Eromanga Sensei

November 2, 202169/10013318 min
Release Date
Spring 2017
No. of Episodes
12
Studio(s)
A-1 Pictures
Source
Light Novel
Rating
PG-13
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story
60%
Art Style
75%
Animation Production
80%
Characters
65%
Entertainment
65%
Rating Summary
When the phrase "Watch at your own risk" doesn't do a series justice, then one is in for a wild ride. Eromanga Sensei is a rare series that comes once in a decade, where the viewer doesn't watch for the story or the art. They tend to go down the rabbit hole. How far will a particular series go? It goes very far, but only Alice will know precisely how far.

Eromanga Sensei is a 2017 Comedy Ecchi Drama anime series from one of the most beloved Japanese animation studios, A-1 Pictures. While seasoned anime veterans are well adverse in their massive backlog of anime titles, such as Love is War, Black Butler, and The iDOLM@STER series. However, when a studio creates an unusual anime such as Eromanga Sensei, it piques viewers’ interest for multiple reasons, but can a series be as bad as the interest says it was during its airing? Perhaps this series has aged a little better and has had less of a shocking experience for its viewers, but unfortunately, people will always have their opinions no matter what. So there’s only one question left to ask, what’s wrong with Eromanga Sensei?

           One year ago, Sagiri Izumi became step-siblings with Masamune Izumi. But the sudden death of their parents tears their new family apart, resulting in Sagiri becoming a shut-in that had cut off contact from her brother and society. Meanwhile, Masamune is a high school student who oversees taking care of his little sister and earning a living to support his small family. Though luck seems to be on Masamune’s side as he makes a living as a published light novel author with one major problem: he’s never actually met his acclaimed illustrator, Eromanga-sensei, who is infamous for drawing the lewdest erotica.

           Through an embarrassing chain of events, he learns that his very own little sister was his partner the whole time! As new characters and challenges appear, Masamune and sagiri must now face the light novel industry together. Eromanga Sensei follows the development of their relationship and their struggle to become successful, and as Sagiri slowly grows out of her shell, just how long will she be able to hide her true persona from the rest of the world?

           When one takes this series at face value, they’re just reading the summary of the story on paper; while this may work for some viewers, the masses, this story has multiple levels. These various levels range from essential friendships and relationships to the sexual desires of all the characters. Of course, a series within the ecchi genre is expected to be sexual somehow, but for a series like Eromanga Sensei to go beyond that line and keep the viewers interested beyond the first couple of episodes is promising. Another positive aspect of this story is that it has comedic pieces of this series that are not forced; they have been created semi-organically, which is a relief for any viewer.

           However, this series is best described by a German expression, Ich glaub mein Schwein pfeift, which means “I think my pig whistles.” As weird as this expression sounds, that’s how bizarre this story’s writing was. The writing was admittingly better than expected, and that may be shocking to some viewers. Interestingly, Eromanga Sensei’s number of attempts to purposefully make the viewer fall in love with the female characters was unsulky high for a series of this caliber. Still, the moments leading up to the events were well done. The pacing is adequate for an ecchi series, but what needs to be appreciated was the comedic elements were rather funny compared to other series.

           When it comes to the negatives within this series story, it’s safe to assume that there is enough to write a book. While having a brother-sister sexual relationship is nothing new within the anime industry, that’s the few series problems. For instance, the viewers will quickly learn that the story will go down the incest role path, especially after the first couple of episodes. Having a story that’s so dead set on that type of plot is fine, but the writing seemed to have turned off in the series’ middle sections, making it resemble as they ran out of ideas. The entire naughty taboo subject of siblings is exciting. Still, the writers made sure to correct the situation by telling the viewers multiple times that they’re stepsiblings, which makes it okay?

           Having the ability to have a story lead itself is lovely to have in any series, but it was very evident that the writers had dumbed down the story to appease its audience. The number of repeated lines and plots is ridiculous, by reminding the viewers an odd number of times and weird situations of very young girls being attracted to older males. Outside of those strange instances, there was plenty to be wary about within this story. Another problem area within this story had a lot of areas to go towards potentially, but they seemed to drop the ball multiple times. The story could have been more about the main characters writing problems or even the sibling relationship. Still, they focused on neither by the end of the series and just left the series without anything to show for themselves.

