Alright. We need to be clear about one thing: This anime creeps me the hell out and it is frankly one that is going to be tough for a generally accepted public standing. Eromanga Sensei is frankly odd and straddles a VERY fine line and yet—I can find one redeeming aspect of this anime: Its passion.
You literally have got to dig through the refuse in order to find something that doesn’t make you instantly cringe. There are beautiful themes of finding self acceptance, of coming out of ones shell or admiration for doing what you love for the sake of another. Sadly a lot of it is buried under shameless fan-service.
Yes, this is coming from a guy whose absolutely favorite anime is Kill la Kill, but even that doesn’t hold a candle to Eromanga Sensei. The anime runs into its issues from the very beginning. Step Siblings Sagiri and Masamune Izumi find themselves in a home by themselves and separated by a rough family history. Masamune is an aspiring light-novel author who works to provide for him and his step-sister. Sagiri on the other hand is a 12 YEAR OLD lewd artists who specializes in smutty drawings and is secretly the artist who makes the cover work for her step-brothers novels. As events often do, one of them leads into another and thus the two siblings figure out what’s what.
This turn of events transpires into a episodic mess of shameless fan-service and underaged characters exploring VERY adult situations and themes. Really what this anime has done well is to cause a vast divide in the community. Some do enjoy this anime for what it is and if you loved Oreimo then you will probably find comfort in this title. If not, then you will find yourself in quite the awkward situation. Being frank, I did watch Oreimo and I watched Eromanga Sensei and while that doesn’t make me feel bad that I watched it for either the layers of themes or art, I feel bad for watching a title that really just made me feel horrid.
I wanted to like the story but I found it hard to enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong, Eromanga Sensei has some of this years BEST art around and the into and ending titles are amazingly done! Studio A-1 did a massively awesome job with how the art direction went and I cannot fault them for doing such an outstanding job with the art. To be fair Studio A-1 is not to blame and I don’t fault them either for wanting to potentially cash in on fan-service. Just don’t cash in on underaged characters. If this anime was set up with characters who were much, much older then maybe it would work. The opening of this anime is superbly done and I do very much enjoy it. ClariS did a phenomenal job with the music and song as always and even TrySail threw their hand into the musical ring with their ending song. I just really hope that they all felt this anime was worth it to add such awesome work and effort into making the both sides of the anime excellent.
The theme that I felt the show did well on was the theme of self-improvement. Working to better your life, your being and your livelihood through hard work and passion. It is a message that anyone can grasp and frankly I loved the scenes where Masamune worked and tried to figure out the best ways to write. As a blogger myself I can say that I understand his struggle in trying to desperately create something worthwhile and noticeable. He just is buried under the series more… morbid approach to fan-service.
Another theme that this anime tackled well was family. Not in the sense that the general anime ran with, but understanding that there are members of family who mean the world to us. Family members that we would do anything and everything for. Even if they are socially isolated, we still care and will try our best to connect and engage with them.
As it currently stands I cannot say much more in regards to this title. I never thought the day would come where I ran into a wall that I could not climb when it came to anime. Maybe my tastes are diverging or maybe the sun and the stars were not aligned; I honestly don’t know. I cannot bring myself to recommend this anime to any casual enthusiast. This is an anime that has that shiny potential, but one that struggles to find a greater acceptance in the larger anime community.
I need to also stress that I am not scapegoating this anime. I am not jumping onto a band wagon of hate or blame. This is just an anime that fundamentally does not sit well with me. Yes it is an entire work or fiction and has no bearing in a day to day life; it’s fiction after all. But if a title cannot sit well with the viewer then there is something a bit wrong with that picture. If you watch this anime, please watch it for the art direction, watch it for the buried themes.
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