Oribe Mafuyu and Yamanobe Tomo were raised by Tomo’s father at the private St. Mikhailov Academy where he was the headmaster, but he then disappeared. The two girls have lived by themselves since then, and Mafuyu is protective of Tomo, particularly since some of their classmates try to make their lives miserable. One day, on their way back from school, they come across an unconscious silver-haired boy and decide to take him in. The boy, however, disappears when they take their eyes off him, and when Mafuyu goes to look for him, she finds the church burning. She goes to try to save an icon but gets ambushed and tied up by a mysterious masked figure, the same one who’s responsible for some other recent murders. This person knows who Mafuyu and Tomo are and doesn’t think that anyone would come to save Mafuyu, but the boy from before suddenly shows up and does exactly that.
The boy is able to free Mafuyu, however he is weak from lack of Soma, creating an opportunity for the enemy. Fortunately, the nun Teresa appears as well and offers her breast milk to the boy, replenishing his Soma in a scene that reminds Mafuyu of the image on an icon. This allows the boy, a Qwaser, to bring forth a giant scythe and slice the masked person, but his opponent then disappears. In the aftermath, Mafuyu tries to thank the boy, but he tells her that those who can’t save themselves don’t deserve to survive and that she has to take hold of things on her own. The next day, much to Mafuyu’s surprise, the church is completely back to normal, and the boy is introduced into her class as Alexander Nikolayevich Her. She tries to get him to explain things, but he thinks that it’s better that she doesn’t know. He’s even colder towards the girls who usually bully Mafuyu and Tomo, however he does take a moment to grab Tomo’s breast. In the end, he warns Mafuyu that misfortune falls on those who get near him.
The OP isn’t quite as fast-paced as the one Faylan sang for CANAAN, but I like the chorus part here a bit more. That part actually sounds really familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it reminds me of – perhaps Chihara Minori’s Paradise Lost. Anyway, the animation sequence that went with it was fairly standard stuff that shows most of the cast and hints at what’s going to happen. The ED, on the other hand, focuses on the main girls, and the song is a seiyuu group one that was a little better than I thought it’d be, but not by much.
This first episode was about what I expected since it followed the manga fairly closely. The production quality was fairly good, and there wasn’t much action, but what was there – the attack on Mafuyu and Alexander’s battle – wasn’t too bad. Instead, there was a lot of exposition (about Mafuyu and Tomo’s past, how they’re now treated poorly, about the icons, Qwasers, etc), some mysterious characters, and some fanservice.
And fanservice is where the series is likely to get a lot of attention. As readers of the manga know, one of the key plot points is the use of breastfeeding for Qwasers. The MBS version, however, more or less censors the Teresa breastfeeding scene with some creative panning and cropping. There were also a few spots when the visuals showed a girl screaming but the audio didn’t reflect that, which makes me think that they cut those out too. In fact, there was less blatant fanservice than I expected given what was shown in the uncensored promo video. Certainly there were a lot of emphasis on Tomo’s huge breasts and some shots of Mafuyu’s underwear, but in the context of what other series these days show, this was relatively tame. The ED had arguably more fanservice than the entire episode. What will be interesting to see is how much the AT-X version, which airs in a couple of weeks on January 26th, will show.
As for me, I was neither really impressed nor really disappointed with the first episode. Even with the edits, it’s not bad, however I’m not convinced it’s a series I’d want to follow and blog, since at this point that would require me to drop another show on my schedule to make room. We’ll have to see what the second episode has in store.