The comedy anime series Ao-chan Can’t Study! follows the daily life of high school girl Horie Ao whose father is a famous writer of erotic books. Her father’s high profile as an erotic writer has turned Ao-chan paranoid that everyone she meets who finds out about her family connection will assume she has the same prurient leanings. She’s especially suspicious of the boys in her school, which is particularly troublesome when popular male student Kajima Takumi keeps trying to talk to her. Ao-chan, who tries to avoid talking to boys altogether, assumes that Takumi is after something sexual from her. It doesn’t help that they keep ending up in compromising situations together, mostly of her own making.
I went into this series thinking it would be an amusing distraction during the COVID-19 lockdown – something funny, quick, and quirky. In all honesty, however, this anime series was a letdown to me. Beyond the cool moe character designs and soothing pastel color palette, Ao-Chan Can’t Study! had a difficult time keeping my attention. The gags were not all that original – try an entire episode of Takumi trying to figure out how to tell Ao-chan that her skirt isn’t pulled down properly after coming out of the restroom – and the character development is stagnant if downright nonexistent. These sorts of series sometimes have their place and when done well can be a hoot, but I would look elsewhere. There are far better ones in this particular genre.
The digital animation for Ao-chan Can’t Study! arrives in a solid 1.78:1 AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks. The animation looks crisp with little artifacts, colors are rich without oversaturation.
Ao-chan Can’t Study! Comes to Blu-ray with both the original Japanese-language soundtrack and English dub in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo tracks. Sound-wise, they both sound quite similar, but the Japanese track has a fuller, more upfront in the mix. This series is very dialogue-driven with some mild gags that open up the effects a bit, so dynamic range is narrow in scope, but good enough for this sort of material and stereo imaging is also strong. Both casts do a good job with the material.
Clean opening and closing animations and additional Sentai Filmworks trailers are the only bonus features included.
The Final Assessment
A middling comedy/slice-of-life/romance anime series that looks and sounds great but never quite hooks the viewer.
Ao-Chan Can’t Study! is out on Blu-ray April 14, 2020 from Sentai Filmworks
- The Story: 2.0/5
- The Animation: 4.0/5
- The Video 5/5
- The Audio: 4.0/5
- The Dub: 3.0/5
- The Supplements: 1.0/5
- TV-Rating: TV-MA (DS)
- Animation Studio: Silver Link
- Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
- Director: Inoue Keisuke
- Writer: Yokote Michiko
- Run Time: 180 Mins.
- Street Date:14 April 2020
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Format: AVC 1080p
- Primary Audio: Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
- Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
- Subtitles: English