The Princess Lover! anime series that's produced by GoHands is a harem romcom that contains adult content. Princess Lover is based on an eroge visual novel by Ricotta which explains some of the adult content (the OVA is a prime example of this - will explain further in the review). The series features a male protagonist Teppei Arima as the son of a noodle shop owner who grew up from humble beginnings. After his parents are killed, Teppei is introduced to his grandfather Isshin Arima to learn the ropes, find the people who may have plotted to kill Teppei's parents and succeed his grandfather as the head of the Arima Financial Combine.
Above: Anime series cover at MyAnimeList
Along the way, Teppei will get to know Charlotte Hazelrink, a princess of the Hazelrink Principality after saving her from thugs. Yuu Fujikura as an orphan girl who is adopted and raised to become a maid for the Arima household is assigned to accompany, offer and provide assistance to Teppei throughout by Isshin. Sylvia van Hossen, a noblewoman of the Flemish Principality, is engaged to Teppei with the blessings of her father Vincent van Hossen and Isshin Arima. Teppei will also know Seika Hojoin when he has to join an exclusive club in his school and Seika would only allow him entry into the club after meeting certain conditions she imposes on him, as well as additional supporting characters and antagonists in the series.
As a harem romantic comedy with drama, it has the usual share of slapstick comedy, exaggerated moments and fan service to bring out the humour in the anime series with a nice opening and ending theme song for this anime series.
Funny moment at episode 8 on YouTube by oreki-san
Various funny moments on YouTube by PantyhoseDetected
Opening theme on YouTube by mario nara
Ending theme on YouTube by Brandon McCoy
However, the dated anime art and animation quality in this anime series that is produced and broadcast in 2009 means it may not compare with many newer anime series which use higher definition picture quality. Some parts of this picture quality also make it such that it is difficult to tell Yuu from Seika when Yuu is not in her maid uniform and is in a similar school uniform as Seika instead.
In addition, the plot and storyline feels disjointed and many of the later episodes after episode 5 start to make no sense. From the first episode where the plot appears to be on Teppei trying to get settled into his new role as the heir of a business empire and to learn who killed his parents (which is hardly shown or mentioned in the anime series). The storyline progresses to Teppei getting to know each heroine main character, then abruptly changes into an episode that is full of fan service, before turning into two action-packed thrillers across two story arcs, with a large part of an episode that shows Teppei as the protagonist brooding for quite a long time on whether he should attempt a daring rescue of one of the heroine characters.
As such, this anime series is difficult for me to recommend except for fans of this franchise who own the visual novel, manga, light novel adaptation or this anime series itself. The visual novel which is released for PC in 2008 and Playstation 2 in 2010, took a decade before it is translated to English and an English patch is available on the Internet, and the visual novel is still unavailable at most gaming platforms. Hence, interest in this franchise and anime series appears to be rather lackluster and this anime series is more likely to disappoint viewers instead due to the unfinished ending at the end of the last episode of this series.
In the Picture Drama series, it gives something like a behind the scenes feature on the anime series with a bit of humour in it. By using a combination of the visual novel text interface and character artwork sprites, and different parts of the anime series, it tries to appeal to those who have read the visual novel and watched the anime series. Sadly, there isn't anything particularly funny in it. Given how lackluster the anime series and visual novel are, this special episode series isn't worth watching except for those who enjoy the visual novel or anime series.
In the Magical Knight Maria-chan set of special promotion (was that even an anime series lol?), we have 6 different short snippets featuring Sylvia's kid sister Maria van Hossen, which lasts around 30 seconds each. Each snippet is too short and feels disjointed to follow or get used to the idea of the protagonist as a magical knight. As such, this special promotion feature has the lowest score in MyAnimeList compared to the anime series, picture drama series or OVA.
Snippet 4 of Magical Knight Maria-chan on YouTube by TheAnimeUpdates
In the OVA, this is one heck of a mindless porn anime series by Hoods Entertainment consisting of nothing but hentai scenes one after another between the protagonist and Yuu or Sylvia when Sylvia and Maria came over to stay at Teppei's mansion across 2 episodes lasting 25-30 minutes. This has ruined any possibility of a romance route or further story arc with any of the other heroine characters. To make matters worse, the male protagonist Teppei didn't even have eyes drawn across his face throughout the series this time, which seems to indicate the artwork on the male protagonist have a lower priority in this adult anime series. As such, this series can't be recommended at all as it's neither funny nor interesting.
Maybe not so much with this series...
Princess Lover! suffers from having dated artwork, disjointed storyline which makes no sense throughout and lackluster response among its audience. As a result, all of the anime episodes covered in this review can't really be recommended at all except for fans of the franchise.
- Visual Novel, JRPG, Anime -