Title: Indian Summer / Koharu Biyori
Encompasses: Complete Series
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Based on: Manga Series by Takehito Mizuki
Genre: Comedy, Fanservice
Audio: Japanese Dub
Runtime: 75 Minutes
Classification: TV-MA S
Special Thanks: Copy purchased out of my own pocket.
“She’s the perfect girl, and you can do ANYTHING you want with her!” That’s what the company Maid Works promises, and boy, do they deliver! Unfortunately for android maid Yui, her new owner isn’t exactly normal; he’s one of those anime fans who’s slipped way past the boundaries of normal fandom and into the realm of fanatic. That means that instead of cooking, cleaning, and other “ahem” household duties, Yui is instead forced to parade about in an ever-changing variety of anime and maid costumes while Takaya indulges in his deranged fantasies! Since Yui’s one of those rare androids with self-awareness, this is more than just embrassing, it’s downright humiliating! And things get even weirder as other Maid Works models arrive, each designed to cater to another facet of otaku-dom!
I had intentions on doing another set of game reviews tonight, however instead chose to sort through my bookshelves, something I have neglected to do since I began thesis writing many months back and after several hours still have not finished. Therefore while you can look forward to a weekend with a number of reviews being released on this site, I have decided to once again write a review for another series The Otaku’s Study (as Sam’s Anime Study) touched upon back in its infancy – Koharu Biyori, or Indian Summer as all English releases refer it as. We have seen many a series about maids, robots and robotic maids which have merged fanservice into the mix…. but does Koharu Biyori offer anything else to the mix or is it drowned out by similar competition? Read my review to find out!
The answer to this question is yes in both respects – while the storyline doesn’t contribute much to the genre itself, it does provide some simple and sometimes awkward humor and is what I would consider a series developed for laughs….. and girls in maid outfits and cosplay. The storyline features your average guy named Takeya who lives in a world where robots are mass produced to tailor to every fetish and preference from those who have a thing for the older or younger sister personalities to ones that the series only show as distorted and censored blobs. Takeya? He is an otaku and desires a maid who will dress up in any cosplay he desires – only the model he chose wants to serve him as maid only… resulting in a stereotypical but enjoyable clash in personalities.
Not that surprisingly however the writing gets sidetracked and instead delivers several different storylines per episode each featuring a number of “added for comedy and audience-targeting” characters including the well endowed Minori, mother and daughter pair Kanae and Ayumi, weird and more or less unexplained “Octopus summoning” girls Ran and Sumire and Kuon and Sakuya who just sort of appear in the anime without warning. I listed the characters individually to label just how many characters they chose to pack into this series and unfortunately each of the characters besides perhaps Yui and Takaya remain relatively shallow in their character development due to this reason. The storyline is instead rather random and often deviates down the path to deliver bath scenes and cosplay to varying degrees and several tentacle groping scenes focusing on the busty Minori.
There were a few interesting storylines in the mix however that strayed away from just being loaded with fanservice – the final chapter of the first episode involving Yui babysitting for example was one that despite toeing the line with a “Baby Elephant” joke which I shall leave to your imagination and another attempt and Yui cosplaying as a baby – actually sort of stuck to the purpose of the series. The ending was also half-decent and gave the series some form of concluding plotline rather than leaving it open for a non-existent sequel – something that is to my own personal tastes.
But overall, in terms of the storyline it was obvious that it was never supposed to be the next big anime on the market, but I think considering its target market…. it was successful in becoming a guilty pleasure to watch and contains some otherwise bland storylines improved with fanservice and comedy.
In terms of visual quality, while there is nothing remarkable it does a good job given its intended purposes with solid character designs and backdrops. Considering the storyline is filled with character cosplay (Perhaps second only to Cosplay Complex out of the series I have reviewed), they did not drop on the quality of these – both in visual appeal and fanservice appeal.
In terms of music in this release, there is nothing special to be wowed about, instead it is simply there to provide support and mood to the visuals and storyline. There is a rather enjoyable upbeat opening sequence “Apron dake wa Toranaide!” by Eri Kitamura which showcases what the series is about with suggestive content, slight nudity and cosplay themes, overall keeping with the theme of the series and fulfilling my requirements for a good opening sequence. The ending sequence “Love Song Lamo Shirenai” by Eri Kitamura and Satomi Akesaka is a softer and pleasant song however lacks creativity when it comes to animation.
As I generally review English dubbed anime over Japanese dubbed (I don’t really have a preference however), I do not have as great a knowledge of the Japanese voice cast industry, however I had no real complaints with the voice acting and thought the roles were well assigned to suit the individual character personalities. Some highlights include Kaya Miyake as the shop owner and Takayuki Kondou did quite a good job of Takaya.
The extra content in this release include:
- Clean Opening Animation of “Apron dake wa Toranaide”
- Clean Ending Animation of “Love Song Kamo Shirenai”
- Trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases including Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful, Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Princess Resurrection, Clannad, Cool Dimension and Pet Shop of Horrors.
Overall, there was nothing all too special with this series but was instead a series you would begin watching expecting fanservice, which you did and it did a fairly good job of it. Despite the sporadic storyline , Indian Summer did benefit from being only three episodes long thus aiding in preventing the series getting too tiring or dull to watch. A fun series and one I think someone who is a fan of the genre may enjoy and managed to avoid some of the generic pitfalls other fanservice series have in the past.
Storyline / Character Development: C-
Music/Voice Acting: C
Personal Preference: C
Extra Content: C
Overall Score: C