OP Sequence

OP: 「METAMORISER」by Band Ja Naimon!

桜の香り」 (Sakura no Kaori)

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms


To give you an idea of what to expect from the show, I will give a brief but comprehensive breakdown of my experiences thus far with the manga. Tsugumomo is certainly an entertaining read – packed with comedy, action, borderline hentai, and exquisite art.

Having said that, does it translate well into an animated format?

First Impressions

Seems like someone was having an extremely bad hair day – that amasogi is one of the most evil looking wigs I’ve ever seen. When the amasogi tried to show our protagonist Kazuya a Hairway to Heaven, the obi he always carried transforms into a beautiful young girl named Kiriha, who wields magical powers in order to protect him. The action was decent but nothing particularly special, as it should definitely be remembered that this episode’s amasogi was the equivalent of a startup slime that you get in an RPG. Powers won’t be exhibited to a greater extent until more challenging enemies appear, so this isn’t exactly all to expect for action.

In the latter parts of the first episode, seeing Kasumi rush up the staircase with a frying pan in hand after she heard suspicious shuffling was both hilarious and frightening. Other highlights included the comedy of the master/servant dynamic between Kazuya and Kiriha, which mostly involved poor Kazuya getting beaten up by Kiriha for displeasing her.


My relief must have been audible, when Zero-G increased Kiriha’s physical attributes without going too heavy on the censorship. She looked a lot more like an underage girl in the manga which could have led to problematic questions as far as legality is concerned. As for the censorship of nudity, it’s the usual hidden nipples but I’m not complaining considering the hilarious jokes at Kazuya’s expense were left intact, even if his dignity was not.

Unfortunately, a scene did get removed from this episode that originally featured in the manga. The scene where Kiriha got wounded protecting Kazuya from the amasogi’s needle like projectiles is removed. Zero-G altered this sequence of events, into her stomping the amasogi in a one-sided fight. Though I’m all for progressing towards the later parts of Tsugumomo faster, seeing Kiriha get badly hurt was actually supposed to serve as a catalyst for inspiring Kazuya to become stronger later on in the series.

Censorship asides, it is entirely possible that Zero-G were having some difficulties fitting the entirety of two chapters into the first episode and therefore made the logistical decision of cutting out content. Rushing the series could do even more damage than delaying the penny drop, and it is important that Zero-G find an adequate replacement Kazuya’s motivation, as it was essential to his development as a character from my perspective.

Kiriha – Goddess, Object, or both?

Conditioning my brain to unhear Satania in Kiriha is proving quite the task, and it looks like she finally got the servant she wanted after all this time. There is no denying that Kiriha carries the show from the outset and not just because of her amazing snaggletooth. Only she stands between Tsugumomo’s first episode being utterly generic and the series having an inkling differentiating it from the norm that makes it a worthwhile endeavour. So I thought it would be interesting to examine her character a bit.

Is Kiriha’s behaviour a result of her quasi-divine nature, or as a refined piece of clothing? Even if it’s both, one characteristic would invariably be more influential than the other in the creation of this outcome:

Goddess – Conversely, it can be interpreted as divine rage to ill treatment, and divine sexual apathy to a mere human being.

Object – Kiriha was angry at getting tossed around in an uncouth manner unbefitting of a refined obi such as herself, but extremely composed when Kazuya saw her naked figure in its entirety.

Without giving too much away, maybe I’m overanalysing it. It’s entirely possible that the original creator just wanted an excuse to exercise creative freedom in his ecchi ways. However, there is merit in the school of thought that a reader’s unique interpretation is valid, provided it forms a part of their personal experience in engaging with the medium.

Concluding Thoughts

Does the anime live up to my anticipation from reading the series? In my opinion, though the art gives flashes of potential from time to time, the anime falls short of the original manga. It could be that the budget is being saved up for improving later content, which I would not complain about. So I’m not too worried or pessimistic that the first episode has yet to attain my expectations as one familiar with the source material.

Unfortunately for some, Tsugumomo will mainly be a generic action harem, in the sense that a boy trains to become stronger in order to match up against the latest and greatest adversary for the sake of the people that he cares for. Not to mention the ensuing of misunderstandings and shenanigans with the ladies. Who could forget that.

If these are flaws that would be difficult for you to overlook, I would suggest turning away right now. However, if you’re willing to give Tsugumomo a chance, you may very well find that the series has very many pleasant surprises that will allow it to ultimately exceed your expectations.

