Image source: アニメ「恋愛暴君」公式☆BD①巻発売中! on Twitter

The Spring 2017 anime season has come to a close. And while I wasn’t able to give my most anticipated series at the start of the season, but there was one series that really stuck out to me. That was Love Tyrant.

One day a mysterious girl named Guri tells the high school boy Seiji Aino he has to kiss a girl in 24 hour or Guri will die. He tries to kiss his crush Akane Hiyama, and he soon finds out she has romantic feelings for him. But, Akane is also a murderously jealous girl with a stalker younger sister named Yuzu Kichougasaki. Soon Seiji, Guri, Akane, and Yuzu become embroiled in a love square.

An explanation of a series can really influence your opinion of it before you even watch it. Before going into the Spring 2017 anime season I was gung-ho on Boruto: Naruto Next Generation because the description was a new generation Naruto characters and their adventures and misadventures. In turn Love Tyrant appeared to be a blasé harem romantic-comedy.

There’s only one-way to put this: I was wrong. Not just wrong, but almost embarrassed i’d wrote off the series before seeing a single episode. This is because after watching any episode I’d find myself enjoying the characters, jokes, and the larger plot threads.

The key factor that went into my thorough enjoyment of the series is the characters. In summation, each character really stands out. We have a typical high school boy who’s amazing at witty retorts in the form of Seiji; a lazy cupid who wants to understand love in Guri; a girl who’s enamored with Seiji and will murder anyone who gets between them in Akane; and a younger sister who loves her older sister in Yuzu. It’s an odd bunch of characters, but their personalities all stand out. A term I like to throw around with these characters is kyara ga tatteru (literally, “The characters are standing”). It’s a term used in the manga industry to show a character is fleshed out. And watching these four had me saying it at every moment I could.

Seeing Love Tyrant Through the Eyes of a Former Manga Editor

However, for as much as the characters stood apart from each other, it’s the jokes that helped make them leap off the screen. For the most part, this comes from Guri and Akane interacting with each other. However, there was one scene in particular that pushed the bounds of the character humor. It’s in the fifth episode where Seiji meets Guri’s father, God. What stands out about this scene is, it’s not only Seiji dishing out his quick wit, but also how God reacts to the entire situation. He goes from extremes of laziness to caring all in one scene and watching Seiji deal with the man with a straight face is beautiful.

Add on top of this the initial premise of the series being lifted straight from the 2006 anime series Death Note, but retooled to fit a comedy. So, instead of a “Death Note” (a notebook where you die if your name is written in it) we have the “Kiss Note” (a notebook that makes romantic couples). This alone makes the series fun to watch as it opens so many possibilities for creating couples. But, it’s seeing Guri abuse this power to satisfy her own fetishes that makes the series humorous.

If Death Note Were an Absurd Rom-Com…

Yet, what put me over the top is we have a series that eschews many of the common tropes in a harem romantic-comedy series. This is seen in the comedy, but underneath that exterior is a series that examines the relationships between the main characters themselves and the main characters and the supporting cast. It’s not often we get to see something like this in a harem romantic-comedy series because the focus is either on the harem as a whole or the two most prominent characters of said harem. However, Love Tryant gives us great scenes such as Akane pondering her feelings for Seiji, Yuzu questioning her love for Akane, and even God levying the importance of Guri understanding what love is. These aren’t issues we commonly see in harem series and it’s a delightful surprise when these scenes appear.

Image source: アニメ「恋愛暴君」公式☆BD①巻発売中! on Twitter

I’ve had a lot of series described to me over the years and I’ve written many off without seeing them because of their poor description. Love Tyrant was on the precipice of being written off as well, but I gave it a chance. And I’m glad I did because what I received is a series I really enjoyed and the lesson I shouldn’t ignore a series because the description doesn’t suit my tastes.

Love Tyrant is streaming with English Subtitles on Crunchyroll and with an English dub on FUNimation.

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