Blu-Ray Review: We Without Wings (2011)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, March 26, 2014 0 comments

We Without Wings is an animated romantic comedy series that parodies all of the stereotypes found in other animated romantic comedies.  This series takes perspective from three single males who live in a city.  Male number one is named Shusuke Chitose and he likes to hang around at a bar called Alexander with his best friend named Kakeru Ohtori (the cool guy who likes to smoke and women find him irresistible).  On one fine day Shusuke Chitose and his friends are planning a party to say goodbye to the owner (and bartender) of Alexander's life as a single man (he is engaged to a woman he impregnated after having a one night stand with her) and they go around thinking of people to invite.  Sadly all they could invite were all the staff members.  After the planning Shusuke Chitose goes to the office where he works as a book reviewer for a newspaper and is put on assignment to review a book.  While drinking coffee in a courtyard with Kakeru Ohtori he notices that the author of the book is right across from them.  Shusuke Chitose learns that her name is Hiyoko Tamaizumi and gets really excited as he mistakes her for his favorite porn star that has a similar name to her.  After a very awkward conversation he realizes that he has made a mistake.  Shortly after he gets a job working at Alexander and while going to the supply room he accidentally walks in on Hiyoko Tamaizumi changing and finds out that she is working there too.  Shusuke Chitose tries to use this to his advantage to learn about the woman who wrote the book he has to review.  There's still two more storylines I need to get to but there is no room to put all of that information into this opening paragraph so the rest of it (and the rest of the review for that matter) can be found after the jump.  (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

Male number two is a tall, dark, handsome errand boy named Hayato Narita (AKA Drac). Drac is sick of doing all of the errands he is in charge of doing as ninety-nine percent of the time he gets jobs that are straight up illegal (like dumping sketchy packages and burying corpses in the middle of the forest) and is hankering for some "real work".  Shortly after he is introduced to a teen aged girl named Naru Ohtori whom is begging Drac to help find her lost bike.  He recognizes her as she is the brother of a guy he knows that he is in a gang with.  Drac ends up taking the task and begins searching the entire city for her lost bike.  That's not all as Drac is also in a gang (as I have mentioned before) called "The Yanagihara Flame Birds" and they are caught in a war between a rival gang full of Goths (yep, those Goths) that could wind up being very dangerous.

Male number three is just a normal teenager named Takashi Haneda and he is a very gutless boy and is very awkward with other people.  Takashi Haneda ends up meeting a girl named Asuka Watarei whom has similar problems and they end up pretending to be a couple so people won't mess with them.  Takashi Haneda also has a very unusual habit of traveling between dimensions.  The alternate dimension he often travels to is a realm that is similar to the "Dragon Quest (1986 - Ongoing)" series where it is a fantasy realm.  In this realm Takashi Haneda is a tough warrior named Lord Hawk and he must protect the princess from a great war that is threatening the future of the kingdom.

The storytelling of this show is told using several segments using each main male character and a bonus harem segment at the start featuring the female cast in some crazy sexual adventures.  I wasn't a fan of the harem segments as they just simply didn't do anything for me but thank goodness they only last about a minute or if you can't wait that long you can just skip a chapter.  The main story is not a harem thank goodness... Well not at first as I should say and even then when it does turn into a harem it is done in a way that makes sense (I know that's hard to believe and even I'm shocked to say something like that).  The way they tell the stories can feel a bit weird at first because they switch from character to character in a very abrupt way and it may cause some confusion but just like the "harem" part you will have all your questions answered and be like "well that makes sense". 

This show is also a parody series making fun of all the cliches, stereotypes, and sexual fetishes found in other shows based on visual novels, hentai games, and also pokes fun at shows which I dub "City Life" where it's a slice of life but with more of an urban feel like "Durarara (2010)".  The way they parody these shows and genres are not bad and done in a much more clever way rather than doing it in a "spoof" styled comedy and I liked that they chose to go that route (although you will see characters "spoofing" in this show if you catch my drift).  As I have said before they make fun of sexual fetishes in this show including the dreaded "Gothic Lolita" fetish.  Most of these fetish jokes are done in the opening harem comedy segment but in the show itself they make fun of the "Gothic Lolita" fetish and I found how they did it to be funny as when a character brings it up all the other characters get really grossed out by it.  I know I don't make it out to seem all that funny but it's one of those "you have to be there" kind of jokes.

