8 January 2020 | Tweekums
Aoharu X Machinegun
This anime series is centred on Hotaru Tachibana; she is is president of her school council and has a strong sense of justice. She also always wears a boy's uniform and looks boyish. Incidents lead to her meeting Masamune Matsuoka; a young man who works as a host and enjoys playing Airsoft survival games... a sport where teams shoot at each other with low-powered weapons that fire plastic pellets. He invites her to join his team, 'Toy Gun Gun'... Hotaru soon realises that he thinks she is a boy; she also learns that due to a previous event he won't allow girls on his team. Also on the team is Tooru; a creator or erotic manga who is surprised that Hotaru isn't interested in his work! As the series progresses Hotaru grows to enjoy the survival games and must face the rival player who caused Masamune to stop allowing girls on his team.
The setup of this series sounds like a typical reverse harem show but it manages to avoid most of the tropes associated with that genre. Instead it is a sports anime where Hotaru's gender is merely something that adds to the drama. First as she tries to hide the fact that she is a girl and later as she ponders whether to tell her team mates. The action is enjoyably and dynamic even if characters have a habit of talking to each other rather than immediately shooting when they have somebody in their sights... clearly they haven't hear Tuco's advice in 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly'... 'When you have to shoot; shoot don't talk'! Our protagonists are likeable and the villain is fairly despicable. The animation and character designs are good. The ending does leave some questions unanswered. Overall I'd recommend this to anime fans looking for a fun series without fan service.
These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.