OP: 「Realization」 by 飛蘭 (Faylan)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
「強くてニューゲーム」 (Tsuyoku te Nyu Gemu)
“A Strong New Game”
What do you get when you bring together RPG elements and fanservice? A child named Hagure Yuusha no Estetica! Corny jokes aside, it’s true though. All the main aspects of a typical RPG are here (more on the fanservice later). We have a rogue hero who comes out of nowhere (another world) to save the day: Ousawa Akatsuki (Okamoto Nobuhiko). We have the queen in distress: Listy El Da Sherfied (Satou Rina). And last but not least, we have an evil demon lord to defeat.
Wait, what’s that? You’re asking me why you shouldn’t just play an RPG instead of watching Estetica? Well, it’s because of the twist added in by creator Uesu Tetsuto. See, rather than giving us some stereotypical story we could find in pretty much a thousand places, he starts the series AFTER everything’s said and done. The demon lord’s already been defeated, the land saved, and the hero’s mission accomplished. It’s time for the hero to go back to his own world, chock full of leveled up powers, a naked woman in his duffle bag, and hands that can strip off the lingerie off any female in the blink of an eye.
And well, that’s pretty much what the first episode was about in a nutshell. For the most part, what we get is a prologue of sorts, where we get some quick introduction to some of the cast members and a set up for the main story line. And well, as ridiculous as this first episode was, I couldn’t help but find myself entertained at the end of it all. For one, our main hero is anything but the definition of boring. As the one who defeated the demon lord, he’s already darn strong, and doesn’t hesitate to do whatever the heck he wants. And that’s exactly the kind of protagonist I want running this kind of show, however seemingly cliche it is. Sure, the great hero ain’t THAT awesome, as he gets abducted and forcibly enrolled in the organization known as BABEL, but seeing as it’s how the author wants to progress further in terms of plot, there’s nothing wrong with this development. If anything, making Akatsuki somewhat less overpowered is something that should serve as a nice source of plot development and entertainment in the future.
As for what BABEL is, it’s being described as a kind of institution for protecting and controlling people who have transferred back from other worlds—people who all possess their own unique powers. And as demonstrated by scenes in the OP/ED, as well as the aptitude examination battle with the Student Council President, the BABEL environment will at least give us some nice treats in terms of action and battle scenes… if not also some mystery and intrigue in regards to the inner workings of the organization.
But, that’s enough about our grand pervert and BABEL, as I reckon I’ll find plenty of other opportunities to talk about them in the future. Next up is—no, I’m not up to the gratuitous uncensored scenes and other related fanservice yet, although the person I want to talk about is involved in quite a bit of it. Next up is a quick discussion about our main heroine, Ousawa Miu. The daughter of the demon lord, she is entrusted to our rogue hero due to his fighting prowess, and also ends up in BABEL as well. Aside from some brief mentions of the potential destruction she could wreck in the wrong hands, we’re not given much else at the moment, but it’s definitely something to watch for. The series seems a bit light-hearted at the moment, especially in regard this this, but this should be something that gradually develops into something more serious as the series goes on. In the meanwhile though, I know at least some of the viewers will enjoy the fanservice that comes with her, her kick ass skills that let her easily dispose of the instructor in charge of the aptitude examination, and her overall likable demeanor. Oh yes, did I mention she’s also voiced by Hikasa Youko of K-ON! fame?
And now last, but not least… the obligatory discussion about the fanservice. Personally, I’ll admit that I’m not too fond of shows that go overboard with their fanservice, as an excess tends to detract from the overall experience in my view. Coming into the show, I was warned that there would be a fair amount, so I’ll admit that I was a bit worried that Estetica would be one of those shows that go overboard with that aspect. In the worst case, I feared it’d make it so I wouldn’t want to cover the show at all! But while the first episode did offer quite a bit in this department, it thankfully didn’t detract much from the overall experience at all. And mostly it’s because the more serious scenes (the battles) were pretty much devoid of any real fanservice aside from a panty shot or two and the usual “jiggling”, which is how it should be done. It doesn’t change the fact that some of the fanservice scenes were pretty ridiculous and over the top, but at least it worked in the scene it was in, and provided some moments of laughter and entertainment.
