「適合者 -アデプタ-」 (Tekigou-sha – Adaputa)

This is a kiddie cyborg magical girl series, but with sexy cosplay and pantsu shots. Who exactly is this made for again?

From the Creator of Ghost in the Shell. No, Really.

Kouaku no Pandora is adapted from a manga written by Shirow Masamune, best known as the creator of Ghost in the Shell. Now forget everything that sentence brings to mind, because it’s wrong.

Edit: It turns out that while Shirow Masamune is responsible for the original premise, Rikudo Koshi (of Excel Saga fame) did the art and story for the source. Which makes sense, in retrospect. The rest of this post isn’t edited to reflect this information, but please bear it in mind for your own enjoyment.

While the focus on a cyborg future continues, this isn’t the kind of sci-fi that Ghost in the Shell did so well. I’d describe it as a sci-fi magical girl anime. Though the sci-fi borders hard on magic at times, see: Clarke’s third law, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Spell circles appear when they assume their magical girl—er, optical camouflage and when activate their magical pow—er, Pandora Device apps, is what I’m trying to say. Which, er. Maybe that’s for you?

Kiddie Anime, But Also Not

This show reminds me of nothing so much as Momo Kyun Sword, because it elicits the same question—who the hell is this for? I can’t figure out the target market, and for the same reasons as Momo Kyun Sword. The story, the animation, and all of the character’s actions (world peace, oh lordie) are straight out of kiddie anime—in particular I get Pokemon vibes, both from the seeming target age and the animation, though I haven’t watched many kiddie anime—but then there are the gratuitous pantsu shots, sexy cosplay, and cyborg crotches. Is that what little girls are into these days? Underage cyborg genitalia & bunny girls? I mean, I’m not one to judge. It’s just not what I would have guessed.

Lackluster Presentation

If a cyborg magical girl anime is something you decided needed to exist, for some reason, this isn’t the way to go about it. Everything about the production, exposition, characterization, dialogue, acting, and animation is lazy. Actually, some of the exposition was done decently—in that they just let us figure out how Nanakorobi Nene (Fuku Sanae) was using the phone, along with several other elements—but much of the rest of the exposition was narrated to the audience. I’m going to have to echo what Zanibas said in the season preview: The work director Nawa Munenori and his staff have done to show off this anime is lackluster. I don’t think even an adorable Clarion (Numakura Manami) can save them.

I don’t know if anyone will be covering this one weekly, but I probably wouldn’t hold my breath. This show isn’t for me, so I’ll be dropping it. If it turns out I was too hasty and it gets awesome, feel free to ping me on twitter and tell me how wrong I was. I’ve been wrong before, it won’t bother me.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A lackluster cyborg magical girl anime from the creator of Ghost in the Shell. Not a strong first episode #kpandora 01

Random thoughts:

  • After this is when everyone abandons the island, because it being all technologically advanced isn’t going to make it popular when shit’s blowing up, right?
  • So that reporter is dead this time.
  • Stilts’ first thought after Nene downloaded shooting lessons: “I know kung fu.”
  • But I mean really, did the switch have to be in her crotch? At least with Chobits, that was a romance anime, so the crotch gag worked on that level. Here it’s just, what, yuri shipping for the adult viewers? Go big or go home, says I. Sakura Trick or bust.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: $%&@* cuss words, Stephen, what is best in life?, It depends, and Momentum & mental space.


ED Sequence

ED: 「LoSe±CoNtRoL」 by Fuku Sanae & Numakura Manami



  1. One name: Koshi Rikudo

    Ghost in the shell is a great anime and all but to me Excel saga (manga and anime by Koshi Rikudo) was god tier in my childhood and koukaku no pandora is Excel saga 2.0; even the low graphic just made it look like straight out of a time machine
    Now it just need a cat/dog used as emergency rations that try to escape and fail every time and will be pure gold

  2. Just taking a quick peek at Shirow Masamune’s repertory I can only say this looks quite fitting. Actually I may question myself how did Ghost in The Shell’s writer actually write Ghost in The Shell.

    1. Appleseed, Dominion, Orion, and Ghost in Shell were written by “good Shirow” who was known for his strong (if sexy) female characters and intelligent, pioneering cyberpunk. There were massively influential for the cyberpunk genre in general and inspired many good and some bad anime and films.

