March 23, 2016

Gakusen Toshi Asterisk -- ep 2

This came out a while ago and I didn't watch it then, due mainly to a feeling of "been there done that". But a couple of days ago I got curious and downloaded it, and now I've watched two episodes.

Anyway I'm always a sucker for shows about super-powered girls, and not usually too bothered by harem shows. And as of the first two episodes the harem is forming nicely. We got the stacked student body president who seems too good to be true; I think there's something sinister about her. We have a red headed princess who is a tsundere and can't make friends. We have Our Hero's childhood friend, Saya, and she's already my favorite.

The art is good and the story telling isn't bogged down with "As you know, Jim" exposition, at least so far. And we have a suspected bad guy who almost certain isn't really a bad guy.

And we've already had one girl die. Probably. She might still be alive.

Anyway, Our Hero isn't a potato; he's got character and Saya seems to think he's extraordinarly powerful. Since they trained together as kids she is in a good position to know. It's nice if the hero isn't a nebbish, and equally nice if he isn't an arrogant SOB. And so far he isn't either. He's nice and he's pleasant and he isn't trying to impress anyone. But I'm sure he will; it's obvious that the Princess is the chosen one, if there is a chosen one.

What got me interested is that there's going to be a sequel in the next season. That doesn't always mean a show is any good (see for instance, Queen's Blade) but it does mean it was popular enough so that the studio thinks it can make more money off it. So we'll see how it goes.

UPDATE: Ep 5: One thing I don't really like is harem shows where the harem keeps growing. We're up to 4 now and depending on how things develop, maybe 6.

And "Our Hero can become ridiculously strong but only for a short time" is getting dusty and moldy. At least it's 5 minutes this time instead of 1 minute. I don't know whether either of these shows is imitating the other, but there's an uncanny resemblance between this show and Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 07:01 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1

For the life of me, I can't keep the two straight for more than a day at a time. 

And that president isn't totally trustworthy.  Some of the weapons are cursed, and hers is dangerously so.  Plus, as is usual with these shows, she's effectively operating on a level equal to a government minister, so she's got other things to worry about than the school budget.  Remember, the corporation controlling the magic/technology is the world's government now, and Claudia is the daughter of a high executive.  "Absurdly powerful student council" indeed.

It's not totally obvious yet, but this world is considerably dystopic.  Notice that there's no major enemy that they're being trained to fight...

Posted by: ubu at March 24, 2016 08:15 AM (SlLGE)

2 When Claudia

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 24, 2016 11:41 AM (+rSRq)

3

Yes.

I debated putting more under spoiler tags but decided against it. It gets into the world-building, and the anime didn't go that deeply into it.  Though if I recall accurately, there will be a hint given by Claudia.  It's the major reason I call the world a dystopia.

Posted by: ubu at March 24, 2016 12:24 PM (SlLGE)

4 The comparisons with Calvary were unavoidable, what with the limited but powerful hero and the equally powerful pink haired main female character.

I went back and forth about which sow I liked better, but it was under the umbrella of "good enough is the new good". Both stories were worth the time, at least.

Posted by: topmaker at March 24, 2016 04:01 PM (6stZH)

5 I've lost interest and I'm not going to watch any more of it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 24, 2016 05:06 PM (+rSRq)

6 You know what's ironic, I do not share any of your complaints. The harems seems fine, it a sacred cow type like in Ai yori Aoshi. But the whole setting seems too much of an unpleasant re-enactment of Railgun, only with a romantic element this time. So, I don't think I'm going to watch any more after the first arc.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at March 25, 2016 03:44 PM (XOPVE)

7 I would add in the 35th Test Platoon and (especially) Bladedance of Elementalers to the list--harem mahou shojou sports stories with deeper conspiracies lurking behind the curtains.  Most of the harems contain exactly the same elements, just shuffled into different combinations across each set of girls.

I really enjoy the concept; it's like Nanoha/A's with a decent (usually) male lead, with the "fetch quest eipsodes" replaced by "training/match/each girl's individual crisis" episodes.  35th kinda blew it on that end; each girl had exactly a 2-ep arc, often involving them saving the city (or more) yet never earning any points for it, to the point where it became boringly predictable.

I hesitate to mention it (for the obvious reasons below), but a similar series that *doesn't* get caught in the template is Devil Sister New Testament; despite the embarrassingly-needless, gratuitous, blatantly-censored (buy the BDs!) fanservice scenes, it managed to have a solid plot both seasons, and even the late additions to the harem didn't feel forced.  The only gripe I had (other than the ridiculous fanservice) was that it clearly was based on a LN or something, and clearly must have cut out or crammed in awkwardly some of the key plot points in the source material for time.

Posted by: BigD at March 25, 2016 09:29 PM (VKO9N)

8 Sorry if I spoiled it for you.  They do a good job of not messing with the mood -- most of the time -- but the hints are there.  And, I forget his name, but the grossly obese president of the other school is a total ass. I dislike any of his appearances.

Posted by: ubu at March 27, 2016 08:23 AM (GfCSm)

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