ED Sequence




  1. Samples of Tsugumomo manga art, very detailed:

    The mangaka sometimes livestreams himself drawing the manga; I heard of one where he talked about how an anime adaptation would be like and who were the best voice actors for which characters.

    I suppose he must be very happy now, although I doubt the anime can fully cover 18 vols of material. (Anime’s only getting 12 eps).

    1. Hey zztop, If it wouldn’t be too difficult, do you suppose you could find some details to how the mangaka envisioned the anime?

      I mean, I don’t know who his original pick for Kiriha was, but Oozora Naomi is such a special up and coming talent who fits the role very well!

      Not sure if he would be too pleased that his visions for an anime are being curtailed by the fact Zero-G aren’t a huge studio, but here’s to hoping that Tsugumomo will be a success and get more seasons!

  2. Found it enjoyable.
    “Hairway to heaven” that a new way to describe tentacle rape to me, I like. Or were you assuming a killing?

    Ah Japan where family members bathing together still is supposed to be innocent, well mix sex bathing should be innocent but have to get over the illogical nudity taboo in a culture to over come it.

    In US courts threw out obscenity law for non real underage material, as congress does from time to time they passed the law again with few changes and law enforcement has been very careful not to include charges for it unless a plea deal is done to avoid law being struck down again as courts hate congress retrying things. So it is sort of legal if your willing to say nothing, call the American Civil Liberties union, and suffer though years of court to get it thrown out again. Basically if you don’t have real child porn probably little worry as that is when they tack on the non real stuff to the charges.
    For any crime never talk to police, remember the police are allowed to lie about anything to get you convicted. Any real deal can be done though a lawyer as the police and prosecutors do not have to follow a deal made without a lawyer. Small exception Driving Under Influence charges are automatically less in most states if you cooperate, this is unusual under the law as normally the courts have thrown out rewards for early cooperation in laws. Thus normally you always plea Not Guilty as you get no benefit from Guilty plea early.
    But most other countries are even less free than US and there is no freedom of the press so measures may vary.

    1. A wonderful insight into the American legal system, which I can’t claim to know much about, considering I’m studying Law in the UK.

      UK Laws are really tough on getting caught in possession of cartoon pornographic materials depicting people who look like they are under 18, so that was the perspective I was coming from.

      1. Hum UK considers nudity pornographic or does it have to be sexually suggestive? I recall a fairly recent UK live action movie with a 16 year old sultry female lead with brief nudity and lots of skin. Or is this part of the replacement of the gay taboo with teenage sex taboo world wide and a recent change?

      2. The UK seems to have issues with cartoons making these depictions. It doesn’t even make sense.

        Then again, it could be that the live action film did not depict complete nudity or retconned the age of the character upwards because there are loopholes that exist to be exploited.

        But the short of it is that being caught in possession of these kinds of material that are then intended for pornographic consumption is the crime. So I would suppose that streaming would present no problems? Would make life difficult for collectors, and I was also thinking of Tsugumomo from the perspective that later on, it comes close to borderline hentai in terms of the explicit content.

  3. I’m also having a lot of trouble unhearing Satania (Naomi Oozora). She did such an awesome in Gabriel Dropout as the boke of the show that her more serious(?) role as Kiriha is hard to match. Maybe if there was a longer time gap between Gabriel Dropout and Tsugumomo…

    I’m surprised Tsugumomo took this long to get an Anime. When I first read Tsugomomo back in 2008 (man, grad school years), I thought for sure it would get an Anime within a few years. I didn’t think it would take 10 years. Well, I’m just wondering how they plan to handle the ecchi parts, which in some cases really pushes the envelope. I guess convenient censorship (like this episode) and holy light rays for the tv version? I also haven’t read the manga for a year now, so now may be a good time to reread and catch up 🙂

    1. My comment on Naomi Oozora was meant as a good thing. I think that she is doing an excellent job voicing Kiriha! Just seems so strange to hear a familiar voice that I strongly associate with a role pop up randomly.

      Yeah, the blurays will be a welcome sight, although I wish they had an uncensored airing later on in the day on a different channel like they did for one of the season of Highschool DxD.

      1. Sorry, I wasn’t complaining about Naomi Oozora performing poorly. Her voice acting is awesome as Kiriha. I just picture Satania, the boke, instead of a new character Kiriha. I think that’s just how much of an impact Satania’s VA had on me. Yeah, Gabriel Dropout was one of my top picks from last season, so that’s why there’s too much overlap right now. I’ll get used to it as the series progresses. Naomi-san does a great job of showcasing the haughty side of Kiriha, so that side of her personality definitely translates.

