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Anime Review: Kemono Michi: Rise Up

Alternate Names: Hataage! Kemono Michi
Year: 2019
Episodes: 12 (English dub version)
Genre: Shounen, Fantasy, Isekai, Action, Comedy, Ecchi

>queue dramatic music< Just when you thought that Isekai was becoming stale comes a story about a wrestler and his dog trying to start their own pet shop in another world. Also… panties…

Ahead of his last match, Professional wrestler Genzou Shibata (aka Animal Mask), is looking forward to a retirement where he and his canine manager Hiroyuki run their own petshop. However, in the middle of the match the duo are summoned to a fantasy world to deal with its current Demon Lord problem. However, he would much rather petting and cuddling monsters than beat them up, leading to him unceremoniously doing a wrestling maneuver on Princess Altena who summoned him. He heads off in search of a way to make enough money to start his own petshop for beasts, He is soon joined on his quest to open his very own petshop by a bizarre cast of non-humans. It will be a never-ending quest to keep their funds in the black.

When I first heard about this series ahead of the first episode being released, I was intrigued. Being Isekai Trash, I was looking for another spin on the concept and this series also promised lots of comedic shenanigans. Then I watched the first episode… Holy crap, it was freaking hilarious and unapologetic in its low-brow silliness. It was an easy choice to continue this series given the strength of that first episode.

The series revolves around a summoned hero whose desire to open a pet shop to provide furr-ever homes for cute animals seemingly comes into conflict with the goal for summoning him in the first place. He will soon be joined in his quest by three female characters, but this series avoids the harem tag expertly whilst at the same time pokes fun at the concept. Let’s face it, he is more attracted to the female unicorn and married kobold woman up the road, than the wolf-girl Shigure, low-rank large-breasted idiotic vampire Carmilla (my favourite character) and voracious dragon loli Hanako.
Whilst Genzou’s “preferences” are a running joke, each of the characters is mocked heavily, ranging from the bishie hero that keeps “losing” his new swords to the monetarily-focused Shigure who keeps “finding” and reselling his swords. No character is safe from mockery, which makes for a fun ride. Various running gags and jokes are sprinkled in just enough to avoid becoming repetitive. Whilst it straddles the line between funny and stupid on many occasions, it is consistent and holds to the promise made in the first episode.

I bet that Genzou would want to keep Yoda at his pet shop…

Time and time again, we see Genzou being the catalyst for change in those around him, whether they are male or female. Most of these changes involve them either taking up wrestling or signing onto his quest to start a pet shop. He is the perfect impact character, placing him in good company.

The end of this series felt satisfying and also leaves things open to a second season. I would love to see the continuation of the show but it might be a tall order given the niche nature of the series. It would also have to step things up a notch by introducing the real demon lord as well, someone that hasn’t been introduced as yet. Sure, Joanna has some magical power, but it would be interesting to see a wrestling match (complete with fake rivalry) between Genzou and a new character, preferably one that isn’t as moronic as Joanna. Maybe give our summoned hero a chance to engage in a cage match with Mao (aka Macadamian Ogre) against the Demon Lord. There are plenty of possibilities. ❤

Whilst I loved this show, this series is not for anyone. Some folks might not enjoy the childish silliness of this series and the wrestling themes might also be annoying to others. However, it is not meant to be for everyone and that is okay as the variety of different types of Isekai available these days provides more than enough choices.

If you don’t mind a series that pokes fun at each character, enjoy wrestling culture, and/or is unapologetically “childish” then I recommend that you check out this series. (Yes, I do fall into each of these categories.)


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Anime Review: Cautious Hero

Alternate Names: Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious, Shinchou Yuusha, Shinchou Yuusha: Kono Yuusha ga Ore Tueee Kuse ni Shinchou Sugiru
Year: 2019
Episodes: 12 (English dub version)
Genre: Fantasy, Isekai, Action, Comedy, Ecchi

I had a little bit of fun with this parody of series where a hero must defeat a Demon Lord. I also recommend that you guys check out the 100 Word Anime blog for Karandi’s episode by episode take on the series.

When a certain low-level Goddess Ristarte is given the job of helping an S-class world Gaeabrande defeat the resident Demon Lord, she is in over her head. So, she does what every self-respecting Goddess in her situation does and searches for hero candidates from Japan. Little does she know that the hero that she choses is insanely cautious, nor of their past connection.

