Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Eromanga Sensei Part One
Anime Studio: White Fox
Publisher: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Romance / Comedy
Released: October 15th, 2019
Extras: Web Previews, Trailers, Clean OP & ED
Masamune Izumi is a high school student who professionally writes light novels. Sagiri Izumi is a shut-in who never leaves her room. One year ago, they became siblings when their parents married one another. The closed off room opens up, and the sibling story continues. Masamune and Sagiri encounter more obstacles, as well as new beginnings. As they take steps toward their dreams together, they learn a little more about each other.
If you read my review of the first release in this series, you’ll know that I thought there were a lot of positives to Eromanga Sensei. These were balanced out with some tropes that I’m really not a fan of. In some ways, Eromanga Sensei Part Two offers more of the same.
The growing romance between sixteen-year-old Masamune and his thirteen-year-old step-sister Sagiri is still present, for example. I still find it incredibly frustrating as a tale in that regard, as the awkward affection between the two would be sweet were it not for both Sagiri’s age and the step-sibling relation.
On the more positive side, the technical beauty of the show is also consistent. Tomoki Kikuya (Nisekoi)’s soundtrack continues to balance silly and serious well, and the animation is still really good.
The real difference here is the shift in focus for the release. We pick up where the first set left off, with the confrontation between Masamune and Muramasa, which leads nicely into the writing contest and Masamune’s inevitable win (albeit on a technicality this time). From there, things almost become a typical harem show.
There was certainly an element of this in the first release, but Muramasa’s introduction to the cast seems to spur Elf Yamada on into leaping into the potential love interest role too. The result is a lot more time being given to the two girls trying to win Masamune over. I did find this quite interesting, as rather than being a typical dull male lead that’s oblivious to the girls’ affections, Masamune is absolutely aware that they like him. He is also quick to make his own feelings clear and continue his pursuit of Sagiri. While I don’t like his choice, this did give it a different feel to most harem type shows, which was a nice touch.
It helps that the characters are all still very likable. They all feel suitably different from one another, and even when fitting into typical roles, their individual personalities shine through enough to be three dimensional.
The downside to the shift in focus is that some of the other characters we met in the first release fade into the background. Tomoe and Megumi don’t reappear until they get brief cameos in the final episode for example, and Masamune’s editor Ayume is barely present. The new characters we meet, Chris and Kunimitsu, don’t get as much attention as the others either, so we don’t get to form any real connection with them.
Strangely, even with a standard beach episode making an appearance, this actually felt less lewd than the first half of the season to me. It’s not devoid of fan service, of course, there are still instances clearly framed to sexualize the girls, but it felt less overwhelming. While I’m sure that will not sit well with some fans, I personally felt that it helped keep the show working on the story rather than the provocative imagery.
So, what does that mean overall? Well, the troublesome parts of the series are still alive and kicking. Somehow though, the still-likable characters combined with the shift in story-element focus make it slightly better release than the first. As such, I’m giving this 3.75 out of 5.