No sensible person would ever describe 100 Girlfriends as grounded or realistic, but up til now, it has at least kept a toe or two in the general vicinity of reality. Sure, the characters are all defined by personality tropes that have been cranked up to 11, but those tropes themselves were still based on some recognizable human emotions. We’ve all known somebody shy, defensive, or too horny, and can extrapolate those experiences when watching exaggerated representations of them in anime. That is a whole lot harder with Kusuri Yakuzen, the newest girlfriend and the pint-sized conductor who’s about to steer this show right off the rails.
Kusuri’s introduction is where you find out if this show will work for you. While her mad scientist personality isn’t unprecedented in harem canon – think Washu from the Tenchi metaverse – she’s undeniably weirder and wilder than any other character so far. She’s got a bizarre speech tic, a prehensile ahoge, has canonically made meth, wears (and uses) diapers to avoid wasting time on bathroom breaks, and accidentally gave herself the Detective Conan treatment while trying to make an immortality drug. Don’t worry though, she can temporarily turn back into her voluptuous 18-year-old form when the need arises, and provide a separate kind of fanservice. That’s a leap from Nano being super logical or Shizuka being very shy, and that’s where we’ll lose some folks. This girl is wild enough to spook Rentaro at first, so I can’t blame anyone for deciding that the Age Regression Walter White girlfriend is where they check out.
I found this science gremlin pretty charming once the shock wore off. Part of that comes from them wisely integrating her into the group right away, rather than dedicating an entire episode to her falling for Rentaro. Kusuri has fallen out of a different, even more unhinged anime, and she brings that energy into the group’s comedic antics, allowing her to slide into the ensemble so smoothly. Who’s going to quibble about another girlfriend when they’re busy sweating, growing rabbit ears, or turning into kiss-obsessed super-zombies? That last one even sets up the show’s first cliffhanger to lead us into next week! Kusuri has opened countless new doors for comedy through her inclusion, and the show is perfectly poised to capitalize on that.
While her single-minded obsession with crazy chemistry is cute, and it’s refreshing to see her pursuing Rentaro instead of the other way around, her intro doesn’t have that emotional hook that other girls have worked in. She’s operating primarily as a comedic X factor, inserting chaos into the show’s established formula, rather than as a fully rounded character. There’s certainly room to develop her considering she’s the only lucid girlfriend left as we lead into Part 2 next week. Right now she’s just not reaching the bar that the other girls have set for this show.
Still, I can’t fault the show too much for focusing on its greatest strength, and Kusuri has only served to enhance and expand 100 Girlfriends‘ comic arsenal. Any episode that features something as hilariously cursed as Hakari’s horrifying imagination can’t be a bad one, and we’re set up very nicely for our most ridiculous conflict yet. That’s a lot of sugar to help the potentially lethal and unlicensed medicine go down.
The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You is currently streaming on