Lychee Light Club is an oddball manga. It’s a hyper-violent, occasionally sexual story about a cultlike club formed by several boys who express their youth by building a giant robot, kidnapping a girl and lashing out against the decay of adulthood. It’s a gruesome, pitch black satire of the idea of the boys club, and there are also those who say it’s a satire of the guro genre of manga, though I don’t have nearly enough experience with it to say either way. Point is, this manga is kind of fucked up!
Scamp’s initial research into the manga (tl;dr “WTF ARHGJKDJGKSJLKGJKLSDS”) got me interested in reading it, because I’m a sick person, and when I finished it, I was baffled. Not at the story, mind, but at the thought that any of what I’d read could ever appear on TV without a giant black hole hovering over the screen for entire episodes. Little bits slowly leaked out about the show . . . that it would be a series of flash animated comedy shorts, which is when I majorly scaled back my expectations. Not that shorts can’t be entertaining, but with this adaptation the audience would clearly be getting something different than the manga.
So how is it? Eh, it’s OK, I guess.
It does play off the group’s dynamics and perhaps the audience’s expectations of a twisted show to produce something silly and slightly amusing. There is something potentially interesting going on in that the show feels like a lighter look at this goofy ass club — what you’d get if you stripped away all the dramatics and how seriously the group takes itself. At their core, the members of the light club are a bunch of dumb teenagers lashing out at the world and freaking out about changes. There’s definitely legit humor to be had by taking away all the pretense: like one of those Double Fine Kinect games where you see all sorts of crazy shit happening onscreen, but in reality it’s a bunch of goofballs dancing and waving their arms and legs around.
Not totally sure how much of that will come from this series, though. At 2:30 per episode, there’s not much room for nuanced gags and jokes. I got a few chuckles from the show’s interpretation of the crew and a scenario that comes up occasionally in the manga, but none of the jokes struck me as particularly clever or hilarious. I guess I’m interested just to see what the show does with the characters each week, but I’m not sure what it offers for an audience that hasn’t already read the manga.
At least it won’t waste a lot of your time each week!