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Anime / Makura no Danshi

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Makura no Danshi (枕男子, "Pillow Boys") is an original anime series that uses a first-person perspective for the viewers. Each episode features a different boy with a different "type" interacting with the viewer. The goal of the series is to "heal the tired hearts" of the viewers, making them feel comfortable no matter what their day has been like.

The series clocks in at 12 short, 5 minute episodes, and also includes 12 short after stories with the DVD set. As it stands, Crunchyroll added the series to its 2015 summer lineup, minus the bonus episodes.

Tropes appearing in Makura no Danshi include:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The manga adaptation expands on the various Noodle Incidents mentioned by the boys during their respective episodes.
  • Aerith and Bob: You've got names like Merry among more normal names like Nao or Sosuke.
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of extra information, like what the boys do in their spare time and their relation to one another, can be found on the artist's twitter.
  • Animal Motifs: Sheep, fitting the sleepy motif of the show.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: None of the boys in the opening are actually shown sleeping, save for Merry. Even besides the lack of sleeping, viewers who see the opening would be forgiven for expecting it to be a Yaoi series or a more risque Otome of some sort, what with all the scantily dressed men and camera pans that focus on their muscles.
  • Book Ends: The twelfth and final episode has the viewer return to a situation with Merry and run through his day, and after wishing the viewer sweet dreams, he turns into the sleeping sheep the viewer saw in the beginning of the first episode. The only real difference here is that he greets the viewer as a Vague Age young man in the first episode, and as a child in the last. Either way, the viewer ends up falling asleep with him in his adult form.
  • Boy of the Week: The show's main feature.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Every episode, except for Areto's, features an attractive young man.
  • Couch Gag: Whoever is the focus of the episode is shown sleeping behind a large group of Counting Sheep during the opening.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: The viewer, according to episode 9.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Merry's voice actor sings the opening song.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: A recurring motif in the boys' character designs.
  • Featureless Protagonist/First-Person Ghost: A rare anime example; supposedly the viewer is supposed to be in bed/hanging out with the Boy of the Week, but they seem to leave no trace.
  • Iyashikei: Nothing of note really happens in any of the episodes. Justified, since they're just supposed to be feel-good bedtime stories for the viewer.
  • Moment Killer: Just before Kanade and the viewer kiss, a spider comes in between them, completely throwing off his game and sending him trembling under his piano.
  • Never Trust a Title: For a show about sleeping with the audience, not a lot of sleeping occurs. While the first couple of episodes and almost certainly the last one has the viewer going to bed with the episode's focus, others are more of character studies with only the viewer only going to sleep near or after the end of the shorts. One episode has a guy even bring a sleeping bag, at nightfall, and nobody sleeps.
  • Noticing the Fourth Wall: While the opening theme is made up mostly of stills, Merry's still briefly blinks at the viewer.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: There's no real plot to the story, and whatever background details that come up in each episode don't really matter in the long run.
  • Offscreen Teleportation:
    • Merry does this at the beginning of episode 1, replacing a pink sheep toy on his bed. Thanks to the twelfth episode, we now know that he is the sheep.
    • Kanade gets up close and personal with the viewer in a blink of their eyes.
  • One Degree of Separation: As per this chart, there's at least one loose connection between all of the boys.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted in the case of Merry's two sheep friends, Mee (the pink one) and Mee (the blue one).
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Sosuke, fitting with his "cooler sempai" archetype.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Kanade goes as far as calling them "devil's servants".
  • Take Our Word for It: Kanade Hanamine, the focus boy of the 3rd episode, is said to be a pretty good violinist— but the viewer is left to their own judgements about this ability, since his violin solo isn't heard at all when he plays it. Taken to ridiculous levels since this performance takes place right in front of the viewer's face.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Hareto, the youngest of the boys as he's explicitly five and is intended to be a "surrogate little brother".
  • 12-Episode Anime: Admittedly, they're all short, four to five minute episodes, but they do follow the twelve episode format.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting:
    • Merry, as it turns out, is some kind of shapeshifting spirit, as we see in the last episode.
    • On the official Twitter, Merry is followed around by two cute looking blue and pink sheep. As it turns out, they're spirits like Merry is.