「問題児たちが箱庭にやって来たようですよ?」 (Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Hakoniwa ni Yattekita You Desu yo?)
“The Problem Children Have Arrived at the Little Garden, Haven’t They?”

For some reason I’ve been unable to quantify, I’ve been looking forward to Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? since early on after its announcement. After watching its first episode, I’m beginning to form a better picture of exactly why. There’s something strangely appealing about the idea of a trio of delinquents with powers being thrown into a parallel world where they can wreak havoc to their hearts’ desires. This isn’t exactly the first anime to do something like this – DOG DAYS comes to mind as another anime with a similar type of feel, where the world essentially exists as a playground. But original ideas are not necessarily always good and vice versa.

To provide a quick summary of the episode’s events, three delinquents, Sakamaki Izayoi (Asanuma Shintaro), Kudou Asuka (Sarah Emi Bridcut), and Kasukabe You (Nakajima Megumi), receive mysterious letters and find themselves transported to the ‘Little Garden’. Here they’re greeted by Kurousagi (Nomizu Iori) and learn about the world in which individuals take part in Gift Games to compete for prizes. While being introduced to Lily (Mikami Shiori) and Jin (Igarashi Hiromi), Sakamaki runs off and beats the crap out of some water god like the good delinquent he is.

As someone who enjoys fantasy worlds, this was a pretty good first episode. There was quite a bit of exposition on how the Gift Games work, but it was nicely broken up with some pretty good action which mostly kept the pace from becoming too plodding. I find quite a bit of appeal in the concept of a world filled with all manner of races and beings with powers which exists solely for the purpose of competitive games. The founder has already been mentioned once in passing and it intrigues me just who or what he or she might be, and what purpose they may have had in creating the games. That this person was mentioned at all suggests to me that the subject may well come up again at a later date. The fact that the games themselves cover a wide range of activities, both dangerous and not, gives the show plenty of room to be creative should it choose to do so down the line.

There’s a certain charm to the characters and their overbearingly cocky attitudes. Izayoi is unbearably proud of how terrible his reputation is, boasting about it frequently and refusing to conform to any of the rules set down before him. Truth be told, how watchable the show turns out to be rests mostly upon him. With his intellect allowing him to outsmart Kurousagi right off the bat and his recklessness and ridiculous strength resulting in the takedown of a water god, he’s proving to be a fairly likeable character so far. Joining him is the ojou-sama Kudou Asuka with what seems to be a fitting ability to imprint commands on others, and the quiet yet capable Kasukabe You with her (that is a her right?) ability to talk to animals. There is potential for some pretty interesting dynamics between the three (or four if you count Kurousagi), I just hope we get to see it!

The entry into the world was handled quite magnificently, Hamaguchi Shiro’s wonderful music accompanying some really nice shots as they made their rapid descent. Even the sudden cut to the plummeting kitty added something in the form of comedic effect. It certainly makes for an interesting promise of what may be to come. Kurousagi is a bit of an enigma too; whether her changing hair colour when getting serious is actually of any real import, and whether her ulterior motive is anything beyond the standard ‘improving the destitute community everyone looks down upon‘ remains to be seen but I imagine that this could well turn out to be her raison d’être. I’ll admit freely that I find that rather uninspired and am hoping to be proven wrong. There is promise, but all we can do is wait and see whether Mondaiji manages to live up to it!

tl;dr: @MoombaDS – Delinquents, bunny girls, and superpowers! Not bad for a first episode! #Mondaiji

Random thoughts:

  • Don’t deny it, if you met a real bunny girl, your first reaction would be to tug on her ears too!
  • I’ve been wondering whether Kurousagi is meant to be an unsubtle reference to Alice in Wonderland (I imagine it partially is), but it’s kind of cool that it also happens to work for her role within the society based so heavily around gambling.
  • I love seeing people come up with creative ways to break rules, Izayoi’s is no exception!
  • Asuka jokes about there being vampires and there actually are vampires – I like this show already!
  • The cat is already the best character!

Full-length images: 01, 02, 05, 07, 08, 17, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 39.