      But then the big bucks came in from the Ghost in the Shell movie. Shirow got himself a computer graphics program, dumped his former intricate pencil work, and decided to basically indulge himself by making full-color self-indulgent hentai pinup art for the rest of his life while occasionally spewing out random technobabble (e.g., Ghost in the Shell 2: Man Machine Interface). Fortunately he also licensed his original (good) manga to other creators first…

      1. His good work was very sexual in nature as well, but the adaptations tended to cut off the “fluff” in order to provide the good parts.

        GitS SAC does make a reference to the sexual side of GitS in once scene IIRC, showing the Major sharing a bed with a few other girls.

    2. Sure, it’s quite possible the Kobe quake (which resulted in a loss of his studio, notes, and so on) helped catalyze Shirow’s direction; most famously, it knocked out NeuroHard. But Shirow has done a lot of new projects before then and he did new projects after then, and I think the fundamental difference was that following its commercial success – GITS was released about 11 months after the quake – he had had enough freedom to do what he wanted. He could have returned to the path he’d taken before but he decided to go somewhere different, and that path, as the notes in the various Intron Depots suggest, was enjoyable for him, but it moved him into an art styles and areas of story telling that were increasingly divergent from what his original fans had liked about his work.

    1. I have the same problem. It’s a dumbass anime that basically looks and plays out like a show from 15 years ago, and I can’t exactly call it good…

      …but I’d be lying if I said I hated it. The show doesn’t take itself seriously at all and seems to revel in its own stupidity, and that kinds of works for me.

      It’s the kind of show that the term guilty pleasure was invented for, really.

  3. And another guy who didn’t research enough
    Shirow was involved in making the original idea for an anime original project that would be very different from this. However, it didn’t come to pass. Then (with Shirow’s permission, of course) the Excel Saga mangaka made some changes and turned it into a manga (which is what this anime adapts),
    Also, kiddie shows can be fucked up
    Case in point: Kamen Rider Gaim. That’s a live action saturday morning superhero show for kids. It’s also written by Urobuchi and as dark as Madoka. Urobuchi holds nothing back just because the audience are kids.
    Another example. Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V, which includes stuff like genocide and child soldiers.
    My opinion about Pandora itself is that it was cute, funny and fun. I’ll keep following it

      1. Can concur with basgs435, as I’ve got vols. 1 and 2, and Rikudou is listed as the mangaka, not Shirow.

        Shirow is listed as 原案, which in this case refers to him having the original idea, or the draft plan. He’s not the story writer, or the artist of this series.

        It’s all Rikudou.

        You just have to look at the art in the manga– it screams Rikudou. It kind of makes me want to dig out my Excel Saga tanks and start going through them again.

        If you were expecting Shirow, then the art in this anime would be incredibly disappointing. (And they used his name to market the hell out of it, so it’s not surprising if people are confused.) But this is a Rikudou anime. So the art will be messy, the plot will be all over the place weird, and it should be pretty funny… if it’s executed well.

    1. You’re gonna have to forgive me for not doing my research. I checked a few sources, and they noted Shirow as in charge of story, Rikudo Koshi in charge of art. And since I didn’t recognize Rikudo Koshi, I focused on the former. Also, I don’t want to use “I do this as a hobby” as an excuse for sloppy work, but if we’re being honest, it is the reason I don’t triple check sources 😛

      On the kiddie show part: I ended up cutting this from the post, but I was going to refer to it as the kind of kiddie show that people think kiddie shows are. Not a Rocko’s Modern Life or Invader Zim, which you later on realize were actually pretty fucked up, but a kiddie show that’s just as idealistic as it seems. Though that’s only on episode one, so that might change.

      And please be polite, both of ya. No reason to get butthurt. Just people someone misunderstands something about a fictional series doesn’t mean it’s a slight against you.

    2. After having watched the episode, it looks like it was very collaborative, regardless of who was actually credited for what.

      The overall flow of the action and silliness, madcap action, and the look of the character art, are very much in the Rakudo style (Excel Saga, etc.)

      However, the technical backdrop, a lot of mechanical designs (e.g., the cyborg looks, the mecha) and the various story points (geofronts, boring machines, human-machine interfaces, full body cyborgs, and so on) are very much Shirow.

      Both authors have used yuri themes and extensive fanservice in the past, and both tend to prefer a “retro” look that suits their 80s high points.

      As to “who it’s for” I would think it was for people who enjoyed the comedy work of two famous manga artists. If you liked stuff like Excel Saga, Dominion Tank Police, Black Magic M66, and so on, or similar mixes of fan service and action, like Cutey Honey, you might this.

