Rintaro Aijo has a bit of a problem. Our bro tends to love hard and love often. When we first meet him after graduating junior high, he has confessed his love to no less than 100 girls and been rejected all 100 times, a record that started when he was only 8 months old. And now, on entering high school, Rintaro has but one wish: to have a lovey-dovey high school romance. After making his wish known at the local shrine, the god of love appears before him telling him that the ideal partner is, indeed, waiting for him out there…all ONE HUNDRED of them, free to pick from. And sure enough, at school the next day, he quite literally runs into two of them—the demure princess Hakari Hanazono and the twin-tail tsundere Karane Inda. Rintaro is over the moon at his luck; however, he is torn about who he wants to go out with—he doesn’t want to hurt any of these girls, naturally. But when he returns to the god of love’s shrine, the god reveals that there has been a big mix-up. If Rintaro picks one girl as his soulmate, the other will die. Not willing to let either girl die or go through the pain of rejection like he has himself countless times before, Rintaro takes the only “logical” path open—he decides to go out with BOTH of them. Both girls, having fallen head over heels for Rintaro, accept this arrangement. Two down, ninety-eight to go. Cue the shenanigans.
You guys know that when it comes to anime with the word “Girlfriend” in the title, I have an abysmal record for First Impressions. Both Rent-A-Girlfriend and Girlfriend, Girlfriend have been, to be extremely gracious, underwhelming. I’m proud to say that as of today, my streak is broken! Stupid title aside, this show had me laughing and smiling from opening to ending. It’s really good. Yes, it’s a harem romp, but dawg gone it, this is one harem romp that does not take itself seriously in the least. It’s as though the show is winking at the audience like “Yeah, we know the premise is silly, but just sit back, enjoy the ride, and you’ll have a good time.” I think one of the main differences with this one as compared to the other shows I mentioned is that our lead Rintaro is a likable guy who, after having a really bad run of luck, is finally getting his heart’s desire…in the worst way possible. He’s not seeking out the harem; the harem is quite literally unavoidable and he is just rolling with it. Our first two girls are just hilarious to watch: Inda and Hanazono are like watching Ryoko and Ayeka from the Tenchi Muyo series, and I am all for it. Finally, I love that this show doesn’t go for cheap fanservice moments. Typically, shows of this nature lean in on the random upskirt shot or boob jiggle. This one is pretty family-friendly…if you want to explain to your family why this high school boy is going out with one hundred girls, that is. But hey, you know your own family best.
So where does that leave us with The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, REALLY Love You? I have to say, this is a definite follow for me. If you’re looking for an anime that you don’t have to think too hard about and can have a prodigious laugh over, this is the one to go with. While, yes, this is just your standard issue harem series, I can say that this one is one of the few harem series that isn’t a slog of a “hey let’s laugh at the virgin” show like Rent-A-Girlfriend or a morally questionable facepalm like Girlfriend, Girlfriend. You’ll find a lot to like in this one, and I think, with the introduction of more characters, there’ll be a lot more laughs and fun to be had! I’m just curious as to what anime they’ll reference next time!
The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, REALLY Love You is streaming on Crunchyroll.