Softenni is Xebec’s latest seasonal offering of fanservice. It’s about a group of soft tennis players who are aiming for the Wimbledon. Needless to say, they don’t make much progress, but instead get caught up in bizarre situations such as riding giant bears, wrestling whales, riding bouncy balls while wearing neko-mimi, and getting launched into the air like rockets by soft tennis balls. There’s also a ton of fanservice.
From the perspective of a plot and character development, there’s basically nothing (well, aside from the last episode, which was more of an afterthought and also the worst episode of the show). Most of the characters are one trick ponies. Kurisu wears costumes and is really good at tennis. Chitose is ridiculously weak, but becomes a monster when food is involved. The ghost girl talks to ghosts (she was introduced in one of the last episodes, so I have no idea what the point of even adding her was). Eli speaks “English”. Massage boy gives massages. The list goes on.
But the focus of this show is on the comedy and the fanservice, and it does a pretty good job at both of these. Its sense of humor is quite random, but I found the show funny most of the time. Softenni has ridiculous soft tennis matches reminiscent of Saki’s Mahjong, yuri implications, hunting and gathering, delusions, cows, and more.
The fanservice is rather bizarre, which at least made it interesting enough that I could sit through it. My favorite parts were everything involving the national champion (cat ear girl shown above) and Asuna’s delusions. She’ll misinterpret things to have sexual innuendos and put sparkles and lipstick on everyone.
Softenni won’t be remembered for a great story or characters or… well, anything, but it was still a fun watch. It’s definitely a vast improvement over Xebec’s recent offerings in this genre, such as MM, Rio, and Ladies vs Butlers, in that it’s not only an excuse for fanservice. (It’s still mostly an excuse for fanservice though.)
- Plot / Script – 8 / 10 – Humorous and kept my attention.
- Characters – 7 / 10 – Quite shallow, but fun and entertaining.
- Production – 7 / 10 – Nothing special.
- Overall – C+
Recommendations – Saki, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Galaxy Angel