      It’s very 80s in style, and in the current world of Western anime fandom, a lot of people are put off by mixes of extensive fan service, sci-fi and comedy. They like their genres “pure” and get into a huff when lecherous elements get mixed into their comedy, or people mix genres like this (look at the Cross Ange negative reviews).

      However, they forget that for a long time this was _the way anime was_ – a time when folks like Johji Manabe (Outlanders) was among the top selling western manga and animation, where Ranma 1/2 have casual female nudity in daytime TV animation, and so on.

      This is an 80s throwback show. People who enjoyed that will like it.

      1. Except this season is actually bad. You may be tired of hearing that comment, but unfortunately this is looking like a very lackluster season. And I’m certainly not one to ever say that.

      2. I’ll say the same thing I say every season:

        If someone doesn’t have varied tastes and watch (or at least heavily sample) 15-20+ series a season, they probably don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ve heard from people (who watch ~6 series a season) who loved some of the worst seasons out there—because the six shows they were watching were the best ones. The opposite happens all the times as well.

        The worth of a season isn’t in the good shows. It’s where the midtier shows give way to the trash—and where that line is drawn. If you can watch 15 shows that are either great to good, it’s a decent season. If the line is more like at 12, it’s weak or getting there.

        It’s also a damn pointless argument. There are good anime out there, ya just gotta find ’em. Or let us tell you which ones they are 😀

      3. I’d say there are so far at least 2 really awesome series this season so far. Dimension W and Erased. Now remember, I’ve seen only like 8 series so far in this season, and there’s a lot more series that I haven’t seen yet, so there’s probably more great anime series this season that I haven’t come across yet. You should check those two out at least. 😛 The other series I’m watching are pretty good fun series too, nothing exceptional, but still a fun watch, like assasination classroom, stride, and gate.

        Trap Master
  4. This is a kiddie cyborg magical girl series, but with sexy cosplay and pantsu shots. Who exactly is this made for again?

    Um… there’s a demographic for that. Some of it’s members sometimes end up locked away “in order to protect our children.”

  5. Oh look. Stilt’s dropping another anime because it insults his IQ.
    that sucks man, you used to be more carefree and easygoing, now you feel like an anime connoisseur?
    go back to blogging only ecchi shows. I liked you back then.

      1. @Karmafan

        Agreed that Enzo can come off as an elitist, a pretentious one at that, and can sometimes be blinded by his biases (don’t we al) having said that, he can have some great insight and analysis, but Stilts doesn’t strike me like that, an elitist that is. He and his reviews seem pretty grounded, and his biases don’t cloud his objectivity.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
    1. You’re all wrong. Well, I don’t much care who likes me, because that’s outside of my control, but neither do I callously dismiss people just ’cause they don’t. You’re misunderstanding who I am, and what my tastes are.

      I’m still quite carefree and easygoing, but you probably don’t think that for an unrelated reason: I’m more busy. I used to watch 20-25+ shows a season, and never dropped anything, but I can’t afford to do that anymore. So I’ve started drawing a line when a first (or third) episode doesn’t enthuse me. I (and RandomC in general) also intro a lot more shows than we used to.

      And while it’s probably true that my tastes have refined somewhat, it’s not as much as you think. About the only place I really notice it is in fill-in-the-blanks LN magical-fantasy-action-harem anime, where yes, I’ve lost my ability to enjoy some of the more marginal ones. But give me something like DanMachi and I’m going to enjoy it, and I even got shit for liking Blade Dance. I just filled up on mediocre LN adaptations. If they can try a little harder and I’ve got time, I’ll certainly enjoy them.

      I still like silly, ecchi shows. I’ve just always preferred that they go, as I said in this post, go big or go home. The first two shows I blogged were Zero no Tsukaima and High School DxD—see the similarity? I enjoyed Shinmai last season precisely because of the ecchi, ’cause the action was shakier in the second season.

      But I’ve never liked fanservice when it seems out of place. Well … okay, sometimes it’s fun regardless 😛 But when it seems a detriment to the story, I call it out. Or I call it out when they should go with MORE fanservice, ’cause the serious out working (once again, Shinmai). Here, it felt like a fluffy kiddie show, and then suddenly panties and the crotch gag (twice)—it was disorienting to me. Which is not necessarily bad. My first instinct was that it’s a weird mix, so that’s what I went with.

