Guys.....I like fan service. I like panty shots, boob shots/boob grabs, exposed female bodies, etc. Fan service on it's own is good if done right (Personally, I think Girls Bravo falls in this category, despite how excessive it's use of fan service was), but it can also be useful & good when it supplements a larger story (Strike Witches & Tenchi Muyo come to mind). However, there are times when fan service can become a monster. There's times where fan service becomes bloated, massive in size, and just flat out goes out of control! Today's show is that, and then some. So let's look at Eiken, and see if the stories about it are true.
Taken from Mania.com:
"Densuke just enrolled at the exclusive Zashono academy. He's eager to participate in extracurricular activities, but he never expected to join the mysterious Eiken Club. Strangely enough, every other member is a busty co-ed, and many of the club activities involve bikinis. But Densuke isn't interested in anyone but the shy and beautiful Chiharu. Will he overcome the wall of women that stand between him and true love? Or is he doomed to a lifetime of riding watersides with a jumble of half-naked women greased with yogurt?"
This is the most cliched yet fucked-up story I've ever seen! It's cliched because it's the 1 guy meets numerous cute & busty girls troupe, but it's original because of what goes on (Just read the last sentence in the above excerpt to get a glimpse into this insane world). It's also a very, very, very, basic story. It's not deep, and doesn't try to go for something mind expanding. Given the subject matter of the show, it's not surprising.
Eiken has, without a doubt, one of the most f-up schools/worlds in the entire plethora of anime (Given some of the shows I've reviewed, and the worlds they contain, that's saying something)! Yes, there's classrooms, clubrooms, and other standard school areas & places, but then you have things like a waterslide filled with yogurt, and a luge tunnel/slide that somehow has chocolate running along it's entire course. I........I.........I think my brain is too fried at the moment to say anything else.
I'll give Eiken some credit: it does have a colorful cast of characters that you won't forget anytime soon (Granted, most of the characters aren't likable, but that's a entire barrel of monkeys I won't be opening at this moment). They each have a personality that separates them from each other, and they have a certain.....attribute that also defines them. You're probably asking what said attribute is, so let me lay out some numbers for you (Along with a corresponding name):
CHIHARU SHINONOME: 88cm to beyond 100cm
KIRIKA MISONO: 99cm
KOMOE HARUMACHI: 111cm
GRACE LIN: 77cm
KYOKO MOROOKA: 55cm
YURIKO SHINONOME: 73cm
TEACHER (THAT'S HER NAME. NOT JOKING, SHE DOESN'T GET A NAME!): 85cm
If you haven't figured it out, those numbers are the respective character's breast sizes. Girls Bravo had characters with big breasts, but the girls in Eiken outweigh them in a big way. Perhaps what is most disturbing is that the youngest girl (Komoe, who's in 6th grade) has the biggest breasts out of all the girls in the show. I'm all for loli characters with breasts (As sick as this might sound, some size to them is alright in my opinion), but this is going to far! Even some of the background girls have some heft to their breasts, and I wouldn't be too surprised if they were taking medication for back trouble!
Eiken has a bit of a "duality" issue with it's animation, so I'll start off with something positive. For starters, this show knows how to use it's colors well (For the most part, anyways). It's a very bright looking show, with nary a dark moment/scene within the two episodes. Secondly, the women (Despite the largeness of the breasts) look great! The younger girls look cute, and the older girls range from cute to an odd kind of sexy.
Now let's look at the negatives. Like I said above, Eiken knows how to use color most of the time, but there's certain circumstances when the color scheme is just weird. I can't remember the other circumstances, but the colors used for the school uniform is just bizarre. Green, purple, and yellow? With red bowties!? Dafuq!? On top of that, there's some inconsistencies in terms of animation sequence. Early on in the 1st episode, there's a scene where the host teacher of the Eiken club is on screen, and she has a flat chest. A moment later, and her chest doubles/triples in size (With how far away she is from the screen, it's slightly hard to tell)! With these inconsistencies, you'll get whiplash at least once or twice.
Like the animation, the voice acting is split into two aspects. The first is the actual quality, and it's just a straight up "meh". This is one of those voice acting jobs where you can tell that the voice actors came in to do a job, didn't necessarily care about the quality of their voices, and left in a hurry. Only Chiharu sounds (I'm using the word loosely) like there was at least some effort put into her voice, but it's more coincidental than anything else.
While the voice acting is flat, the pronunciation is bad. All throughout the two episodes, the English voice actors mispronounce things. People's names, places, and things are pronounced either slightly incorrect, or incredibly incorrect. Despite this, I suggest watching Eiken dubbed, as I found the Japanese dub in this show to be relatively irritating. Maybe it's because the Japanese voice actors are giving as much of a bad performances as the English ones, but goddamn are they awful!
BTW, the voice actor for Chiharu is the same voice actor that's plays Orihime in Bleach. Small world, isn't it?
EPISODES & EPISODE LENGTH
Eiken is a quick series to watch. Coming in at only 2 episodes, each of which run at just a half-hour, this show goes by very fast. Given all of it's problems, this might actually be a good thing.
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
Ha! Ha! HA HA HA! Good luck finding this!
Despite the obscurity of Eiken, this was actually put out in the states. Granted, it was slammed like all get out, but it was released in this country. Nowadays, you can't find this anywhere. Even on Amazon (Where I've found some relatively obscure/rare anime), you can't find a copy of this show. The only place to find it is over on Ebay, a site that I've never used before. Pricing is surprisingly cheap: the range goes from as low as 7 to 8 dollars, to as high as 12 to 15 dollars. I'll leave it up to you if you want to buy this.
Since I downloaded this, I don't know what the extras are.
GENERAL IMPRESSION & RATING
I.....uh.......damn, this was bad!
On the one hand, this show bombs hardcore. The concept is out there, the characters are strange, and everything else goes from "Huh?" to "What the hell was that!?". On top of that, the fan service is over the top in a bad way, and actually manages to become sexist at numerous occasions (Oh boy can it get sexist!). However, in some odd, sick, twisted, demented, fucked-up way, I wished there were more episodes. Not a full-fledged series, but maybe 2 to 4 more episodes would have at least fleshed the show out some more. With that said, damn this was bad!
Eiken gets a 3 to 4.5 out of 10.
See you next week, when I'll start off on a sub-series within this review marathon (The other reason why I'm doing just a single review this week is so I can watch Tenchi In Tokyo, and maybe the movies if I can fit them in). Until then, stay Otaku!
For a more detailed look at this show, click on the link below:
Also, if you would like to brave this show's horrors, then click on this link to download it: