Kuragehime (Fall/Winter 2010)
Kuranosuke aka 'Kurako' is the cross-dressing son of a rich political family looking for adventure and excitement in his life. His main interests lie in the fashion world, and he spends his days venturing out to Shibuya and Harujuku in a variety of wigs and dresses hanging out with his friends. One day he happens upon a shy and bullied girl, Tsukimi, and creates a new relationship that will change his view in life. Tsukimi lives in a house full of otaku girls.

Although Kuragehime is a mild romance comedy drama, it is an interesting piece on the perception of the young adult population of Japan. It shines a somewhat exaggerated view on the growing population of NEETs and freeters as they both combat the predominant salary-man culture currently in place. I liked the development of the characters as Kuranosuke's fashion oriented and flamboyant lifestyle comes in direct conflict with the household of NEET girls initially, and pretty soon they find common ground to build friendships; they must save their otaku refuge from neighborhood redevelopment. To do that, they must wrestle with politicians (Kuranosuke's own family) and raise money to buy out the building if nothing else.

While the actual plot device used to drive the story is pretty bland, this is a great character driven story that moves along at a solid pace. The side characters are colorful and their side stories also carried my interest throughout the series. People looking for a slice-of-life anime will probably enjoy this show; a more action oriented or moe seeking audience should look elsewheres.

kenholic rating: 5.0. Middle of the road animation, story buoyed by a strong cast of characters.