Soji Mitsuka’s greatest love is twin tails. So profound is his adoration that he’d risk his life to defend it. So when a silver-haired siren named Twoearle tells him that all of Earth’s twin-tails are in danger, he figures his whole life’s been geared towards this moment. The Ultimaguil, an alien race who are driven to sate their appetites by assimilating spiritual energy, have ploughed their way through several worlds, swallowing up their inhabitants’ love of various “attributes”. Twin tails, glasses, big boobs, small boobs…nope, that’s about it. No wonder they’re guzzling planets like they’re peanuts.
While Soji fixates on any and all girls with their hair in roughly the right place, he fails to notice the depth of his equally twin-tailed best friend Aika’s devotion to him. Giving her all to help in a cause that’s ultimately for his gratification, her only thanks are taunts about her bust size, and the odd vague compliment from her idiot crush. After all, everyone knows that a girl with a flat chest warrants no more attention than a couple of mosquito bites. At first a harmless, low-stakes series, its Saturday morning feel is quite comforting and makes the dub feel tailored to the earlier episodes. But disturbing gender politics have taken root by the end of the first fight. As any girl with tails in his town is knocked out and drained of their attribute energy, Twoearle bequeaths Soji a bracelet that lets him transform into a powerful warrior. However, the so-called “price” of these awesome abilities is a gender-swap, a la Kämpfer. He becomes the super-heroine Tailred, with an arsenal of big blasting weapons and the galaxy’s most desirable twin-tails at her disposal.
In time, Soji comes to be frustrated with having to present as a girl to save the world, complaining that his female self is all the rage. Somehow, this sacrificial caveat doesn’t apply to the two girls who join the Tail team. But putting the sloppy McGuffin aside, it’s when the heroines join forces that the show arrives at some accomplishment. As Soji bows before an advanced enemy with a twisted cloning ability, Aika steps up as Tailblue, and they take him down together. Aika’s performance, originally by Amagi Brilliant Park‘s Yuka Aisaka and dubbed by Sarah Wiedenheft, reaches its full potential in these moments. Asserting their power as one, and as girls, they can suddenly see eye-to-eye, and sisterhood overpowers the petty tsundere slights for a little while.
And yet, that same impermanence of storytelling is what makes this show so throw-away. A disciplinary arranged marriage is planned and then scrapped, and as though it dawned on the writers that twin-tails will only stretch so far, more desired attributes are lobbed into the mess to crank out new and exciting humiliations for the Tails. Flustered attempts at forging links with other Ultimaguil kinks – say, being hot for book smarts – lead to such powerful moments as Tailred’s declaration, “Twin-tails are my literature”. (Can you hear my eyes rolling?) More fetishes pile in to prop up the wafer-thin premise until, finally, girlyboys are broached as just another freakish, alien desire. And after all that, the message is pretty clear: all sexuality, especially when concerned with the feminine, must conform or be crushed.
Extras: English dub; commentary on episodes 1 & 11; trailers; clean opening/closing animation