Given the massive amount of series pitting a hero against Demon Lords in recent years, there has been a lot of people trying to do something unique with the premise. KonoSuba challenged people to parody the idea. Cautious Hero is a series that has managed to do something unique with this, by making the male lead not only overpowered but also insanely cautious.
The series itself tells in an entire story arc of a hero saving a world. There is plenty of epic battles, lots of foreshadowing and some interesting twists. The gut-punch in the last few episodes also puts into perspective what can happen when heroes do not have sufficient caution as well. Whilst this might be called a tonal shift by some, I found it quite appropriate given the foes that Seiya had fought up until that point. With monstrosities that like to turn people into “fireworks” and those that are willing to sacrifice their own family to summon powerful demons, it does a great job of pointing out stakes.
As for the characterisation, this series does really well in messing with archetypes. The world-building and backstories also do an excellent job of making these characters make sense within the fantasy setting. I found myself laughing at the dialogue and situations more often than not as well.
Whilst my own particular tastes mean that I could easily rewatch this series, I know that it probably won’t have much replay value for others. For some, the visual gags and jokes are only good for the first watch, which is perfectly fine. The stakes were high in the series as well, with the conclusion feeling very much like it was parodying the tendency for series to try to escalate things.

Whilst I love this series, it is not for everyone. However, if you are after a series that unapologetically pokes fun at the oversaturated “hero summoned to another world to defeat a demon lord” premise, then I highly recommend this series.


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Webtoon Review: The Boy in the All-Girls School

Year: 2018 (ongoing)
Genre: Shounen, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Manhua, Romance, School life, Slice of life

I’ve been reading a lot of webtoons of late and came across the title that I will be discussing in this post, The Boy in the All-Girls School. My review of this series is based on the hundred or so chapters that I happened to read before I discontinued reading this title.

After transferring to a former girl’s school notorious for male students getting tortured by several members of the student body, the protagonist is a guinea pig to see if the androphobic females can finally get used to having a male attend. He reluctantly agrees to join the experiment and is forced to navigate the machinations of several students that want nothing more than to have him run crying out of the school gates.

This series had a promising start. The premise was solid and I found myself recognising many of the classic harem cliches that the Chinese creator was trying to emulate. These cliches were done well and I found myself laughing repeatedly at the over-the-top behaviour of the female characters. The male lead is a character that was no pushover either, and many of his reactions showed how strong his character was. The artwork wasn’t anything to write home about but it was good enough to convey the story and show a living, breathing world.
Unfortunately, the story took an odd turn around the hundredth or so chapter. Wherein the series had been a comedic ecchi harem previously, the writer decided out of the blue to make the main character secretly a powerful martial artist that can take on world-renown assassins and they added a bizarre, nonsensical arc relating to a company trying to take over the school. There was no foreshadowing, and it effectively broke the promises made in the first few chapters of this series. It is as if the author wanted to start another series but didn’t want to go through to trouble of starting over. It was a huge disappointment and cast aside the goodwill that had been built up until these changes to the story.

I cannot recommend this series in spite of the promising (and silly) start. I felt let down by the experience. It could have easily been avoided as well by simply using sufficient foreshadowing earlier in the series. On a good note, I have lots of high-quality webtoon series to cleanse the pallet.


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Anime Review: Maou-sama, Retry! Season 1

Alternate Names: Demon Lord, Retry!
Year: 2019
Episodes: 12 (English dub version)
Genre: Fantasy, Isekai, Action, Adventure, Harem, Ecchi

Earlier this year, I happened across this odd series. I admit that I wasn’t impressed during the first watching. However, hubby and I binged the entire series this past weekend and I found myself wondering why I didn’t give it a chance that first time. Maybe it was due to what I had been watching at the same time. Perhaps it was the fact that it focused more on a comedic take on an OP Isekai lead that most series. In any case, I now know what I was missing out on and I am kicking myself for it.

Akira Oono has been managing the science fiction MMORPG Infinity Game for just on fifteen years. As the game servers shut down for the last time, Akira finds himself in another place and dressed as a mullet-haired player character called Hakuto Kunai. He saves a young girl called Aku, who is a poop-removal slave at a local village and subsequently ends up taking a liking to her. After some shenanigans, he is declared to be the Demon Lord, which leads to all sorts of misunderstandings such as having a huge bounty on his head and gaining the angst of a Satanic cult for not living up to their expectations as an evil overlord. In the midst of tracking down information of how he can return to his own world, he begins to make sense of how many of the systems from Infinity Game he can utilise, such as switching between player characters and being able to summon minions. It will be a long road but Akira is determined to make the most out of a bad situation.

