MM! is yet another light novel adaptation. You have seen this before. It’s a slightly worse version of Baka to Test while being a slightly better version of Mayoi Neko Overrun. It’s doesn’t flaunt panties in your face like Ladies vs Butlers but aims at more visual humour than Seitokai no Ichizon. The character designs have that same lack of nose that the likes of Kanokon had and the whole aesthetic feels like pretty much everything else we’ve ever seen from late 00’s Xebec. You know what you’re getting into. You know what the humour is going to be like. MM likes to think it’s edgy because it has masochists and cross-dressers, but that’s just yet another leap in the desperate direction to find something to outdo its competition. The lead is still a flat-chested tsundere. The nurse is still a sex bomb. The friend is still a nervous moe girl who hits the main character when he touches her. They still dress up in maid outfits. You have seen this all before.
I’m not going to say I’m sick of seeing these anime. It’s not like I ever enjoyed them anyway. Baka to Test temporarily drew me in with the Shaft aesthetic, which I’m quite partial to, before it became apparent that it had pretty much the exact same set of jokes every single other one of these LN adaptations had and repeated them ad infinitum. The problem is the margin for profit is so low when it comes to LN adaptations that they’re really easy money. Despite what people might tell you about moe selling, these types of anime don’t sell that well. But there’s a hardcore fanbase who will lap the dvd releases up to get the NSFW extras (which MM has already announced it will have) and they’re enough to get them over the profit margin.
Rather strangely, if Baka to Test is anything to go by, LN adaptations have also slowly tried to infiltrate the fujioshi market as well. There was more than one man in this show with his top button of his shirt missing, revealing his curiously hairless chest. A few curls wouldn’t go amiss you know.
In short, moe is the cancer that is killing the industry rawr rawr rawr, but a bit of intelligence in the writing can perk up any series. It’s been a year since Bakemonogatari ended its tv run. Since then there’s been Seitokai no Ichizon, Kampfer, A Nogizaka Haruka sequel, Sacred Blacksmith, Ladies vs Butlers, Baka to Test, Omamori Himari, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimou, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Ookami-san and now MM! in the world of LN adaptations. There has also been Durarara and A Certain Scientific Railgun (which I’m not a fan of but at least attempts to do something a little differently from all those listed above). I guess that is a bit of Sturgeons Law in effect, but all those listed are so similar to each other, you have to wonder when the bubble for these shows is going to burst. There was a time, in the past, when LN adaptations meant Full Metal Panic, Kino’s Journey, Haruhi Suzumiya and Baccano. Now? It means MM!