      Oh, and I keep telling people this, jokingly sometimes, but I’m being serious here—I was never the ecchi blogger. I always was, and likely always will be, the fantasy blogger. The ecchi stuff was just incidental (though not unwelcome).

      Go look at all the shows I’ve blogged. The overwhelming majority are fantasy series. It took three seasons for me to pick up a show (Sakurasou) that didn’t have fantasy or sci-fi elements—and the only sci-fi one was Rinne no Lagrange. If I blog three series in a season, two of ’em are almost certainly going to be fantasy. (And, ya know, I write fantasy books and all that.)

      That’s who I’ve always been, even if you didn’t realize it.

      1. @Stilts: Ya know, in retrospect, Blade Dance wasn’t that bad. Had a similar thought when watching some of the later HS + Magic + Harem LN adaptations. :/ Blade Dance also got a pretty good adaptation IMO which helps.

        @Karmafan: Actually, I thought DanMachi got an overall positive reception. Not glowing/AOTY stuff, but generally favorable by those who like that sort of thing. Rushed adaptation didn’t help matters though.

  6. I don’t know if this is so bad it’s good or if I laughed for the right reasons or what, but to my surprise, I laughed quite a bit. It’s silly and wisely doesn’t take itself seriously. Looks like what I call “BSA” (“brain stem anime” where you turn off all brain functions other what’s needed to support life functions). I will say that the data port location and continued sexual innuendo was a bit eye-rolling. Not sure if that’s supposed to be for “ecchi” or parody (Chobits), but meh.

    As long as I still find it funny & entertaining, eh what the hell. I’ll give it a shot.

  7. I’m getting a stronger and stronger feeling that Stilts has joined the wrong blog. RC has never really been about dissing anime you don’t like. (Not that there’s anything wrong with dissing per se, it just isn’t what RC has historically stood for.) If you don’t like it, you don’t blog it – seems like an easy choice to me, especially for anyone claiming to be pressed for time.

    As for the show, it works quite nicely as a parody of GitS. Gratuitous sexual pandering is endemic in anime, at least this one is doing it in a way that’s more or less funny. For me, it’s better to be over-the-top with it than it is to shoe-horn it into shows that have no use for it by design. Like that idiotic lingering butt-shot of running Shinoa in the last episode of Seraph, for example.

    1. @Jeez

      In a way, you’re not wrong. Honestly, I’ve found myself dissatisfied with this post since I wrote it, because I wish I had been less down on the series, or at least more brief so it doesn’t feel like I was so down on it (I honestly don’t think it was bad, I just felt it was slightly bewildering when I was watching it).

      Just bear in mind that we’re not robots who blog in a vacuum, and we don’t edit our posts after the fact—if we make mistakes, of which I’ve made many, we let ’em stand. If I’m in a bad or fey mood going into a post, it might come out as more pessimistic than I would prefer (as it did here), and the time pressure to get a post out (especially on multiple post days like yesterday, and today) encourages not thinking too much, not considering whether we should say this (or even write the post at all), and to just get the thing out so I don’t fall behind.

      In four full years at RandomC, I’ve only outright flamed one episode, and I ended up regretting it. So I don’t do that. I try to hold onto optimism as long as I can, like I did with Gen’ei or Comet Lucifer. But sometimes pessimism or bewilderment can leak in, especially when I’m in a hurry. Please judge me on what I do nine times out of ten, not the one time I misunderstood what kind of show it was (a Rikudo Koshi show instead of a Shirow Masamune one) and things came out more negative than I intended. That’s a downside of publishing quickly.

      1. I’m not sure I’d bring up Comet Lucifer as something you didn’t diss. I’m saying this as someone who dropped the show after the first ep and knows about the rest of it mostly from your front page taglines. Which didn’t look terribly positive to me. I’m not saying it’s better to pull a stunt like what Enzo did with Ranpo Kitan, just that I don’t really see why you’d showcase it as an example of you not being negative. And for the record, I have no real problem with you dissing something, it’s just that I’m not frequenting this blog, RC, in order to see posts trending towards negativity. Unlike some of your critics here, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about stuff like whether you revered Shirow ehough and studied his life story in depth.

      2. Au contraire, it’s actually a good example. I gave Comet Lucifer the benefit of the doubt far longer than other people, as I did with Gen’ei as well. Whereas most people were flaming it by episode three, I lasted much longer before I gave into the incontrovertible truth that it was shite. I tried to look on the bright side for as long as I could.

