Upon Rikka, the academy-city above water, or what many call the “Asterisk,” students of the six schools prepare for the Festa. These annual comprehensive battle tournaments are held on a worldwide scale and each of the six schools place their hopes in their teams to bring them victory. In the Phoenix Festa (tag-team battle) category, Seidoukan Academy's Ayato Amagiri takes up the challenge along with his partner Julis, the Witch of the Resplendent Flames (Glühen Rose).
Gakusen Toshi Asterisk was a waste of time. I do not recommend it to anyone as it had several obvious flaws in the plot that really messed up the anime as a whole. This is a spoiler-free review based on the first and second seasons. Story The plot is not necessarily original. This is the typical story set in a different type of world/future where schools fight for prizes and honor or so speak. Special swords/guns are used by students in duels and tournaments. The fact that the story could go in various directions despite the not so original plot could be a plus, but since the execution was very poor this anime fell short. The main focus of the story is for the protagonist to find his sister. The other main characters also have personal reasons for why they want to fight and win a competition against the other schools. Some of these reasons revolve around money, influence, personal growth and so on. The fact is that from episode to episode a lot happens that is not clear to the audience. What I mean is that during one episode a certain event may be hinted to and on the next one is a fact. The audience does not see how the event went from a hint to a fact and sometimes there is not even a hint so you are left feeling like “WTF?”. The inconsistency with the settings/rules was also ridiculous. If the schools are high schools competing in the festas, why are there some junior high students participating in it? Likewise, the motives behind the acting of some characters are not necessarily clear. In summary, the story line could have potential but the execution of it in this animation was terrible. I also did not care for the pronounced harem and ecchi that was ever present. Since there were no tags suggesting this was that kind of anime, this came as a surprise and bothered me a lot. The pace of each episode was terrible, there were too many plot holes and unexplored parts to the story. It just felt like the author wanted to have one hundred different things happen at once and only 22 episodes so the animators took the liberty of picking piece from here and there and the result was mediocre at best. Animation Generic character design but they seemed to have a good budget to create the world and play with colors. The quality of the animation was good, no complaints there. Sound I don’t have an opinion in regards to the music used for this anime, I did not love it or hate it. The voices of some female characters annoyed me quite a bit though. Characters Terrible! The characters are very stereotypical so they did not bring anything original to the table. Ayato is the protagonist and he can’t do anything wrong, he is perfect, no fun there. Julis in your typical proud character who is most likely in love with Ayato but will not admit it, she is strong and it is so obvious the relationship between her and Ayato will develop in most likely a romantic way. Claudia is supposed to be the mysterious one and the other two (Kirin and Saya) are more “kid” like. Basically everyone is in love with Ayato and there is a sexual vibe to each interaction with him all the time. Overall Since the story is so terrible, there is no foundation for anything good for this anime. Don’t expect the second season to get better than the first one or provide you with any logical conclusions/outcomes, you will be disappointed. I do not recommend this anime to anyone. At best, the fighting scenes were okay but since the story lacks logic and the characters are nothing special this is not much to go for it.
This is supposed to be set in a high school right? Then why is one of the students/contestants a guy, Doreto Lemus (his name is too close to Doritos so I'll call him after the snack food), appears to be about 50 plus years old? LOL. What a joke. This reminds me of Law of Ueki, where most of the so called middle school students would feel at home in a retirement community. Ok, Joke aside, this season so far is pretty much just the competition. It isn't awful but a tad boring and slow since it is a bit too focused on one continuous story element, aka the competition. Not much is really happening outside of it but what is, is not that surprising. You have a loser, aka, Dirk (although, Dirt feels more accurate) "cheater boy loser-man" Eberwien so scared of losing and has so much of his hopes on winning at any cost that he resorts to cheating and underhand tactics to virtually guarantee it. Who does he think he is? Don King? Sadly, for a villain that appears to have it altogether this totally destroys that false image by making him a pathetic loser whose pride is so vulnerable he can't risk losing once. LOL what a wimp. His false image is shattered. No longer does he appear to be a respectable intelligent and dangerous yet confident and honorably evil antagonist but a pure low life loser who stoops to any level. I kind of feel let down that he could have been a much better villain if he didn't have to go that route or maybe one of his underlings did it behind his back against his wishes. In a way this makes it feel like this show itself stoops to cheap tricks to get a story done. I am curious about the sister and what the locks on his power truly mean but other than that, my interest is starting to dwindle. Not that it was ever that great to begin with in part since it plays with the whole harem wannabe thing and other cheap cliches. I kind of don't like it but I don't quite hate it either because even as weak as the sentiment is to continue after such low ball tactics for making a story full of cliches, I am still curious and interested enough to know what those two major and most important mysteries are. The story would sadly be pretty much dead without them though. It is still under full review until I see the last episode but so far I am not overly impressed.
How many ways can we mess up a free sequel? Let us count the ways. Story: There is a story here, it just doesn't matter very much. It's really way more about the infrequent and poorly executed fights so in the end they skipped substance for eye candy and failed horribly. Animation: For an "action" anime the fluid colorful style is sure to turn some heads but it clashes horribly with the high tech theme which is often way more ridged. Sound: It has it's moments, the voices aren't totally annoying, the musical scores are enjoyable, and they actually make use of English during one episode featuring a singing character. Style points? Characters: There are actually a myriad of different chracters here, the problem is they're all mostly shallow husks meant only to filling gaps that the two protagonists couldn't fill. That or they were trying stick to the age old formula and just broke up the bits too much. Matters very little, 2 seasons and they couldn't flesh out any of the side characters at all. Overall: As an anime, and one that's fairly current, this was drivel, tripe, or just plain rubbish. I can't believe that they decided to give Asterisk War a sequel and even managed to make it worse than the first season. When you can't even get the action in an action show right. When the main character has overwhelming power but decides to just swing his sword around for 5 minutes even though he has the skills to win in the first 30 seconds. I can just see the producers laughing at the writers "But it's more exciting this way right?! buwahahahaaha" *coughs* but I digress.
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