Having an unlikeable main character is not an inheritable bad thing. Some of the greatest characters in all of anime are unlikeable. Lelouch vi Britannia and Light Yagami are two perfect examples of your main lead being unlikeable or even villainous. However, what makes them interesting and characters you want to watch is because their actions, while heinous are for the greater good or what they believe is the greater good and they are achieving the goal they have their mind set on. However, what if you have an unlikable main character and their goal is so mind-boggling and uninteresting that you do not care? Well, you get Bucchigiri. Produced by Studio MAPPA who animated such hits as Jujutsu Kaisen and the final seasons of Attack on Titan I had high hopes for this show. MAPPA’s output has been on another level as of late so seeing their name attached to any project gets you excited.
The show follows Arajin Tomoshibi who is heading to a new school. When arriving he meets a girl that he becomes instantly infatuated with. Also attending the school is a former friend Matakara Asamine. While at this school he gets caught up in gang warfare and somehow on top of this a demon appears. This show is a beautiful mess. MAPPA continues to prove that they simply only make gorgeous anime. I love the style and all the motion is smooth and thrilling. Each character is visually distinct, so you never get confused about who is who. The action is also incredible and is incredibly shot and edited. My favourite aspect of the show is probably the opening credits. It is a unique-sounding song that combines Middle Eastern flare with J-rock. It’s just a banger of a song combined with great credits.
However, everything surrounding the animation and opening ranges from bad to terrible. The main character is horrendous. He is so unlikeable and lacks any interesting aspects or redeeming qualities. His motivation throughout the series so far is to lose his virginity and every time it is addressed I just groan. Especially since the “love interest” Is also a weird character. They reveal early on that Mahoro Jin, the character our main lead is head over heels for is flat out not interested in the lead and only gets close to the lead because she hopes that it will lead to her being closer to her brother. However, every time they frame this it feels like it could lead to very problematic territory. The first 2 episodes focus solely on this plotline, and it is legit frustrating.
It is not only till episode 3 where it introduces the more gang warfare plot line that it slightly piqued my interest. But even then, it has moments that are just cringe. There is a joke where the main character performs a super powerful martial art move. However, he only achieves this because he is staring at girls walking by. It just feels immature. I just wish the show was focused on Matakara Asamine more as he is way more interesting but has little to no screen time compared to the frustrating main character.
Bucchigiri is a mess which is a shame as I feel underneath all the problems there is a banger of a show. However, all the show’s problems are currently front and centre so as of now I cannot recommend this show. It could improve as the show continues but at this moment, I highly doubt it.
Airing now on Crunchyroll | Genki Okawa, Yusuke Hoshino, Masafumi Kobatake | Dir: Hiroko Utsumi | Studio: Mappa