When a strange girl named Guri comes knocking at Seiji Aino’s door, he quickly finds himself thrust into a world of romantic troubles. Claiming that she will die if he doesn’t kiss someone within 24 hours, Guri’s pleas of desperation are misunderstood as pleas for love, leading Seiji to kiss the cute stranger that came barging into his house. In actuality, it turns out that this cosplaying cupid is the wielder of a Kiss Note, in which any pairing of names she writes will kiss and become a couple. Guri explains that she misspelt and accidentally wrote Seiji’s name while indulging in her yaoi fantasies, but because she had yet to pair him with anyone, their kiss was meaningless. Even worse, Guri reveals that if Seiji is not coupled with anyone soon, not only will she die, but Seiji will remain a virgin for eternity!
Death Note is one of the most influential shows out there, and it was perhaps inevitable that it would be parodied. Renai Boukun does a decent job of being funny, and introduces us to some absolutely crazy characters. Seiji has a crush on a girl named Akane Hiyama, who turns out to have a huge crush on him too. In fact, Akane has such a big crush on Seiji, she is willing to kill almost any other girl who even looks at him. Akane is the definition of “Yandere”, and is one of the funniest things in the series. I do feel that her love is real through even if it is extremely deadly. Sometimes the characters are funny, and sometimes they’re downright murderous. Seiji sure hit the jackpot when it comes to diversity in this group of “frienemies”.
Everyone bound by the contract must help with Guri’s main task, and this often leads to many conflicts among the group. When the characters are angry, you get to see just how different they are compared to each other. Guri loves to eat ice-cream and create same-sex couples, Akane loves to chase after Seiji and kills anyone who gets in her way. Coraly just tries to keep order, while having a creepy human face on a house cat. There is also Yuzu Kichougasaki, who has a crush on Akane and sort of hates Seiji because Akane always chases after him. But with all these characters then you are never bored.
There are few moments in the show that poke fun at Death Note, Seiji thinks Guri is a “shinigami” at first. While these moments are hilarious, they don’t last long at all. The “Kiss Note” is destroyed early in the series. We think it’s safe to say there are jokes about Death Note in Love Tyrant, but it doesn’t feel like a full fledged parody as these parts are fogetten or just ignored by the characters. This could have been the show greatest selling point if it was done properly.
I think there are a few reasons that the plot can seem like it’s everywhere. One plot point focuses on Guri’s emotional dilemma, one seems to focus on matchmaking, and then there are a few surrounding Seiji’s love life. Seems simple right? Well, there are gaping plot holes in the story you could fit a train in. It’s never really explained why Guri has to be a Cupid; in fact, she becomes a demon in the later episodes when she’s dumped.
We get to understand that her mother was a demon and that God is her father. We also find out the devil wants to take Guri to hell for some reason, but it’s never fully explained why.
Guri’s mother shows up in exactly one flashback in exactly the last episode, so there’s very little story about her. While the story wants to beat home the point that Guri loves Seiji, there seems to be a larger story, which feels unfinished. Maybe one day I will get that second season, and I will figure out where Guri’s mother went? The ending is a bit abrupt. I am not hopeful as this feels like a anime just made to fill a slot and promote the manga which is a shame.
The exaggeration of the characters’ actions brings home the idea that this anime should not be taken too seriously. It’s really more for entertainment value, rather than being realistic. From the faces they make to the times they should have “died,” the art makes sure to convey a comedic tone to it and does a really good job with the colors.
Sound was pretty lackluster, Nothing too amazing.
Overall, Renai Boukun is a fun show to watch, not just on a whim. It’s a good parody and it never takes itself seriously. It is definitely not anime of the month, but it is still very fun to watch.