Netsuzou Trap Review - Netsuzou Crap
It’s okay! I’m alive!
Yeah, sorry for not doing anything last week. Schoolwork got the better of me and I ended up having to dedicate most of my time then to actually getting things done, and that meant that I had almost no time whatsoever to get this show a right proper reviewing. Again, I apologize, and thanks for sticking around as I chugged through last week.
And to make things special for this week, let me start off by saying that this show was actually requested for me to review by a fan of the site (who wishes to remain anonymous, although I will say he’s a chill guy and draws cute coyote girls on DeviantArt if that’s something you’re into). And if you have ideas for shows you want me to review, feel free to point it out in the comment section below this article and tell me all about it.
So after reviewing Kaiji the week before and then chasing it down with Akagi after brushing up on my Riichi Mahjong, I got a request to do a show that I honestly didn’t see myself reviewing at all until my faceless friend pinged me over Discord. See, one of his favorite manga (and anime) series is Yuru Yuri, a SoL comedy show centered on four middle-school girls doing middle-school girl things in a cute, innocent manner that can really only be pulled of by middle-school girls. I actually watched a couple episodes of the anime just to get myself ready to review it, and I actually found it kinda charming, even if my cold, humorless critic heart needed a while to warm up to it.
But then I got the rug yanked out from under me when I found out that Yuru Yuri, while it was his favorite show, was not actually what he wanted me to look at. That dubious honor went to a show that came out this summer under the name of Netsuzou Trap -NTR-. And that abbreviation bugs me for a ton of reasons, because not only is that a horrible way to shorten the show’s name, but it’s also a term for hentai where the main love interest starts sleeping with someone not the protagonist.
I think you can see my main problems with this show formulating already.
For comparison, let’s bring Hajimete no Gal back in here, even though it’s well known that I outright hate its very existence in the summer season. What I think happened to Hajimete was just one bad decision after another after another. The writing was atrocious, the story made no damn sense whatsoever, the art decisions were laughably bad, and I could go on and on at this rate.
The sins Netsuzou Trap commit, meanwhile, aren’t nearly as ill-intentioned. Don’t get me wrong, I still think this show is an absolute wreck for reasons I’ll talk about in a minute, but most of its faults happen its execution as opposed to it just being an awful idea right out of the box like Hajimete was. The show still sucks, but at least it’s the type of suck I can understand, and I have to award some points for having at least trying.
But that doesn’t save it from just being a bad show, and unlike Brave Witches which is a bad show that is nevertheless fun to watch despite its flaws, Netsuzou Trap just wasn’t amusing for me. I just plain didn’t have fun watching this show. It’s repetitive, it’s badly written, it takes itself way too seriously for its premise, and just about every decision characters make is either rushed or just plain stupid because the episodes for some reason are only nine minutes long.
And no, this isn’t an OVA series; that would make too much sense.
For what it’s worth, the plot is centered around two high-school couples. The two girls, Hotaru Mizushina (Hiromi Igarashi, Amagi Brilliant Park, Brave Witches appropriately enough, and OreImo God help us) and Yuma Okazaki (Ai Kakuma, also in Amagi and Brave Witches, but also the main role in a series named, no joke, Bikini Warriors), have been friends since elementary school, and seeing as how Yuma has never had a boyfriend before, she routinely goes to talk to Hotaru for advice. And wouldn’t you know it, the “advice” Hotaru routinely involves hitting on Yuma, kissing her, and a bunch of miscellaneous acts of yuri.
And that’s really all there is to it. If you really need to know the main motivation behind the “plot,” (spoilers ahead, but trust me when I say you probably don’t care) Hotaru’s present boyfriend is supposedly abusive, which frankly doesn’t factor into the main story much if at all in the grand scheme of things. It’s just used as a token excuse to make yuri happen, and that doesn’t even make sense storywise either.
Easily the most baffling decision the Netsuzou Trap team made was to contain their episodes in nine-minute blocks instead of standard length. Because of that, a lot of the “plot” developments in the show feel rushed, contrived or simply outright illogical. Whenever Hotaru flirts and gets at Yuma (rather maliciously at times, too), we don’t have time to accurately gauge Yuma’s reaction becasue we literally don’t have time to do that. We don’t get to see her be confused, angry, frustrated or anything like that, because we only have ninety minutes of screentime for this series and there’s a ton that needs to happen before then.
As a direct result, the show feels like yuri for the sake of yuri, and it feels wholly uncomfortable to watch no matter what’s going on. The only character I kinda grew attached to was the male lead, and even then he’s just there so the writers can wink at the audience and say, “Hey, check it out! Yuma’s cheating on her boyfriend! How scandalous, right? Bet that makes her relationship with Hotaru all the more valuable, right? Hey, where are you going? The show’s not done!”
After two episodes it was clear to me that the story was just going to be walking around in circles, not evolving in any remarkable sense and not making even a passing effort in trying to explore any relevant themes: identity, evolution of relationships, and deception for the well-being of others all come readily to mind for a show of this style. Instead, Netsuzou Trap just drops a boulder on the gas pedal and drives its car straight off The White Cliffs of Disappointingly Monotonous Nothing.
Production values are inconsistent across the board, even if I kinda have a thing for the NGNL-style lighting and color schemes. It’s clear the art budget wasn’t especially high for this show; the studio seemed to dedicate the majority of it to Yuma x Hotaru, and the rest of the scenes are choppy and hardly animated, and at one point in the second episode Yuma says almost a third of a sentence without moving her mouth at all. I was regularly pausing the show to rub my temples and wonder if anybody, anybody, QA’d this animation before it went live on Crunchyroll this season.
Netsuzou Trap is still getting slammed by the F-hammer, to be sure, but I feel like this is one of the softer ones I’ve given out since I started writing for this site. Unlike the rest of the F-club, with the maybe exception of Cyborg 009 which bored me so much I got bored with my own review on it, Netsuzou Trap didn’t do anything to get me actively angry at it or anxious for me to rip into it with the same visceral glee I gave to its counterparts. It’s just a bad show, with almost no redeeming factors, and that’s all there is to it.
Objectively, it’s one of the worst shows of the season, but it is not nearly as obnoxious as something like Hajimete was, and that alone is a small victory maybe worth celebrating. But there is nothing to recommend about Netsuzou Trap. It’s just a time sink, and not a particularly engaging or enjoyable one either.
During episode 3, I just ended up shuffling my Magic deck and drawing random starting hands while the episode played in the background. Is that maybe bad review practice? Sure, but I knew that I wasn’t going to miss anything important, and I’d rather spend my downtime doing something I enjoy rather than slog through something I know that I won’t.
Netsuzou Trap, unfortunately, is a slog. And that’s about the worst thing I can say about it.
THE VERDICT: F Next time: The Kaiji guy tries magical girls