Cast Aside Your Virginity - Musings on 30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku

This was quite clearly a sleeper hit for me; I realized this when I was looking through previous entries to make sure I didn't re-use pictures (couldn't find any fanart...) and I saw how I used to say that the anime wasn't interesting. I'm pleasantly surprised to be so wrong.

Ah, Pii, Kuu, I'll miss you.

30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku is an anime based on a guidebook teaching 30-year-olds how to lose their virginity. However, far from being about getting some and spreading your seed, the anime actually focused on a relationship and how to have healthy sex. To present the lessons in a quirky way, beings known as Sex Gods were utilized (two females for the girl and two males for the boy), who provided the advice and comedy. Being only 12ep on top of each episode being only 12min long, the development was lightning-fast, which created a short and sweet story that left a really nice after-taste.

I can assume what's going on, but still.

For a lack of better words, the animation was pretty cartoon-y. All images were outlined with a heavy black line, giving it the feel of a flash-based anime. These two things really provided a 2D feel (while it's not like other anime give a 3D feel, this one just seemed flat). Despite that, the actual attention to detail and composition of images were done quite well. The censorship, on the other hand, was pretty annoying. Given the subject matter, I assume the guidebook had been pretty graphic to provide the best advice and that wasn't something they could show. I just didn't like the amount of censorship, still.

The old school scene was so parody-filled.

The story was very simple - Imagawa Hayao is a 30-year-old virgin who is visited by the Sex God Daigoro (and, quickly thereafter, the young Macaron) in order to "graduate from virginity". He meets and falls for fellow 30-year-old virgin Andou Natsu (who has her own Sex Gods), and the episodes catalogue their relationship as it grows and heads towards consummation. This plot was very event-driven, so the basic story was very simple. Purely due to its simplicity, it took me a few episodes to actually get into it. However, the charm of such a short and sweet story, free of drama-filled complications and heart-wrenching twists, really rung with me.

A little too much, no?

Story Presentation
The story-telling was done very well; there was no point in the story where I thought it went too slowly. My initial gripes had been about the simplicity. From the very first episode, the development was quick. Some situations were outrageous (such as certain characters being severely S&M in public places), but there wasn't anything unbelievable. Various scenes in every episode were punctuated by actual lessons presented on a chalkboard by the Sex Gods, most likely taken directly from the guidebook. This really drove the advice home without taking away from the story; if there was ever a question about why a character was so quick to jump to certain actions, it was obvious that it was because the advice was to do so. The extra little details were extremely, extremely welcomed; I'd advise you to watch the ED for every episode because the imagery changed. The two shown aged through each episode's ED until they caught up to present day in ep12; this provided a large amount of indirect information about the characters.

I liked the normal animation more than the super shounen.

The characters were very 2D, simply because this wasn't an anime that focused on the characters at all. This made the love between the main couple hard to really believe, since it wasn't blatantly visible. On the flipside, the characters were likeable plainly due to their actions and general transparency. Even if a lack of character-development made it hard to really believe their feelings, their stubborn gung-ho nature definitely riled up emotions and support. When every character was absolutely into whatever their short-term goal was, with the long-term benefits always visible, it became hard to not support them. It was too short of an anime to do legitimate character-development, so I can accept that the characters were so 2D. There were some things that were particularly difficult to swallow (such as Andou's sudden growth), but it didn't particularly destroy the story.

...well, they are gods...

Final Words
I had really thought that I wouldn't like this anime. I was interested in seeing it because I wanted to know what an anime based on a guidebook would be like, but I didn't have high hopes. I was absolutely surprised to come to like it. The story was so quick and sweet that it was difficult to not be happy by the end of it, despite the little bit of sadness found throughout. As ridiculous as it was, I really wanted Imagawa to graduate by the end. I really wanted Andou to understand that there was more to life and love, and embarrassment should not be a deterrent. I wanted the Sex Gods to achieve their goals and continue their madcap ways. The scenes in this anime were so wild and outrageous that I couldn't help but get riled up. The overall tiny size of this anime (12min per episode with a full-length OP/ED) made it really worth my time, given how many happy feelings I was filled with by the end.


Scoring - [6/10]
I'm surprised with myself for giving this such a high score, but I can't deny that I did end up really liking it. The "cliffhangers", both between scenes and between episodes, were often done well, not allowing me to look away. Surrounded by other anime with serious time management problems, the quick development of this show was very appreciated. The fact that a full story was presented in such a short amount of time was enlightening; long and complex stories aren't necessarily always better.