Based on its premise, Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara seems to follow in the footsteps of other harem comedies with meta jokes about how visual novels and dating sims work. These shows are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I wanted to see if Gaworare (a terrible way to shorten the show’s title, even if it is official) could serve the same purpose this season.
The protagonist of this series, Sota Hatate, can see people’s fates as flags on their heads and can also break them. I actually thought that his backstory was interesting. As the sole survivor of a shipwreck that claimed the lives of his parents and sister, he feels that he will bring nothing but misfortune to those that try to get close to him. For this reason, he shoots down any attempt by others to befriend him. Unfortunately, this resolve of his barely lasts beyond the halfway point of the first episode. By the end of the second episode, he has become a full-fledged harem protagonist by moving into a dorm with four of his love interests. If the opening credits are any indication, more are on the way.
When it comes to the use of dating sim mechanics in real life, Kanojo ga Flag has been relatively subdued when compared with Date A Live and NouKome, whose funniest moments have been a result of this type of meta-humor, so it is disappointing that they didn’t really do much with it.
While there were some funny gags with the main character being unable to topple certain flags, a lot of the humor is pretty standard for the genre and comes across as trite. One example of this is Nanami’s violent retribution towards Sota whenever he gets into compromising or questionable situations. It didn’t help that the show repeated certain jokes. If it wasn’t that funny to begin with, it won’t be the second or third time.
Main character aside, the other characters are the typical harem archetypes. There is the tsundere, the nice airhead, the childhood friend that carries around a ladle everywhere for some reason, and the androgynous trap that reminds me a lot of Yukimura from Haganai. One character of note is the bonnet-wearing loli, which is the creepiest thing I’ve seen in anime in a while. Despite her appearance, she speaks like an old lady and doesn’t like to wear a skirt.
For me, the biggest problem with the show is its inconsistent tone. The show’s attempts at being serious don’t mesh at all with the silly hijinks, and I am not sure what Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara knows what it wants to do. I will keep watching to see if they actually focus on the main character trying to break his own death flag and do something interesting with his ability to see flags, even if the second episode was disappointing in that regard.