OP Sequence

OP: 「Black † White」 by 野水いおり (Nomizu Iori)


End Card


  1. I’d been interested ever since I first saw the PV but I honestly enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The world seems fun, the characters have the potential to be interesting and Izayoi with how badass he was, carried the episode. (Even if it’ll probably get boring if he isn’t going to have any probelms at all)

    Also guessing it now: The question to his question at the end is we had to find help because if we don’t prove ourselves within a short time limit our high school community will be shut down.

  2. It certainly exceeded my expectations. I thought it was going to be as horrible as Dog Days, but it actually surprised me since its not a harem and the main character is just a flippant badass.

  3. Hmmm. Not bad.

    I do fear that the main characters are way too strong though. They are freaking invincible already and I have a hard time envisioning thee struggling against any enemies (god? pssst. Arrogantly played around before finishing with one blow… yep. way too strong main characters); I can see them winning quite easily against any enemy. And It’s kind of hard to root for invincible heroes. One reason I prefer Batman over superman (superman is so boring).

    They also could’ve done it without (mandatory these days) cute children characters. I hate these little children characters. So unnecessary. But this is just minor point and doesn’t affect my view on this show as a whole. I will definitely give this show a curtesy for 3 episode rule before deciding whether to keep watching.

      1. Seeing the down vote you’ve got. It looks like there actually are people who prefer “weak,wimpy,useless,dumb,indecisive”(I added an adjective you forgot) piece of shits over smart,calm,decisive,cool and strong Protagonists.

      2. Useless and indecisive are the biggest downers. That just sucks out the viewers soul and makes people throw rotten tomatoes at their screen.

        Still, I’d rather the smart, calm, decisive, cool, strong protagonist be more snarky and fun then just an ass out for himself. Akatsuki from “Hagure Yusha” was nearly the perfect protagonist for me, even if he did play up being the tiniest bit too cocky.

      3. @Aex: Akatsuki from “Hagure Yusha” was nearly the perfect protagonist for me, even if he did play up being the tiniest bit too cocky.

        Agree 100%. He was very much the “lovable prankster”. A bit over the top at times, but deep down he was a good guy. I definitely don’t want a perfect male lead (personality or ability), but would it really be that boring for a male lead to be relatively normal in terms of personality rather than skewed towards some extreme?

        Personally, I’m getting tired of the “oblivious to any and all indications of female interest” character. Girl: (for the xth time) “I love you completely without reservation. I only want to spend the rest of my life with you. It’s impossible for me to love anyone else.” Guy: “Is she trying to tell me something? No, I must be imagining things.” Me: bash head against desk in frustration.

        Izayoi definitely crossed the confidence/arrogance line, but I suspect he’s a fairly decent person underneath the facade rather than a true “jerk” to put it politely. He did, in his own unique way, “rescue” that kid from being bullied early on in the show.

    1. Even if Izayoi can beat a God, I can still see him losing. Like if he is challenged to an extremely boring game, he would probably forfeit out of boredom (or he loses it, whichever comes first). Or his opponent is so unbelievably weak that he loses all interest and gives up.

  4. A fantasy series where the three main characters could very easily be anti-heroes? I’m definitely intrigued! That said, Sakamaki is already a little boring. Of the three, he’s the most predictable, and closest to the type we’ve seen a hundred times before. Have to say, this is probably the one series I don’t want to see a romance in, or at the very least, not a romance that involves him.

    Premises of a game world isn’t all that new, but still sounds fun.

      1. Cause right now he’s just a jackass, and the jackass getting the girl is too much like reality for me. I come to anime like this to get away from reality.

        I’d rather have a good wimp with a heart than a selfish jerk we’re supposed to grow fond of because hes as badass, even while he’s ruining plans and getting others hurt because he just doesn’t care and wants to plow forward. But hey, maybe this show will somehow make that appealing, or maybe he’ll grow a heart. I’ve been wrong before.

      2. Well that’s a unfortunate reality for you, but I for one have seen too many nice,wimpy anime protagonists.And umm, aren’t you making too many presumptions from what little we have seen of his character.

      3. Maybe, and I’ll be happy if I am. We’ve already seen some interesting depth with the girls though, and he’s still just the brazen, overpowered anti-hero that’s only helpful by accident. Then again, as I think about it, at this point he’s TOO generic of a “hitter” character, so there’s more than likely more to him. Or he’ll get pounded into the ground and grow some sense of cooperation.

