Monday, October 12, 2015

[New][October 2015] Asterisk War

Summary: Invertia…an unprecedented disaster that struck the world during the 20th century.
Because of this disaster, numerous cities around the world were destroyed. However, this event
also gave rise to a new species of human born with unique skills: The Genestella.
The instability after the disaster saw the return of Monarchies in some countries in the wake of the declining power of the existing major nations, and a new united governing body, The Integrated Empire Foundation, came into power. Now, the best Genestella of various countries are sent to battle for supremacy in a Battle Entertainment Festival, "Festas", at Rikka, an academic city built on the water, and the winner is said to be granted any desire, so long as it can be accomplished in the world. The students are divided into six separated schools that host Festas once a year.
The story follows Ayato Amagiri, as he is chosen for the school that presently has the worst record in the recent Festas'.

First Impression: I don't know if you noticed, but this anime's summary literally sounded like someone hacked up random pieces from the last 2 years of anime's summaries and spit glued them together to make a new story. I don't even feel like bothering to point out any of them because it feels so obvious that this thing was, at the minimum, inspired by, and at the worst, plagiarizing story ideas. Grant, I don't think that it is inherently bad to do that, but the thicker the copy paste, the more indicative it is of low quality and corner cutting.
Having said all that, I walked up to this show actively looking to drop it, because it sounded so uninspired and being able to take a show off the list of things to juggle for potential posts sounded immensely tempting. I am however, keeping this one, and looking forward to it. Ever since Magic War (Mahou Sensou), I know better than to assign expectations, but still.

My Opinion: I'm just going to straight up raise my hand and say that I'm immediately biased on this show. Since it seems to be an industry standard now to bold-facedly swing a hook at the audience with an opening action scene, I'm giving this show points for said hook not being a poorly manufactured 'In Medias Res', or for it just spitting a protagonist into a fight before we even know for sure we're looking at the protagonist. Instead, we get a scene from the past, and the show quickly seeks to let us know that by mid episode. 

Additionally, they immediately pull a check-box standardized Fan-service scene out of their pocket and throw it onto the table, and not completely piss me off with it. Grant, I'm always going to argue that this shit is unnecessary, and can wait till later in to the series when we have proper attachments to characters, if not just outright never happening at all...but they handled this quite maturely. At the very least, the closest thing to maturely since Madan no Ou to Vanadis. She still ends up trying to punch him for ogling her, but the show itself doesn't try to pretend like she's doing it for any other reason than just because she's angry and it will make her feel better. Which is really the only reason any character ever does this tired token scene. Still, points for her actually giving him a chance to apologize, and thanking him for the reason he was even there in the first place being of good intention.

All in all, I like the world building they've done in the first episode. Which is another point, despite two fights in quick succession right at the start, the first episode is pretty much exclusively devoted to introducing and fleshing out characters, and their world. That is always a good sign, albeit not a guarantee of quality. Just the potential for it. So, I'd say keep your eye on this show at this point. If it seems like it's theme is to your tastes, it may very well shape up to be a great show. Hard to tell at this point.

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