      1. Objects do occassionally disappear in bluray releases, so just because it looks like there aren’t any uncensor opportunities doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. However, as Zaiden and I were alluding to regarding fanservice, let’s just say this episode was really tame compared to the amount of ecchiness later in the series. Hence the question of how crazy the censorship might get if the Anime follows the manga faithfully.

    1. Oh lord, don’t know if I should be feeling dread or excitement at that prospect.

      I think that should be the general approach. Go into the anime from the manga with lower expectations and just enjoy what we have been given.

  4. Read some positive comments about the series before the season so gave it a try. Manga’s supposed to have a good blend of comedy (subjective), action, supernatural and… a lot of fanservice, but there is plot to go along with the PLOT. Not surprised the anime toned down the ecchi parts – that’s been a trend lately in general vs. say S1 & S2 HS DxD (that’s one well-placed soap dispenser!)

    This gave off a little “old-school” vibe. The show definitely has its cliche’s and tropes, but good execution can make such things work. I thought the execution was probably good enough in that regard.

    The tsukumongami premise isn’t totally original, but it does have potential. I liked how Kiriha had various attacks and defenses based upon her obi origin. Same goes for the hair amasogi (hair needle attacks rather than just a tentacle type monster). There’s definitely some mileage here when it comes to what the series can do for battles with various types of tsukumogami and amasogi abilities.

    The battle was OK. Had some movement/action to go with the various types of attacks and I did like the BGM as well. Still, it was short, but as the review notes, an intro battle so not necessarily a sign of things to come. Still, would have been nice if it wasn’t cut short.

    I did read Zaiden’s spoiler (appreciate the info) which IMO isn’t really a spoiler, but rather “FYI – here’s what the anime cut from the manga”. Yeah, that should have been left in given impact on character motivation. Perhaps the anime will include a similar scene soon. Hope so. That stuff matters.

    While not impressive visually, I thought the visual quality was OK. Didn’t raise any particular budget concerns as of yet, but wouldn’t want it to degrade further either.

    The comedy is certainly “old-school” with a LOT of violent retribution trope humor and a couple surprisingly adult jokes. I didn’t find the comedy consistently funny, but I did get a chuckle here and there.

    Lastly, as for the leads characters, the ML is stock ML. Par for the course though kind of young if this gets seriously ecchi. O.o From the review I guess Kiriha looks older in the anime – all for that. On the plus side, ML doesn’t seem stupid and/or overly oblivious which is nice. Kiriha carry the show so far. She seems like a fun character if a bit too abusive for comedy’s sake. She does seem to care about the ML though and there are strong hints of a backstory between the two. I also liked Kiriha’s voicing.

    All in all, not great but not bad either the kind of show this is, and I do like some series like this. Ep. 01 gave me enough to at least keep watching for a couple more episodes.

    1. Glad you agreed with my assessment on the importance of the event they took out!

      Daikama, wanted to add, you really touched upon the vibe I was feeling but couldn’t quite describe – the old school one!

      1. @Zaiden: No problem & like the additional info in terms of “this is what was left out from the manga”. Obviously, don’t want to point out every little detail cut out or changed from source, but when it matters I think its worth mentioning. Appreciate caution using a spoiler, but in this case, I don’t think you need one. It’s “already covered” adapted material. If you end up covering the show, maybe something to keep in mind since I think that type of information has value for all viewers (incl. anime-only).

        As for old-school, yeah, this does have that vibe. Definitely reminded me of some older anime/manga with content, setting and approach.

      2. @Daikama, thanks for the feedback! It’s community interaction like this which allows me to grow and develop as a new writer, into one worthy of taking up the mantle at RandomC. I will remove the spoiler tags, hopefully not too little too late, and bear that in mind for future posts too..

  5. From what I read of the manga, I actually found this story rather fun, and I hope the anime keeps up the momentum, but there’s only so much boobage before I need a story to keep me coming back.

  6. One positive and one negative point to make after seeing the episode (and pondering why I didn’t like it as much as the manga):

    + visuals – they were in the same style, and gave a nice retro effect; It’s softer too (another plus)

    – voice acting – It just didn’t sound right to me, in particular the choice for Kazuya (no offence to the voice actress, but I’m rather unsure of her choice of voice range for this role)


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