Living alone is a dream for many students or freshman in college. The idea of becoming independent and your own person in a place to call your own can make anyone feel good and more mature than before. But what would happen if your nice, quiet independent life becomes invaded by strange figures of supernatural lore? Well…hope they can help pay rent.
In order to not trouble his father as he travels overseas, Satomi Koutarou decides to stay behind in Japan and search for an apartment for himself to live in so that he may continue going to school in his homeland. As a result, he was able to find an apartment with a monthly rent of 5000 yen and begin living his high school life. However, all is not well as he is soon met by four strange girls who all want to have his apartment for themselves. And, as the tenant of the apartment, he becomes reluctant to leave. And thus, comedy ensues.
A plus for the series is the fact that the story follows a very easy to follow arc after arc setup, each arc spanning about two or so episodes each following one of the four girls before moving on to the next. However, because the story follows this very strict formula, the anime feels very rigid and cut into block after block of story material without a proper transition between them. In addition, because the story follows such a rigid setup for plot, each arc feels rushed due to the amount of story that they had to get through in a span of about 40 or so minutes. This results in some unfavorable pacing for the show that, while unpleasant, isn’t really enough to make the show completely dissatisfactory.
As for each arc’s content, what I think was a decent plus for the show was the focus it had on the four “invaders” of the apartment. As a result of this, we were able to get a good amount of character development in each of the four “harem” girls, which in and of itself isn’t really an accurate description for them. However, because of the aforementioned rigid arc setup of this show, the girls don’t get as much character development as I would’ve liked, and as a whole feel a little incomplete.
And finally, I have to talk about the ending for this show. I don’t like it. There are upsides and downsides as to how the series ended, but for me, this series ended in a “read the manga” ending. The show hints that there’s some sort of mystical or transcendence deity in this apartment unit, which was just sort of slapped on at the end in one scene without really any explanation. I just feel a bit frustrated because it really didn’t have to be so open-ended with teases as to what they could’ve revealed.
+ Dedicated arcs for development
+/- Rigid arc setup (Gives easy to follow plot, but rushed pacing)
– “Read the manga ending” (It seems like there are a lot of these kinds of endings lately.)
The cast for Rokujouma is fairly diverse, giving us characters of various points of importance that make for both some memorable characters, and characters that we just don’t really care for.
The first up is our main protagonist/harem master/tenant, Satomi Koutarou. As a high schooler displaying his independence, Koutarou can be explained as a defiant character who wishes to help out anyone in need, true to his own ideals, basic Harem protagonist stuff. There are however some nice parts to him that separate him from most harem protags. For one thing, he knits. From the start of the series, (rather, at the start of the series as the idea is basically shelved away), Koutarou is shown to have a strong desire to learn to knit as he must complete a task that he set for himself for reasons that they don’t really make clear. The other is the fact that he has some sort of magical whatever that makes him OP as hell. While these things do make him a lot more interesting as a character, the ideas get shelved early on, or get ex-machina’d and show up whenever the plot demands, making them seem like plot armor just because of how convenient the magical bullshit shows up.
And then we have the real stars of the show, the four invaders. Sanae, Theia, Kiriha, and Yurika. These four are the main reason focus for this anime with their roles as a ghost, alien, underground person (basically like a mole person, but human), and a magical girl. Each of them has a very distinct personality with various quicks and reasons for wanting the apartment in the first place, leading to them having to fight over the apartment for complete control over it. As the series goes on, you start to learn more about who these girls are and their conflict, making them more interesting overall. While I didn’t see as much development as there could potentially be for these girls, I’m happy that Silver Link put in the effort to try and exemplify the importance of these girls and not make them complete 2-D cutouts.
Apart from the five main characters, we have additional side characters to the series, which are split into three main categories. The first one belongs to and only to the character known as Sakurabo. (She doesn’t really feel like a main character.) Sakurabo is the Senpai for Koutarou, who m or may not have feelings for him, but that’s up for debate. Sakurabo is a character that makes me feel conflicted, as she is shown to have a good deal of plot significance (more towards the end), but is shown to be more of a side character that shows up from time to time, or makes trouble for our main protagonist. Personally, I like her character, but the way that she was handled didn’t give me a satisfactory result as to the potential that she could’ve had.
