Anime Review | Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 15.01.2017

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Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? (UK Rating: 15)

Yes, it's another romantic comedy harem anime. People complain about the amount of Shonen series out there but wow… This one is trying something new, at least… kind of.  Instead of making a sci-fi, magical girl, supernatural, slice of life, or high school series, the creators of this decide to take all of these things and slam them together hoping something will stick! Can this amalgamation of every trope under the sun deliver something that stands out from the crowd? The series comes courtesy of MVM Entertainment and is available now.

Protagonist Koutarou has reached that age where he's ready to break out on his own and move into his own place. Somehow he manages to find a cheap little place that he can afford with the wages from his part time job. This is the titular Rokuyoma within a rather ramshackle old building called "Corona House," and it's only 5000¥ a month (about £35)! Just what a "Rokuyoma" is may be a bit confusing to some viewers who haven't lived or stayed in Japan. Over there, rooms are described in this way by the amount of tatami mats that fit in the room. Rokuyoma is six mats, about 30x70 inches, and a good deal smaller than most Western bedrooms, which would be closer to 10 mats.

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Despite the rather small dimensions, the room is suddenly a hotly contested commodity with plenty of otherworldly creatures all vying for control of it for one reason or another. Sanae is a ghost who has long haunted the room and has no intention of sharing it with this new renter. Kiriha is a subterranean who hopes to take over the room to use it to take over the surface world. Yurika is a magical girl who wants to protect the magical energies gathering within the room from dark magic users who would abuse them. Finally, Theiamillis is a princess from another galaxy. Coming from a highly technologically advanced people, she is going through a test where she must claim a randomly chosen location in the Universe to prove her strength; she just happens to choose the room.

Viewers might think the story would play like many others of its ilk, introducing the protagonist and the primary girl in the first episode, and then spending the rest of the early episodes introducing the remainder of the cast. Invaders of the Rokujyōma cares nothing for presumptions and instead throws every character into the mix at the very start. They all invade the room and try to either force the Koutarou, or convince him, to give them the room, destroying much of it in the process. Another young lady soon gets them all in line, though. One of Koutarou's schoolmates, one Shizuka Kasagi, is actually the landlady of the Corona House. After finding the destruction the group has wrought, she sets up a series of rules in a competition to establish who gets to stay in the room. These "Corona House Rules of War" are fairly sensible, banning atomic, biological and chemical weapons, not to mention WMDs - stopping the combatants from causing damage to the building or creating noise pollution for the neighbours. She also sets up times combat cannot be instigated, snack breaks, and bans them cosplaying outside of the room. Breaching the rules means they are out of the competition, so the group decides to use card games as a method of battling, splitting the area of the room between them and gambling with cm² pieces of the room.


 
This seems enough of a premise for the series to adhere to, but instead it does something completely different. The battle for ownership of the room is pretty much forgotten and pushed to the background, and instead each girl has an episode or two dedicated to a personal story, while the rest of the series is used for some of the most familiar of harem episodes. The gang take a trip to the beach to show off the cast in their skimpy swimsuits, there's a school sports day for… bouncy moments, they take part in a school festival, and put on a play. The girls all, of course, enrol in Koutarou's school to be able to play these stories out. For the girl specific episodes, each of the ladies has someone out to get them and, of course, needs Koutarou to save the day, usually in a two-parter. Yuriko is mocked throughout the season as a chuunibyou, or a magical girl otaku, who's just into cosplay, even though she clearly displays her magic in many episodes. That all changes, however, when an evil magical girl shows up. Sanae has to put up with ghost hunters who look suspiciously like the Blues Brothers. Snooty Princess Theiamillis is attacked by another of her people. Kiriha's claims of wanting to take over the surface are put to the test. Each of these stories gives the cast a chance to develop a little.

Even with this development, though, the characters are frankly forgettable, each falling into the usual tropes. There is a spoiled and snooty princess, a scatterbrained dopey young girl, the flirty busty one, and the little sister. None of them do anything to be memorable in any way and Koutarou is the same age old anime protagonist, surrounded by fawning beauties who are none too subtle about wanting to get into his pants and yet he is completely oblivious while stuck on his school crush.

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Innocuous and inoffensive, Invaders of the Rokujyōma!? actually manages to juggle the very different plot elements into some fun episodes, but ultimately there's nothing special here. It's an ecchi series with little fan service, a comedy with too few moments that evoke laughter, and a romance without much heart. The series ends with no conclusions or story threads wrapped up, either. The creators likely were hoping for a second season, but thankfully that seems unlikely.

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