I am sure that many of you can already see a few similarities in the beginning premise of this series. Some of you will likely shout out the name OVERLORD at the top of your lungs, and with good reason. However, this series managed to do some things that a lot of other series have not. First up is giving the male lead some perks that would otherwise be unavailable to normal players. He is, after all, both a moderator and partial creator of the game itself.
Another notable element is the systems used. Being able to switch between two characters and summon minions is somewhat unique to this series. This creates an odd dynamic between Akira, his minions and the world around him. For example, various ladies and a certain transvestite are enamoured with the persona of Hakuto whilst two of the ladies have taken an interest with his other persona, the dragon fist Zero Kirisame. The first minion he summons also falls head over heels for him, lessening the sadistic tendencies that were a part of her personality back when she was a part of Infinity Game. Akira also tries to act in-character, which adds another interesting layer to the story. In this regard, it shares some familiar ground with Overlord and How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.
The artwork for this series has clean linework and tight colouration, which does justice to the character designs and setting. Whilst the character designs and setting aren’t anything special, they do a good job of telling the story, conveying action and humour. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, but instead embraces the elements of an Isekai and harem series that work.
Coupled with good casting, it makes for a genuinely enjoyable show that in no way takes itself seriously. First and foremost, the series tries to be silly fun, which it does well. It delivers what it promises in the first episode, and then some.
However, some people may not appreciate the harem and ecchi elements. Or the use of cliche to elicit humour. Some viewers might be offended by the young transvestite Yukikaze who is one of the several characters that wants Hakuto’s D. I won’t claim that this series is for everyone because it isn’t. It doesn’t try to be either.

My only annoyance is Hakuto’s mullet. Throughout the entire show, it kept crying out for a barber. Seriously, I do NOT like mullets. They remind me too much of Billy Ray Cyrus and Rod Stewart.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed this series. It builds on a good base to deliver a fun watch. If you are looking for a comedic Isekai fantasy that plays around with systems, seriously consider giving this series a watch. If you do, be sure to watch up to least the third episode when Zero is introduced. We also learn a bit more about the politics and the religion of the world as well, laying the foundation for a lot of the events that follow. Have fun!


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Anime Review: How Not to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Season 1

Alternate Names: Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata; Saekano; Saekano: How Not to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
Year: 2015
Episodes: 12 (English dub version)
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance, School, Drama

When long-time otaku Tomoya Aki sees a beautiful girl named Megumi lose her hat one day, he is inspired to create a dating sim. However, he must first bring together a team to work on the project. It is easier said than done when two of them hate each other (Eriri Spencer Sawamura the artist and Utaha Kasumigaoka the writer), one is clueless (Megumi Katou the trainee) and another is an exhibitionist (his cousin, Michiru Hyodo the musician). To finish the project before their deadline, Tomoya and his quartet of team members must find a way to work together whilst navigating their own share of issues, such as jealousy, feelings of inadequacy, other projects and threats from other groups.

This series is an odd one, but I was glad that I decided to check out the show as it was worth the time that I spent binging the entire series. I ended up finishing the show in a day, with some brief interludes to watch the first episodes of several other series. However, I kept finding myself wanting to return to this series.
Tomoya is such an awesome protagonist due to how well he inspires those around him. Whilst he is certainly not a perfect character, his passion is infectious. He might be a bit clueless when it comes to interpersonal relationships, but his experience consuming various media gives him some insight into what works and what doesn’t. He’s also “patient zero” for several of the characters becoming otakus themselves. In Utaha Kasumigaoka’s case, his blog helped her stagnating writing career take off. The Tomoya Effect also results in a certain amount of jealousy between Enriri and Utaha.
The plot of the first season plays out with sufficient chaos to create conflict without dragging it out longer than it should. Whilst we do inevitably see the two larger arcs pertaining to the love triangle and getting the game out on time, the series focuses on the comedic elements instead of drama. The series is at its heart a comedy and that really shows throughout the dialogue, situations faced by the characters and in the numerous references to otaku sub-culture. Whilst the first season ends part of the way through the project, we see some foreshadowing for issues that will no doubt be relevant in the second season, otherwise known as “Saekano: How Not to Raise a Boring Girlfriend.flat”. And based on what I have seen of the series so far, I am really looking forward to seeing the shenanigans that the cast members get up to.

