Nikaido Kaho is a daughter of a rich family and her whole life everyone’s been nice to her. When moving to her new high school dormitory, she almost gets hit by a truck but is saved by a boy. It’s love at first sight for Kaho but when asking him his name, he tells her she’s weird. Kaho is shocked since it’s the first time anyone’s ever said mean things to her. Soon enough, she finds out that the boy who saved her lives in the same dormitory and so she bravely confesses her love. The boy says his name is Kanade and agrees to go out with her. Unfortunately, the following day Kaho finds out that her first boyfriend is a 5th grader.
I will make this clear: I only finished the anime so I can write a mean review on it. In the beginning, I was tricked to think that it is a regular shoujo anime, by the end of episode one I should have taken the hint and stop then and there. The plot was getting ridiculous and the animation wasn’t helping at all. But I thought “well, this is a comedy show, probably a parody of shoujo anime” so I stayed. By the time I realised how much I hated it, I have already wasted to much time on it so I might as well finish it to write this review. I could have just dropped it when I felt like I have watched enough but I wasn’t sure if it would be a big joke that I won’t find out about until the very end so I thought it would only be fair to finish it before judging it.
I’m still not sure if this was a joke or serious
I’ve finished the whole series and I still have no idea if this was supposed to be taken seriously.
If the story was weird on purpose for comedic effect, then it failed miserably. Instead of making me laugh it left me cringing and trying not to vomit. There are animes out there that are intentionally weird to be funny (e.g. Gintama), but Hatsukoi Monster was just appalling but not funny at all. Even if I could turn a blind eye on how wrong all the creepy paedophilia, creepy incest and other creepy obsessions are, it doesn’t change the fact that it was super cringey to watch.
If the story was intended to be romantic and cute with “unique” couples, then it failed miserably as well. They have already intentionally made it creepy and no one could take a 5th grader talking about love seriously. Kaho said she “fell in love” with Kanade because he was the first who would scold him, but if Kanade wasn’t good looking, or if he actually looked like a fifth-grader, would she have had a crush on him? I don’t think so. While shallow romance stories are not a really bad thing, a weird and shallow romance story is definitely a bad thing.
If you ever catch yourself thinking “You know what? I think I should write a story about a high school girl dating a child who looks older than her! That would be fun!”, you should really get some help. Again, it might have been a comedy making fun of all the creepiness that was going on, but the way they normalised the abnormal behaviours doesn’t help with the ‘comedy’ case’. If the message of “this is all a bit weird but they loved each other so that’s okay”, I definitely wasn’t convinced, at all. I’m a big believer in the philosophy of “live and let live”. I don’t care what people do as long as no one is hurt. However, there is a line, and dating children or stealing underwear or incest definitely crossed that line.
You see, I don’t mind weird, but normally a good, weird story should have more depth. For example, Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland was very weird, but it was about a little girl’s mind and how she faced challenges that were threatening her sense of reality in Wonderland. A lot of the characters in Gintama were weird but at the end of the story their “weirdness” was what made them unique and gave them strength. First Love Monster? It was just weird for the sake of being weird and what happened in there were just appalling and borderline illegal.
Actually, was there even a plot?
The over-developed fifth graders in the anime acted overly immature, as if their body and brain can’t find the balance and went towards two extremes. Other fifth grades around them who don’t look 17 acted way more like 11-year-olds and less like 3-year-olds who suffered head injuries. Which means the author do know what 11-year-olds are like. So it baffles me why the over-developed ones are the only ones who are incompetent. Is that some kind of disorder? They also over-exaggerated the tendency of 11-year-olds talking about their own genitals. Guess what, by about 7 or 8 a child should have enough self-aware and understanding of the social norm to know that no one yell about their own penis in public spaces. Actually, do any child at any age behave like that? It would have actually been less creepy if Kaho was crushing on a fifth grader that looked like a fifth grader.
There isn’t one normal person in this anime. Not one. They are all cardboards with no personality outside of their creepy archetypes which belong to the deep abyss of hentai.
I don’t understand why any of the characters did what they did either. I don’t understand why Kaho confessed to Kanade after meeting him for a few hours in the first place. I just don’t buy the whole “love at first sight” thing. I don’t know if Kaho is genuinely attracted the Kanade either. After all, there are no romantic feelings between those two. It felt like Kaho was babysitting a very over-sized baby while worrying about what other people would think of her for dating said baby. I don’t understand how no adults stopped this. I mean Tora was supposed to be the cold-hearted rational adult who doesn’t approve of this. But it turned out he was a sadist who was having a crush on a high-school girl and he doesn’t even know about it.