The other two side character groups consist of the constant character, characters that are present throughout the series like Makkenji, the landlady, the dolls Karama and Koroma, Ruth, and the arc specific characters. As for the constant characters, while lacking in some screen time and development, these characters were more prominent in the series and more or less helped with moving the plot along. For the most part, these characters were actually decent and despite being underused, which I felt is a flaw in the series since I felt as they weren’t used to the full potential that they could’ve been. As for the arc specific characters, they don’t really serve much purpose beyond moving the plot along. Their only purpose is to give the arc-specific girl a conflict, which beyond that, means that they won’t ever show up again.
Overall, i felt as though the cast for the show was decent and memorable enough to leave a positive impression for the cast. While a good chunk of them were very underused and certain character aspects were left open-ended, the cast overall was fairly good and enjoyable enough to make note of as individual characters.
+ The Harem girls. (Sanae still best girl.)
+/- Somewhat generic Harem protagonist
– Underused potential with most of the cast
Art and Sound:
Produced by Silver Link, the overall look of the show is slightly moe with the appearance of the girls, but the detail of the characters looks very nice and nothing stood out as very jarring looking. In addition, the show also sports some comedic scenes where they change the look of the character to exemplify certain emotions, giving a nice bit of tone change for a brief moment. (This is usually used with Yurika due to just how pathetic of a character she is.) The artwork isn’t bad by any means, but it does look pretty standard with what production studies are making these days.
There was one thing in the series in terms of artwork that seemed a bit odd to me, and that is the side ahoges. Regardless of who the girl is, every girl in this series has a stupid bit of hair sticking up from the side of their head. It just looks odd as it’s just so blatantly there and for a long time, I was confused as to why that was even in the character design in the first place.
As for the soundtrack, Rokujouma sports what I would call one of the more enjoyable OP’s this season for a good amount of reasons. First off, it’s catchy. The song, while slightly generic, is very catchy. It’s a nice upbeat song that can boosts spirits rather easily. It’s sung by the seiyuus who do the voices for the four girls all harmonizing together in a way that I personally feel sounds good. The ending for this show sports a more mysterious and mystical feel for its tune. While I do feel like it deserves a listen and attention to, (as I do feel it is a good song as well), to me, it doesn’t stack in comparison to its opening counterpart. (funny how they sing about milk tea though.)
And finally, because I have been praising this show so much for how much emphasis they put on their harem girls, I have to praise the performance of Oomori Nichika as the voice of Yurika specifically. The reason being is because she nails the character EXTREMELY well due to just how pathetic she is able to make Yurika sound in any given conversation.
+ Good art (albeit weird with the multitude of side ahoges)
+ Catchy songs
When it comes to anime, fluff is the best way to describe this show. This is the kind of “filler” show that gives you a way to waste your time to watch something that’s just dumb fun. When I first heard about this show, I was intrigued by just how seemingly random the story idea and the characters were. (Not to mention I watch harems as much as I breathe air, so this was an instant to-watch.) I did enjoy this show a lot, I will admit. What I didn’t like however was how it ended because honestly, ending a show in a manner where you don’t completely finish a story is complete and utter bull.
Did I like this show?
Yes, I did. There were a lot of good aspects to it from an entertainment standpoint which holds well for what this show was really supposed to be, entertainment. The plot was mostly focused on the four main girls of the series, which I find to be more exciting due to how little other harem shows focus on the girls in their series regardless of how core they are to the show in general.
What didn’t I like about this show?
Aside from the bullshit ending and rigid plot structure, I also didn’t like how Sanae (the ghost girl) was handled in the series. For one thing, she’s a ghost, therefore she should not be seen or even remotely materialized in any way shape or form. And another thing is in the first episode where the landlady character just completely accepts the fact that these four girls with seemingly made-up titles are just completely accepted. Like “You’re an alien? Oh, that’s cool.” Like, there’s not even any sense of wavering over the idea. QUESTION IT A BIT! COME ON!
And finally, would I recommend this show?
If you want to watch something that doesn’t require you to think hard, then this would be a good pick for you. Rokujouma is a peculiar harem as the girls don’t actually fall in love with the guy, and contrary to possibly 90% of the other harems out there, doesn’t really have fanservice. (Well, aside from Kiriha’s perks) Rokujouma is really one of those turn off your brain shows and can actually be a rather fun watch as the show never really takes itself too seriously and the characters are rather likable. (Plus the beetle gag is pretty funny.)