Astarotte no Omocha is about a succubi princess, Lotte, who lives in a magical world. She employs a human, Naoya, in her harem so that she can gain magical energies by drinking his juices when she becomes an adult. Naoya also happens to be the father of Lotte’s step-sister who moves in with them at the castle.
I wasn’t initially impressed by Astarotte no Omocha, but I decided to continue watching it. The people who’d read the manga seemed to be saying that the story became something touching involving family as it wore on. Even if it didn’t seem great from the get go, everything was done passably well. The characters and premise were… unique, to say the least, and the story could have had some potential.
Unfortunately, the rumored touching story never materialized, and it turned into a rather unremarkable harem show. I suppose the story did involve family… as in, it tried to develop a romance between a little girl and her stepfather. There are different cultural norms and all, but I feel like I should draw a line somewhere. The touching part of the story, I guess, is about Lotte growing up and becoming a woman… or not, as it is revealed in a bizarre anti-climax in the final episode where it turns out that everything was a misunderstanding resulting from a mosquito bite.
In addition to the problematic story, at least half of the show’s “jokes” surround a little girl not wearing underwear. To make matters worse, the lead character is a little girl voiced by Rie Kugimiya. Lotte is a vast improvement over both Rose from Dragon Crisis and Aria from Hidan no Aria, but still, she’s annoying. The other characters seem like they could be interesting, but never really get a chance to shine. Most of Lotte’s castle staff end up becoming glorified errand boys.
With all that said, if you can look past the premise and the plot (or lack thereof) Astarotte no Omocha isn’t terrible. For one thing, I wasn’t bored while watching it. The show managed to mostly keep my attention, and it used its time effectively. The stories are somewhat episodic in nature, and each of the shorter stories were interesting, even if everything didn’t come together as a whole.
But Astarotte no Omocha also isn’t particularly good. And herein lies the crux of the problem: the show lacks ambition. The creators seemed to set out to make a passable story, not an excellent one, and they succeeded. There were no real risks taken: everything is done by the book. I’d much rather watch a show like [C], which at least had some interesting ideas, even if it did end in a spectacular explosion of nonsense. Astarotte no Omocha takes the safe path, and ends up the lesser for it.
- Plot / Script – 5 / 10 – Unambitious, although the script kept my interest.
- Characters – 5 / 10 – Only the three main characters really get their turn in the spotlight… and all that comes from that is learning that one doesn’t like wearing underwear, one isn’t sure about whether or not he should date his stepdaughter, and the third is a loli voiced by Rie Kugimiya.
- Production – 6 / 10 – Average, like everything else.
- Overall – D-
Recommendations – Hayate no Gotoku, other Rie Kugimiya series if you like that stuff (Shakugan no Shana, Zero no Tsukaima, etc.)