「勇者になれなかった俺はレジを打っています。」 (Yuusha ni Narenakatta ore wa Reji o Utte Imasu.)
“I Couldn’t Be a Hero, So I’m Working the Register”

A little ecchi, a little funny, a little endearing, good pacing…this first episode didn’t jump out at me (except for the boobs), but it was a solid effort all around.

Where Fanservice Works, and Where It Doesn’t

I didn’t realize there was going to be so much fanservice in this show – even the action-focused opening sequence was bouncy – but there it is. This left me feeling conflicted, because while I didn’t mind the bouncing boobs here, the fanservice in another new show, Kill la Kill, left me disappointed.

The answer has to do with tone, and of course expectations. I went into Kill la Kill expecting hardcore action, and I got that, but I felt the fanservice distracted from that, which I didn’t like. Here I went in expecting silly romcom antics, and while I didn’t expect so much fanservice, it’s not far off from the traditional romcom faire. The honest truth is that in either case, it could work out fine – I’ll reserve my final judgement on that until later on, when I’ve gotten used to the story these shows are trying to tell me, rather than the story I thought they would tell. The lesson (and it’s an old one, but it bears repeating) is to go into every show with as few expectations as possible and enjoy them for what they are. I enjoyed the bounciness here because it matched the tone, but if you didn’t then I won’t judge, because it’s certainly a bit over the top. Go with what works for you.

But seriously girls, you all probably need to invest in a bra. That much freedom has to be hell on your shoulders.

Jokes, Pacing, Atmosphere, Animation

In the annuls of anime history, “ecchi romantic comedy” isn’t exactly a ground-breaking new genre, so if you only watch unique series – which I think is a mistake by the way, though that’s another post entirely – then this won’t be to your liking. Instead I’ll talk about how well this does what it seeks out to do, save for the bounciness, which I’ve already gone over.

The pacing was the first thing that struck me. It’s really even throughout, which made the events of the episode flow naturally. It was a bit slow at parts – though I prefer that to it being too fast – but it still bears mentioning. The atmosphere was good – it had that right mix of menial customer service, moderate despair, and weapons-grade cleaning solutions – and while the animation wasn’t top-tier, it’s still upper tier and does its job well (though whether that’ll continue past episode one is always anyone’s guess). As for the jokes, they were…well, on those I can only give them a “pretty good”. Part of this is undoubtedly because I previewed this show, so I’ve already seen most of these particular gags, but they didn’t cause me to erupt with laughter then either. If you’re in this for the jokes, I’m not sure whether this show will make you laugh enough. I wouldn’t drop it though, because there’s some good potential here.

The Characters

For a show like this (and really, pretty much every show), it all comes down to the characters. So far Fino Bloodstone (Tadokoro Azusa) is leading the pack for me. Her honesty and curiosity is just so endearing, which makes it impossible to hate her even though she’s oblivious and has a tendency to accidentally blow magi-electronics up. Raul Chaser (Koumoto Keisuke) I’m less sure on, but I tentatively like him. He’s not particularly interesting in and of himself so far, but his frustration and sense of feeling lost fit well with his situation, which does trigger my empathy. Maybe that’s just because I used to work in a department store though. Seriously, screw those places. People just toss all the clothes all over the changing rooms and let their children run free. I still have nightmares.

Looking Ahead

I think this will be a good Friday show for me – something simple and unassuming that I can wind down the work week with. If that’s something that appeals to you – and also, oppai and pantsu – then this might be the show for you. I don’t have any plans to blog this further, but I will be watching it, so follow me on twitter if you want to hear my reactions and/or discuss the show.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Good pacing, an endearing leading lady, and boing boing boing~ #yushibu 01

Random thoughts:

  • One thing: it’s a bit cheap to go magitech by just tacking the word “magic” onto normal items. I prefer the Discworld method of having items function the same way, but for different reasons specifically suited to the world. I guess Yushibu’s way gets the story going and then gets out of the way, but still…it’s a bit lazy.
  • But seriously, how did Raul go so long thinking Fino was a boy? I mean look at her! I know she talks like a (very arrogant) man, but c’mon! C’MON!
  • So bubbles count as clothing to demons? Swiftly approved! Let this new craze sweep the magical nation!
  • This show has the appropriate amount of thigh-highs. Could not be more pleased. Need moar!
  • Seriously though Japan, have some self control on your naming. Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita? It’s supposed to be a name, not a description! Keep it down to a word or three, damn.

