Short Run Series XXIII – Straight Arrow

December 10th, 2015 in Anime, General Reviews, Isuca by

Short Run Series XXIII - Straight Arrow  blog 152

Yeah, this is another “Girls Who Save the World” anime, but the operative word here is ‘save’. I’ll explain “Isuca” as we go along.

We start off with Shinichirō Asano. To the entire world, he appears to be your typical anime high school male: just a tad on the clueless side. He follows some woman down a darkened street or alleyway or another caliber of pedestrian pathway. She then turns into a gigantic soul-sucking centipede or some other ilk of icky bug (please, keep your comments to yourself about women until the end, OK?) He is saved by a bow-wielding archer that cuts down said bug woman in nothing flat. This woman is Sakuya Shimazu, a well-liked classmate. We also learn that she is destined to be the 37th head of the Shimazu family, who, for generations, have been sealing away youmas and other nasties that crawl in the night (but no politicians. Drat, but you can’t have it all).

It is decided (not by either of them) that he is to move in with her and basically run the household. You see, Sakuya does not play well with others, can’t figure out which end of a frying pan to use and needs all the help she can get. Shinichiro needs a job and there you have it. The series contends itself with several storylines: Sakuya’s struggle to be the next head of the family while learning her skills, how helpful Shinichiro can/will/is going to be to her and himself and how they both/all deal with the very mysterious Isuca, a force to be reckoned with.

Thus back to my original comment. It seems her and the other members of her team (Nadeshiko Sōma, Tamako and Suseri Shimazu) not only use the same five or six moves in their repertoire, they seem to be stunningly ineffective against Isuca. It’s another one of those situations where we need six good guys to defeat one bad guy (OK, two baddies, as each has a kind of familiar to do the dirty work for them). There is something very remarkable about Shinichiro, in that he has a Special Talent. I can’t reveal it at this time, as it becomes a key plot point. He is also too nice to a fault. A person he rescues is a crazy cat lady, Tamako, who is more of a pain in the butt than a real menace. No, not a crazy cat lady, a crazy lady who is a cat or neko or whatever you want to designate her as such.

However, when she is in her somewhat human form, she has problems with clothing, so she does not understand things like bras and panties, preferring to be free and unfettered (naked) as she attacks Shinichiro when he comes home, free and unfettered (naked), her bountiful boobs accosting him free and unfettered (naked). If you really want to see them, you’ll need to track down a site that doesn’t fog them up or blur them away. Are boobies really that dangerous?

It’s just that the show the same caliber of personality conflict that I’ve seen in “The Familiar of Zero” and “Blade Dance”, where this all-powerful lady (in her mind) has to rely on someone she doesn’t want to rely on, although she HAS to rely on him. There is a lot of verbal and physical abuse in all of this, to the point where is it not comical enough to be slapstick, but vicious enough to be hurtful. It’s nice to see a show where the leads use unconventional weaponry (a bow and arrow? That’s brave) whereas others use something a bit more modern, but it came off as more of a novelty. The closing episodes of the arc got very strange, as if they WANTED it to be strange. But at 10 episodes and the smell of a second season (a tremendous amount of questions were raised and left hanging), I wonder if these folks will grow into things or it will be more of the same again.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 8 (Nicely executed)
Plot 6 (Could have been done stronger)
Pacing 6 (Seems forced near the end)
Effectiveness 6 (Too many bickering fights)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 6 (A similar show would be “Mahoromatic”)

Overall 6 (A rather tepid showing)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You can’t know my name!

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