The bonds of friendship will form over… panties and bras?
What They Say
Nayu Hayama is a twelve year old girl entering Ounan Middle School, a private school for girls, at the top of her class. However, she trips on her way to give a speech at the entrance ceremony, exposing her lace adult panties. Nayu's classmate Yako Jinguji witnesses the event and suspects her of paid dating, prompting Yako and her friend Haruka Shiraishi to go in search of the truth. Nayu gropes Haruka's large breasts when the three meet in the hallway. With growing suspicions, Yako decides to get some photographic evidence.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the ongoing manga series by Yumi Nakata that stated back in 2007 and has three tankobon so far, Chu-Bra is a thirteen episode series that revolves squarely around panties and bras and all things associated with them. While that in itself is certainly not a bad thing, it’s a bit more complicated when the show focuses on twelve year old girls in middle school as it will certainly provide a creepy factor for many people, fans or not. That said, the first episode does manage to provide enough charm and a slightly sly reason for being so involved in the subject matter that it almost works.
Chu-Bra revolves around twelve year old Nayu who is one of the many new students at the Ounan Middle School that she’s now attending. While some of them have come up through the elevator system, there are many students from other elementary schools who are here for the first time. For Nayu, she’s got a hard time in actually making friends and it’s the biggest thing on her mind now that she’s at Ounan. This endeavor is made more difficult when during the entrance ceremony she’s selected as the one to give a speech because of her high grades, but also because she trips herself up on the way up and reveals that she’s wearing adult panties. Black skimpy panties at that.
The girls are all a buzz about this now in the days to come and they’re doing what girls do best and that’s to be catty in groups about it. Nayu’s fairly unaware of this as she does her best at things while finding herself forced into the class rep position as well. The ones who follow her the most so far though are a pair of friends from elementary school named Yako and Haruka. They’re intent on figuring out what’s going on with her as there are rumors of paid dating, sugar daddies and more. So they follow her and try to keep their distance in the day to day business of school so they can try and catch a glimpse of what she’s really all about.
And what it is all about is admittedly an interesting angle to take, provided you actually believe the show is aimed at girls of this age rather than lecherous older men who want to see lots of undergarments on young girls. As Yako and Haruka get closer to Nayu, they discover that she’s actually something of a tester for underwear for a man named Keigo, who she lives with but has an unknown relation to her. But it’s also learned that Nayu is a bit of an underwear maniac as she’s really into the whole design, concept and use of it. When she talks about it, you do get the feeling that it’s earnest as she discusses the way a young girls body changes as she gets older and the types of clothe she has to change into wearing. Anyone with kids of this age or younger siblings who are going through said changes, there’s certainly truth to some of the “taboos” that Yako talks about in not being able to deal with it with parents. And Nayu’s concerns for Haruka and her ample assets also makes sense in an educational sense, but one that is laced with a whole lot of fanservice.
Chu-Bra has a fairly good design about it with the characters and the setting. The world is fairly slice of life style with a bit of softness to it to add to the magic of the age and the whole growing into womanhood aspect. The character designs are where people may have problems, mostly because they are obviously going for the titillation aspect. They’re young looking, which is appropriate, and there’s a whole lot of bounciness to be had as well. And again, anyone who deals with kids in this age range will note that it’s really not all that far off the mark. Each of the characters is fairly distinctive enough and they’re well designed without any serious flaws and they stay on model throughout the episode. The adults come across well in Chu-Bra as well for what little we see of them so far as they’re not creepy and they play a mildly active role. They could have come across as really lecherous but instead they’re done normally both in design and in their roles as well.
Chu-Bra is the big fanservice series of the season and it’s one that definitely lives up to it, though it’d be nice if the characters were a fair bit older. Beyond that obviously problematic area for many, the show looks like it could be pretty fun if you don’t take it seriously and look at it as a mixture of educational anime with comedy on top of the whole friendship angle that’s pushed hard in this first episode. I wasn’t sure what to really expect with it based off of the premise put out for it but I’ll admit that I came away from it mildly charmed by it simply because it did try place real reasons for the whole bra and panty fetish, even as forced as they are. This is a series that should be light and fluffy and certainly looks to fill that role well for this season, enough so that I’m looking forward to seeing if they can keep it to this level and not sink down to the lower depths.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.