Are you single? Do you yearn for that special someone who will whisper sweet nothings into your ear and tuck you into bed after an exhausting day? Then search no further, because the Pillow Boys are here to help you with counting sheep! Makura no Danshi is a shoujo anime series produced by Earth Star Entertainment, catered to young women who have to deal with a lonely heart. Will one of the boys be able to lull you to sleep? Or will they haunt you in your dreams?
The Awkward Monologues
Makura no Danshi uses a first-person point of view, a method that might arouse the viewer’s interest, since it is rarely used in anime. Pair that off with twelve bishounen, each one of them possessing a distinct personality trait, and this series could melt any girl’s heart. Yet all high expectations are crushed after meeting Merry, the series’ droopy-eyed mascot character. After listening to the rather catchy opening theme song, the young man casually starts talking to you, which is intended to be relaxing, but comes off as awkward instead. The conversation is interrupted by pauses à la Dora the Explorer, meant for the viewer’s response. It doesn’t help that the dialogue is mundane and unexciting. By bringing up a snippet of their lives or breaking from a character trope, it is attempted to give the boys some kind of personality. Even in this regard, they fail to impress. The different types of characters are too predictable and offer nothing new or special.
A lazy trainwreck
Expecting an anime like Makura no Danshi to establish polished and elaborate personalities in less than four minutes might be a little unfair. After all, its main goal is to mend tired hearts and give girls a good time, right? Even if the plot or content aren’t the best out there, a well-set atmosphere can make a series shine nonetheless. And once again, Makura no Danshi offers no such thing. The simple artwork, filled with creepy stares, unsettling close-ups and unnaturally huge mouths, can be terrifying at times. Overused still images and poorly-drawn backgrounds come across as lazy. The lack of music and sound effects add to the awkwardness weighing heavily over this series. A notable scene depicting everything that is wrong with this anime is the violinist’s attempt to get you to sleep, making you wonder if your video player crashed because of the absence of music and movement.
Check under your bed for bishies
Beside the aforementioned boring conversations interrupted by awkward pauses, the overall vibe of Makura no Danshi is unsettling. You would expect each episode to take place in some form of sleeping-place, yet sometimes the choice of location makes you worry about the main character’s well-being rather than getting cozy with a random bishounen. Another creepy thought is the fact that these boys don’t fall asleep with you, but watch you sleep. And how is putting a five-year-old into this setting alright? Most of the Pillow Boys clearly have sexual intentions, the inclusion of a child feels out-of-place and wrong. The only positive that can be mentioned is the diverse variety of types they included, such as a chuunibyou or a middle-aged man – a refreshing aspect showing that women not only lust after beautiful young men so often seen within the otome genre, but have other tastes as well.
More like nightmare fuel
Makura no Danshi is a lullaby gone wrong in every aspect. If the first-person point of view had been executed correctly, it could have been an enjoyable series. Apart from the hilarious violinist scene, the attempts at comforting the viewer and being funny at times fail miserably. I would have loved adding Makura no Danshi to my list of things that are so bad they’re good, but the boredom it offers overshadows any charm this series could have had. I’ll voluntarily join the Lonely Hearts Club before having to deal with another Pillow Boy.
What we liked:
- Catchy theme song
- Diverse variety of types
What we didn’t like:
- Terrifying artwork
- Overuse of still images
- Lack of music and sound effects
- Unsettling situations
This article has been written after watching all episodes of Makura no Danshi. How did you like the Pillow Boys? Was their lullaby effective or are they haunting your dreams? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!