NSFW warning: the following review for Hybrid x Heart features images and descriptions of ecchi scenes.
#1 Sex gives you power
Okay, let me first cut this title down to something that is more convenient. Let’s just call the show Hybrid x Heart for now.
In Hybrid x Heart, Earth has been invaded by creatures from an otherworldly dimension that appeared through various rifts that act as portals between the two worlds. These creatures wiped out a big portion of humanity, so the survivors retreated to small islands and created technology to fight back. Instead of developing more conventional weapons, Earth’s brightest opted to create special suits that allow the users to fly around and use powerful sci-fi weapons. Of course, these are full-body suits for men and sexy, form-fitting outfits for the girlies.
However, the suits use a special kind of energy innate in the people that can wield them and, once depleted, the user immediately dies. That is until Kizuna Hida is added into an all-female unit, because scientists have discovered that sex with him recharges this energy and can even supercharge the girls for a limited time. So in the midst of giant robot battles, Kizuna has to go around to pick up his knocked out team-mates and have his way with them so they can rejoin the battle.
Need I say more?
#2 Some of the worst ecchi around
A problem with ecchi anime is that tone is such an important factor. Monster Musume is a fantastic show and I praised how being uncensored was such a big improvement to its sexier scenes. Hybrid x Heart, however, is kind of creepy with its ecchi content and the full nudity only makes that so much worse.
First of all, removing censorship from ecchi is a lost cause when the characters look like absolute trash. The design for the heroes are all super-generic and unappealing, but when animated they constantly go off-model and that made several scenes more hilarious than erotic. All three of the main girls I found to be absolutely boring and the cast of side-characters fares a bit better in the writing department, but not so much in the animation. The first villain it introduces has the worst-looking breasts I have ever seen in anime and her first close-up shot, the first time you get to see this character properly, had her face all messed up and eyes going all over the place.
And that is when you get to the problematic part. Ecchi I find entertaining when it’s consensual, but when uncensored Hybrid x Heart is more like hentai from the darker spectrum of that medium. Characters end up raped or coerced into sex, there is torture and mind-break in there, it’s pretty bad stuff and it balances poorly against the lighthearted, harem-y scenes that happen elsewhere in the show. It leaves me very unsure of what kind of viewer it’s trying to appeal to; all I know is that I am damn sure it isn’t me.
#3 Oh yeah, we’re at school
An utterly pointless detail to Hybrid x Heart‘s story is that the whole of it actually takes place on an island that acts as both a military fort and a big student city. Kizuna and his girl squad are all students at the academy and good luck trying to remember that.
The story is so poor at addressing this part of the characters’ lives that I just keep forgetting about it and then end up being perplexed when it does come up. The story keeps skipping straight to the battles and sex, which is admittedly what would (ideally) be the show’s core appeal, but it then also takes time out of that to suddenly give you the most generic highschool side-stories you can imagine. Are you feeling hyped for an idol concert? A school festival perhaps?
Every time the academy does come up, it’s either entirely bland or perplexingly weird, like Kizuna giving a straightfaced lecture to the class about his sex life.
#4 Everybody has a trauma
Considering how profoundly stupid Hybrid x Heart is, it has to be said that it takes itself way too seriously. This again plays into the problem of the show’s fluctuating tone, where sometimes you are watching characters goof off and set up an idol concert, but at the same time they are actually deeply hurt and long for Kizuna to swoop in and solve all their inner demons and uncertainties.
Of course, this isn’t done well at all. The traumas that affect the various girls are hamfisted and poorly handled. The worst example of this are the two American characters, who used to be friends until an accident tore them apart. To restore their friendship and grow stronger, they are tasked with having sex with each other while videos play reminding the girls of their shared hardships, including funerals and several battles that probably ended up killing a bunch of civilians. Yeah, that is some proper atmosphere for a romance scene alright.
Of course, no matter what the trauma, everything can be fixed with a good dicking courtesy of Haruna, who is just as bad as a character as everybody else. He is played as this unrelenting knight in shining armor that always defends the girls in the end, but whenever he has to have sex with them, he’s just a little too giddy about it and goes the extra mile to make it a little extra weird. I am pretty sure any sex will do Kizuna, you don’t have to force the poor girl into a catsuit.
#5 Call the police!
NONONONONO I am out of here.