Catgirls from space. There's a lot more to it, but isn't that all you really need to know?
What They Say:
One day, a young Okinawan boy, Kio, encounters a voluptuous, beautiful girl named Elis. She's an unusual looking girl, with cat ears and a tail. Apparently, she's an alien. Kio gets into quite the predicament before his homeroom teacher, Maki, and his childhood friend, Manami, due to Elis's sexy behavior stemming from her lack of knowledge of Earthly customs. Just what is her reason for coming to Earth? In addition to this, a mysterious organization lurks behind the scenes.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series by Okina Kamino, Asobi ni Ikuyo: Bombshells from the Sky is a twelve episode series that deals with a whole lot of alien catgirls. The show ran during the sum-mer of 2010 with a lot of source material to work with as the light novel series is up to fourteen volumes and running and seven volumes worth of manga at this point. The series is one that has a good deal of fun to it but it has its problems as well, largely in that it wants to give us lots of alien catgirl women with large breasts that, as one character claims, are the size of small planets.
The story focuses on Kio, a young man living in Okinawa who has something very unexpected fall into his lap when a young woman named Elis arrives. It turns out that Elis is actually an alien from the planet Catia and they've come to Earth in the hopes of establishing relations. The opening piece is kind of amusing in that a group of people want to abduct and eliminate her because they can't imagine humanity's first contact would be with catgirls. What throws the whole thing kind of wonky with Elis and Kio together is the arrival of Manami, a young woman in training to join the CIA, and Aoi, a mercenary of similar age to Kio as well who find themselves drawn to him, but initially it's all about the alien thing.
The start of the series has something of an uneven flow, but what events come down to is that Elis is there to find out if they can establish relations and she soon sends off her report. That causes the main ship up in orbit to get quite excited about the whole thing and appears over the sky in Japan. The forcing of the opening of relations happens rather quickly and in comical fa-shion as the girls on the ship, all girls of course, follow Elis' advice and dress according to the magazines they find under Kio's bed. Which means school style swimsuits. That actually helps them since it throws off the politicians and the agree that Kio's house can now become the Catia embassy for the moment. This also helps Manami and Aoi since they can use it for diplomatic immunity because of their actions in rescuing Aoi. Not that she really needed to be rescued.
What the show becomes from this point is a straightforward comedy but one with certain things missing to really make it work very well. For Kio, he ends up with a trio of girls living in his place which is now an embassy, and he has to help Elis acclimate. She has some help in that there are Assitaroids, little droids that do all sorts of chores and the like, but they're voiceless and tend to actually be helpful while holding up signs with their dialogue. They avoid being a huge distraction and end up being cute simply because they try to localize themselves over the course of it with costumes. Thankfully, Elis avoids the trap of enrolling in school and spending all her time there dealing with rival schoolgirls and so forth. Instead, she goes through the fun of learning about Earth with Kio.
There's a lot to like with how it plays out because it does avoid some of the usual bigger problems we get here. There's the obvious romantic triangle issue with Elis, Manami and Aoi as they all have feelings for him in different ways. What I liked was that it took time for it to reveal itself and the girls don't truly compete for Kio's attentions with silly games. Aoi has strong feelings for him that she develops but can't figure out how to follow through on because of what her life has been like. For Manami, she takes even longer to realize she has feelings for him and she does her best in a way to sabotage herself with it by encouraging Aoi in her feelings. Even more interesting is that for Elis, she's not exactly going out of her way to seduce and cling onto Kio, but she does find herself in her first mating season and decides that she wants to share that with Kio. Which her captain finds to be a good thing since most Catians experience their first mating through machine help apparently.
They do have a subplot that sneaks in throughout it that becomes the main focus at the end of the series where a rival race, the Dogisians, manipulates things and creates a situation that threatens all of the Catians on Earth as well as a sizable chunk of the Earth as well. Normally I dislike it when straight comedy shows introduce a series storyline towards the end, but it works well here because it's not a straight out comedy so it manages to work. There's a serious air to a lot of it that lets this segment work right. What's really amusing about it is that while there's a humanoid helping to move things along with this storyline for the Dogisians, there's also an actual dog-like creature named Muttley who is a spot on perfect homage to the character of the same name from the 60's Wacky Races series. It was disconcerting at first to see and hear him, but once you get into it, it works perfectly.
What makes the series kind of hard to get into at times is the fact that they have made the women so enormously breasted when it comes to the Catians. Elis is the primary offender simply because she's there all the time and her chest is just too hard to not stare at, especially with her skin tight outfit. Other Catians are the same way, though there are some exceptions, and with similarly tight uniforms it can be rather distracting from the scene. I did appreciate that the human characters didn't go this route and that they actually find it to be a problem themselves as they realize their feelings for Kio and understand that it may be a problem in their attempts to sway his views towards them.
I didn't exactly have high expectations for the show, especially as the simulcast reviews for the show that I didn't do weren't all that glowing about it. What I found with this series is that it has an awkward start but turns into a fairly fun show along the way if you overlook a lot of things. Seeing the Catian's going about town and not being accosted by people interested in them, worldwide reaction to aliens among us and so forth are gaping plot holes that really needed to be addressed in at least some token way. Outside of that, it turned out to be good harmless fun that knows what it wants to do and does it with a grin and a sense of enjoyment. I love the Assistaroids and the Catian's in general as well as the fun of how Kio's house becomes an embassy. What's best to do with this show is to really check the details at the door since so many things don't click well if you really think about it. If you can do that, you can enjoy something simple and disposable that may make you smile, laugh and wonder what will happen next. It's almost worth it just for the Muttley material alone.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
iPhone 4 via the Crunchyroll app