Favourite character: Megumi Katou. Whilst she might be a bit clueless, her willingness to learn about making a computer game and in understanding relationships is admirable. Whilst she might not be a master of anything in particular, we can see that willingness to learn pay dividends in a short period of time.

Shipping?: Whilst I like the idea of Tomoya and Megumi becoming a couple, Utaha has this wonderful habit of unbalancing Tomoya to the point where we see some really cute and funny moments between them in the first season. I know of a lot of folks that share this, but I am not a fangirl to the point of burning down the interwebs because somebody disagreed with my “ship”.

Anyway, be sure sure to watch this series if you like your comedy sprinkled with ecchi moments and lots of references to otaku sub-culture. Also, feel free to let me know what you think of the first season.


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Anime Review: How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Season 1

Year: 2018
Episodes: 12
Genre: Fantasy, Isekai, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, NSFW

When I first saw the manga version of this series listed online, my first thought was that it would be an Overlord. Well, it turns out that I was wrong. DEAD WRONG!!! After watching it, I do believe that it should be renamed, “How to Summon a Hot Dude with Horns” or perhaps, “How to be Summoned to Another World and Suffer from Blue Balls until the end of Time.” It all depends on your sexual preferences, I suppose.
After waking up one morning, I discovered that my husband had watched four episodes of the series and seemed to really like it. He managed to convince me to watch it and I was initially amused. By episode three, I was totally hooked. Hubby, of course, spent most of the time debating whether he preferred catgirls over elfy boobs. Important questions… The answer is 42.

Anyhoo, beware of some spoilers below.

A certain player named Takuma Sakomoto chose to solo as a “Demon Lord” called Diablo in the MMORPG Cross Reverie for years. When he is summoned to a world suspiciously similar to the game as his avatar, our sexy male protagonist learns that his magic reflection ring affected the two women that managed to summon him. Staying in character as much as he can, our socially awkward and sexually inexperienced protagonist travels with Rem and Shera in search of a way to free them from the chains of summoning and hopefully also manage to find a way to return to his own world. The player now known as Diablo quickly learns that he is one of the most powerful beings in the world.

So, where to start? Well, this series is an Isekai fantasy. The standard setup for the first few episodes is for our protagonist to learn about the world. Whilst this is true, we did manage to see the best villain in anime history beginning in the first episode. Yes, he dies a few episodes later, but our resident mage shows a gift for intimidating dialogue and evil planning that shall go down in the annals of history. May he rest in pieces…
A lot of the humor in this series is at the expense of our budding protagonist he is bombarded by attractive women. Yep, most of it is boob and butt related, with a large sprinkling of innuendo and obvious lewdness. And you know what? I do not care because I freaking loved this series.
Whilst the arc relating to Rem having the demon lord Glebsklem bound inside of her felt like it was going to be the central arc of the series altogether, we are quickly introduced to a bunch of other characters that make life difficult for our main character and his female companions. The rivalry between Rem and Shera is adorable but they quickly learn to work together now that they are both technically Diablo’s slaves.
There was also a short arc involving Shera’s brother which is pretty f’ed up. This was, however, strongly hinted at around the fourth episode. The continuation of this side arc towards the end of the season also helped form a stronger bond between Diablo and his summoners whilst also helping him deal with his trust issues.
The harem elements of this series are a little odd because Diablo doesn’t really have a romantic interest in the first season. Whilst Rem and Shera might be seen as front-runners, he is constantly restraining himself for various reasons. We don’t really see the jealousy commonly seen in harem series either. It is one of the strangest harem series I have come across so far because some of the common elements of a harem are completely absent in the first season.
I liked the art design in this series. Whilst there are slight differences from the manga, these are quite small overall. The character designs are solid even if they do reflect some common archetypes in anime.
As far as Diablo’s design was concerned, he reminded me of Gintoki from Gintama but with horns, a few markings, and fantasy garb. You also get idealized physique, a trait of many MMORPGs. This is a slight contrast from a lot of harem series where the protagonist has an average or close to an average physique. Three thumbs up for attending to the bishounen enthusiasts in the audience. I don’t know where I will get the extra thumbs but I will find one somewhere. Maybe a dumpster or something…  

My only issue with this series is in the last episode where most of the females in the cast attempt to give him magical energy. Sure, this is an ecchi series but it seemed out of character. There is no feeling of gratification in this sequence, just a weird sexless orgy thing. It was a real head-scratcher.

