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The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat – Review

the-hentai-prince-and-stony-catSometimes a title can serve as a draw to a series and other times it can give off the entirely wrong impression as to what the series is exactly about. What’s in a name? Well a lot actually, it can be the thing that catches your eye and it can prove to be a iconic title that lasts in the minds of those who experience the series it lends itself too. It can also prove to be a destructive force that can hurt a series deterring viewers away from an otherwise good series who think it is something other than what it truly is (see: SKET Dance, Bobobo-bo-bobobo bobo-bo bo, Oreimo: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute).

The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat falls under this category as well because the title really is misleading. At first glance you’d come to expect it to be yet another low brow harem with nothing to say other than: “Boobs and panties are pretty fantastic right?” But that isn’t what this series is about and while it technically falls under the harem category, this is a series with a lot more depth and nuance than the title The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat would ever let on.

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In truth The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat is an emotionally diverse series exploring teenage anxiety and struggles through its harem formula. Rather than having an irresistible main protagonist, Koto is a pervert who hides it all behind a facade until one day a spiritual entity within a stone cat statue transfers his facade to someone else leaving him without a filter. The series ponders on the idea of whether exposing his true desires is a good thing for Koto before ultimately settling on the idea that his facade was always a part of his true self and removing that facade was akin to robbing himself of a part of what makes him who he is.

The same sort of scenario is viewed through different characters across the series and The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat is steadfast in its belief that its always better to be yourself rather than force a change. Your flaws are part of what makes you unique and its this ideal that carries true throughout the series.

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For a harem series The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat does well to explore these characters as more than simply potential girls for the main character to end up with because by series end they are more than just tropes like any other low grade harem, they are genuine characters with emotion and developed stories behind them. So much so that I found myself utterly swept up by this series  at each twist and turn, something I generally do not experience when watching series in this genre.

While the series can definitely pull on the emotional strings when it needs to it also has a wicked sense of humour that creates some genuinely hilarious moments. I’m not usually the type to laugh out loud at anime as a lot of the humour struggles to translate for me, but The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat is rather broad in its comedy to great effect making laughs universal rather than Japan exclusive.

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Visually the series looks quite good with its vibrant colour scheme and smooth animation. The only issue I can take with it is that the character designs could have greater differentiation. I felt as though the characters all generally had a very similar looking face but I think this is an overall problem with J.C. Staff in recent times with many of their series baring a strikingly similar look especially in terms of character’s eyes. That said the series still looks great and has a fantastic soundtrack to boot.

Madman’s release of the series is pretty bare bones unfortunately simply featuring the series in subtitle only format without an English dub, which may be a deterrent to some. In terms of extras however the DVD release has a featurette called Henneko BBS and clean opening and ending videos.

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The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat is far better than its name would have you presume. While it may be a harem series it proves to be a profound exploration of identity and a commentary on teenage anxiety and the ways in which teens often wear a mask (be it metaphorically or literally) to hide their true selves. These are themes that many could likely relate to and it ultimately amounts to one of the freshest experiences in the genre in years. The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat is stone cold brilliant.

You can pick up a copy of The Hentai Prince and Stony Cat over at Madman’s Online Store.

Grade: A

-30-

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