Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? Review

This is review number one hundred and seventy nine. This anime is part of the Winter 2013 anime lineup. I’m in a brand new lineup and I honestly need to catch up since the staggering Spring anime has already begun. I’ll start with the first one that finished airing. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? Or “Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?” It’s a ten episode anime about kids coming in a new world and suddenly started kicking ass. It’s an awesome show. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about three kids with special abilities transported to another world. The kids has expressed that their life is boring so they jumped at the opportunity to go to Little Garden. It’s a world where the inhabitants participate in various Gift Games. These are games where you and your opponent wager something. Rules are made and a referee is there to call the match fairly. The kids soon agreed to join a small and weak community to up against the more powerful ones. They plan on winning every game and soon make their community grow. They’ll go as far as challenging gods, demons and demon lords if they have to because, after all, they are bored kids.

Taking the Pants Off

This anime surprised me. It was only ten episodes long and I didn’t really think you can do a lot in such a short time. I’ve definitely seen it done but it does make you curious how a light novel anime can strive at such a short span. Light novel anime usually have twelve episodes and most of them aren’t that great because the source material is just too detailed. Having ten episodes is just asking for it, to be honest. The funny thing is that the anime is pretty good. It has its flaws but overall the anime was able to shine in a pretty decent way. It’s really surprising and I think it’s because the anime took a smart approach at adapting the source material. It sounds bad but the anime really made an impact because it dumbed itself down. What does that mean? Well, this anime has a backstory as convoluted as Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon but it didn’t rely much on it. It was mostly concerned with the action, the characters, and really just a simple story that is easy to digest.

The anime had a pretty straight forward story. A boy, named Sakamaki Izayoi, and two girls, named Kudo Asuka and Kusakabe Yo, received a letter inviting them go to world called Little Garden. They all have super powers and they want to go wild with it so they agreed to go to the world. A weak community (it’s like a club or an organization) soon asked for their help to rebuild their lost reputation. They agreed and they soon meet other communities far stronger than theirs. They participate in Gift Games and they are slowly gain power for their community. The anime is soon about an underdog group with some extra ordinary members leading them to the top. The story is as easy to understand as that but this has a rich backstory to it and a lot of terminologies that I believe the show shoved to the sidelines for a reason.

The characters are transported to the Little Garden and they are introduced to Gift Games. It’s a game where you wager something, set the rules and limitations of the game and then duke it out. You can wager anything from your pride, a condition (like doing one command the opponent wants), your powers and anything else. The games can also vary from fights using weapons to solving a puzzle to even just as simple as racing each other. The rules are agreed to and a referee is present in the fights. These referees are connected to the Little Garden that they can consult with if problems arise. The referees are there to make sure the fight is fair. If you win, you obviously get the spoils called “gifts” and they are yours to keep. Most gifts are special powers, private properties and even the individual themselves but you can wager anything as long as both parties agree to it.

The Little Garden world consists of various inhabitants from humans to elves and fairies and other kind of beings. They often form “communities” or a club for its members. Most communities are so strong that they have small communities under their wing. If you have the power to lead then you can grow your community as much as you like. Most communities even wager their group if they want to. Having a strong community ensures a great life in Little Garden.  Most communities have regular members but there are also strong ones called “demons” that possess really strong gifts that can overwhelm normal beings. A community must be established though and if you aren’t then you’re branded as “no names”. These are communities that are so powerless that they don’t even have a name for other communities to know them. Win enough gift games and you can grow your status as much as you like. Various communities hold unique power in Little Garden and they often are so influential that some members are appointed special positions in Little Garden like a governing body that controls the land.  Lastly, communities cannot refuse a challenge by a Demon Lord. These are villainous creatures that create chaos in Little Garden. Having a strong community is important but a Demon Lord can reduce that to nothing and turn it to a no name if it wins. That is why Demon Lords are feared among communities.

Again, it has a simple story. It’s about a bunch of humans with super powers joining a weak community and then making it grow. As you can see though, the anime has a rich backdrop that is very much detailed. I mean, look, that’s just on the first two episodes. Can you imagine the things the anime drops on you on its ten episode run? There is also stuff about parallel dimensions and coinciding history and places warped in Little Garden that is filled with intimidating details. I’ve seen this kind of carnage before on another light novel anime. That other show basically dropped all the terminologies and background of the story on the first season and then made up for it on the second season. This anime was pretty smart on its delivery. Why bother explaining all the little details when you can just dumb the whole thing down? The anime had a choice of explaining everything but it chose to just let the action and the characters do the talking for them.

The terminologies and the background of the anime were presented in small bite size pieces. There is enough to make a scene understandable and the story stable before it enters a fight scene or a climactic moment that is very important to the show. It’s pretty obvious the story took a major hit on this shortcut approach. Oddly enough, the pacing wasn’t really compromised. It has a nice pace that is easy to understand but it was mostly hollow during some of its scenes. Most anime build up a scene and uses flashback and long narrative to explain things and hype some events. The anime doesn’t have that option so things do get exciting but they aren’t that memorable. You can enjoy a scene of two characters fighting in the gift games but you’ll most likely just be drawn by their awesomeness and the actual fight itself. The reason is that there is no decent buildup, no proper foundation for the event and not enough reason for the fight to be long awaited. If the anime did explain it then you can expect the pacing to be bogged down and the show slowly turning into a convoluted mess. Screw the important details, flashbacks and step by step breakdown of the story. Let’s just enjoy the fact that the awesome characters are fighting characters much stronger than them and leaving them in awe. This approach really works.