      4. Usually when people call themselves the worst type of person I find it contradictory – for one thing if he’s telling the truth then he’s ‘honest’ so he can’t be that bad, on the other hand if he’s lying then he’s actually a good guy.

  5. For once I don’t have any truly thought-provoking comments about an episode but in no way does that mean I didn’t enjoy every minute of it. I think the fact that I didn’t have to give any serious thought to this episode as I laughed through it is a pretty good sign of what may come from Mondaiji.

  6. Loved Sakamaki Izayoi’s character.Arrogant,free spirited,nonconforming,proud all great traits for a character, only better when he has the abilities and the intellect to backup his attitude.Hope they won’t ruin his current character for the sake of character development.

  7. Also already pretty fun to watch. I can’t place it exactly, but besides Dog Days, it also feels like a mixture of some other more recent anime to come out since the start of last year or maybe further.

  8. Boy needs to be deleveled some. He’s rather a bit too overpowered at the moment.

    Really I’m worried about him reducing the relative importance of the girls, who I find much more interesting.

    Interested in learning more about this world and its people. How long have folks been living here? How long do they stay? There seems a tight demand for resources… but couldn’t they just… you know… leave and go back to their worlds if there’s not enough here for them? I get the feeling we’re missing some information. Perhaps related to what our little lady blue pink Black Rabbit hasn’t told us.

    1. But I liked the fact he’s overpowered, protagonists who get beaten up all the time isn’t my cup of tea.And the girls weren’t very interesting either(not that the guy is any more better) a proud ojousama type of character and a quite,animal loving girl? Pretty sure I have seen them before.

      1. There’s a difference between not getting beaten up all the time and “walks all over one of the most powerful beings in the world like it isn’t even there within the first half-hour of his arrival.” There are levels of competence between there that they could have put him at that wouldn’t have overshadowed everyone else so much.

        And every character ever written has been seen before. The girls are simply more interesting ones than “random delinquent boy.”

      2. Actually, the truly fun part about this show is that the two girls who came along with him are likely going to share in the badassery. None of the characters are entirely original. What’s original is the fact that these 3 get along. They were reading each other perfectly almost from the beginning. Usually the girls would be beating up the guy for acting like that.

        Instead, if anyone is going to be the subject of continuous pranks by the 3 of them, it’s rabbit girl.

    1. On the winter schedule this is marked as being one of Moomba’s shows, so unless he says he’s going to drop it, he’s reviewing it straight through.

      Another way you can tell is by looking at the tags for a post up at the top. If a series has a unique tag specifically for it, than they’re planning on blogging more about it. If it doesn’t, it will probably be tagged under “Snapshots,” which means they’re only planning on doing one or two posts about it.

  9. I must admit the show was better than I expected. So far, I actually like it better than “Dog Days” which was too “sugery” for my tastes. Though perhaps a bit cliche, at least there’s some diversity among the main character personality types rather than minor variations of super nice. I also like the wide variety of “Little Garden” itself. The setting has good potential for interesting story lines.

    Izayoi defeating the “water god” so easily was a bit absurd IMO, but I’m hoping it turns out he’s not as omnipotent as he appears. Asuka may fall into the “overpowered” category as well, but my guess (hope) is that stronger willed opponents will be able to resist her commands. Was I the only one who thought it odd that despite being unable to communicate with animals, Asuka was still able to command birds? How would the birds know what she wants? Compared to those two, I thought You’s ability to communicate with animals, though useful, no where near as powerful. Being able to converse isn’t the same as being able to command.

    I don’t expect thought provoking dialog or complex plot lines, but I do think the show can be an entertaining, fun ride with a nice mix of action and comedy. The cat hitting on the cat-girl waitress was quite funny. Have to agree with Mooba there – the cat is the best character so far. All in all a good start.

    1. FYI – some additional info. Had no idea that this was based on an Light Novel. So far there are six volumes out, but nothing I’ve scene translated to English (requested on Baka-Tsuki but no takers yet).

      A LN “senior translator” read the first two volumes, and his/her comments were as follows: First volume was cool, second volume was not as well-done imo. Not bad, but second volume lacked some details, and the flow of the plot seems rather “forced”.

