Heaven’s Lost Property Season 1 (Cert 15)
2 Discs DVD / Blu-ray (Distributor: MVM) Running time: 323 minutes approx.
Are you ready for a delightfully heart-warming romantic comedy about a boy whose ideal woman literally falls out of the sky and has the power to make any wish come true en route to them falling in love? Then go watch Ah! My Goddess because despite its poetic title, this show is practically the opposite of that!
Tomoki Sakurai just wants to live a simple quiet life alone with his dirty magazines and obsession with women’s panties. Even being woken up each morning by childhood friend Sohara Mitsuki – who he secretly perves over – is anathema to him. So, when classmate Eishiro Sugata, founder of the school’s New World Discovery Club finds what looks like a new black hole in the sky, Tomoki is barely enthused to investigate.
However, Tomoki finds a scantily armoured clad, young woman with wings having just fallen from the sky. She awakens and introduces herself as Ikaros, a Pet-Class Angeloid from a world called Synapse. In need of a master to serve, she connects to Tomoki via a chain around her neck which attaches to Tomoki’s wrist, thus begins a wacky journey as Ikaros learns about life on earth.
On the surface, Heaven’s Lost Property doesn’t appear to do subtlety very well, setting out Tomoki’s perverted tendencies from the outset via every lame and hackneyed ecchi gag you can think of. This extends to the cliché of Tomoki being left alone whilst his parents travel around the world leaving next-door neighbour and secret crush Sohara to play surrogate guardian to him.
Crammed full of bawdy scenes involving boobs, panties and the creepiness of Tomoki’s never ending quest to get his jollies from female objectification, it is hard to imagine there is actually an engaging story to be found involving Ikaros and her true identity. Similarly, the arrival of a second, more aggressive Angeloid named Nymph is a prompt to exploring the power of friendship as a great healer for the pains of the oppressed.
Sadly, Suu Minazuki, creator of this title, is more interested in delivering fan service and prurience than intelligent and empathetic storytelling, leaving us with a series where the bad outweighs the good. Had the events of the final three episodes been the focus of the main storyline, this might have been a worthwhile experience – alas, it was not to be.
The first thing that stands out is Tomoki being a complete lech. He is not a protagonist that is easy to root for. He gets his comeuppance for being a slimy, objectifying, deviant from Sohara (despite being in love with him due to his kindness to her when they were younger) and his plans to peep on girls backfire spectacularly but his redeeming qualities are negligible.
Because of the comedy nature of the show, the characters slip in and out of chibi mode according to the tone of the scene, but Tomoki spends most of his screen time in this form because of his lewd personality, making it impossible to take him seriously when matters do eventually turn grave. Instead, we find ourselves pitying Ikaros (pronounced Icarus) for relying on this colossal idiot for guidance and comfort.
Admittedly, some of the saucy humour is inventive if reprehensible – like Tomoki being transformed into the floor of the girl’s changing room to can get a good view. Him turning into a pair of panties is not. In episode two, Ikaros casts a spell that causes all the panties in the area to fly away like birds which is quite an amusing visual, but stands as an early peak of sophistication.
Ikaros is the embodiment of the ultimate otaku wish fulfilment, a cute, busty servile woman that can and will do anything asked of her. The chain around Ikaros’ neck feels more symbolic of slavery than servitude, initially a literal solid binding between them until Ikaros shrinks it to allow freedom of movement. Her status as a Pet-Class Angeloid suggests Synapse is a patriarchal world where women are supposed to know their place and like it.
Nymph’s arrival is one of the laziest pieces of writing ever seen. She literally appears at the start of episode six sitting in Tomoki’s home eating snacks whilst watching TV with Ikaros – no teases at the end of the prior episode, she’s just there. Nymph is Beta Class Angeloid sent to take Ikaros back to Synapse, and fulfils the tsundere loli role because of her undeveloped body.
Like Ikaros, Nymph has a curious backstory that again deserves development but unlike Ikaros, hers is given some screen time, albeit too brief, to explain her circumstances and engender some sympathy for her. The closest Ikaros gets to this, apart from being around Tomoki, is her permanently doleful expression exuding a sense of resignation to her fate as a slave.
Remarkably there is still of lot of things yet to be discussed about this show, like a supporting cast member who is the daughter of a Yakuza and arguably the funniest character of the show, and the snappy historical lessons that open each episode courtesy of science geek Sugata. Unfortunately, these enlightening prologues are wasted on a show that features a song called My Tingling Nipples!
With the show now, almost 10 years old, the production values and artwork reflect this as well as how the harem-ecchi content was tired even in 2009. Even though anime hasn’t progressed as much as it could in 2018, viewing this title today is an even sadder experience in that respect, notwithstanding the potential it had to be a decent sci-fi fantasy yarn.
Heaven’s Lost Property will still have its fans and it will give them a laugh, of which there are admittedly many. They will be glad to know that after the OVA which closes this set, is an announcement for series two, featuring a third Angeloid. The rest of us have been warned.
Less Heaven’s Lost Property and more Heavens – Lost Potential.
English Language 5.1
Japanese Language 2.0 w/ English Subtitles
Disc 2 Only:
Textless Closings x 13
Rating – **½
Man In Black