Animation: Fair
Depth: Bad
Design: Weak
Characters: Weak
Story: Fair

Type: TV   (13 episodes)

Vintage: 2014


» harem
Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page

If Her Flag Breaks

Summary: >

On a cruse ship, Souta met a strange girl who gave him the ability to see "flags" over a person's head. This flag determines their destiny, but Souta can not only see their future, he can change it. Disaster struck the ship, leaving Souta as the only survivor after it sank. In the years since, he's lived in despair, as most people shun him for surviving. He's also cursed seeing one flag he cannot change, the one above his head signifying his own death.

When transferring to a new school, Souta met a strange girl with no flag above her head, the only such person he's ever met. The two become friends, although Souta becomes quite popular with many girls at the school. A dormitory is constructed, and he moves in with various female classmates. Could one of them be the key to changing his destiny?

Thoughts: >

You might think a weak rating was inevitable by the stupid concept. I thought so too, but initially I found this show amusing enough to have a change of heart about that. Then the last two episodes happened, which annoyed me enough to lower the rating again. Although the end score is low, it still might be an okay watch for a brainless amusement.

"If her flag breaks" is a quirky title name, almost like it's asking a question. So what happens if her flag breaks? Should I duck? Is she pregnant? They could have phrased that better. Anyway the "flag" thing is a date sim game concept, where key events needed to unlock new story branches are referred to as a flag. It's a bit literal in this anime, but doesn't objectify the girls as much as I would have guessed. It's an oddball gimmick, which this show unfortunately does little with.

If Her Flag Breaks has the common problem with a quirky "hook" to get you watching, but then rarely using it after a few episodes. What's left is typical brain dead harem antics. Because this anime doesn't take itself seriously, it stays light enough to roll with everything "just because", even if most of it doesn't make sense. There's enough successful comedy that I got a few laughs per episode, so that's a big plus.

But there's a more "serious" side to this anime, with parts feeling more ominous. The 90% silliness clashes heavily with the darker points. At first it's unclear if it will go anywhere with this content, but unfortunately it does. It's like the creators tired of this show goofing off, and decided to nuke this anime from orbit with a Matrix movie / anime-trope torpedo. Episodes 12 & 13 are WTF turned up to 11. To its credit, this anime does at least try to explain the flag stuff and have a bigger plot.

But I just couldn't feel happy with the result. This anime is mostly brainless, but I thought that silly side actually worked. The serious attempt at ... whatever in the hell the end was, didn't sit well with me. Besides that, failing to capitalize on its premise gimmick is a transgression I'm getting really tired of in anime. Maybe give it shot as a harem comedy, but it doesn't have enough content (consistently) to make it worth watching.

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2015