Eromanga Sensei is a 2017 anime series based on the Eromanga Sensei manga by Oreimo’s creators Tsukasa Fushimi and Hiro Kanzaki. The story, just like in the previous work by the aforementioned duo, tells the tale of a romantic story between two siblings (in this case, not blood related) that live on their own and have affectionate feelings towards each other.
Masamune, a high school student and professional light novel writer, who apparently likes to keep himself busy, lives with his younger step sister, Sagiri, who turns out to be the illustrator of his published work. The two of them are dealing with the embarrassment of having to produce what can be considered very inappropriate content to even discuss with family members, in order to maintain their independence and preserve their way of life. Of course, as is usually the case in this type of anime, they are both infatuated with each other, yet fail to acknowledge it in any normal manner.
Plot & Story
Most of the plot unravels around the beginning of the story, while the basics of what will be taking place are being set up. We are gradually introduced to the show’s characters, Masamune and the numerous attractive women that surround him. That immediately gives the show a very ‘harem’ aesthetic that is to be expected, since its viewers’ demographic is mostly males. Masamune, somewhat of a prodigy himself since he succeeds in balancing his student, professional and family life, meets with other women who are some pretty entertaining versions of standardized anime characters:
Sagiri, his uber-alles cute sister and hikikomori, extremely shy and kawaii in the full meaning of the term. Interestingly enough, she is a huge pervert, which makes her quite similar to Oreimo’s protagonist, Kirino.
Megumi, the overly bubbly and comfortably hyper-sexual class rep, who unlike what she seems, has very little clue about love and sex.
Elf Yamada, the annoying filthy-rich sexy genius that casually exists in most anime and manga.
Muramasa, the antagonist, and basically the same person as Elf but less annoying and more traditional.
Tomoe, whose personality has been reduced to having big boobs. And books.
The protagonist is greatly desired by every single one of these girls, to the point where three of them quite blatantly ask him to marry them at some point during the show.
The plot is initially intriguing as Masamune tries very hard to earn his sister’s favor, and constantly struggles with getting his work published. Sometimes the characters’ behavior doesn’t make much sense as it drifts between extremes, yet still remains interesting and entertaining to a pleasant level. The story becomes a bit slow near the end of the season but the last episode successfully embodies everything the show is about: a humorous approach to teenagers’ awkwardness about sex.
Art & Music
The show’s color palette closely follows pastel bubbly colours; it feels very much like it’s been looked at through Sagiri’s eyes, like the whole world looks like her room: tidy, cute, and colorful. The animation is smooth and effortless, even though sometimes there are some prolonged shots of inanimate scenes that make it feel a bit discontinued. However, during most of the show, the visuals are beautiful and of very high quality. In terms of sound, the opening and closing themes are quite adorable, but the soundtrack during the show is nothing particularly memorable. The voice actors are doing their job more than efficiently, yet I would have liked a more mature timbre for Muramasa’s character (even though she’s quite young).
Themes & Trivia
The show is a very decent example of the shonen genre, targeting mostly male adolescents. Apart from being humorous and, at times, quite uncomfortably sexual, it manages to give the viewer a glimpse of the light novel industry in Japan, through the competition Masamune has to face to succeed as a writer. As many anime do, Eromanga Sensei lightly touches themes of tradition and social phenomena in Japanese culture, especially through Muramasa’s character, who is a proper example of a traditional Japanese female. Other terms like ‘hikikomori’ and ‘NEET’ are also represented through Sagiri, while Elf is always dressed in typical Lolita fashion: lots of frizzles and overall very cute, extravagant girly outfits. The show presents a rather distorted version of reality, where (like in lots of anime) minors are autonomous individuals that take up numerous challenges and don’t seem to be very worried about their schooling.
Obviously, the show doesn’t bring any revolutionary concepts to the table – it mostly deals with a pretty standardized recipe of a light-weight dirty humour and awkward displays of affection setup. The characters are cute and to some extent rather varied, with at least two dimensions of their personality coming to play. It is definitely aesthetically pleasing to look at; in fact, that is probably its main purpose. I would have liked to see the intensity of the last episode dominant throughout the whole plot, emphasizing more on crude humor rather than romance. Last but not least, the whole island session was very, very unnecessary, and mostly focused on fan service. Instead of working on the show’s content, it relocated the characters in a setting where they’re still themselves but don’t necessarily relate to the story so far. I’d rather have spent that time watching Sagiri coming up with disgustingly insane schemes on how to get everyone to pose for her so she can draw kinky illustrations.
SAGIRI’S HAIR (*O*)
Overall show aesthetics including colour palette and animation style
An inside-view of the light-novel industry
Chris. You always need someone like Chris in every anime – no, in every situation.
A bit repetitive and slow around the middle
I can’t help but feel uncomfortable during long shots of bums and thighs.
Irrational character behaviour at times
In a nutshell, Eromanga Sensei did alright, but could do much better. This particular genre needs a lot more samples of work that challenge and extend its possibilities. Eromanga Sensei played it safe like most do, but was pleasant to watch and even entertaining to some extent.
But what do you think? Do you believe the genre needs to be expanded or stay close to its original concept? Let us know in the comments below, along with what you found most and least exciting about watching Eromanga Sensei.