I thrive off bad entertainment. Shows with an utterly inane premise or a certain level of awfulness makes it worth sitting through for sheer notoriety alone. Sure, the product is bad, but at least you can laugh at it, so there’s a consolation prize. CubexCursedxCurious (or C3 for short) held exactly the kind of nonsense plot that would fit the bill, but its terribleness is hampered by an utterly bland outcome, keeping it from prime finger-pointing hilarity.
Haruaki Yachi is a generic anime boy whose father routinely sends him cursed objects because their house is a focal point of positive energy. Haruaki is immune to the power of curses, which is just swell for him when his old man delivers a mysteriously afflicted cube. The object soon forms itself into a naked girl named Fear Kubrick (yes, like the director). Fear is a Worse: a tool designed to torture and murder her victims. Guilt-ridden for her murderous past, Fear wants out of her wretched fate, so Generic Anime Boy and his legion of stereotype Harem Girls decide to help. Along the way, they bump into the Battlefront Collection Knights, a bunch of rejects from the Hasbro toy name generator, whose goal is to destroy all the Worse.
The only compliment I can give CubexCursedxCurious is that it’s frank and honest about its fanservice. Right from the get-go, Fear exhibits all the standard traits to lure the male audience this series was designed for. She’s in denial over her feelings for Generic Anime Boy, yet graceful and affectionate when prompt. She has a tragic backstory and gets numerous panty shots, both delivered without a single drop of irony. Fear switches from dramatic harbinger of doom to baby-faced cutie with no rhyme or reason. Other girls join the fray for all your shameless ogling needs: big-boobed Glasses Girl, Clumsy Klutz, and cool-headed School President are all provided for your drooling pleasure. Naturally, the majority of them are in love or infatuated with Generic Anime Boy who occasionally lends a hand, but largely lingers off in the background doing Nice Boy Things that the girls all adore. Generic Anime Boy has no defining personality: he was designed to be perfect so the target audience can live vicariously through him and get all the hotties.
The entire show is dripping with the kind of “dark and edgy” vanity that tries to appeal to the thirteen-year-olds who think this concept is cool. Blood and violence drips in every corner and Fear has plenty of angst to spare. One character says a repeated curse word (in Engrish no less) as a terrible catchphrase just to emphasize that yes, this show is totally hardcore, y’all. Even the Battlefront Collection Knights play up their name by using toy-themed puns in what could be the show’s only true awareness of self-parody.
The story is thin and repetitive: the cast meanders around in between boob shots and uncompromising positions until the Villain of the Week arrives to mess around for a few episodes. Each chapter is episodic, wasting time and leading nowhere until the last minute when they present a bigger threat that logically could have happened within the twelve episodes presented here. The first episode is especially misleading and unnecessary, posing as a rom-com offering where Fear clumsily attempts to adjust to modern living instead of setting up the main premise of the show (which doesn’t even happen until halfway to episode two). But the show must ratchet up Fear’s moe points first.
I hesitate to say CubexCursedxCurious is insulting just because it’s been-there, done-that. Insulting implies the anime is severely depraved or has something inherent that caused it to gain its ill-gotten reputation. A bad show can have something that is worth mocking, but a mediocre series that recycles the same genre tricks is not so much awful as it is boring. C3 is a veritable checklist of everything its genre has pulled before: camera closeups of bouncing boobs, inappropriate nudity, buckets of blood as characters aimlessly spout their well-rehearsed motivations, blah blah blah. Every character stereotype, plot, cliché, and gesture are all here for your convenience. C3 is comfort food for those who enjoy this kind of pandering, assuming you can stand the eye-searing colors they used on the already average animation.
Extras include textless openers and closers, a US trailer for the show, and numerous trailers for other anime FUNimation brought over. Nothing more needs to be added.
CubexCursedxCurious knows what it’s about and expecting anything more would be futile. Maybe the show could have been enjoyable if the blatant fanservice and gore were used with an ounce of parody or genuine sense that the entire thing was one, big joke, but it’s clear this is just another straight offering with no dignity to spare. If you’re morbidly curious,for some reason, plow through your local bargain bin. This Blu-ray/DVD came out just last March, but no doubt it’s lounging around in a discount box in an FYE somewhere.