mondai1

The characters and their interactions are the biggest selling point of the anime. Since the story is simple, the characters take up the missing space the story is supposed to fill. The three main characters are pretty awesome. They really grab your attention in the most delightful ways. Izayoi is the one that is really fun to watch. He is really strong and he loves fighting creatures stronger than him. He is unfazed by almost anything and he would charge head on in things that would basically kill a normal person. He isn’t normal though. Seeing just how strong Izayoi is at fighting is one of the best surprises of the anime. The girls are pretty interesting as well. Asuka is this snobby girl who has the power to command people and she loves challenges as well. Being in a new world is something she has been dreaming for a long time though and the reason is slowly explained as the anime progresses. The other girl, Yo, has the power to copy abilities from her opponents and she is agile like an animal. She is shy but like the other two, she loves to take on challenges as well. She can talk to animals and she can easily befriend them. The other main character is Black Rabbit. She is a comic relief in the anime and the one that displays the most fan service because, good god, she is a bunny girl. Sexy as f*ck. The characters really carry the show because majority of the episodes are focused on the various gift games they participate in. Again, these games have a decent pacing but it lacks some explanation so it’s really critical that you enjoy the characters kicking ass on the games. It’s not that hard to enjoy them though because they are pretty exciting and their interaction is fun to watch.

The side characters are pretty decent. There is a lot of lolis though in this anime. Seriously, almost everyone is a little girl in Lolita outfits that are really cute. Anyways, they’re generic but enough for the viewers to familiarize with them and help the main characters look good. I especially love the side characters with a bit of arrogance on them because they are begging for the main characters to just bust out their awesomeness to shut them up. Again, various events lack a proper narrative so the side characters do their best to make the scene great in their own little way.

Despite the lack of explanation on various things in the anime, I do love how it manages to incorporate some political elements into the show. It’s not much but there is enough to really feel the presence of the communities and how Little Garden works internally. It’s shallow at best but there is enough to make the viewer’s enjoy the importance of the communities and how they vary from each other. I like this part of the anime because in such a small time, they managed to squeeze some in. It’s really not enough but it makes certain characters look great despite their small role in the anime. This aspect slowly comes out in the second half though so you have enough time to adjust to the anime’s rhythm so it’s another smart move by the show.

Ten episodes are really not enough and I’m surprised Diomedea settled on it. I guarantee though that the show is pretty great. In fact, it’s so great that you really want another season of it. I think the studio was hoping for that and, with its smart approach at making a decent adaptation, it’s really not a big surprise.

Sight and Sound

Character design is pretty awesome. The three main characters all have a pretty unique look that nicely matches their personalities. They are the typical main characters though that is young with slender bodies and a typical build. They have pretty faces though and cool outfits to make them standout. I am a big fan of Black Rabbit simply because she looks sexy in her outfit. She has long blue hair and a sexy body that is coupled by a gullible yet often serious personality. I love that. The characters in Little Garden are really diverse and their outfits have a wide range as well. The imagination just runs wild when it comes to the characters. From elves to fairies and demons, there is no shortage of interesting characters in the anime. It has a nice RPG vibe to it that I really appreciate.

There are also a lot of lolis in the anime. Small girls with frail bodies and flashy outfits, the anime really nailed it on the head when it comes to presenting some pretty awesome lolis. There is the typical ones with long blonde hair and milk white skin, and there are also some pretty cute ones with shrine maiden outfits or maid outfits that is really just great. It’s amazing and there is no shortage of them. I counted four…wait, five lolis in the anime and they all look great.

The animation is pretty decent. The characters look really good when they are fighting and the animation is able to present that wonderfully. The nice flow of the fight, the added effects and the personalities of the characters coming through are nicely presented in the animation. The fight scenes are often short but there is enough time to make the characters look bad ass and that is all that matters, really.

The anime also have some pretty colorful places for the world of Little Garden. There is two major cities presented in the anime and they all had some pretty awesome scenery to boast. From the city streets to the various places where the characters fight, the anime had some nice scenes to fully present the beauty of Little Garden.

The anime’s OP is Black † White” by Iori Nomizu. This was sung by Black Rabbit and she has a really amazing voice. It sounds mature yet playful and the song has that quality. It starts out slow and then picks up pace in the chorus. It’s a catchy song but it does have a pretty plain verse. The chorus is awesome though. The OP sequence features all the characters and a summary of the anime. There is some spoiler because some characters are in the sequence when they appear fairly late in the anime.

The anime’s ED is To Be Continued?” by Kaori Sadohara. It’s a cute song and Kaori’s voice had a childlike playful vibe to it. The song itself is pretty catchy and it gets cuter towards its end. The ED sequence features a chibi version of the characters dancing. It’s an amazing sequence with the character’s personalities brought out in the chibi. It’s really awesome and it’s honestly more memorable than any moment in the anime.

Overall Score

5/10 “It managed to make an impact despite the short run thanks, in part, to the characters but it’s lasting appeal isn’t that long sadly because of the hollow story.”

This is a great anime. It was smart to present the characters doing what they do best and let certain scenes just play out normally. The lack of explanation and details in the story is one of its biggest flaws though. For something so short, it was able to make an impact in an amazing way so this anime is pretty admirable. It’s a great story of characters taking name and kicking ass. I recommend it.

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