Souji is an ordinary highschool student with an extraordinary love: Twintails. At school, he can think of nothing other than twintails, even going so far as to start his own club totally dedicated to the hairstyle. However, one day, a perverted alien force descends upon Earth with the intention of stealing everyone’s attribute, or spirit power, with their most sort-after attribute being twintail Attribute. Desperate to defend the twintails he loves, Souji takes up the offer of a mysterious girl named Twoearle, who gives him the power to transform into Tail Red, a female warrior with a glorious set of twintails. Alongside fellow twin-tailed fighters Aika and Erina, Souji must find a way to repel the invading aliens and make sure the glory of twintails lives on forever!
Of all the shows I’ve reviewed, Gonna Be The Twintail, the 2014 comedy based on the manga series by Ayumu Kasuga and Yume Mizusawa, is potentially the most divisive show I think I’ve seen. Most comedy anime, because of the very nature of comedy itself, are going to be quite polarizing anyway because different people have different senses of humour, but even still, I think Twintail in particular is either going to be something you really enjoy or something you absolutely detest. As you might suspect, twintails are at the very core of this show, and I think that a lot of the comedy comes from just how straight-faced it can be at times despite the insanely silly premise of twintails being this incredibly powerful source of power that are always talked about with incredible reverence by Souji. In the first handful of episodes, I actually thought this was quite hilarious, and it got quite a few laughs out of me in that respect alone, but the further the show went on, the less funny it became, and I could easily see the whole premise being annoying and grating to some people. It’s almost certainly a case of running a joke into the ground, but I think it’s a problem the show couldn’t really avoid, given it’s part of the premise. Thankfully, there’s a bit more to the comedy than just the twintail jokes, with the show leaning into a lot of raunchy and crude humour and some slapstick, that got a chuckle out of me pretty often, but that’s about it. One thing I did appreciate is the fact that, even though there are an awful lot of sex jokes in Twintail, it’s actually surprisingly restrained when it comes to fan service. I think it would have been incredibly easy for the studio to throw in more titillation given the nature of the show, but, despite not being entirely devoid of it, it wasn’t too distracting, which, personally, I was quite glad about.
Despite the comedy being a little bit hit or miss, Twintail makes up for this with its action sequences, which I found to be very enjoyable. They’re generally well animated and feature a variety of different powers on display from the three twin-tailed heroes as well as the aliens, which kept the fights feeling fresh. As well as being fun to watch, it’s also in these battle scenes where I got the most laughs, with the alien creatures’ dialogue being some of the best in the show, especially their last words, which rarely failed to make me laugh. The story itself in Twintail is quite underwhelming, and a little repetitive. Most episodes have an alien attacking the girls and the girls defeating them. Even if the battles are a lot of fun, the formula did get tiring. I also thought the ending was pretty rushed and unsatisfying, with the resolution to the plot being delivered via a throwaway line of dialogue.
Much like its story, I can’t help but feel the characters of Twintail are also pretty weak. They’re mostly one note, with Souji’s twintail obsession pretty much defining his entire character. There is a plot point where Souji’s twintail love is shaken, but it ultimately doesn’t go anywhere and his character remains unchanged. As for the girls, they’re equally shallow, with Aika and Twoearle being your stock tsundere and pervert characters respectively. The only exception is Erina, whose introductory episodes flesh out her character a little bit, which is more than can be said for the others. There is an attempt at a romance between Souji and both Aika and Erina, but it’s so underwhelming and half-baked that it’s barely even worth mentioning. It would have been nice if they had tried to develop a relationship with Souji and one of the girls, as this would have helped towards alleviating the repetition in the story.
Animation on Twintail is handled by Production IMS, the studio behind High School Fleet and Date A Live II, and they create a pretty good looking show, with the action sequences in particular being quite well animated and fun to watch. Outside of that, it’s nothing particularly outstanding, but it’s not bad either.
Funimation’s release of Gonna Be the Twintail includes both Japanese and English audio tracks, with the dub cast giving some great performances all around. To me, the stand-out voice actor has to be Austin Tindle (Tokyo Ghoul, A Certain Magical Index, Prison School) who voices protagonist Souji. Given how very silly the lines he has to deliver are, he does a really great job of sounding legitimately invested in Twintails and really helps in selling Souji’s dedication to them. The music by Yasuharu Takanashi is also high quality, with a fantastic rock soundtrack adding some great intensity to the battles.
In terms of extras, Twintail is about what you’d expect, including a clean opening and closing but also includes episode commentaries, which is a nice bonus.
Gonna Be the Twintail! is an incredibly silly show that provides a good amount of fun and a few decent laughs, even if it never really tries to be anything greater than that.