In conclusion, I found this series highly entertaining. Whilst it isn’t perfect, the comedic elements and drool-worthy appearance of Diablo more than made up for it. I highly recommend this series for anyone that enjoys an ample amount of comedic filth.


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Anime Rewatch: Mayo Chiki

Year: 2011
Episodes: 13
Genre: Seinen, Comedy, Harem, Ecchi, School Life, Gender Bender

Back in 2016, I first watched and reviewed this series. Given that my tastes have changed a bit since then, I decided to rewatch to see if I enjoyed it as much as I did back then. Surprisingly, it held up quite well.

For those unaware, it is the story of a young man (Kinjirou Sachimachi) with gynophobia who discovers that the “prince” butler of the school (Suburu Konoe) is actually a girl. The contrived reason for disguising herself as a boy is amusing but it also means that only herself and a handful of other people know her situation. Her mistress, ridiculously rich Lady Kanade Suzutsuki, decides to mix things up a little by messing with the duo after discovering Kojiro’s condition.

Just like then, the rom-com tag seems a little bit of a stretch. However, the over-the-top, silly humor still managed to keep me entertained through the rewatch. Part of this is due to how stereotypes were amplified, as well as pointing out obvious cliches in anime and manga. We see the obsessed fan-girls of Suburu, the Rotten Girl enthusiasts shipping Suburu and Kojiro, ultra-violent girls that overreact over the slightest thing, the ultra-violent and over-protective father, host/hostess cafe culture, etcetera…
Another point of interest that I missed during the first watch of this series, was how Kojiro’s male friend effectively gets kicked to the curb as soon as Kanade gets involved in Kojiro’s life. I also overlooked the treatment of Kinjirou at the hands of the females in his life. He is a heavily mistreated figure. Instead of standing up for himself, he is nice to his tormentors due to a deathbed promise he made to his father many years before. This is a pretty standard cliche for male protagonists in harem rom-coms.
Could this series be better? Certainly. However, Mayo Chiki still manages to be highly entertaining in spite of its numerous flaws. A second viewing also didn’t hurt either. But this is, as always, my own opinion on the matter.
I know at least a few of my blogging buddies heavily disliked the series when they watched it. And this is perfectly okay because they could at least communicate why they disliked it. Knowing why you like or dislike something can help with picking new series in the future.

In conclusion, whilst it is certainly not the best series, I still like this series years after I first watched it. Feel free to go over my previous review of this series linked above for more information on the series. Anyway, I highly encourage you guys to watch an old series and let me know how or if your impressions have changed over time.


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Anime Review: Infinite Stratos Season 1

Year: 2011
Episodes: 12 episodes (English-subbed version)
Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Harem, Romance, Science Fiction, Mecha, Sports, School Life

Years ago, I heard chatter on the interwebs about a mecha series called Infinite Stratos. It looked like it could be a good fighting anime. My interested was perked but I have only just got around to watching the series. It turned it to quite a bit different than I imagined.

In the future, a machine originally meant for war becomes subject for the world’s most popular sport. These exoskeletons bond to their athlete and can then be summoned through an object worn on the individual. They can also only be used by female pilots. Or at least, that is what everyone thought…
[Off-Screen: After getting lost whilst trying to find a room for a test, Ichika Okimura finds a room with an IS unit in it and his curious enough to touch it. It activates and he is given the ability to take an entrance exam to the prestigious Infinite Stratos training academy.]
When Ichika arrives at the academy, he is surrounded by a bunch of females, including his childhood friend Houki (her sister also invented the machines and makes the cores). He is also taught by his taskmaster older sister, a woman that went from world-class athlete to teaching students how to use the units after he was kidnapped during an international meet. As he is surrounded by more and more female admirers, will he survive the first year at Infinite Stratos?

