Shinmai Maou no Testament - 01 -00126

「Visual Collection/Series Premiere」Shinmai Maou no Testament #01. 「妹ができた日」

新妹魔王の契約者 第1話 「妹ができた日」
Shinmai Maou no Testament #01. 「The Day I Got a Little Sister」

Source Material: Light novel series by Uesu Tetsuto (上栖 綴人)
Studio(s): Production IMS
Director(s): Saitou Hisashi (斎藤 久)
Art Director(s): Kinoshita Ryouka (木下 了香)
Script: Yoshioka Takao (吉岡 たかを)
Music: Takanashi Yasuharu (高梨 康治)

Background Information:  

Shinmai Maou no Testament is a light novel series written by Uesu Tetsuto with illustrations by Ookuma Nekosuke published by Kadokawa Shoten under its Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko imprint since 2012. As of January 2015, seven volumes of the light novel series have been published, and two tankouban volumes have been collected from the manga adaptation published in Kadokawa Shoten‘s Shounen Ace magazine. The series also has a second manga adaptation serialized in Hakusensha‘s Young Animal Arashi magazine since February 2014.

Synopsis:

One day Toujou Basara’s father finally fulfills his request of wanting a little sister in the family; the only issue is that it was a request Basara made ten years ago when he was a little boy, which he doesn’t even remember anymore. As the two wait at a family diner for the new sister to arrive, Basara grows restless and heads to the bathroom, just in time to find none other than his new sister without her underwear on. As an act of evasive maneuver, Basara covers her mouth with his hand to prevent her screaming (and in turn a very awkward scene) and tries to explain his honest intentions (or lack of any intentions whatsoever) and that he simply did not see the sign warning of the broken bathroom door-lock. Regardless, Basara still ends up with a natural slap to the face, and the three family members, along with another un-introduced and purported to-be-sister, end up seated at a table pervaded with an air of awkwardness. Appropriately, Basara’s father lightens the mood with his carefree demeanor and casually leads the introductions amongst the new family members. The next morning in the family’s newly-bought house, Basara wakes up to find his new sister, Naruse Mio, on top of him, attempting to wake him up “the way boys enjoy”. After wriggling around atop his lower-body, Mio feels something hard, and uncovers it to find an eroge about incestuous sex. While getting out of bed and trying to explain that the game is not his, Basara slips on his blanket and ends up on top of Mio as the two lie on the floor. Downstairs, Basara greets his other new sister, Naruse Maria, while she is cooking breakfast scantily clad in an apron and finds out that she planted the eroge in his bed as a “housewarming gift”. Outside, the family takes a group photograph in front of their new house to celebrate their commencement, and afterwards Basara and Mio head off to buy groceries. When Mio is confronted by a gang of assertive boys, Basara intervenes and saves her in his first protective act as an older brother. Basara takes Mio to the top of a hill where his father used to take him, and the two watch the sunset together as Basara expresses his optimism in now having a bigger family to protect as well as depend upon. When they return home, Basara discovers that his father is suddenly leaving to Dubai for an extended trip because of his job as a freelance photographer and that, as the eldest son of the house, Basara is to be in charge of protecting the family. Basara sees his dad off and goes back into the house to find Mio and Maria acting ominously. After the two demand Basara leave the house, Maria attacks him with a magic attack and transforms into a succubus demon. It is revealed that Mio is the future demon lord of the magical world and that the two will be using Basara’s house as their base of operations while making her fate come to fruition. Maria had apparently fabricated Basara’s father’s memories of finding a fiancé and now intends to fabricate Basara memories of not being able to live with his two sister and leaving to live with his relatives in the countryside. Basara confronts Mio and asks if she was just pretending to be his sister the entire time, to which she callously apologizes and remarks that they need the house without his presence. Maria activates her memory-altering magic on Basara, but Basara, unaffected, responds by unleashing his own power as a member of the clan of heroes and overwhelms his two sisters. Right before dealing a lethal blow on them, Basara stops and tells them to leave. Afterwards, alone in his room, Basara feels a painful strain on his hand and realizes that he won’t be able to perform the technique he had just used again. In a phone call with his father, Basara’s father tells him that he actually wasn’t tricked at all and intentionally adopted Mio, the daughter of a peaceful demon lord and dear friend, in order to protect her from the demons that target her because of their enmity towards her now deceased father. Meanwhile, before leaving the city, Mio and Maria take in the view on last time atop the same hill Basara had taken Mio. As they ponder how to move on with their plan, a group of demon assailants attack them. Mio is eventually knocked off of the high area but is saved by Basara, who arrives just on time on his bike. Basara fends off the attackers and tells his sisters, shocked at his presence, that he has come to get his family.

Review:

Purely based off its title, I was expecting Shinmai Maou no Testament to be in the same vein as the rest of this season’s action-fantasy series (a presumption further enhanced by the episode’s immediate title card of “The Day I Got a Little Sister”); but wildly enough, without a reference to any possible existence of magic in sight, Shinmai Maou went the full harem route for thirteen whole minutes into the episode (cue the unusual timing of the opening sequence at fourteen minutes in), a path that I would have probably preferred for the aforementioned shows as well to be honest. Unfortunately for Shinmai Maou, its particular brand of fan-service and sexual innuendo is miles ahead of the others in shamelessness (girl riding male protagonist in bed in cow-girl fashion and diving under the sheets to find a rock hard something makes Shinmai Maou the closest anime to hentai I’ve seen in ages―though if it actually was a hentai, with its art quality, it still wouldn’t be a very good show even in that demographic); and right again, the art quality also being a big deciding and unqualifying factor (the opening sequence may have been slow to start but apparently not so slow to drain the entire production’s budget). Further unlike the previously mentioned fantasy shows of this season, Shinmai Maou takes the outrageous cohabitation scenario away from the high school campus setting and to the actual home of resident (pun intended) protagonist Toujou Basara; and while that saves us the viewers the re-hash of the same kind of premiere episode/introductory material (relative to this anime season), plot proceedings are still just as easy to predict, with this week’s turnouts being highly reminiscent of very recent (and much better executed) shows. What ensues from this change of setting and lack of more conventional structure is an increasing number of conspicuous plot-holes, which may just as easily be accredited as poor writing in general. In any case, a boy covered in sizable scars from head-to-toe being unsuspected and perceived as an ordinary human male and two demons infiltrating a lonesome family of two to commandeer their house―a house that the father purchases after the girls initiate their plan and become a part of the family―makes our two female protagonists two very unintelligent tricksters. It’s no wonder they need a big brother for their own protection. Additionally, as a part of the climactic reveal of a magical world of angels and demons and gods and heroes, Basara’s father expresses his commitment to saving the two girls, exactly whilst he is in a taxi driving away from them and being not so inclined to settle matters himself (and end the show before it even could have started) and instead handing over the responsibility to his out-of-the-loop son. Shinmai Maou no Testament‘s poor story-by-design, or lack thereof, and even poorer visual execution is an overall presentation that really pushes me into welcoming full-throttle ecchi series; and in all honesty, I wouldn’t surprised if the show arches into that kind of entertainment even more next week.

Rating: 7.0/10

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