Some anime would probably have benefitted from a second run past the marketing guys. “A Thirty-Year Old’s Health and Physical Education” just doesn’t really sound like an interesting title. I’ll be referring to it as 30-sai throughout this review, but sadly this lackluster name would prove indicative of the show as a whole.
30-sai is a series of TV shorts, each 13 minutes, which follows the life of 30-year-old virgin Hayao Imagawa. Having gone his entire life without any kind of romance, Hayao has long since resigned himself to the loving embrace of his blow-up doll Momoko. However, on the night of his birthday, a white-haired man appears in his apartment. And he is naked.
This man refers to himself as a God of Sex. He has descended from the heavens, specifically to help Hayao with his non-existent love life. This involves coaching him on how to approach, treat, and interact with women, but also raunchier details that happen after.
What I hoped 30-sai would do—which it does to an extent—was provide genuinely helpful advice for (young) adults who are anxious about romance and sex. The anime is admittedly very sex positive; it addresses topics like masturbation, how to kiss, and even shows illustrations of how certain positions work. It explains everything simply and generally focuses on how to make sex the most pleasant for both partners.
However, these explainers soon take a backseat in favor of just being a wacky comedy about two awkward adults. Sex is used as a springboard for jokes, but 30-sai wants to keep education and entertainment strictly separated. This creates a problem, because the learning is generally more fun than the anime’s attempts at humor.
30-sai is not boring by any means, but its comedy isn’t exactly inspired either. It’s loud and the characters are eccentric, which feels too childish for the intended 30-and-above demographic. A lot of the comedy also revolves around gags, many of which are extended parodies of other anime. 30-sai had me smiling at some of the subtler comedy moments that tied back into its sex-ed content, but the parodies and repeat gags left me utterly cold. I even fast-forwarded through an entire story arc that served mainly to parody Fist of the North Star.
It feels like 30-sai loses track of what sets it apart and what it’s actually good at. Perhaps fearing that character development, romance, and teaching healthy sex would be boring if it doesn’t throw in enough hilarity. And with all that comedy falling flat, that leaves 30-sai as a very misguided anime.
It’s occasionally fun, but generally fails to capitalize on its strengths or make good on its promises to educate viewers.