Watch it on Crunchyroll here. New episodes aired for Premium users Mondays 1:35 pm EDT and for free users a week later. Archives are available to free users 24/7. Season one just wrapped up, but it is unclear if there will be a season two.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if your love pillow could talk back to you? Well Makuranodanshi answers that question.
You've no doubt seen the photo of Episode 1's Merry: The Pillow Boy (pictured left) floating around Facebook. His beckoning, girlish pose, is not an example of what every episode will offer, but does seem to conjure up images of fluffy love pillows, playfully flopped onto the bedspread of the lonesome. The series began on July 13, 2015 and is produced by Earth Star Entertainment. (No relation.) The first season will top out at 12 episodes with a Blu-Ray DVD release slated for the Holiday season. The discs will contain a 13th episode that has been withheld from air with little explanation as of this writing. Considering the characters (I'll get to that in a moment) this is troubling when it comes to what's being left out.
Each week, the four minute show offers you a different boy or man. The male, often a parody of the typical, one-dimensional male figures in most anime titles, will ask you how your day went, ask if you want to be touched, share innocuous thoughts with you on his own day or fears, and then nudge you over and over to go to sleep, promising he will watch over you, in a I-swear-it's-totally-not-rapey kind of way. The gimmick is that you're supposed to watch this show just before dosing off. Fans usually will watch this via the Crunchyroll app on their tablets as they doze off.
The animation of the males is a bit stiff, but has shading in all the right places and very colorful eyes, often with dual or triple color effects. But the mouths are very wide like frog mouths, making some of the guys just plain look creepy.
Most of them are an unhealthy thin in build. It's very hard to see these boys as "sexy" when so many of them look malnourished. I feel like I want to feed them more than anything else. It really makes me appreciate sleeping next to my husband, who is 6'4 and eats a balanced diet.
And then there's the age issue. Each week is a random boy or man, so you're not guaranteed a male over the age of 18. Take a look at the official list of males for this season:
Mary/Merry (Voiced by: Natsuki Hanae): Pillow boy. Age unknown.
Haruto Enokawa (Voiced by: Ayumu Murase): Cherub boy. Age 5.
Ryūshi Theodore Emori (Voiced by: Yuichiro Umehara): Astronomy boy. Age 20.
Shirusu Mochizuki (Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi): Librarian boy. Age 28.
Nao Sasayama (Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki): Riajū boy. Age 21.
Sōsuke Tanaka (Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa): Senpai boy. Age 32.
Yonaga Chigiri (Voiced by: Daisuke Kishio): Flower arrangement boy. Age 17.
Yayoi Chigiri (Voiced by: Shinnosuke Tachibana): Flower arrangement boy. Age 17.
Kanade Hanamine (Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya): Music boy. Age 18.
Yū Maiki (Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka): Chūni boy. Age 15.
Eiji Kijinami (Voiced by: Sora Takahata): Dialect boy. Age 14.
Yuichirō Iida (Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa) Yatai boy. Age 41.
The show is supposed to appeal to lonely adults, but the age issue brings on pedophile viewers as well, adding another unnecessary creep factor. I'm used to seeing anime overtly sexualize teenagers, but a FIVE YEAR OLD????? FIVE??? At five, not only is that a LITTLE KID, but he's barely more than a toddler at five. Is anybody paying attention???
The 17 year old twins share an episode, while Merry is the only male to be featured in two episodes. All men/boys appear together in the opening credits.
The concept is both funny and a tad creepy. The males are over the top, making this worthy of re-watching, but the whole "Let me watch you sleep" thing can easily be misconstrued as rapey, and again, the pedo-factor is nothing short of alarming. But if you have no problems with your love pillow talking back, and you are totally out of shame, then this is just the thing to watch before bed.
Codename Sailor earth
Codename Sailor Earth is a lifelong anime and wrestling fan. IRL she is cartoonist Koriander Bullard, formerly Koriander Ake, a happily married Chicagoan. Her favorite anime is Sailor Moon. A baby in the late 80's, the first anime titles she ever saw were Speed Racer, Voltron and Robotech.