A group of five boys and girls suddenly acquire supernatural powers. Ready to fight in galactic battles to defend human cause… they are struck by the realization that there are no wars, no conspiracies, no evils empires, no nothing in their high school life. They instead decide to idly have fun by wasting their powers away.
Change (Alpha Episode)
For a series that might be mistaken for a mix of slice of life and action by the title, there's barely anything that would pass as either over the 12 episodes it aired. Setting (7.6): While being set in a high school isn't particularly original, the way the heroes received their powers and the rules they operate by are surprisingly logical. That said, you have to wait seven episodes to get a half-assed explanation of how and why the heroes have said powers. Story (6.5): There was potential for this show's story to take off, and it seemed that it might once we found out what was happening, but everything rapidly devolved back into your typical harem. Sadly, the romance wasn't good and neither was the action. The few scenes that progressed the story didn't even feature the main characters, giving the impression that the creators want to milk the franchise for a few more seasons. Spare me the boredom, please. Visuals (8.4): Overall a beautiful series visually, this is pretty much the only reason I can see to watch it. There were quite a few more fan service shots than I like to see, but the vibrant color schemes and fluid animation style managed to be familiar yet refreshing. There were some times that the framing was awkward or pans were a little jarring, but these things probably won't bother most people. Sound (7.6): The OP and ED are about as run-of-the-mill as they come. So are the background music and sound effects, but that's generally a good thing. Voices are on par with the animation; some good talent here, showcased by the crazy lines they had to say. Characters (7.6): All of your typical harem stereotypes are represented, but they get a little bit more development than you'd expect. The quality lies somewhere between a standard romance and harem anime. Overall (7.7): If you want to look at some pretty pictures and listen to A-list seiyuu say some weird stuff, you've come to the right place. The experience outside that is moderately enjoyable, but I wouldn't make it a point to see this show unless it gets a stellar second season.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed. In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it. So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be. ART: There is no problem with the art but this is pretty hard to mess up these days. The animation does what it is supposed to do and it looks good while doing it. SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I have watched the anime a few days ago but can no longer remember either the OP or the ED song. This is how I generally prefer it so I'm fine with it. Voice actors did a good job overall. CHARACTERS: Main character is Jurai. He is a member of the Literairy club and an Otaku. Literairy club: The club consists of 5 members of which Jurai is the only male. Tomoyo often remarks on his behavior but is secretly just like him. She can control time. Hatoko is a childhood friend of Jurai and is very close to him. Unfortunately she has trouble understanding his hobby. Her powers is the manipulation if the elements. Sayumi is the president and comes from wealthy family. She is a skilled martial artist and very proper in her ways. She can restore anything to its proper, or original, state. Chifuyu is an elementary scholer who is related to Jurai's teacher. When asked to watch out for her she stuck around and became a full memeber of the club. She can create anything her mind can think of. STORY: One day the members of the Literairy club develop amazing super powers. They don't know what caused it or why and some would prefer them to be gone. Jurai, however, welcomes his power and becomes the driving force behind the supernatural happenings. RANT: ....This title is very misleading as there are almost no supernatural battles to be found in this anime. The first 'fight' is a practice fight between the members and is there to explain the viewers what their powers are. The second fight is much later and lasts about 30 seconds and sets up what is probably the villain. The third fight is not shown at all, except for the aftermath. The final fight can hardly be called a fight either and then the series is over. So if the superpowers the title promised don't matter, what are you left with? Well, this is basically a romantic comedy that takes place at school between 4 girls and 1 guy. The fact that they have superpowers barely comes into play. They get the powers in the first minutes of the anime and we immediately jump ahead 6 months where you see them train with their powers. For the next 7 episodes NOTHING happens to further the plot about their powers. It is in episode 8 where you learn about the superpowers. There is a war going on between fairies and they give superpowers to humans and have them fight each other. The fairies then place bets on the fight and that is basically it. Which faction gave the club their powers is never brought up and the club members are never told about the war going on. If I didn't know any better I would say that this is the first part of a full 24 episode season but my DVD box tells me that this is indeed the complete series.....Oh, dear. In other words: If I want to know how it ends I'll have to and find the manga. I've explained before that this is tiny problem for me. I'm Dutch and it is very difficult getting manga here. Pretty much everything I own is US import and I have limited funds and closet space. So when I buy a 'complete series' I expect to get something....complete? I'm actually ok with open endings but give me at least a closed arc. This bullshit is a waste of my time and money, not to mention a slap in the face of anime fans. One other major problem that I had is the secrecy part. This pisses me off in any medium so it is not limited to this anime. When a large group of people get superpowers it will not be a secret for very long. I can guarentee you that you will find clips on superpowered people on YouTube within the hour. There are basically 3 groups of people with superpowers. There are those who can't wait to share what they can do with the world and these will be the first up. Then there are the villain who see the powers as a easy way to get money. The heroes will also be on the news in minuts though. Can you imagine a hero walking by, seeing a baby fall from a window and not do anything because he has to keep superpowers a secret? I know, right? It's stupid and I wished they stopped doing it. Anyway, despite its problems I still gave it a 4/10. Believe it or not but there is actually more to this anime that made me elevate it from the 1/10 I usually give. Once you ignore all the superpowers I found the characters actually interesting enough to keep me entertained. There is the required swimming/ocean episode but there is not a lot of fan service going on in the series. The fact that Chifuyu at some point expresses interest in Jurai is a moment that truly creeped me out. Please stop doing this Japan....Please. One other plus is the fact that Jurai names all their powers with quite clever word plays. There are a ton of them in this anime and they get explained pretty well. I'll have to give it to the people who made the subtitles as they must have had a heck of a job doing it. Unfortunately my Japanese is too bad that I could follow them and had to rely on the subs but you do speak and write Japanese than this part is an extra bonus for you. Maybe the dub does a great job of it too but I didn't watch it dubbed. So if you speak/write Japanese then this may spark your interest. If you like a romance story without having tits slapped in your face then you may like it. If supernatural is your thing then forget that this exists.
