A bit ago I was talking about Magical Girlfriend anime. Well there is a subset of Magical Girlfriend anime that is sometimes known as harem anime. It's basically Magical Girlfriend, then add another Magical Girlfriend lather and repeat. The Tenchi series in its various incarnations (except Magical Girl Pretty Sammy... don't ask, don't ask) is a good example. We have nerdy Tenchi and then we have five to ten girls all with zap powers or zap guns fighting for his favor. Property damage is a major part of most such series.
Which brings us to "Shuffle."
Our hero Rin is probably the nicest guy in Japan. As the series starts he already sort of has a girl. In fact he's living with her. Oh don't worry it's all platonic with some back story of her losing her parents. The upshot is girl #1 is they typical japanese doormat girl; "Oh Rin I just love cooking and cleaning!"
Seriously, they have to put something in fricking water supply in Japan.
Anyhoo, girl #2 is sensible girl at school. She's smart, successful, popular and knows what she wants. Also at this school we meet Rin's best friend who he always has to punch in the stomach to keep him from letching off a girl #1. Hey, you heard of tough love, this is obviously tough friendship I guess. At the school we find out that this world is a little different from ours. In their world there was an "Event" (Not to be confused with the NBC series), and now the doorways to the demon and the god worlds are open and now there are immigrant demons and gods.
Point of order, I can understand why someone living in a place called the Demon World would want to pull up stakes and go to Japan. I don't understand why someone living in the God World would. Maybe it's a bit a misleading name? Who knows, what we do know is that gods have cute little elf ears, and that demons have big long sideways donkey ears that stick out worse than Obama and Prince Charles combined. If everyone wore a hat no one would know where folks were from.
It turns out being the nicest guy in Japan isn't a good thing. The Kings of the God and Demon World have come to town and each have brought their daughters. Their daughters each want to marry Rin. Girl #3, the God girl, is a strong healthy gal prone to throwning furniture at annoyances. Girl #4, the demon girl, tends to just zap everything to burning cinders. It's ok though, Demon daddy pays for the damages and hospital bills. Oh, and there is mysterious girl #5 who is like lolita autistic mystical emo (or L.A.M.E.) So because Rin has so many girls hanging off of him all the men want to beat the crap out of him or cover him with the smell of sweat socks to get his girls.
Ah, Japan. What do you put in your water supply? Do you watch our shows like Law & Order and go, "WTF America?", or is this just a one way exchange of strangeness?