‘No Boys Dorm’ Episode One Recap

MediaJunkie’s No Boys Dorm, the spiritual successor to their (My) Immortal webseries, debuted the first of its six episodes today. We previously recapped the second season of (My) Immortal, and we thought we’d do so again for this series. But rather than wait until the end of the season, like last time, we thought we’d post these as the show goes up.

Recaps for some future episodes may be combined, but as this is the first installment (and a ton of stuff gets introduced), we thought it deserved its own.

With any of these reviews and recaps, you should probably watch the episode first if you don’t want anything spoiled. Now on with the summarizing.

The Basic Plot:

Lara No (Tavia Pereira) shows up at the door of her brother Leon (Victor Pokinko) after her apartment burns down. There are a couple of problems with this, the first being that Leon had totally forgotten that he’d invited Lara to stay with him in his dorm room.

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Lara and Leon. Leon’s out of focus ‘cuz that’s what forgetful jerks deserve.

In this opening scene we’re also introduced to Isaac (Joseph Bradley), who serves as… well… the king of exposition? Isaac seems to be a pretty stock computer-nerd character. Of course, as No Boys Dorm is in many ways inspired by shoujo anime (and sometimes character introductions need to work in very little time in a webseries), this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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Weird to see this guy without a lightning bolt on his forehead…

Isaac reveals that the larger issue, of course, is The Academy itself. What’s The Academy? It’s the school this is taking place at. It’s exceptionally exclusive, and…

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Interrupting jackass says what?

…that’s when the RA Martin (Ray Chaaya) decides to perform a “random” dorm inspection. He’s our “rules stickler” tiny-Hitler for the series, who points out that girls aren’t allowed in the boy’s dorm for more than an hour.

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Hello, I’m Handsomer than my Co-stars… I mean Jason.

Jason (Alliston Davis) enters, mentioning there’s an exception to the “hour” rule – but we’ll get to that in a minute. Martin grabs one of two thumb drives off of a shelf (Isaac is lending him some software), and leaves as dickishly as he came in.

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It’s like his own personality has invisibly drawn dicks all over his face

…and cue Opening Credits for the season.

When we return, it’s revealed by Jason that the exceptions to the hour long rule has to do with whether or not the boy the girl’s visiting is elite. Apparently being a super-duper honor student/skull and bones member gets you special privileges. Apparently elite students can have their significant others stay over. Which y’know, would be super great and helpful if any of the characters Lara had met so far were elite.

But they aren’t.

Because life is pain.

Or at least Isaac thinks it is.

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I shall live here on the floor now, amongst the dirt and mud. The filth my only companion… and some very nice hardwood with a cherry stain…

You see, that drive Martin grabbed earlier? It was the wrong one. Instead of containing a random piece of software, Martin instead grabbed the thumb drive that contained a bunch of forged documents Isaac had made. That’s right, Isaac has a magic thumb drive that makes fake IDs, transcripts, class registrations… y’know, like you do.

And Martin discovering this would be very, very bad.

Lara pledges to get it back, and Batmans out of there before Leon and Jason can even think to stop her.

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She gets mistaken for Ben Affleck more often than you’d think.

It’s also at this point that we’re introduced to Teela Tether (Kyla Dewey) and her friend Molly Anne (Tanya Casole-Gouveia). Teela pretty much just spends her time talking about how elite she is and why Takashi Tesumi has to ask her out.

Because reasons, none of which have anything to do with attraction and/or feelings. Or logic. Or the laws of physics.

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Teela is kinda like Donald Trump. Molly Anne is 1980s Donald Trump.

It is of course at this point that our heroine Lara dashes down the hallway, and collides head on with Teela, knocking the two of them to the floor.

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If this were “(My) Immortal” they’d start making out right about now.

Teela is horribly offended that she had to touch a poor person, so she flips out. Takashi (Andrew Aquino) finally shows up, helping Teela to her feet. He also gets some sweet guitar to remind us all that he’s super handsome. Super handsome and completely disinterested

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I call this expression “sexy-bored.”