I’ve made a change on my blog to focus more on storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing, so check it out at stiltsoutloud.com.

Full-length images: 08, 12, 13, 14, 24, 26, 28, 33, 35, 42.


OP Sequence

OP: 「Extra Revolution」 by ZAQ


    1. Don’t get caught up in the Yuusha/Maou thing, this is no more a Hataraku Maou-sama! than it is a Maoyuu. But as I said above, if you want something more like Hataraku, I suggest Outbreak Company. A different beast, but that same quality and a similar feel so far.

  1. Not bad, but not impressive. The amount of fanservice was unexpected.

    I wonder where this series will go. Is this just slice-of-fantasy-life, or is there an underlying plot…?

  2. Definitely didn’t expect so much fanservice.I think they should tone down on the jiggling.But eh,maybe my expectations for fanservice are still too since DxD ended not too long ago,and before that it was Hyakka Ryouran 😛

    The main cast is fairly entertaining,especially Fino,but I believe she’s at her best when Raul’s around.Will probably stick with it until the end even if other episodes won’t be more entertaining than this one,not if it becomes too boring though.

  3. I found this show cute.

    Like, that’s the best way I could describe it. Just had this whimsical vibe to it I don’t see often. And I like the main characters too.

    Sure why not watch this series. It’s always nice to see some of the more cliche’d harem shows every once in a while.

  4. Not every series needs to be or should be great. In fact, the really intense stuff can be draining after a while, so I like series like this as a nice way to wind down.

    Not great, but good enough. I’ll keep watching it.

    1. While I agree that not every show needs to be epic or dramatic or “hardcore”, I disagree that not every show needs to be great. Even if you’re trying to make a lowbrow ecchi romcom, you should try to make the best lowbrow ecchi romcom you possibly can!

      Not saying this isn’t that, btw. Maybe it will be, maybe not. I just think all storytellers should strive to do the best at whatever they’re trying to do possible.

    2. Agree completely – though Stilts has a point as well (I wonder what the defining criteria is for “best low-brow ecchi rom-com) ^^).

      Anyway, at least for me, there are times when you just want to relax, put your brain in neutral, and be entertained. This show seems to fit the bill nicely in that regard. As long as Fino remains solidly in the spotlight, I’m in.

  5. Not what I was expecting. They really ramped up the fanservice, but the bouncing boobs could be toned down. Not bad but it just gets repetitive after awhile. The cameo by the old pervert was priceless. I laughed my ass off when I realized what they were parodying.

    I’m with you Stilts on the naming. At the rate they’re going, they’re going to do one where the title is longer than the show.

  6. meet raul a hero in training who prepare to a real hero battle person til demon lord “bought it” cue 2 years later now raul is working in a magical best buy store?!

    give raul working it well just work to do til meet fino a person who now hired work in magical best buy & oh it’s a demon lord’s kid so raul give a to z of working magical best buy to fino then oops liquid spill yet fino is a girl?!

    so yea from hero in training to magical best buy worker oh the hero in training has fallen.

  7. Am I the only one who was happily enjoying the breas… story? Yeah we’ve seen it before but I really like Fino and a quick search shows that the seiyu is a new talent (at least she doesn’t have much on the online listings). Her laugh when she came out in the uniform was money and cute! Strangely I feel like I’ve heard her voice before but her online credits are barren. Hmm. We’ll I’m a romcom addict so I suppose I’m pretty forgiving. 😀

    1. Same here, I was so sure that I’d heard her somewhere before, but I was drawing a blank as to exactly where. Then the credits came up and I was left scratching my head.

      Raul is nice and rather mature, but he doesn’t have anything that makes him interesting to watch, unlike say from Maou from Hataraku! or Kanou from this season’s Outbreak Company, so Fino’s carrying the show for me now.

      The presence of four females with blond/light-coloured hair feels a bit redundant to me…where did Miss Fanservice from the fight sequence go? Does the boss have to have pretty much the same shade of hair colour as bubbly coworker? Appearance-wise it’s lacking in variety a bit…although the neighbouring convenience store (?) doesn’t appear to have this problem.

