- Release Date
- Fall 2010
- No. of Episodes
- Light Novel
MM! is a 2010 Comedy anime series from the Japanese animation studio, Xebec. While the series may not be well known to some, the studio behind this show should ring a bell for long-time anime fans. Xebec has created some of the most popular anime series within their respected eras, including Love Hina, Shaman King, To Love Ru, and many others! Just because a studio has made a few popular series doesn’t mean everything will be worth a watch, especially when it comes to the vast amounts of anime. So can a series that never is talked about and created by a studio that has proven they can do great things have something under the radar?
Taro Sado is a high school student who lives his day-to-day life with a big secret; he’s a masochist! Encouraged by his best friend, who also shares a secret, Tatsukichi Hayama, Taro asks the Second Voluntary Club for help with his problem and ends up joining the club after they vow to “fix” him. However, little does he know that this one series of unfortunate events will forever change his life. By joining the club, Taro finds out that all the club members have some serious issues.
The club leader herself, Mio Isurugi, is a self-designated god who is afraid of cats. Likewise, Arashiko Yuuno has a severe fear of men, and the club advisor Michiru Onigawara is a sadist who enjoys making people cosplay whatever she desires. Together with other wacky characters such as Yumi Mamiya, a talented masseuse and Yuuno’s best friend, and Noa Hiiragi, the president of the invention club, they all learn about the importance of accepting who they are and the kindness of others.
The biggest positive that this series could ever get right off the bat quickly hook its viewers within the first couple of minutes. MM! doesn’t toy around with the kinks, and if the viewer can learn to move on from the initial shock, they should be fine. Outside of that, the most significant positive that this series quickly gets is that it was easy to follow. At the same time, some comedy series have tried to do a more serious comedy with bits of drama thrown throughout. This series knew it shouldn’t take itself seriously, and if it did, it would’ve flopped hard. Outside of these positives, the series had a decent flow that was a little unexpected. Though not perfect, a tad above average.
Another positive that this series has was that it didn’t shy away from the different kinks. Though there were some familiar anime tropes, this series nailed the comedy aspect of each one to a tee. As a result, the series was more enjoyable and easier to swallow towards its viewers, who may not want to watch such a hard-hitting anime. With each episode, the comedy fit within the story’s scope and didn’t detour what the viewer expects, typical of somewhat ecchi without being an ecchi anime series.
Unfortunately, this series had a lot of negatives that some viewers may not enjoy. The biggest being that if one is not interested in tongue-in-cheek humor, then this series may not be for them. Over half of all the anime’s comedy revolved around very mild BDSM. Another potential negative that stood out was that many clichéd anime tropes have been done countless times before and done better. Having a series loaded with clichés doesn’t mean it’s automatically terrible, but if one doesn’t enjoy Tsundere characters or even fake dramatical moments, please do yourself a favor and skip this series.
The last negative that must be mentioned was that the abuse type of humor MM! uses quickly wears off by the second or third episode. With this type of humor being the main comedy ingredient from the main characters, this quickly got tiring. Perhaps this may be better if the story was a little less generic, but overall, this humor was a little bland and unwanted.
The art style within this series was what one would expect, generic early 2010’s anime series that can give the viewer a poor first impression. This is a correct assumption due to the overly bright colors and backgrounds blatantly not getting enough detail. Though the positive aspect that this art style does have was the character designs were very fitting and somewhat a little less generic than what one may expect. Though viewers shouldn’t expect to remember them, they have no original qualities to their designs that haven’t been done better by other series.
Though the animation production of this series was somehow better than anyone’s expectations, the opening animation is very clean and compared to other anime series within the same caliber, and it’s even better. The theme song for the first four episodes was adequately titled “Help! (Hell side) which was performed by Ayana Taketatsu. While the rest of the series used “Help! (Heaven side)” which was performed by Taketatsu and Saori Hayami. Hayami was also the voice actress for Arashiko Yuno. The ending theme and animation were not as great as the openers but adequately did the job. The bright and cheerful colors mixed with the cosplay were a great touch but were a bit too campy that perhaps was more of a fan service versus a proper ending sequence.
When it comes to MM! and its cast of characters, there are many oddities thrown throughout. For instance, Taro Sado is the main protagonist of the anime and is a true masochist through and through. However, his family is not the best role models since his mother and sister have a weird sexual attraction towards him, which is very one-sided until he tries to stay out as much as possible. Though he is a pervert, he is genuinely a nice person and always willing to help a friend in need even if it puts him in danger.
Mio Isurugi is Taro Sado’s sempai. She is the head of his school club and is violent towards Taro due to her superiority complex. She is a self-proclaimed deity who has ailurophobia, the fear of cats. She is very athletic but has been said to be not very good at studies. Nevertheless, she has feelings for Taro; whether that’s due to the masochist and superiority complex relationship or his kindness towards her is unknown.
Arashiro Yuno is Taro Sado’s classmate. She has androphobia, a fear of men due to an event that happened during junior high school. Her fear becomes so big that whenever a male touches her, she subconsciously feels like she has to hit them. Though outside these three characters, not many other characters bring anything to the table outside of smallish characters. There is, of course, Taro’s best friend, Tatsukichi Hayama, who enjoys cross-dressing. But then a clichéd series has to have a loli character named Noa Hiragi, the loli lover character trope Yukinojo Himura is very generic and unoriginal.
This series will significantly range on multiple factors throughout one viewing, but what makes this anime a make-or-break situation is if they want to sit through the clichés. The story is abysmal to bare bones, unoriginal, yet still a little entertaining, shocking. The art style is okay, though don’t expect to remember anything outside of genericism. While the opening and closing animations were high, it, unfortunately, can’t save a sinking ship, which was rather unfortunate. However, with everything that this series did wrong, it somehow did something right, keeping inside its own goals.
This series has problems, but this isn’t a terrible anime. Though is it great not! However, MM! is one of those anime series that can entertain anime viewers if they allow themselves to get past the unfortunate pitfalls that make a great series tremendous and a terrible one. It falls somewhere in between them. From the easiness of the story to the sometimes funny jokes, this series maybe someone’s comedy gold though it is improbable. Consider this an anime series for someone who wants to watch something weird and out there and wants some cute girls thrown in the mix.
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.