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is a strange title that had a lot of fun pieces that unfortunately just did not come together effectively for me as a viewer. There was plenty to like, as it did a serviceable job of balancing exactly what you expect out of a romcom: enough of the familiar and enough of the new. I find this to be the pretty typical formula for your run-of-the-mill romcom, and WSBBC had all these pieces, and then just… took certain aspects too far, and then bit off far more than it was capable of chewing. For a series that literally says in its title that supernatural battles became commonplace, there is a shockingly small amount of battles (arguably none. The first instance is a sparring match that is cut short, the second is a raid on a rival group by the background characters, which, right before fighting is cut short, and the very last run in, in which there is going to be a fight, but (you guessed it) cut short. Story; 6 out of 10. I thought that the show did a very interesting thing by introducing us to characters that obtained outrageous super powers, and then… decided to make it a Slice of Life series ignoring these powers for the most part. I am completely aware that this probably pissed off many of viewers, but I actually found it pretty amusing. A little bait and switch for our expectations, focusing on the day-to-day movements of their club and the blossoming sort of harem it turns into. Another point towards that idea, this series DID function as a harem, and like all harem protags, MC Kun was unbelievably dense and stupid in the silly moments, and brilliant and serious during the serious ones. Dull, but following the formula, I suppose. Where this series differed, a little, for me was how all the girls were in love with MC Kun, but they all generally kept their distance for fear of ruining their relationships between themselves or compromising who they are as people. In fact, any attempts to change themselves to appeal to him more were met with failure, and I kind of like that sentiment more than the usual harem where the girls actively chase and the man is completely unaware. While MC Kun is, of course, unaware, they are all aware and discuss these things amongst themselves, and that is (while not brilliant or even original) is a fun way to make the harem experience less cringey. The show juggles this SoL well enough, but then every so often introduces us to a very dull fairy war happening in the background, full of shounen-y characters with fun traits and personalities (see also: unoriginal archetypes) and generally tries to make a gritty story, but always stepping away before it gets actually gritty. I think this was my least favorite part of the show, if it would have just made up its mind to be a sweet SoL romcom, OR an action-packed gritty fantasy with romance it would have wound up being more fun for me. Lastly, the show had a bad habit of ending episodes with important developments, and then starting the next episode off ignoring what happened. I understand this is a simple device to reel you in, and in earnest, writing generally works better by showing instead of telling, but there is something naturally decompressing for me about getting hyped for the next episode, hitting that button, and then spending (sometimes the entire episode) some time before getting back towards what happened as soon as the credits played, and all too often this show does not effectively capitalize on these moments. One episode ends with a character uncharacteristically screaming at MC Kun, and it’s actually a very interesting scene, really forcing us as viewers to question why MC Kun thinks that speaking in references, romanticizing evil ideas/themes, and spouting off vague, shallow translations of scientific/historical facts is interesting. I thought that certainly this was a clever moment in which instead of the usual Anime-way of just forcing us to watch without worrying about suspension of disbelief (after all, hey, it’s a romcom anime, don’t take it so seriously!) it was making us question how, realistically, a full developed character would respond to an archtype character such as MC Kun. After they fight, she funs off, is attacked, and the episode ends. The very next episode though, they just sort of… get her back with plotmagic, and their serious dialogue never really pops back up again. It’s a huge waste of actual character growth to focus on clichéd action sequences and plot, and is the biggest weakness of the show for me. Animation: 8 out of 10. It’s trigger. The art is fine, character design tasteful, if not unique, and no horrible CGI or budget shots, really. Sound: 5 out of 10. Perfectly serviceable voice acting, and an unforgettable OP. Characters: 6 out of 10. As I mentioned earlier, the girls in this series were actually quite fun to watch. There was no real tsundere character (thank god) and although they all loved the MC for all the reasons they usually do, they actually spent much more of the show legitimately understanding his faults and flaws and trying to make him address them. I think that was one of my favorite parts, even in love with him, none of them were under and delusions about how immature and strange he was. That kind of rose-tinted writing always sits poorly with me, and I will easily admit that love is a weird thing. Chemistry is weird, man. Even then, though, a fully realized character should, as with humans, be able to see the good and bad in those that they love. A character who blindly worships another character is not a love story, it is a shallow obsession story that doesn’t offer the olive branch of understanding motives and desires. Another thing I did not like is that the show spent entirely too much time focused on Chifuyu (I think that was her name) and MC Kun. The writing never once specifically makes anything creepy, but it is fully aware of that existence and pokes fun at it throughout. Just skip the whole thing, in my opinion, there is no need to even have Chifuyu so young, her character would have functioned exactly the same if they made her only one year younger than the group. Overall: 6 out of 10. All in all, as mentioned already, plenty of decent pieces to be found throughout. Hotoko, Sayumi, and Tomoyo were all best girl, and had their charms. There were just too many pieces I didn’t like cluttering up what I did, and perhaps that is just a personal thing. I hope you enjoy if you do watch it.
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