  8. Count me in as one who wasn’t expecting this, but it turned out okay. For me, Fino makes the show show worthwhile. Apart from her obvious, err, charms, her naive curiosity about the human world is pretty fun to watch. Raul, on the other hand, IMO has the charisma of wet cardboard.

    Agree completely with what s_w posted above “not great, but good enough” to keep me watching.

  9. “This left me feeling conflicted, because while I didn’t mind the bouncing boobs here, the fanservice in another new show, Kill la Kill, left me disappointed.”

    I disagree wholeheartedly.
    The fanservice in Kill la Kill fitted the show, because it was done as over the top as the rest of it.
    Yuushibu just slaps tits and pantyshots in our face at a higher pace than Seikon no Qwaser for no reason.

    1. I can understand where you’re coming from in both cases. Like I said, I feel like I’ll be able to judge both more fairly once I adjust my expectations and am watching the stories they’re trying to tell, not the ones I thought they would tell.

  10. So far, I’m a little torn about this show.

    But in this show, something just smacks of lazy non-caring.

    I try to swallow how the world is full of modern looking devices all powered by magic, but then it runs counter to how the weapons and armor in the beginning were purely medieval fantasy-ish. The difficulty of manufacturing a television or hairdryer, especially a mass-produced one, (even when powered by magic), is SO far above that of making a staff or sword it’s not even funny. It seems absolutely ridiculous that in this world, they didn’t invent some sort of magic gun, or magic 120 mm cannon for their heroes to use.

    Also, it’s hard to feel sympathy for the hero in this story for being out of the job he was training for. By definition, as soon as he succeeds in defeating the maou, he’s no longer needed. His having to find a new job was going to happen sooner or later.

  11. Anyone notice how much extra animation was in this show? I doubt Asread can keep that up, but it’s probably more than that show deserves. It’s dumb, to be sure, and probably not worth sticking around for unless it was gonna go full perverse and just deliver the ridiculous overfetished sexual content that matches other shows, so it just comes off as kind of a watered-down execution that’s likely to please few. If you’re gonna do the titty jiggling and overbearing male gaze, just go for broke.

  12. FWIW/FYI – I took a look at the one translated chapter of the source material (manga) along with skimming through the first volume raw. No spoilers, but IMO, even just the first chapter alone is better than the anime. Not only did I find the the translated manga chapter funnier, but Raul comes across much better (more depth of character), and I liked the introduction better as well (doesn’t copy Hataraku Maou-sama’s intro at all).

    Furthermore, while there is some fan service in the manga, it was definitely amped up in the anime. For example, in the manga (chapter 2 – yet to be translated), Fino kept her top on during the entire washing her hair with dish washing soap scene. No comment on whether the extra fan service is good or bad – some people like that some don’t. Just pointing it out since there seems to be quite a few who don’t like it / think it was excessive.

    Hard to say for certain given the scarcity of both anime and (translated) source material, but so far, IMO this seems to be a case of a director and/or screen writer having an inexplicable need to “improve” source material which turns out overall to be more detriment than improvement. *sigh*

    To be clear, I did enjoy the first episode overall and I’m still in. Still thinking about what Stilts mentioned above, at least for me what was “pretty good and has potential” could have easily been simply “good” by sticking closer to the source material.

    1. To be a bit crude about it, as my father said, “management just has to piss on it to make it their own”. Same seems to go with animation directors. The manga was much funnier scene by scene (and the use of chibi worked very well in the manga).

    2. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with directors / scriptwriters modifying the story to fit the new medium. With rare exceptions, you can’t use the manga as a storyboard because it wasn’t designed to be a storyboard, it’s a comic. What makes it so often go wrong is they change things around without understanding what made the original one popular enough to get animated. That or the suits interfere because of some market survey. That never goes well.

      1. @Stilts: Honestly, I don’t have a problem with directors / scriptwriters modifying the story to fit the new medium. With rare exceptions, you can’t use the manga as a storyboard because it wasn’t designed to be a storyboard, it’s a comic.

        Obviously, you can’t literally copy the panels exactly for adaptation and hope the will work out fine, but a lot of successful/popular manga (and LNs) has been adapted to anime with little change – even action oriented stories like Shingeki. SHAFT has managed to adapt a very dialog driven Mongatari series with, as far as I can tell, very little deviation from the original work. Granted it’s an LN, but I don’t think that makes it unsuitable as a good example. Altering something because it literally needs to be done in order to be presented in a different medium is one thing. Change simply for the sake of change or because the director/script writer/producers think “they can do it better” is entirely something else.

