「天を契んだ日」 (Ten wo Kizanda Hi)
“The Day I Made My Mark in the Sky”

As per the promo video, Maken-Ki kicks the fan-service into high gear with its busty female cast and frivolous use of panty shots. While that was pretty much expected, it looks like I’ll have to retract my statement about the “goofy” character designs as they’re a lot better than I thought. I probably should’ve known better than to doubt AIC’s ability to produce good-looking productions, even though their past works are littered with harem-esque romantic comedies further than the eye can see. Interestingly enough, Nobuteru Yuuki is responsible for this adaptation’s designs, whose previous works include a very old but very good anime from my childhood, Record of Lodoss War (OVA version). The other surprise among the staff is screenwriter Kuroda Yousuke, whose notable works include Gundam 00, Phantom, Honey & Clover, and Onegai Sensei/Twins. This leaves director Oohata Kouichi as the not-so-unusual key staff member, given that he’s worked on Ikki Tousen — another series that features big-busted high school fighters.

The end result is a production that looks pretty good, which may spark some interest outside the series’ intended audience. In my case, it re-sparked interest in a title that I’d normally watch but was going to pass on this season to cut back on shows. As I mentioned in the Fall 2011 Preview, the early parts of the manga reminded me of FREEZING and provided a similar type of entertainment. This premiere made that even more evident when the fighting kicked in and looked as good as it did. Yes, all the “clever” camera angels were kind of distracting, but they aren’t nearly as bad as the girls getting their clothes torn off. If anything, the biggest distraction was our male lead, Ooyama Takeru (Maeno Tomoaki), who shares a similar level of perversion as Amagami SS’ Junichi, except without the image that warrants Tomoaki’s deep voice. I dare say I would’ve preferred a wimpier male voice that’s more befitting of Takeru’s image.

As for the quick rundown, Takeru is reunited with his childhood friend Amaya Haruko (Shitaya Noriko) after enrolling at the recently turned co-ed Tenpi High, but is unaware that the students there learn to control magical powers called “Elements” using replicas of magical weapons known as “Maken”. On the first day, he witnesses two girls — Shinatsu Azuki (Togashi Misuzu, sings the not-yet-shown opening theme “Fly Away”) and Kinua Garret (Shimamura Yuu) — fighting to settle a score and later finds himself taking part in the opening ceremony demonstration thanks to Himegawa Kodama (Yahagi Sayuri), who perceives Takeru as her sworn enemy because of a mark on his chest. He’s saved by a girl wielding an authentic Maken and claiming to be his fiancee, Kushiya Inaho (Nomizu Iori), and soon finds himself living in a dorm with Inaho and Kodama thanks to their easygoing principal, Rokujou Minori (Mina). Haruko takes exception because she likes Takeru, and uses her authority as student council president and dorm leader to move in as well.

In effect, we have a harem setup to its fullest that isn’t anything to write home about. However, what I did really enjoy was hearing Iori in a clingy role, very unlike the ones I know her for in Sora no Otoshimono and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka. Sayuri in a tsundere role is always fun to watch too. They’re actually the two main reasons why I want to check out a few more episodes, even though I fully expect this to degrade into a slapstick fan-service-filled affair before long (if it hasn’t already). In addition to the characters, the better than expected visuals and timely comedic moments are the best things Maken-Ki has going for it at the moment, so if the premise sounds somewhat appealing to you, I’d recommend checking out this first episode just to get an idea of what they’re like. It looks like it might be fun to watch for kicks (like with most harems), but I wouldn’t expect too much.

* Full-length images: 14, 20, 22.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Baby! Baby!」 by 天谷春恋 と 櫛八イナホ (下屋則子・野水伊織) (Amaya Haruka & Kushiya Inaho (Shitaya Noriko / Nomizu Iori))
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

51 Comments

      1. I was not aware of that. Shows that you can always learn something new.

        I find it a bit inappropriate how the panty shots are looking more and more realistic nowadays. ( The panties have ultra real shape )

        sin1505
  1. Wow. Not ONLY do they have the awkward male high school student accidentally falling onto the childhood friend and groping her, but HIS PANTS ARE DOWN TOO!?!?

    ORIGINALITY!

    starss
    1. while the TenTen manga is certainly better than Maken-Ki (minus Oh Great’s syndrome across all his manga of constant hiatuses leading to him losing his own plot resulting in his storylines taking way too long for the amount of development he actually finally had), the TenTen anime was far from stellar (and that’s being pretty charitable).

      so as much as i like TenTen i’m not sure how much i really care about them continuing the anime at that rate.

      Bob
  2. Some of the animation was sketchy and i dont mind the panty shots… but what gets me is that they have to totally warp the rendering of the skirts… i mean come on! the skirts look normal in one scene, then space and time is skewed into oblivion, shaken up and stirred and all of a sudden the skirts look like a mentally challenged person drew them. Good fight sequences and the bg music was awesome.

    Aidenson
  3. This turn out to be not too bad. At least this episode seems watchable for me, better than some of the similar shows from the previous two seasons imho. I can imagine things getting worst at some point, but will continue to watch for now.

    x
  4. So another series that glorifies the b00bs?

    I’ve just finished Queen’s Blade S1 2 weeks ago, and currently watching S2 all in its fully uncensored version (the BDs), my personal opinion is that it’s far better watching it fully uncensored than the broadcast episodes with heavy white lines on the screen. I might as well just wait for the fully uncensored release of this new series also for maximum enjoyment :p

    ….wait….is this series has the same amount of boob exposure to the likes of Queen’s Blade or Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls or just cleavage shots? If ever I might as well try this out?

  5. Another string of ecchi distasteful posts. Woulda figured folks knew what we were gonna get ourselfs into, right from Divine’s first season preview sentence.

    Like every other 1 cour harlem manga turned anime. Its the usual pantsu, groping, with the token beach, hot spring vacations, with a touch of plot development.

    Enjoy it like the rest of us perverts.

    rummy
  6. This looks like that anime Freezing. I hope to see the same plot/character quality. Freezing has a lot of fan service, but it also presented great storyline and characters.

    André
  7. Why are all the shows all about panties and big boobs. I mean not that I hate them but it’s getting kinda boring. What the hell happened to all the fighting shows?Something like Bleach, Naruto, One Piece and Fairy Tail(even though both has a lot of skin but it has a good story). I’m sorry to start trolling here but I’m looking for some good anime with a little fan service coz I’ve almost run out what to watch.

    sixfeetunder
    1. Your topic hits a different subject about anime, hopefully I am not wrong but RC has an article on the decline of anime, Random musing, daily dose, I cannot recall well but an interesting article of anime in economy. I think to better satisfy your entertainment it might be best to research the studio / company to keep your interest.

      bluance
    2. All shows? It’s not like the ones you mentioned aren’t still ongoing. And apart from those 4, so do we have Beelzebub and the restarted HxH. Then we have a fair amount of action oriented animes in this season as well like: Fate Zero, Gundam, Last Exile, Shakugan no Shana, Persona 4 and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon.

      So I don’t see where you get the idea that fan service is taking over comes from. If anything so does this season look full of action (non-fanservice) shows.

      Znail

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