OP Sequence

OP: 「Never say Never」 by アフィリア・サーガ (Afiria Saaga)

「邂逅」 (Kaigou)
“Chance Encounter”

After taking the time to preview the show for our Winter Preview, I personally fell in love with ISUCA. It was your typical harem building with magic show but something about the interactions between the main cast were so inviting that I couldn’t help but keep reading. Fast forward a few dozen chapters later and I was completely enthralled with its simple premise. Sure there were times where I questioned why such an interesting manga kept using the fanservice card when it really didn’t need it, but it was so insignificant that I immediately leap on the opportunity to cover it. So, after hyping the show up both in my mind and on the preview, does the anime adaptation manage to do the series justice? Hint: Sort of, but not really.

Stylistic Choices

If there was one complaint I had about this first episode, it would have to be the decision to shift things around compared to what happens in the manga. The beginning starts off the same with Shinichirou looking for a part-time job to cover living expenses that his estranged parents should be helping with. But once he enters that lonely classroom to tidy up, things became vastly different. Instead of properly introducing us to my favorite character (Tamako) and giving us a little foreshadowing behind just how integral Shinichirou really is to the story, we were instead bombarded with a lot of nonsensical talking and a ton of Japan’s famous black censor fog. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that any kind of adaptation gives the people behind it some creative freedom but compared to the source material, ARMS’s offerings pales in comparison. Without any sort of buildup, the decision to skip straight to the action gave us a rather lackluster fight that just didn’t feel satisfying. Tack on how any empathy I would have felt for anyone was lost with a bunch of poorly timed fan service and you end up fight that lacks any impact.

Everything Else

For the most part, I was a little underwhelmed with this first episode. I was looking for the magic that I felt while reading the source material and no matter how many times I watched it, I just couldn’t find the magic I was looking for. The decision to change the introduction and move plot points around fell flat in my opinion and the liberal use of fanservice shots only helped make things feel more awkward since we have no idea who anyone is yet. All in all, I thought it was a weak and impressionable first episode that had a lot going on in the end nothing was gained.

That said, I still have hope that ISUCA’s anime adaptation can turn things around and right the ship. I’m a firm believer in the three episode rule and for the show I’ve been anxiously waiting for, you can bet I’ll give it a chance. (No promises for afterwards though.)

I’ll catch you guys next week and hopefully there’ll be more good things to talk about :/


ED Sequence

ED: 「Somebody to love」 by TWO-FORMULA


      1. I’ve seen much worse this season, though. Shinmai Mao no Testament has two utterly boring first and second episodes (third episode saved it from getting a thumbs down, at least for now); Seiken Tsukai no World Break was better, but also drenched with clichés many people would love to whine and bitch about, so how is this worse?

        At least Isuca’s first episode managed to entertain me. Sure, I could do without the stupid (and inconsistent) censorship (why is a close-up of a half-naked girl bad, but a shot from afar a-okay?), and I do think things could have been handled better, but for the most part, I was entertained, and that is all I ask for.

      2. @Firelord
        I couldn’t care less about you and your low standards. Watch it if you want.

        And saying this is slightly better than another crappy show doesn’t make it good. It is still crap.

    1. dfp396 is the cliche type of viewers who always overreacts.
      And making personal insult to Firelord’s taste just because he commented that the show entertains him sure show us how “high” standard he is.
      Certainly…very “high” standard indeed

  1. Takaii, you pretty much nailed it for me as a fellow manga reader. This is a series I’ve followed for a long time, and I thought it would be a pretty easy adaptation (and would make a good anime), but as we keep finding out, manga to anime adaptations can go wrong real fast. (Tokyo ESP, I’m looking at you.)

    I’m not writing it off yet, but my enthusiasm is significantly tempered by the way they rewrote the story into something less coherent and less entertaining.

    I’ll give it two more episodes, but I really want this to be better than what I saw last night.

    1. The manga is already not that engaging in the first place, so I don’t see this being spectacular either. When I read the last few chapters, all I could think was how the titular main heroine is the most uninteresting character.

  2. Not a manga reader..this looks boring and basic so far :/
    And that fanservice fight…I honestly largely dislike fanservice in fights, but I can sort of tolerate it…couldn’t with this show.

  3. Think you need to fix those ED screenshots.
    Have read a few bad things about the manga already, for example the heroine, so this blog post doesn’t make it easier to give it a chance. Censoring is annoying too.

  4. Well, it’s ARMS :p. I’m not sure what people were expecting. Though I’ve read the manga myself, but with ARMS, the only recent (in the past year or so) adaptation they’ve made that wasn’t too disappointing was Brynhildr (IMO). Other than Brynhildr, from the first episode to the last, most of the others had rather bad storytelling, inconsistent animation quality, an excessive focus on fan service (though this particular manga is equally guilty of this XD), and various floating “lights” and/or “darkness” as a result when viewed on broadcast :p. This first episode was no different. I could even see really obvious mistakes in a number of the action scenes, like characters wrongly positioned or facing the wrong way ^^;. It’s still slightly better than most ARMS anime that I’ve bothered to watch (aside from Brynhildr, which is far better than this IMO).