        What makes it so often go wrong is they change things around without understanding what made the original one popular enough to get animated.

        THIS^ is what I’m talking about. I read a considerable amount of manga and translated LNs, and seemingly there are more and more instances in which changes clearly not required for adaptation are made. While I’m not sure if it truly qualifies as the “original source material” due to lack of English TL for the LN to compare, I think Maoyuu Maou Yuusha (Hero be Mine, I Refuse!) manga vs. the anime is a good example of this. Given your previous comments, I think you would agree that the manga is superior to the anime, and had the anime faithfully followed the manga, it would have been much better off for it.

        As a fan of a manga/LN based works, it is quite frustrating to see something you enjoy unnecessarily altered (i.e clearly not required to adapt to a visual medium) and worse off/less enjoyable for it. Sadly, I can think of numerous examples such as additional/replacement material, swapping character lines/actions, exaggerating character traits, etc. done in a wide variety of shows. Cuts (deleted material) can be required since an anime series only has X amount of air time, but that still doesn’t provide a valid reason to do so with reckless abandon just to reach a “good” ending point. Again, IMO Maoyuu anime provides a clear example of where cutting material with reckless abandon in order to get to said “good” ending point is detrimental rather than necessary for adaptation.

        Getting back to this series specifically, there is little translated “source material” out there. None of the six LN volumes have been translated, and so far, only one chapter of the manga. Even so, assuming that the manga is faithful to the LN (no reason to think not), I found the “source material” superior to the “adaptation”, and IMO I can’t see how the anime’s deviations were “necessary/required” by the change in medium.

        To be clear, the previous statement does not take into account the anime’s added fan-service. Frankly, that didn’t bother me, but given some of the posted comments, clearly some thought it excessive so I mentioned it to be fair to the original work. It’s only one chapter, so you might find it worth your time to read it here and draw your own conclusions.

      2. Sure and there are sometimes where the anime is vastly superior to the source (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!). The problem is where something that works is changed for no apparent reason and loses the emotional impact either (comedic or dramatic) that was present in the original. The problem I find with this show is a lack of understanding how to translate the show to animation and maintain the comic timing of the original. Frankly, it seems as if they were only interested in finding ways to add fanservice rather than to focus on the story and having fanservice be used as a device to enhance the comedy.

      3. @Bear:

        Fair enough – I’m not suggesting that it’s impossible that source deviations may actually be an improvement (on a statistical basis alone it’s bound to happen at some point). I’m sure there’s something I’ve watched in which that was the case, but in all honesty, I can’t think of a specific example. Conversely, I can think of more that one show which was very well received (both critically and in terms of popularity) that did stick closely to the source material. Coincidence? IMO, no.

        All JMO of course, but if it’s so “necessary” to make non-adaptation required changes, why was the original material thought worthy of the time and expense to animate in the first place? It goes back to what Stilt’s suggested – there are reasons the source material is popular. Don’t screw that up. By keeping faithful to the material, the chance of “translation” (as you put it) problems is greatly reduced.

        As for this show itself, I agree with your comments. Again, I don’t have an issue with the added fan-service. They could have added that (if deemed necessary) without making the other changes. Only one EP so let’s see how it goes from here. Yeah, it’s “another Maou-sama” show, but the characters and setting are different enough for me to avoid continuous comparison. From what I’ve seen/read so far, I think the anime has good potential (the LN was awarded Gold in the 23rd Fantasia Awards FWIW). I’d like to see it reach that.

  13. The jokes… the jokes weren’t as well executed -_-… I’m kinda upset at that. I was literally on the floor dying in comparison to the show. I was so excited too. I’ll still give it a shot… but it’s hard when the jokes have less impact, aka the idea of telling the same funny story/joke to your friends that another friends used and just plain sucking at retelling it. I also think they left out certain jokes for more fanservice and such which is really disappointing, especially since one of the greatest punch lines is when she acts like a demon lord, scares the crap out of her customers and has no sense of what consumers want (usually by throwing in something disgusting or hell as scary). I’m hoping it gets better, but man, it’s tough when you feel like everything you liked about the original has been stripped away from it. I really do hope it becomes Friday guilty pleasures of jokes and comedy that I need right now XP.

    Sora no Kaze

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