        There just came a point where being kind to it any longer would have been tantamount to lying. At that point, my honor demanded that I start beating it up in earnest.

        Please don’t misunderstand what we do here. We do our bests to give honest reviews, so if something is bad, we will point it out. I’m talking things like Comet Lucifer there, which have proved they are bad; this still has time to prove itself good, bad, middling, or any number of other potentialities. What we do is try our best to be optimistic and focus on the positive. We try to damn with feint praise rather than flame.

        I said “do our best” and “try” a lot in that paragraph purposefully. We don’t always succeed. We just try.

      3. “Ruined by fan service” is simply a value judgement, though.

        I understand that some people feel that elements referred to as fan service “detract” from their enjoyment of a story, distracting them or making them uncomfortable.

        It is, however, notable that other people find the very same elements add enjoyment to a story, attracting them to it.

        You get this dichotomy in series drama, you get it in horror, you get even get it in porn.

        (Why is it that there are websites fascinated with “celebrity” sex tapes and so on? It’s because people don’t want JUST sweaty anonymous sex – they want Story as well.

        This is why people prefer fan service anime over pure hentai. It’s a sexy story about people you care about is more interesting than a sexy story about people you don’t care about.

        And the reverse is also true for such viewers. A story without fan service isn’t as fun as one with fan service. Why settle for “story” and “sexy stuff” when you can have “characters you care out involved in something you find exciting” – that’s double the fun!

        Now, for people who find fan service icky, disgusting, misogynous, or stupid – and that’s obviously a good bunch of people (though probably fewer in Japan) it’s obvious that this would indeed ruin a story.

        But that’s not everyone! I for one am thankful that fan service has not been relegated to the hentai ghetto. I’d much rather watch it with a good story to go with it…

  8. https://randomc.net/image/Koukaku%20no%20Pandora/Koukaku%20no%20Pandora%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2037.jpg
    someone call section 9
    best application for optical camo ever has been found
    can we have magical girl Motoko Kusanagi?

    also the (mad) scientist lady is shadier than Grey
    world peace my ass
    with arsenal that would make Oregon militia salivate
    and installing programs violating at least 12 international laws onto unsuspecting girl

  9. This is a kiddie cyborg magical girl series, but with sexy cosplay and pantsu shots. Who exactly is this made for again?

    The promotion material of the anime, the bright colors and the simple animation make the anime look a lot more innocent than the series is.

    Meanwhile the covers of the original manga wouldn’t look out of place as covers for hentai manga making the intended audience much more obvious.

    For those who don’t want to google it, here’s a short discription of the covers of the first volumes:

    Nene emerges from a crimson shell, nearly naked except for a piece of cloth that seems to be connected to her skin covering her front (although said “cloth” might actually be part of her skin), on all fours, with a thick cable connected to her neck like a leash forcing her to arch her body back, with a second cable holding her head up to make her look at the reader with empty eyes.

    Volume 2 has Clarion on her knees, also emerging from a crimson shell and even less covered than Nene, body leaning back and one of her hands inside her crotch port.

  10. Cunning move to use Cyborgs or Robots for this Girls, so you avoid the “shitstorm” of Lolis, with this “sexual” things

    The Humor is “All Green!”

    Pass 1 of 3 passed

    1. reminds me of Ghost in the Shell (Well her Body and her neck give its away) mixed with Sabagebu! humor

      right now its entertain me, please continue. The VAs doing a great job

  11. In-universe, considering that all those girls are cosplaying just because Uzal made them do it, I wouldn’t be surprised if Clarion’s port being at her crotch was just because she thought it’d be hilarious.

    Of course, IRL it’s probably just to pander to the male audience.

  12. ep 03:

    This Show is all about Humor. i think i like it and put this on my Watchlist
    Show Spoiler ▼

  13. ep 04:

    Looks like their Budget is already running dry. Many “to silly” faces. No you cannot use the excuse of Humor, they use this silly face of clarice to much, even the backgrounds are low budget (interview for an School, with just Sound only actors..)

    Well, this show really lives from his jokes. But even they will run dry someday, and then what will you do?

  14. Woah, just when I thought that I would gonna have anything to see this season this one comes and surprise me!!

    Watched the first four episodes and I’m loving it. It’s really funny. And the yuri is really cute.


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