What is your favourite type of hairstyle? Do you think Afros are awesome? Perhaps you believe that Bob Cuts are the bee’s knees? In the world of anime and manga Twin-tails (better known as Pigtails on this side of the pond) reign supreme. It’s the coiffure of choice for many famous cartoon ladies and the hairdo that makes high school student Sōji Mitsuka go weak at the knees. Unfortunately for the redheaded teenager an alien race that feeds on Twin-tail fetishism has just descended upon Earth. Said extra terrestrials shall not rest until everyone’s passion for Pigtails has been drained dry. Mankind’s only hope against the space invaders is a super powered heroine known as Tail Red.
In spite of its flimsy premise Gonna be the Twin-Tail is based on an ongoing light novel series, which to date has spawned a total of eleven volumes. The twelve-episode anime adaptation of Yume Mizusawa’s books sees Sōji battle against the nefarious Eremerians, whose intergalactic warriors are comprised of humanoid animals (that include an arachnid who loves transvestites and a kraken who detests huge knockers.) Sōji is able to fight against these perverted threats thanks to a high-tech bracelet that transforms him into the above-mentioned Tail Red. The gender-bending bangle bestows him with superhuman might plus an assortment of weapons in exchange for his meat and two veg.
Supporting Sōji in his quest to preserve Twin-tails is a trio of ladies named Twoerle, Aika and Erina. Twoerle is a busty beauty who hails from one of the planets the Eremerians have previously conquered. She has travelled to Earth hoping to spare the globe from a similar fate. Despite acting like a ditz Twoerle is responsible for fabricating Tail Red’s advanced gear, which suggests that the size of her brain rivals the size of her breasts. Aika Tsube (who later becomes the sidekick Tail Blue) is Sōji’s childhood friend. She is prone to bouts of violence, especially when someone mentions her deficiencies in the chest department. Erina Shindō is the student council president who eventually assumes the mantle of Tail Yellow. She comes across as meek and polite, although deep down she is a masochist. She especially likes being treated like a dog and in combat augments her strength by bashfully shedding off protective armour.
My rating for Gonna be the Twin-Tail is a three out of five. What we have here is a series which perpetuates the “all cartoons emanating from Japan are weird” stereotype, although that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The story is so ridiculous that I couldn’t resist chuckling through the dozen episodes contained in this Funimation licenced Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack. Whether the content justifies the set’s hefty retail asking price is debatable, but when compared to other gender-bending anime it can at least claim to trump the likes of Kampfer. I personally had a good time watching the series thanks to its mix of harem hijinks and parody of the Super Sentai genre. For all intends and purposes Gonna be the Twin-Tail is a humorous take on Power Rangers, were the armoured martial artists have been replaced with Twin-tailed cuties.
Despite oozing charm I can’t award Gonna be the Twin-Tail a higher score, as it suffers from generic characterisation. Aika for example is a cliché tsundere that pounds anyone who flirts with the male lead. I also think the series would have benefitted from better villains. The Eremerians are mostly monster of the week fodder who inexplicably challenge Tail Red to 1v1 duels, when attacking multiple countries at the same time would be a far sounder strategy. Dark Grasper, a pop idol who wants to increase the worldwide popularity of spectacles, is the only antagonist of note. After a few episodes however she is relegated to being nothing more than another floozy in Sōji’s harem. Evidently women cannot resist the allure of a cross dresser sporting Twin-tails. Hmm. Perhaps the time has come for me to invest in a dress and a couple of hair bands?