OP: 「爱You Ready 爱我 Ready」 (Ai You Ready Ai Wo Ready) by YANN
「妖狐スース」 (Youko Suusu)
“Fox and Susu”
Ahh summer is here, and with it a new season of anime. Amidst the gnashing of teeth as we all await the arrival of big hitter Fate/Apocrypha (*cough* Netflix), little Enmusubi is the first batter up for our viewing pleasure. As highlighted in the RC preview—which you did read right?—Enmusubi is the latest Chinese manhua seeing an anime adaptation, combining four ONA seasons into a two cour run. It’s your typical romcom adventure, using spirits, magic, and love to forge a story that while not entirely unique, manages avoiding some of the more conspicuous genre tropes. The original Enmusubi is not flawless in any sense of the word, but I enjoyed what I did see, and it should say something noting this series is now on its fifth ONA season and has only seen increasing popularity. So has the Japanese dub improved anything upon the original foundation? Tentatively, yes.
While impossible to properly judge a show right out the gate—the Three Episode Rule exists for a reason—Enmusubi has taken steps to rectify some of the ONA’s troubles. The noticeable rushing remains a nuisance, but it’s nothing compared to the ONA’s first chaotic season. For example we immediately know off the bat the cute and dumb Susu (Asumi Kana) is arranged to marry the ravenous and oh-so-slightly shameless Gessho (Hatano Wataru), four eyed Fuuki (Kirii Daisuke) has it out for Gessho in some plot-relevant “preventing marriage” capacity, and that the Unification League is a big thing with (obviously) future story involvement. For comparison this information took the ONA over a season to reveal in any meaningful capacity. The comedic info dumping will continue for a bit yet—the slower, better paced overarching plot should not really begin until episode six if the two ONAs per full length episode format continues—but it’s good knowing the Japanese version is willing to tweak the narrative as necessary.
The other side of the coin of course is voice acting, and for me so far it’s largely hit or miss. Susu is right on the money—Asumi Kana as the airhead dunce never disappoints—but Gessho lacks the “oomph” the ONAs had. Our resident monk has a certain degree of comedic uncaringness Hatano Watari hasn’t really captured—see the food whoring—although this did improve towards the episode’s end. Probably a case of wait and see, as while the ONAs also started off awkward in terms of voice acting, they did improve over time. At least everyone else stays true to prior forms, particularly the desert fox and his ridiculous entourage. Might just be me, but there’s something about Japanese screaming that encourages the giggles in ways Mandarin never can.
As mostly a taste of things to come, Enmusubi’s opener has hit the right notes and squashed some of my more prominent concerns. Obviously not enough to get a blogging commitment out of me just yet—I demand copious wining and dining first—but I’m definitely eager to see if these structural tweaks are more than temporary alterations. There’s a good story underneath Enmusubi’s helter-skelter fluff, it simply remains to be seen if the show can make the journey to it interesting. As is always the case, just have to wait and see what next week brings. Hint, it only gets crazier.
ED: 「ずっと」 (Zutto) by ベリーグッドマン (Berry Goodman)