The show does open up with a solid first episode but then we kick into a really big problem with the show and that is that the first half of the show is pretty boring.  The reason why is that there are a lot of scenes where the characters are just chatting about uninteresting stuff and it drags out for a while.  Not to say that every moment of those episodes are bad as there are some very decent scenes but it is defiantly outweighed by the boring talking scenes.  The second half of the show was much stronger as we start to see things come together plus the interaction between the characters become much more interesting.  It's a shame how the first half wasn't as good as the second half as it would've made this show much better.  There is some action in this show and it was enjoyable to watch and surprisingly very violent although they are not the greatest fight scenes in history but entertaining nonetheless.  There is one sex scene in this show that I should warn you about and while it is far from being pornographic it may be a bit too much for some people to handle as it is a little graphic (although I don't know why those kind of people would be watching this anyway).

I liked most of the characters in this show and while they are very generic (due to being parody characters) I couldn't help but to care about them.  One character I didn't like in the show was Hiyoko Tamaizumi and while she did have a good first impression she ultimately ends up being a really boring character as well and she doesn't have any interesting traits beyond her first appearance and she never says anything that adds to the conversation of the show.  She is one of the major reasons why the first half of the show is boring as they try too hard to build a relationship between her and Shusuke Chitose  plus they gave her a bit too much screen time which wasted my time and should've been used on the other characters which would've helped the first half of the show be less boring.

Artwork in this show is strongly inspired by visual novels and while I wouldn't say it's terrible I did find it to be a bit weird looking.  The character designs do a decent job at parodying visual novel characters but since they are parodies they do look very generic and stereotypical.  There is a bunch of nudity and very skimpy outfits in this show although there isn't as much as you would think you'd see in a show like this (excluding the bonus OVA which we'll get to soon).  Personally I didn't enjoy the nudity as much as I'd thought I would as it felt like it was missing something and came off as boring instead.  The animation in this show is passable and does it's job at holding the show together.  The English dub wasn't all that bad but it's far off from being the greatest in the world and the biggest problem is that there are a few characters that sound annoying.  Soundtrack is decent and does have some nice tunes that set the mood.  They did a thing where they parodied pop bands with the females and sang badly while dressed as pop stars.  I found the joke funny at first but the second time they did it I was already over it.  There's also one scene where all the guys get together and sing a song about ejaculating which I'll dub "The Penis Song".  It is very immature but I couldn't help but to laugh and join in on the fun.

There's a decent amount of special features on this release which includes audio commentaries from the staff and crew on episodes four and eight.  They were alright but nothing all that special.  Episode four go though on what it was like working on the show while episode eight has some of the cast watching that episode for the first time and having a fun time doing so.  You also get text-less opening and closing credit sequences.  I liked them as they had some nice animations and music to go along with them.  Lastly you get the English commercials for this show and they are not very good as they are very misleading of what this show is about.  Last but not least you have a special bonus OVA (Original Video Animation) that's all about seeing nothing but nudity from both the men and women at a mountain spa house.  You already know how I feel about the nudity and mixing it with a shameless format like this (not saying that nudity fan-service isn't shameless as it is) makes for a pretty painful experience but just be glad that this episode is an optional non-canon watch.  I'm very glad that they didn't go this route with the main series as it could've easily been that but again I'm very glad that the main series wasn't like this OVA. 

Overall the problems this show has in the first half is the main reason why I can't recommend this show.  Not to say that this is the worst animated show of all time (which is isn't) as there are far worse shows out there and believe it or not this is just barely getting a score of "no" and if the first half was stronger then I would be recommending this show... Well recommending this show to a certain audience I should say as this is far from being a show for everyone. 

While this is a show I don't recommend running out and buying I do recommend checking into the site tomorrow as there will be a contest starting where I will be giving away a copy of this show on Blu-ray and I must say that this show is worth watching if given away for free (I know that's a shameless plug so don't bother me about it).  See you all tomorrow.

Title: We Without Wings
Animation/Production Studio: Nomad
Genre: Animation/Anime, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Lo-Fantasy, Echi, Action, Harem
Running Time: 325 minutes (12 Episodes + 1 Bonus OVA)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (
Rating: R18+ (High impact sexual themes, animated nudity, sex scenes)
Price: $59.95
Recommended: No (but barely)


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