Anime Review: Eromanga Sensei Part 1

By Drew Hurley 20.09.2019

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Eromanga Sensei Part 1(UK Rating 15)

Teenager Masamune Izumi lives a double life. At home he's a regular high-schooler who is struggling to connect with his sister who has become a complete shut-in since an incident a year ago, but secretly his budding career as a writer has him producing ero (pervy) light novels with a secretive artist known as Eromanga-Sensei. These two worlds come crashing together, and Masamune realises the sister he's working so hard to help and the artist who has been helping him get famous are one and the same. Coming courtesy of MVM, this first part is available now and contains episodes 1-6.
First off, yes, the light novel that is the basis of Eromanga Sensei comes from Tsukasa Fushimi. Creator of OreImo and he's certainly doubling down on his own personal kinks here. It's yet another brother with a heavily unnatural obsession to his not blood-related Imouto. That "but they're not blood-related!" excuse is going to be repeated ad nauseam.
Masamune lives with this object of his obsession, though he rarely actually sees her. She's a classic Hikkikomori, and Masamune somehow manages to juggle being a full-time highschooler, a published light novel author, and practically a parent to this little girl; washing her clothes, making her food, listening to her every whim. She's been this way for over a year, when "a certain tragedy" struck them that is not elaborated on, but is fairly obvious since their parents are completely absent.
Masamune's life as a light novel author isn't hugely successful. Anyone who has dipped their toe into the world of light novels, or indeed has walked into an Animate will know just how many light novels are released all the time, so he's just another author alongside the mountain of others. He's selling 200,000 at least, enough to pay for him and his sister to keep living. Mostly thanks to the art of his mysterious partner. A partner he has never met, the titular Ero-Manga Sensei, who just happens to end up being his sister, Sagiri.

It's a simple enough premise and there is no real depth to the story. There are some struggles as Masamune tries desperately to get his sister to get out of her room and return to real life - along with pushing constant ecchi camera angles and situations. Then it begins to introduce an extended cast of other girls to join Masamune's harem. There's an older-sister type in the seller of light novels at the local book shop. Then there's one of Sagiri's classmates, a sociopath called Megumi. An episode is dedicated to her turning up and trying to get Sagiri to return to school. She likes to be called Megumin, a cutesy girl, one who says she loves... err, the D-word. When she doesn't make Masamune instantly fall for her she says "Your 'D' must be useless if you don't instantly fall in love with me." She's certainly different!
Next up is "Elf Yamada," another light novel author from a different publisher and a hugely popular one. Outselling Masamune ten to one. She's nice and modest about it too, saying she's "The saviour of the light novel industry." and that "All Light Novel authors besides me are scum." She turns out to be the next-door neighbour to the siblings too, and apparently likes hanging out there playing piano naked. She's inserted into the story as someone trying to steal Sagiri from Yamato as she loves Eromanga's art and wants them to draw for her novels. While they hate each other at first, they build up something of a friendship, and even a rivalry.
Finally, when it comes to the look of  it all, coming from A-1 Pictures, the studio who picked up the sequel to OreImo, the presentation is decent enough, though there's not a lot for them to do here, thanks to the generic designs and the lack of action.
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

There's not much here to latch onto. There's an audience for this out there: the hardcore OreImo fans and that's about it. Anyone who has watched it will struggle to remember even what it's really about, there's no real narrative, character drama, or engaging moments. So, what is the point of the show? Everyone knows. Some came for it. It's an ecchi show, but not really, so there's plenty of peaks at cleavage and panty shots. There's lots of creepy "but they're not related!" style awkward moments between the siblings. Tying all of this together are attempts at humour that never really land, and can't even drag a chuckle out of the audience throughout this entire first collection.

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