Overall, Estetica seems to be pretty much as advertised at this point. It’s an action/fantasy mixture that combines elements you’d see in an RPG, as well as quite a few helpings of fanservice. If you’re into shows of such genres, I reckon this is one show that won’t disappoint in that respect. Those that aren’t that big of a fan might be less inclined to watch, especially those that don’t like watching shows with a fair amount of fanservice. However, it might still be worth a watch either way because of how it gives us a story that’s more of a post game/New Game+ rather than the typical, cliche story of a hero rising up to defeat some ultimate enemy. It’s a story that like Divine said in his preview, “gives the author the freedom to take the story in almost any direction”. As such, Estetica’s not something that should be written off immediately even if you don’t like the first few episodes. Though, from the way the story’s developing, it does seem like we might be in for the long haul, as it doesn’t seem like there’s anyway this series will end with only one cour. But, as that’s still unconfirmed, I’ll just leave it at that. In the meanwhile, here’s some NSFW…
ED: 「愛のせいで眠れない」 (Ai no Sei de Nemurenai) by 美郷あき (Misato Aki)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼
「聖水の絆」 (Seisui no Kizuna)
“Bonds of Holy Water”
After going through the second episode of Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, I couldn’t help but the list of rules for Fight Club. Sure, I’m already violating the first rule by talking about it, but really, they might as well have named the episode “Ousawa Akatsuki”—because, well, he was pretty much the focus of most of the episode. Think about it:
Moving on, we get introductions to the other members of the fairly large cast. First off, we meet Izumi Chikage (Ueda Kana), the girl that happily welcomes you to class and later gets found seducing other gals in the PE supply room. She’s then followed by Nanase Haruka (Inoue Marina), the Student Council member who emphasizes green in all senses of the word (in her hair, as well as certain undergarments) and topped off with another green haired gal in Doumoto Kuzuha, the class rep (of course voiced by Hanazawa Kana). But, in the end, these introductions are barely the focus this time around though, as Akatsuki and one other element takes most of the airtime this episode.
That last element? You guessed it: pure fanservice. You’ve seen glimpses of it already in some of the picture links I’ve already put up there, but that was pretty much only a portion of the fanservice that was given this episode… for better and for worse. And well, I say the latter part because the fanservice was as ridiculous and thus as entertaining as the first episode, so that was a slight positive—but it’s also a negative this time around because of the sheer amount that was put in and the ridiculous scenarios that had to be made to do so. I’m as much as a fan of these inclusions as the average fan, but it definitely felt like a lot of the episode was purely of the fanservice variety, rather than moving along the plot at all. In fact, I’d have to say the only plot development we got from this episode was the progression of about a few hours worth of time in the Estetica universe, which makes me worry a little bit. Granted, this might be a little nit picky on my end, so I won’t go saying too much extra about my qualms regarding the exceptionally gratuitous scenes (especially the shower ones).
What I do have to say though, is I’m not sure if this large amount of fanservice to plot ratio is something that’ll be conducive towards blogging of the series. Meaning, the series is entertaining and all, but it’s starting to feel like Estetica’s more of a show to be watched for fun, rather than something to be also talked about on a weekly basis. I can potentially see a future where all I’m talking about are the perverted exploits of our rogue hero and well, as fun as that sounds, that’s not quite what I want to be doing. I’ll probably continue covering this series for a little bit longer, but I’ll say it now before hand just in case: there is a likely chance I may drop coverage of this series in the future.
I know some (if not many of you) reading this post will be disappointed at this, and I for one don’t like the idea of dropping coverage of a show early on—but like what Guardian Enzo said in his decision to stop blogging Kuroko no Basuke, it just seems likely I won’t be able to give the series the blogging coverage it deserves due to the manner it presents itself and the calm pace it takes. If it were one cour, I’d think a lot harder about finishing it up, but it seems more than likely it won’t be just a one cour. But, guess we’ll see. 😀