Monthly Archives: May 2020

The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious (Anime)

Title: The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious

Episodes: 1-12

Ristarte is a goddess tasked with summoning a hero to defeat a demon lord for a world she’s managing. When she discovers Seiya and his abnormally good spec sheet, she’s thrilled—and realizes too late what “impossibly cautious” actually means. Seiya won’t do ANYTHING if he can’t do it to a level of completion that drives her insane. But for this world with an unexpectedly powerful demon lord, that’s a good thing . . . isn’t it?

Although the premise is well-worn, the show is at its best when leaning hard into the comedy. Ristarte is trying to play things by the book. Seiya, however, is so abnormally insistent on over-preparing for literally everything that he drives her crazy. And she’s probably falling in love with him, which makes his deadpan rebuttals even more annoying to her.

I was also surprised to find this is basically a complete story arc, despite leaving some room at the end for further adventures.

On the other hand, the times when the show isn’t spinning a joke it tends to be dull and derivative, as it’s deliberately not trying to do anything unique with its setting or plot. Seiya is a flat character even with the development near the end, as is basically everyone except Ristarte. And Ristarte can’t quite carry the entire show by herself.

Overall I think this was worth seeing once, although if you’re not really interested in a lot of the tropes it skewers there’s not much else to it. I rate this show Recommended.

Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun! (Anime)

Title: Welcome to Demon School, Iruma-kun!

Episodes: 1-23

Iruma has been sold off to the demon Sullivan by his irresponsible parents—but that just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to him. His new grandpa is spoiling him rotten, and if his new school is all about eating people, well, most of them don’t even know what a human looks like. So Iruma can do his best to find friends and fit in—as long as nobody figures out his secret.

I do want to point out that the very last episode has an after-credits scene that throws a huge wrench in the happy ending, and makes me desperately want a season 2.

This was one of the unexpected good finds of the last few seasons. Iruma is an engaging lead—cheerful, optimistic, klutzy . . . and completely unable to say no to people. This leads to quite a bit of comedy, as well as a few good friends.

Much of the fun in this series is taking traditional school tropes like a school festival and reimaging it with demons. And the presence of magic makes for some truly wacky hijinks. But it’s also got some pretty strong character-based humor: Az is the straight man to Clara’s insanity, but both of them are new to this whole “friends” thing and tend to compete as much as they get along.

This is more kid-friendly than the typical anime fare, as well. I appreciated having a cleaner story than I expected, even with episodes covering classes in seduction (which was one of the funniest of the entire season, given Clara’s bizarre antics).

I think this one is best binged (at least the festival arc, because each episode feels like it covers so little ground individually). It’s a lighter, kid-friendly show that’s usually decent and sometimes excellent. I rate this show Recommended.

In/Spectre (Anime)

Title: In/Spectre

Episodes: 1-12

Two people whose lives are intertwined with the supernatural tackle the cases where both worlds collide. Kotoko is an energetic young woman who lost an eye and a leg to become the specter’s Goddess of Wisdom, whereas Kuro was tricked into gaining power. When an urban legend starts manifesting in reality, it’s going to take both of them and some help from Kuro’s ex-girlfriend to take it down . . .

I loved the manga, so I was really looking forward to this adaptation. That said, in many ways I feel this story does work better as a manga, as so much of it is about characters talking. To its credit the anime tries to make this interesting, and if you’re engaging with the back and forth of the logic it can still feel intense, but this is not really a typical action or mystery show.

The show opens with a solid first episode, then quickly dives into a smaller case that showcases a lot of the ideas that the later, larger case will tackle. Most of the season is tied up with the issue of Steel Lady Nanase, an urban legend come to life and growing increasingly violent as the rumors about her keep pushing a worst-case scenario.

The issue at hand is not the mystery—that gets resolved quickly. The real problem is that something is real that shouldn’t be, and telling the truth is only going to strengthen a killer no one will be able to stop. So the central question becomes how the three of them re-frame this whole mess to eliminate the belief that’s powering a nightmare.

Overall this is still a good watch, and one I plan to buy once it’s out. If you’re in the mood for a different kind of supernatural show, check this one out. I do hope there is a second season adapting some of the short stories covered later in the manga, as those had a lot of great moments, and the shorter format would probably work better with a show since there isn’t so much repetition. I rate this show Recommended.