due to the plethora of bouncing breasts, panty shots, and vast amounts of nudity throughout this entire series to even notice it missing.
The characters within the series are hit or miss, and I mean that in the most positive way possible. There are some characters that viewers are sure not to like, while others are entirely for the male ego. However, when these characters are together, they seem to have a great atmosphere that is surprisingly enjoyable at times. For instance, the main protagonist is Akiharu Hino; he’s considered a delinquent and is always willing to help a friend. Though he is sometimes gullible into believing anything, he always tries to make everyone feel better and goes out of his way even when it is not needed.
Now Tomomi Saikyo, on the other hand, is Akiharu’s childhood friend, and she uses it to her advantage when needed. She’s adequately described as being two-faced due to her quick ability to change from being polite and refined to manipulative. She is highly intelligent and dislikes losing to other people, though she somewhat accepts that she has a smallish chest compared to her rival.
The last of the main characters is Selnia lori Flameheart, the most complacent person within the academy – in her mind, at least. Her caricature has two salient aspects, one being her rather large breasts and two being her hairstyle. Though she is the unfortunate target of various misunderstandings throughout the show, she is the quintessential Tsundere of the series and borderline generic one.
Other then those three characters, we have a well-rounded cast that can be summed up with one sentence. Kaoru Daichi, Akiharu’s roommate, and fellow servant student, Kaoru’s most significant character aspect, is that he’s secretly a girl. Sanae Shikikagmi, a clumsy maid at the academy and the older sister of Saori. Shingo Todoroki, classmate and one of the few boys in the entire school, his most notable character trait is that he’s a massive pervert. Mitsuru Sanke is the closest to a straight man within the series and is considered a darling towards the female populous within his class. The other characters within the series rarely seen after one episode, which is slightly regretful and seemed more of a missed opportunity given some had more or less appeal.
The entertainment within this series was a mixed bag. For instance, when it tried to go away from the ecchi elements, it was somewhat enjoyable – though a minimal amount – and it fell flat when it came back to it. This series tried to do way too much within the ecchi genre, and at the end of the day, it didn’t know what it was. It tried to do comedy and had a few laughs – though mainly from pity – then it tried to be overtly sexual, and somewhat accomplished that. However, I didn’t enjoy the loli character being sexualized and doesn’t use her other than for a barely legal fetish.
Though upon reading a few excerpts of the source material and doing some research on finding some answers to unanswered questions within the anime. It was found that this series seemed to get the wrong end of an adaptation, meaning the source material was thrown out when this series was being made. This series had a decent amount of potential from decently written light novels that, unfortunately, was picked up by XEBEC. According to the internet, it hasn’t created anything worth watching within its tenure. By the end of this series, I now understand why this studio is no longer around and am pleased that it can’t come back to life.
Nothing is wrong with Ecchi anime, and if one enjoys that, then so be it. Though with the lack of story and fundamental ecchi components put to the max seems to turn this into a terrible series. If one wants to watch this, go ahead, but if one is hoping for some context or even anything past blowing your own horn, you’ll be utterly disappointed. If I could sum this series up within a few lines, I’d say that “All that glitters is not gold,” One would be better off not watching this then wasting time that could be better spent by getting a root canal without any numbing.
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.