      Not an entirely glowing review (and only 2 volumes), but good enough to increase my interest in the show. There’s definitely more beneath the surface than we’ve seen so far. If done right, given the show’s relatively low expectations, we may have our first nominee of 2013 for the “Exceeding Expectations” award.

      Below is some additional information from the same translator in case anyone else is interested.

      Main Characters (Hero/Heroine) Background (relatively minor spoiler IMO)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Character Powers (more clarification than spoiler)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Black Rabbit and her Clan Background (definite spoiler)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Regarding Izayoi, it’s not just the opponent but also the type of game they play – remember, it was mentioned that there were many different types of games, I’m guessing some of them will be disadvantageous for him.

    2. I bet Asuka wasn’t communicating with the birds but rather demanding that “an event be realized”. In traditional Japanese belief, there is a spiritual power called kotodama that can make whatever the spellmaker says come true. Hope this doesn’t count as a spoiler because I am just guessing.

      1. Didn’t know that. Thanks for the additional info. Hard to say for sure, but I get the impression that Asuka’s power is not that powerful, but perhaps there’s a small aspect of that which explains why “language” isn’t a barrier for her.

  10. LOL, player cat.

    A light-weight show similar to Dog Days, with much more interesting main characters? Definitely entertaining(so far at least). I didn’t even plan on watching this until I read the review here(guess I should thank Moomba for that – thanks) and the first ep turned out to be surprisingly fun.Already watching relatively serious and complicated shows like Zetsuen no Tempest,Maoyuu Maou Yuusha so this will be a nice change of pace for me(anime-wise), can’t say I’m completely hooked yet though(3ep rule?).

  11. Why do I have a feeling that the main character (the boy) has some kind of mysterious aura, I mean, I have a feelings that he have some kind of dark secret. And I love if it really is have!

  12. Completely surprised by this show. Wasn’t expecting the main character to be like that, as others have mentioned. I was expecting it to be a show where the main character is aggressive, but gets constantly put down by the girls/tsundere romantic interests in typically cliche fashion.

    Instead, the girls who came with him are completely competent in their own right with no need for help from others. And maybe because the 3 of them sense each other’s awesomeness, they get along fine, and Asuka/You let Izayoi act however he wants to act because they’re both just like him: they don’t give a damn.

    Instead, the jokes are between them and rabbit girl.

    1. I’m surprised the last two comments have the word “aura” in them.
      Another series that involved gambling and aura detecting as well.
      “At their first encounter, Saki senses Fujita before she even enter the building.”
      Literally, you’re walking inside the building and you freeze because you can feel the aura of an awesome person entering the building. Hah.

      1. Hmmm, a naturally gifted voice actor who also happens to be a very good looking half Japanese/half Australian girl. I sure hope Japanese social networks are blazing about this discovery, or else the kingdom of Otakus has lost some respect from me.

        If she also happens to be a native English speaker, then by the grace of all that is good she will hopefully have a long and successful career in the anime world.

  13. Tohsaka Rin Kudou Asuka looks interesting. Ojou-samas never fail to catch my attention.

    I agree with some here that Izayoi needs to be “deleveled”. Don’t get me wrong, I really like this wave of OP MCs that we’re getting these past few seasons *ehem*Kirito*ehem* and by saying that, I definitely like how they presented Izayoi. AND THEN he punched the heck out of that water god and I was like WHOA calm down it’s just the first episode! Plenty of time to beat those gods when we get to know you more (ie., after some character development). Oh well.

  14. I was only going to watch 5 shows this season.. But then you got me interested in this, and now I’ve added one more to my list. orz

    I liked this episode a lot, so I guess there will be no sleep for me this season either. \o/

    Also, I kind of like the cat.

  15. well after watching it might some hmm give 3 people with unique power travel to different world.

    meet bunny girl who explain there games to play seem give so far more going on give head-phone blonde guy seem very “hmm” sense something going on while beating a big sea dragon.

    at least only 10eps sure whole nymph as bunny girl wonder how this go?

  16. This is the one that I am expecting in the Spring-term anime. The mysterious background and attracting heroins makes my eyes purified…. what an awesome! I astound about the guy’s(who looks like having bad attitude or behavior) flair that he terminated the legend dragon without signal of irritating.


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