Controversy is always going to be a part of anything that exists in life with anime being no exception. A show came along during the Spring season that brought with it some controversy to the point where some people have deemed it complete and utter trash. Of course, the show I’m talking about is Eromanga-sensei.
Was the show really all that bad or was it just simply misunderstood?
Masamune is a light novel author who, one day, gains a sister named Sagiri. Sagiri is not blood-related, but the two of them have a bit of an interest in one another. Sigiri is also a hikkikimori (a shut in who has social anxiety) and cannot come out of her room. Masamune even notes that he hasn’t seen Sagiri in over a year since she moved in with him. That all changes when Masamune discovers that Sagiri is the mysterious Eromanga-sensei… the person who has been drawing the illustrations for his light novel this entire time!
Eromanga-sensei is a slice-of-life situation comedy with enough romantic tension to kill a person’s virginity without even engaging in sexual intercourse. Many people have stated that this show was trying to take the place of Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai or that it seemed all too similar. That would be because Eromanga-sensei’s creator is Tsukasa Fushimi, the same person who created OreImo. In fact, the anime didn’t even hide the fact that it was created by the same person when members of the OreImo cast made blatant cameo appearances throughout the show!
The story does branch out with the introduction of Elf Yamada and Muramasa-sensei. Together with Sagiri, the three of them become embroiled in a war to win over Masamune’s affection, each with their different reasons. Elf just grows to admire Masamune while Muramasa has always been a huge fan of Masamune’s novels and wants him to quit writing professionally just so he can write stories for her on a personal basis.
Other than the love triangle, the story advances episode by episode or situation by situation. The main goal was for Masamune and Sagiri to publish a novel together and, as predicted, they achieve that dream. The story wasn’t all that engaging and it’s not going to win any awards, but it was present enough to keep things flowing. The characters, humor and premise of the show is what really drove this one forward and kept people coming back for more.
She is Masamune’s step-sister who has become a hikkikimori. She masquerades as the internet streamer Eromanga-sensei and ends up being the person who has illustrated Masamune’s light novels. She’s in love with Masamune, but never really comes out and says it. Her personality bounces between being a shy, love-struck little sister to a light tsundere. She only gets mad and pushes Masamune away whenever he says or does anything that makes her blush or realize her love for him.
Sagiri has a cute side to her whenever she tries to deal with the real world. To her, just walking down the stairs to the first floor of her own home is a big adventure that frightens her. In fact, she couldn’t even handle opening the door when a package for her arrived. Her social anxiety is crippling so she does most of her conversations via Skype and an iPad. Despite this, she has no trouble doing live drawing sessions online for her many fans, although, she does wear a mask to hide her identity.
She is an adorable character and it is pretty apparent as to why the internet fell in love with her so quickly. Those who were able to look past the incest aspect of the show (Although, technically it is and technically it isn’t incest at the same time) were able to see just what kind of character she really was and when they did, the admiration for her started to grow. In fact, I’m seeing more and more people beginning to cosplay as Sagiri as the weeks go on!
Masamune is a light novel author and Sagiri’s older step-brother. His light novels are decent at best as he is constantly reminded of that by Elf Yamada and Muramasa-sensei. His dream is to write a new novel in collaboration with Sagiri, now that he knows she’s Eromanga-sensei. Outside of this, Masamune is a typical character that’s not really all that interesting. His personality is rather flat, but he doesn’t really play the typical clueless male, though. He does have a head on his shoulders and realizes what’s going on, but just like most male lead characters in anime sit-coms, he refuses to do anything about the bevvy of girls that just want to jump on top and have their way with him.
The biggest reason for that is because he’s already in love with someone and even though he never outright says who it is, it’s PAINFULLY OBVIOUS that he’s in love with Sagiri. Given the fact that the entire show shoves that right into your face, you could be Stevie Wonder and still see the love that he has for his step-sister. I don’t want to say that Masamune was a bad character, but he wasn’t an exceptional character either. He was just flat and average.
She is the top selling light novelist from a rival publisher. She is the full-blown typical tsundere character in the show. In fact, her tsundere persona is so typical, you could call it a paint-by-the-numbers guide on how to be a tsundere. Despite all of this, she falls in love with Masamune to the point where she ends up buying the house next door to his and becomes his neighbor. Through this new plot point, we also learn that Elf can play the piano beautifully… as well as in the nude.
While visiting the place that served as the setting for the elven forest in her debut novel, Elf, whose real name is revealed to be Emily, confesses her love to Masamune. This is the first time we see a bit of a serious side to Elf and you get to feel that connection to her. Too bad that didn’t last all that long, though. Outside of being a love rival, Elf didn’t really add much to the show. She did her job as a support character, but her tsundere trope of a personality kind of didn’t add anything unique.
She is the top selling light novelist at the publisher Masamune works for. She has been a secret admirer of Masamune’s for many years and is the top fan of his light novels; having written him many fan letters over the years. She’s so in love with Masamune that she wants him to stop writing professionally only for her to pay him to write for her and her alone. Her backstory was well thought out and it really made you feel an emotional connection to her character. In fact, I was hoping that Masamune would forget about Sagiri and just pick Muramasa instead.
Her personally started off as a mean-spirited person, but once they unveiled her true self, she actually became quite cute and loveable. I really enjoyed her character the most out of the girls we had to choose from!
Megumi is a classmate of Sagiri’s whose mission is to bring her back to school. She’s energetic, perverted and will step at, seemingly, nothing to get Sagiri to return to the real world. This could have been an amazing comedy point throughout the series, but outside of the second episode and a couple of cameo appearances here and there, she wasn’t utilized much. She will just be forever remembered as the girl who loves dicks.
Art, Animation, and Sound
A-1 Pcitures handed the art and animation for Eromanga-sensei and they did a pretty good job with it. Animation was fluid and characters maintained their uniqueness from scene to scene without much detraction in quality. The backgrounds were also done very nicely making everything nice and pleasant to look at. The animation quality, on the other hand, was fairly average with nothing really standing out.
The OST to the show was also quite forgettable. Shows like this typically don’t have a soundtrack that will stick in your head. Rather, they will just have a light ambiance in the background to help move the show from scene to scene. The OST pulls this off nicely and in that retrospect, it does its job when and where it needs to. Sadly, it’s the kind of OST that’s going to sit on a store shelf as it watches the plethora of upcoming drama CDs get sold out time after time while it collects dust.
Eromanga-sensei isn’t as bad as people are making it out to be, but don’t misunderstand my words here… the show is far from being a masterpiece. It’s just a typical slice-of-life comedy that has your typical romantic tension that will appeal to an otaku audience. It’s a good show to turn your brain off to and just watch. If you take the show at face value, then I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy it, but if you’re looking for something deeper or richer, then you’re just going to end up disappointed.
The whole incest thing got blown out of proportion and those who actually stuck around and watched the show could probably tell you that it’s not the big deal the internet made it out to be. The show has its certain charm about it, but the whole harem situation, sexual tension and repetitive character tropes isn’t something we all haven’t seen before. The one thing that this show lacked to take it over the top into the “good anime” territory was something to make it stand out and be unique.
The show definitely played it safe and I thought by doing that, it really hurt it overall. Again, it’s not a terrible show by any means, but it’s not a show that many people are going to re-watch. This is a one and done show that you will either like or dislike. Simple as that.
Until next time,
While the premise of the show will appeal to an otaku audience, the story was rather generic and the characters were your typical tropes. This show was average at best.