  5. That was… pretty bad. Disappointingly bad, and my expectations were already tempered. Evidently, not enough. :< It's been a while, but I have read a good chunk of the manga. Isuca manga fall squarely in the ecchi (To Love-Ru style) + fantasy/supernatural + comedy genre. It doesn’t break any new ground, but on the whole, I think it’s good enough to be a fun, light read if you like that genre.

    So while I didn’t expect greatness, I did expect better than this – including that they might actually follow the source material. I honestly wonder if, outside of the characters, 85% of Ep 01 was all anime-original stuff. That might be a good approximation after a quick re-read of Ch. 1-2. Sure enough, no centipede woman, no orgasm via life draining, no battle at school, etc., etc.

    It is an ARMS production, but even so I fail to understand the apparent need for such a substantial rewrite of the introduction. If ARMS thought it was “better”, they are sadly mistaken IMO. Isuca’s already a pretty ecchi series, so was it really necessary to amp up the fan service more?

    Overall, ARMS just phoned this one in. Disappointingly so. Maybe things will turn around since it’s only the first episode. Maybe. Still, with only 9 episodes left and a very anime-only type introduction, I have a bad feeling this will be a rushed, “based upon” type story akin to filler material. That’s not encouraging. :/ It’s a weak season for me so I’ll give the show another episode.


    @Takaii: I wish you good luck here. Hopefully the show will turn around.

  6. Wow… As an anime-only viewer, I actually went into Isuca with some hope (Im a sucker for ghost/monster related stories) but that went south fast.

    Cliches can be acceptable with proper execution, but Isuca does it in a way that I could have sworn that i’ve seen it a bajilion times already.

    It would have been fine if the execution was decent, but even that reminded me of Dual! Parallel Trouble and Tenchi Muyo which was released in 1999 and 1994 respectively. Thats how outdated the execution was.

    I’ll go for the 3 episode rule on this one, but I aint holding it on high regard. If worse comes to worse, Ill just drop this and read the manga. At the least, im sure that would be better

  7. Whats the point of animating those parts if only to censor half of the screen, I would have liked it if they didn’t animate anything that required censoring. Seeing half of the screen get blocked out every now and then is very annoying.

  8. If I didn’t know that there was a manga I would have thought that this series is based on some hentai game. Well after watching the first episode I now have the impression that the manga is based on some hentai! lol

  9. I don’t know what am I supposed to feel in this ep. I mean the 1st 30 secs, THAT scene already pops out of nowhere for an ecchi show like this plus the censors ugghh. An uninteresting boring Male MC plus a tsundere Female MC plus the ecchi scenes are *To Love Ru* level and the censors they suck even more than Tokyo Ghoul or Terraformars plus I think I might expect some harem in here oh and the animation for me is not appealing.

    For Takaii goodluck on covering this show but I think there are shows that are far more deserving to covered than this series so far but I can’t blame you for that because it’s your choice to begin with.

  10. The ED Drawing Style, was not so a good Idea for this Show. It is well known in the Web, these kind of Bible Black and other series.. Yes, i am talking about H-Anime Chars… I do not think they done herself a favor with this

  11. Very generic and no intersting plot at all. Censored parts were very annoying to see and took the little enjoyment the show provided completely from me.

    They srsly should have left out the censorship to make up for the bad start of this show at least.

    Disappointment and almost a waste of time.

    Rating: D-

  12. First two minutes: OK, max lewd but mildly interesting.

    OP rolls -> High school: God damnit!

    Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read the manga and my expectations have been suitably lowered by the other three high school action ecchi harems this season, but I didn’t find this too terrible. Definitely the least awful of the rest of them this season. While cliche, unlike it’s fellows it wasn’t a completely transparent “throw super special awesome MC into harem of women” fantasy, and (aside from best friend) had characters that acted somewhat human. However, the action and animation left much to be desired, especially the fight with the Raiju. Th thing just stood around for ten minutes while everyone else talked. I won’t follow this weekly, but may marathon it later on when a version without the obnoxious censoring comes out.

  13. I was actually really hyped at the start of the episode. But it went downhill really fast. The pacing was really off. And fanservice is somehow, IMHO, misplaced to the point that its annoying.

    It really pales in comparison to Shinmai Maou no Testament which has been really solid for me. I just really hope somebody from RC blogged it…

  14. anime to me nowadays are missing some things that made the 90’s 80’s and 70’s classics so…well classical. for one characters don’t discuss anything anymore with each other I mean a full on conversation. way too many misinterpretations from same sex characters (Meryl and milly from trigon were as close as sisters but still pinned for vash and wolfwood respectively) and an annoying lack of little boy characters(yahiko from rorouni kenshin developed beyond the role that was given to him and he found a girl HIS OWN AGE.)

  15. I didn’t even get past the first opening scene of this anime. Disappointing, because the premise seemed interesting and I was looking forward to it. Only to get bogged down in loads of unwelcome, shocking fanservice. :/

    Dropped. This show takes the cake for worst show of the season. I only got through half of Absolute Duo’s opening episode, but I didn’t even make it past the opening scene of Isuca. SMH 🙁

  16. Wait a minute! You’re telling me…that this sub-average guy, is going to get all the girls because he’s…nice! OMG! That’s so….like 90% of all the trite anime plots out there.


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