This series is not terrible, but it isn’t great either. The promotional pictures suggest a mecha action series but this really doesn’t reflect the content. Instead, it is an at-times confusing ecchi comedy masquerading as a mecha sports and romance series. And yet, it was somehow entertaining. Entertaining garbage, certainly, but entertaining nonetheless.
The character designs are good even if the faces were a bit pointy, with each character being notably different from the rest. The exoskeletons were visually interesting as well, even if a bit weird “scientifically”. The story was, however, oddly absent of cats. Why do I mention cats? Well, felines are a staple in anime and manga. They are cute, get up to mischief and are often the tool by which we can see other things that are happening in the background. Come to think of it, I think the only animals that we did see are birds… Perhaps the artist didn’t like the idea of putting animals in harm’s way.
The voice acting was hilariously bad, with deliberately bad stereotypes. It was not meant to be taken seriously in any regard but might be deemed “racist” or “sexist” in today’s political environment. The anime cliches were out in the open for all to see. Back to the voice cast, there is a bunch of familiar faces, such as Monica Rial as Houki, Shannon Emerick as Charlotte, and Josh Grelle as Ichika.
The conflicts in this story are a bit contrived as a whole. It rarely makes sense but it is predominantly used as a delivery tool for fan service. It is a weird series that should in no way be taken seriously. It also feels at times like the author was mocking numerous genres. I might, however, be wrong about that. Whilst I will unlikely be watching the second season, I can say that watching the first season wasn’t a complete waste of time.

If you are looking for a series featuring lots of fan service, then Infinite Stratos might be an option. Just note that the story is not the best and the faces are a bit pointy.


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Anime Review: KonoSuba Seasons 1 and 2

Year: 2016-2017
Episodes: 2 seasons of 10 episodes (English-subbed version)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi, Isekai

I first came across this series after watching a video compilation of funny clips from various ecchi series. A clip from KonoSuba perked my interest and I began to do a bit of research on the series. This led to me watching my first Gigguk video, in which he discusses KonoSuba in great detail. It was enough that I felt a strong desire to see this blasphemy against all thing Adventure Fantasy. And with that, I watched my first episode. I loved it and thought that my husband would find it funny as well. Alas, it would take me close to a year to convince him. It was enough to get him to start watching anime again. Here’s hoping that I don’t reveal too many spoilers. 

Kasuma Sato is a teenaged shut-in, spending most of his time reading manga, watching anime and playing computer games. During a rare excursion to collect a newly released game from a nearby town, he dies trying to save a girl from being hit by what he thinks is a truck. He awakes in front of Aqua, a goddess that repeatedly mocks him for his embarrassing death from shock at being hit by a tractor. He is also given two choices: go to heaven (which is quite boring) or go to her world to fight the Devil King with a special item. He picks the latter and decides to choose Aqua as his item as retaliation.
Aqua is replaced by her underling Eris and the duo are sent to a world very different from modern Japan. With Aqua losing much of her power, Kasuma uses his knowledge of gaming to navigate a fantasy world with computer game elements. They soon meet two female party members: the explosion-loving magician Megumin and Virginal Masochist Knight Darkness. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

A good series has the ability to not only make sense from a plot standpoint but also do interesting things with character. In KonoSuba, we see the mockery of archetypes and in our resident “heroes” constantly having to clean up messes that they started, all the while trying to stay out of debt. The initial hurdle of joining an adventurer guild was small compared to the perils that they have to face on account of each other. Getting the four to work as a team will be an ongoing job. However, the story really works and the four develop a reluctant bond.

  • Kasuma: NEET that is constantly fighting an uphill battle with his own party members. He just wants to be the hero and eventually have a girlfriend. If only…
  • Aqua: An egotistical water goddess that is lazy and a bit of a chicken. She likes to point out that Eris uses pads to make her breasts look bigger. If only she could get her clergy to acknowledge who she is…
  • Megumin: Explosion-obsessed Loli-like magician that becomes paralyzed after using a single spell… her only spell. She’s not interested in learning anything else.
  • Darkness: Large-breasted female knight with a fetish for pain and humiliation. She has issues hitting people but seems to be able to hit inanimate objects without a problem.