After asking if Teela is okay, Takashi just sort of saunters off without actually listening to her answer. Which is both super-rude to Teela, but pretty much what every one watching wishes they could do.

We all want to walk away from Teela.

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TAKE US WITH YOU, YOU SEXY-BORED MAN! PLEASE! I’M SURE YOU HAVE A TRAGIC BACK STORY THAT WILL MAKE YOUR COMPLETE DISINTEREST IN INJURED PEOPLE ENDEARING!

Teela trails after Takashi (with Molly Anne also in tow), disappearing down the be-lockered hallway.

Almost as soon as they disappear, Martin (“King of the Dickweasels”) shows up again. Lara manages to get a few expository sentences out of him explaining exactly who lady-trump and sexy-bored were.

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In case you forgot, I’m still a tool

Martin goes on about elite this, and Lara not having a shot with Takashi that… blah blah blah. Lara, remembering she’s on a mission to steal back the flashdrive from Martin though, pretends to trip and fall on Martin to try and pickpocket the drive.

Either that, or falling on people is how Lara deals with dudes she doesn’t like.

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LET ME SHOW YOU THE DANCE OF MY PEOPLE!

As Lara apologizes for being a “klutz,” Leon and Jason catch up with her (having taken their sweet time of it). Martin points out that only Academy students are allowed in the dorms at all, and that if Leon’s invited a non-student into the dorms, he’d be expelled.

Lara is, of course, very much not a student.

Isaac has extricated himself from his home (the floor of filth), wrapped himself in a blanket, and wanders in as well. Isaac is not doing so great…

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Don’t mind me, I just died or something.

Things seem pretty stressful, but Lara tosses Isaac his magic-flashdrive of +7 forgery. Isaac seems to perk up and immediately goes to work under his sheet.

That… that sounded wrong.

You see, I keep referring to the flashdrive as magic because somehow Isaac is able to immediately produce a fake ID for Lara, and Lara proudly declares herself a student… solving at least one of our problems.

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The Academy is the University of Toronto. Who knew?

There’s still the problem of the time limit. While Lara hasn’t gotten Leon expelled, she’s still kind of homeless right now. Lo and behold though, but sexy-bored Takashi shows up out of nowhere. Mr. Elite says that Lara is his girlfriend, which lets her stay the night.

Which is super weird, since he didn’t even make eye contact with Lara earlier.

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He can Batman in almost as well as she can Batman out

Even though Lara literally didn’t know who Takashi was just a few minutes ago, Martin buys it – because Martin is both a toolbag and an idiot.

We end the episode with Teela, overhearing this, freaking the heck out.

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See? Donald Trump.

The Good:

No Boys Dorm has a decent script, and they crammed in to less than ten minutes what you’d normally find in a twenty-two minute episode of a shoujo anime series.

The cast is good, as I’m just pretty much all about Ray Chaaya’s Martin right now. We still haven’t met half the people in this thing (I’m looking forward to seeing (My) Immortal‘s Nick Newcastle and Jennah Foster-Catlack again), but what we’ve gotten so far is pretty great.

The Bad:

No Boys Dorm is shot on a pretty microscopic budget, and many scenes kind of show that. The shaky cam is indicitive of their lack of access to things like steady-cams and dollies – and occasionally I wish they’d just use a tripod.

The opening theme isn’t necessarily bad as a song, but it’s not the best recording. Honestly, I think the show would have done better without it.

All my negatives are nit-picks though, as overall the series looks promising so far.

The Verdict:

So far, so good. While a lot of it is pretty cookie cutter, it’s in going with the shoujo theme of the series. I’m honestly interested to see where this will take us, especially since it won’t be bound by the conventions of an adaptation (like (My) Immortal was). The recaps for epsiodes two and three will likely be combined as well, so I’ll see you guys in the new year.

Y’know, unless you read Nerd & Tie for other stuff or something.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also writes and draws the webcomics UnCONventional and The Chronicles of Crosarth, which leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”