This show certainly has the longest title I have encountered in a while: “Mondaiji-tachi Ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo?” (“Problem Children are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?”) and is also a short-run series, as it clocks in at 10 episodes, but, but, but…I get ahead of myself.
This is another of those alternate dimension tales, where people are taken from their world and plunked into another world and have to survive. Ahh, but there is a twist. Three ‘children’, (for wont of a better term, as they seem old to be mere children) Sakamaki Izayoi (the guy in the middle), Kudō Asuka (red at the far right), and Kasukabe Yō (the lady to Izayoi’s left), live dull lives because they possess unmatched psychic powers (which are hinted at but not initially explored). One day, they receive a mysterious envelope that transports them to Little Garden, a place of supernatural powers called “Gifts.”
There, they meet Black Rabbit (can you find her? It’s not Easter, but this hunt shouldn’t take too long) who explains things for them. Everyone here has these ‘gifts’ and they are used to play “Gift Games” for power and prestige. But don’t lose; for you not only lose prestige and power, you lose your identity. They are to come to the aid of Jun Russel (that monk-looking guy at the far left), who is the leader of the “No Names”, a group which now has nothing, not even a name, and has to strive to restore this group to former glory and honor. Jin is aided by Riri, that fox-like girl just above him, but lurking in the shadows is Shiroyasha (that loli-type) who is …take a deep breath…a senior official at Thousand Eyes, Floor Master on the East Side, Demon Lord of the White Night, Spirit of the Sun and White Night. (try getting all that on a business card).
The series is about how these three ‘problems’ help Jin recapture what is his, as well as learning to work as a team. It’s interesting in seeing their powers at work, as they are different than what you are used to. Izayoi can negate other’s gifts, Asuka has the power of words and can make others do what she tells them and Yo can speak to the animals and make use their abilities. That may work better than bending steel with your bare hands or changing the course of mighty rivers.
It is a ‘soft’ show in that there is not carnage and death and depression. For all the action in it, it is rather tame, as you do not feel that anything horribly bad will go wrong, not that there is anything wrong with that. This would certainly be a good Second Step anime, for those folks that want something more, but are not quite ready for the big leagues.
Our bunny friend up there supplies all the fan service you really want (unless you are into lolicon; then Shiro works for you), but we remain focused on this world and all its arcane rules and regulations, plus meeting the rest of the cast, who are varying degrees of evil.
I can’t fully say this is a good show, as you kind of figure out what is going to happen by the end of the first episode and Jin needs a lot of growing up to do in order to be an effective leader, so he’s just Jell-O (push him and he wobbles), but it was interesting enough to keep me for the abbreviated run. Is there a second season in the offing? Perhaps, as we did have a coupler at the end, but one would need a bit more meat to go with this or it can fall into a trap of endless fighting. It’s also that they could have taken it to a 12- or 13-show run, as it feels like it is really falling short in the story telling or we are missing something important.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Still standard anime)
Plot 7 (Acceptable)
Pacing 8 (Hardly a flat spot)
Effectiveness 7 (Needs more edge)
Conclusion 4 (It reaches a series end, but it can go on)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Gurren Lagaan”)
Overall 7 (It has a good tale to tell)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You WILL watch this show!