I also liked the world-building aspects of KonoSuba. Whilst we see the European fantasy aesthetic, there is more to the world than that. It is a living, breathing world with computer game elements such as character sheets. The nobility is snooty, often throwing their weight around over petty things. There is also a secret sex club in the starter town where Succubi sell dreams in exchange for a small amount of lifeforce to survive.
The adventurer guild evaluates each new member, rating their ability in order to help match the adventurer to appropriate work. Their card also allows the members to see if they have skill points to spend. Trainers charge for skills, which resulted in Kasuma learning how to steal. Of course, the first time he uses the power, he manages to steal panties. About that…
As mentioned in the genre overview, this is an ecchi series. Much of this is on account of having a masochist in the group. Darkness is a freak, pure and simple. Her taste in men… leaves something to be desired. But all of the main characters have very unique flaws. These flaws play out in interesting ways.
You will also notice that “harem” and “romance” wasn’t on the list. That is because KonoSuba is not that sort of story. It is a story about idiots and freaks, not a “kissing book”. Whilst Darkness likes being chastised by Kasuma, none of the females in his party are girlfriend material. As it is, he really likes Eris as she was kind to him on numerous occasions that he died during an adventure. Kasuma also acknowledges that he has no chance of having a girlfriend like her. Being called Trashuma hurts one’s chances of meeting other girls as well.

In conclusion, I really love this series. It is a franchise that deserves a lot more love because it doesn’t take itself too easily nor does it makes excuses. It is fun, playful, and downright enjoyable. KonoSuba was a pure joy to watch and I really look forward to getting stuck into the manga and light novels as it appears that a third season isn’t going to happen. There is apparently an upcoming movie, as well as a crossover with several other isekai series. I am not overly sure about the latter, but will still probably watch it.


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Anime Review: Trinity Seven

Year: 2014
Episodes: 12
Online: Crunchyroll, MAL, Wikipedia
Genre: Shounen, Comedy, Supernatural Fantasy, Action, Supernatural, Harem, Ecchi

I apologise that it has taken me months to get around to reviewing this series in spite of completing it last year. Time to get to it!

Halfway through last year, my husband and I were looking for new anime to watch. We scoured numerous lists for something that we could both live with. Then we happened across a compilation of scenes that featured a rather amusing scene from Trinity Seven. Intrigued, we looked around for more information on the series and it noticed that it was in numerous lists across the various applicable genres. One of those just happened to be a “best harem” list. We decided to give it a run. The series is based on long-run manga series.

During a breakdown event, Arata Kasuga discovers that there is more to the world than bumming around the house or going to school . With the discovery that magic exists, Arata becomes a mage in order to protect his Grimoire, an entity that has been looking out for him since his previous world disintegrated in a previous breakdown event. At Royal Biblia Academy, he meets the other members of the Trinity Seven. He will come to understand what become of his cousin, all whilst avoiding become the Demon Lord.

To begin with, Trinity Seven is set in a rather unique universe. Given that magic is a pretty important part of the setting, we see a host of different rules and terminology for those wielding it. One of the biggest issues is the ongoing threat of Demon Lord candidates losing the plot and transforming into a Demon Lord. The series does a great job of avoiding info-dumps, offering information as it becomes relevant to the current situation. This allows the viewer to learn alongside Arata.
This series was hilarious. Whilst other harem series have a bit of a pushover for a male lead, Arata is such an awesome character. He is confident in his own “perverseness” and is eternally optimistic. Whilst the former sometimes results in physical assault by members of the opposite sex, it is also something that helps break down the social barrier between himself and those around him. The latter manages to be a game-changer as well.
The rest of the cast are based off of the typical anime and manga archetypes but they each contribute meaningfully to the story. We see solid character arcs and character development that allow for a level of gratification. There is a lot of fan service but this, oddly enough, helps move the story along.
My one annoyance for this series is the Lilith character. She is a little tiring to watch. Whilst there is a bit of a character arc for Lilith, it doesn’t have the level of gratification of most of the other female characters in the series. Compare this to Arin, the shameless figure that believes Arata to be her destined future husband. Arin might be a little odd but she feels more true to her own nature. This is my main issue with Lilith, a character more likely to lash out that address her own emotions and inclinations. Lilith just comes off as unlikeable.

Whilst I really loved this series as a whole, the end episode was annoying in that it left things open for another season without delivering. Alas, this is all too common these days, with many good shows being cancelled before they can offer sufficient closure for viewers. At least we have the manga series which is still ongoing since it began back in 2010. I recommend this series to folks looking for an example of a good harem comedy series with decent world-building.