           Perhaps what this series had going for itself was the art style, and it nailed it! The methodology was way better than expected from any ecchi anime series, which is very pleasant. The bright and colorful atmosphere was charming and welcoming. However, what truly makes this series stand out is the character designs. The ability to make each character different from every aspect while aligning them with each other is outstanding. When a series can have an appealing art style with a positive and refreshing character design regardless of the genre tends to be unexpected most of the time.

           When it comes to Eromanga Sensei’s animation production, that’s where the level of craft is shocking. The opening sequence is upbeat and very catchy and will be stuck in the viewer’s head for an extended period. While the theme song comes from the beautiful Japanese pop duo ClariS the exciting aspect is that they’ve been used in multiple anime franchises, including Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Nisekoi, to name a few. The animation is fitting without any noticeable problems that a few series encounter along the span of a season, which is an excellent problem not to have. The ending sequence is just as good as the opening and enjoyable to watch as the opener. However, it isn’t shocking to learn that it is sung by another Japanese girl group that happens to be voice actresses TrySail. If the group sounds familiar, they are the ones singing “Original” in Interview with Monster Girls anime.

           The one question that is always asked when it comes to any anime series is about the characters, and this series had plenty of interesting ones. Masamune Izumi is the protagonist of the series; he is a 15-year-old first-year high school student. When he was in junior high school, he had won an award for writing a light novel series. He later writes a series known as Silverwolf of Reincarnation and hires an anonymous illustrator named “eromanga” but discovers that Eromanga is his stepsister Sagiri. Though the series lacks the character depth, some may be wanting towards this character. He is a typical teenage boy who enjoys doing what he likes to do. Though writing is constantly on his mind, he’s a full-blooded hormone-raging male who tends to get into some awkward situations from time to time.

           Sagiri Izumi is the heroine of the series and the titular character. She is a 12-year-old first-year junior high school student. She is classified as a hikikomori, best translated to a severe form of social withdrawal. She never leaves her room, even to eat; instead, she relies on her stepbrother to bring her food to her room. Only a select few people know of her illustration career. Whenever it starts to come up in conversation, she says she doesn’t know anyone by such a name. She is the poster child for Moe for the series, and rightfully so. She is secretly jealous of her brother when he starts to give any female attention, and to retaliate, refuses to let him into her room.

           Emily Granger is a 14-year-old famous light novel author who has sold over two million copies. She starts living next door to Masamune and is famed for dressing in Lolita-style clothing. She has developed romantic feelings for Masamune and has confessed to him or attempted in her way. Though she rarely goes by Emily in the series, she often goes by her pen name Elf Yamada.

           Muramasa Senju is a successful light novel writer who has sold over fourteen and a half million copies of her novel series. She is a huge fan of Masamune’s novel series and gets upset after he ends the series. She tried to stop him from writing romantic comedy series due to him not knowing anything about love. She is a late addition to the gang but quickly develops feelings towards the main character. Though she typically goes by her pen name, her real name is Hana Umezono.

           The most interesting character within the series, which is rare in the series, was Megumi Jinno. She is a classmate of Sagiri and a former armature model. She is originally thought of as a young perverted little girl, but her true innocent colors shine through as time goes on. She pretends to be experienced in relationships and the opposite sex to make herself look “cool.”

           Throughout the entirety of Eromanga Sensei, the viewers will go through many mixed emotions of this anime. One could be that they loved the comedic elements, or they hated the story, but regardless they’ll go through all the basic emotions of human life. Please don’t confuse this anime as a regular ecchi anime series, and it simply is not a stereotypical one. Eromanga Sensei is the type of anime to suggest to people in fear of being judged or having the FBI crashing through one’s door. This is a shockingly fun series to watch and can easily be a weird rabbit hole to fall into when watching anime. Watch this at one’s own risk, but a word of advice don’t underestimate the power of shutting the door before viewing.

Cody Senpai

Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.

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