Anime Review – Gakusen Toshi Asterisk

Asterisk-war-series-imageIt’s the exponential curve of anime viewing. Starting off about as generic and depressing as as being diagnosed with gonorrhoea at a sexual health clinic, before ramping up with some fights that have purpose and a plot-line that slowly deepens. Yet while it undoubtedly improves it never quite skyrockets into greatness. Nope. No fireworks here.

Possibly the greatest downfall of this anime is the characters themselves. For all intents and purposes the main character, Ayato, is a wrapped and re-gifted Kirito from Sword Art Online with slightly different coloured hair (purple’s the new black). I didn’t even hate Kirito as a character, but knowing how closely the main protagonist copies another successful protagonist leaves me as uninspired as an elf who lost his job two days before Christmas.

It’s also apparently a requirement that as part of being female and in the main cast you also have to have a huge unfounded crush on Ayato that stems from nowhere. It’s honestly like a wacky version of Girls of the Playboy Mansion where the drawcard of wealth is substituted by power. There is quite literally a scene where three of the girls forcibly make Ayato motorboat them – and they try to pass it off as funny and cute. It’s the worst anime scene i’ve ever seen and really lowers my appreciation for the heavily archetypal but somewhat likeable characters in the series. This being said I did still manage to like Claudia due to her darker vibe and the mystery that surrounds her.

Wasn't even joking about that awful scene. Source: A-1 Pictures
Wasn’t even joking about that awful scene.   Source: A-1 Pictures

But The Asterisk War isn’t all bad. The art style’s clean and the animation is really fluid. The sound is also refreshing (and one of the few original aspects of the series) in that it incorporates some electronic music that you don’t see too often. Especially in the fighting scenes you can see it’s all pieced together really well. And while some of the them seem a little short and on occasion randomly inspired – there can be no denying that while a fight scene’s at work. You’re watching.

Sparks will fly. Nobody quite sets on fire though. Source: A-1 Pictures
Sparks will fly. Nobody quite sets on fire though.   Source: A-1 Pictures

Don’t expect anything special from the start of this series or I can guarantee you will be disappointed. The first few episodes are as slow, colourless and sad as watching a snail who lost its shell. Despite this, the series improves and finishes surprisingly strong, with an amazing final fight and a well presented sign off which also acts as a nice promo for the next season. Needless to say the ending actually left me excited through hinting at a rapidly evolving plot to come.

Claudia you crazy – and I love it. Source: A-1 Pictures
Claudia you crazy – and I love it.   Source: A-1 Pictures

With some great action scenes and steady improvement this series is decent to watch. Hopefully the next season will help build upon and differentiate the series further.

Thank you for reading my review!

Rating: 6.5/10

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