Anime of Tomorrow
R-15 Ep 2
Final impression – half-hearted
Utae, the young idol genius, is Taketo’s next subject for an interview. Teamed up with Raika, the photographer, the interview doesn’t go according to plan. Raika refuses to take Utae’s picture for the article because the idol is hiding herself behind a wall of falsehoods. Unable to complete the article, Taketo’s frightening boss gives him some not-so-subtle motivation. In the end, he convinces Utae to shed the old shell of herself and show him her true form – both figuratively and literally as she strips off her clothes to symbolically emerge from her cocoon as a new, freed songstress.
R-15 feels like it wants to be something more sophisticated than it’s capable of presenting. There are some really deep themes of being true to yourself and the people around you. But it all gets spoiled by its ecchiness. The ecchi parts are pretty half-hearted as well; being completely censored by large white bars that span across the screen. So while I applaud the effort to make something unique and interesting, in the end R-15 just trips over its own shortcomings. It might pick itself up and try again, but in the end you know there’s little hope for success.