This past January brought some amazing news: One of my favorite manga in recent memory—Rokudou no Onna-tachi by Yuuji Nakamura—is getting an anime release in April! I first wrote about the series here on Apartment 507 back in 2016 when the manga was first starting, and as a huge fan of the series, I want to emphasize that it defies easy categorization and should not be overlooked.
The Curse of Popularity
Rokudou no Onna-tachi is about a bullied boy named Rokudou Tousuke, who ends up casting magic on himself to become more popular with girls, but what he doesn’t realize is that he becomes attractive to only female delinquents and villains. But the baddest girl around is Ranna Himawari, a blonde tour de force of violence who ends up head over heels for Rokudou thanks to the spell, and now Rokudou must protect everyone else from the wrath of this unexpected guardian.
Don’t Underestimate This Series
While the premise of the series sounds like it would wear itself thin rather quickly, Nakamura adds a surprising amount of depth to the story, resulting in something that’s not just a blast to experience but also an excellent showcase for how masculinity can be non-toxic. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but the degree to which Rokudou grows emotionally is downright admirable, and makes him one of the unexpectedly coolest shounen heroes ever. There’s a very real possibility that Rokudou will be my favorite character of 2023, and that’s not something I ever say for harem leads.
In the Hands of a Great Anime Studio
I have to acknowledge that I might be jumping the gun, and the anime will not live up to my lofty expectations. But the studio animating Rokudou no Onna-tachi is Satelight, and I have a great deal of faith in them. They’re the producers of modern-day Macross, the Aquarion franchise, AKB0048, and Symphogear; this means they know how to do action scenes, and Rokudou no Onna-tachi is brimming with them. What’s more, they’re actually cleaning up the character designs—not enough to fundamentally change them, but enough that people who might be turned away by the manga’s somewhat rough art style could give it a chance.
The Shining Age of Delinquents
Another thing that gives Rokudou no Onna-tachi a real chance at success outside of Japan is that delinquent characters and good boys are more accepted by anime fans these days. Protagonists like Tanjiro in Demon Slayer and Deku in My Hero Academia are the flag bearers of heroes with caring hearts. Shows like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Tokyo Revengers have popularized delinquents as well. Rokudou no Onna-tachi has both and portrays them well.
Looking to April
The harem and delinquent genres are two very different flavors, yet Rokudou no Onna-tachi manages to combine them in beautifully ugly ways. It’s what really gives the series legs in ways I never would have imagined from Chapter 1. I’m hyped to see others potentially discover this bloody gem of a title. And while saying “I was here before it was cool” would be rather corny of me, it’s very much in the spirit of Rokudou no Onna-tachi that “coolness” and “corniness” are one and the same.
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