At the beginning of the Spring Season I picked up Astarotte’s Toy as my little escape from sanity. After three episodes I was amused, slightly bemused and of the opinion that what I had just watched was perhaps just a little... “special”. My opinion at the time was that the series was decidedly dodgy, and not my cup of tea - however, that was before I bore witness to one of the best “your mum” jokes ever. At that point the series rose above the “harmless entertaining fluff” level to something truly worthy of my attention and my time for 20 minutes a week.
To recap, the story involves a young succubus princess from an alternate monster realm who needs to take the seed of a man in order to fulfil her needs as she grows older and blossoms into an adult succubus. Through a degree of emotional blackmail, she acquires the services of a young gentleman, about 20-odd years of age called Naota who she brings, with his young daughter, over into the monster realm. Romance blossoms, antics ensue and the group all have fun and frolic in a magical kingdom, with occasional outbursts of young teen angst and emotion. Yes, its cute and its fluffy.
However, it all gets interesting when you add Astarotte’s mother, the queen, into the equation. This large breasted, polyamorous individual, whose personal harem contains the population of a small city, had previously ventured into the human realm when she came of age for her first feast. Her pray, a young Naota... thus pushing the story into a delightful little romp where the mother and the young daughter, are both after harvesting the same lucky bloke during which all I can keep thinking of is constant “your mum” jokes.
Then you add Naota’s daughter Asuha, a pretty little thing who, oddly enough, is just a little older than Astarotte. Given the fact that she has a hairclip from the monster realm, and shares some of the facial attributes of the queen, you can probably guess where things go from here.
Long story short is that the original review gave the series a bit of a slating due to its content. Frankly, after keeping with the series and being absorbed deeper and deeper into the fluff, you notice the lolita succubus issue less and less and notice the fact that the story is actually a very touching little romance with two parties who have absolutely no clue what to do with each other. It's oddly reminiscent of another half dozen series I have seen in the last few years, naming no names of course.
One of the little lovely bits about Astarotte’s Toy, other than the fact it’s actually very well acted and animated, is the writing in the final few episodes which is beautifully moving and actually the perfect way to end the series... and no, the little girl doesn’t suck him off, before you ask.
Rather than giving the series a poor score, I’d actually rate Astarotte’s Toy as being one of those fluff pieces which initially tried to win an audience through the power of sheer outrage, but in the end kept the audience through the clever use of strong characterisation, plenty of “aww” moments and lots of gratuitous fanservice.
You can currently watch Astarotte's Toy in streaming form right here at UK Anime Network!