Takuto enters a new high school, an academy for geniuses. Each of the students is brilliant at one thing, and Takuto’s talent is writing erotic novels. Takuto begins his new school life, seeking “inspiration” for his novel writing.
With a premise like this, it came as a surprise, but R-15 didn’t end up half bad. First of all, most fanservice shows use the same techniques over and over again to deliver fanservice (see: Mayo Chiki). R-15 doesn’t. It’s quite… original. Mad scientist inventions to blow skirts, lesbian wrestling matches, battling aliens from outer space… and Takuto’s novels make all these scenarios seem mundane.
Secondly, we have a protagonist who isn’t a complete douchebag for once. He’s actually talented at something, even if that something does happen to be writing pornographic novels. And despite being a porn author, he’s surprisingly innocent. Despite finding himself in a harem, he only has an interest in one girl, Narukara, a clarinet player.
The secondary cast is decent as well: we have a camerawoman, Raika, who seeks to capture Takuto’s depravity on film, the innocent Narukara, the hacker and lesbian dominatrix Ran, the idol Utae with a crush on Takuto, and the token male friend, Ritsu, who is also a member of Takuto’s harem. I wouldn’t call any of these characters well-developed by any means, but they each add a little bit to the story and manage to keep things moving.
Unfortunately, outside the main cast, the characters tend to be one trick ponies. There are a mad scientist, an occult girl, a cheerleader who cheers (seriously… why does she even exist?), and a genius manager, to name a few.
Production-wise, the series is atrocious. The visuals are sparse and undistinguished. Even the voice acting isn’t all that good. I’m not sure how to phrase this, but the voices feel disjointed from the characters. Still, for this kind of story, the production issues don’t get in the way too much.
R-15 isn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination. But the creators know what they want to do and do it well.
- Plot / Script – C – Solid, if not memorable.
- Characters – B – A marked improvement over your typical harem.
- Production – D – Downright awful.
- Overall – C
Recommendations – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao, BakaTest, School Rumble