Anime Studio Challange: A-1 Pictures’… Eromanga-sensei! (Spoiler-free Review)

So we’ve come across what appears to be a pretty big anime studio… A-1 Pictures. Have any of you heard of this one?

Anyways, after looking through so many options, I decided to watch what I imagine is A-1 Pictures’ magnum opus: Eromanga-sensei! If any anime will give me an idea of what this studio is about, it’s Eromanga-sensei, right?

I figured that was the case.

Alright, here we go folks.
The defining anime of A-1 Pictures… are you ready?

Spoiler free, of course.
I just can’t bring myself to spoil content in my reviews anymore.

Brief Overview

Masamune Izumi is a published light novel author, small time, but published. And a large part of his success is thanks to his illustrator – Eromanga-sensei, an erotic artist who is quite popular online. However, Masamuna never actually met his illustrator, until a turn of events leads into him finding out that Eromanga-sensei is actually his shut-in little sister, Sagiri!

Major Themes

Going to switch up my format here and go into what I identify as some of the major themes of Eromanga-sensei, and some thoughts.

Ecchi Harem

First up, it’s an ecchi harem anime. One look at the tags on MAL, as well as the poster image for this one, will reveal that the cast primarily consists of a male character and then the rest are female. I believe in total there are 3 male characters, and the rest are all female. That alone should tell you all you need to hear!

However, I will point out that while there is definitely a strong harem element in this anime, the ecchi itself I’d consider a bit weak. I was pondering covering Eromanga-sensei on EcchiHunter.com but decided not to because there just isn’t enough ecchi content. What we get is what I’d call a “soft” ecchi anime – more ecchi situations than actual ecchi imagery.

I’d say overall that the ecchi aspect of Eromanga-sensei is fairly weak, but the harem aspect is well done. So if you like the harem, but the ecchi isn’t as important to you, then that’s great because that’s what you’ll get here.

Slice of Life?

It’s not tagged as such on MAL, but I’d call Eromanga-sensei a slice of life. At least it feels like one. I guess because there is a somewhat directed story, which is Masamune and his little sister trying to become successful authors, it’s technically not a slice of life… but then again I’ve seen actual slice of life anime that felt like they had more story than Eromanga-sensei.

Maybe we just need a new tag called “easygoing” to describe anime like this, where there is a story but it’s not super serious and the overall tone and pacing of the anime is very casual and lighthearted.

Eromanga-sensei has this tone from start to finish, so I guess it does well in this aspect. Even if it’s technically not a slice of life, if you enjoy that sort of anime, I think that Eromanga-sensei will satisfy that feeling at least.

Comedy

Another element that is almost always present in slice of life is comedy! If anything this just helps prove me right that Eromanga-sensei is a slice of life anime.. but I guess it doesn’t really matter.

The comedy in this anime is hit and miss. There are definitely funny moments between Masamune and the other girls. Eromanga-sensei also has some funny interactions with the other girls at times. But then there are also various spans of time where nothing that funny happens. Like episodes where nothing too funny happens.

I know this isn’t a dedicated comedy, so it’s fine that not every second is a running gag. In the end, if you are looking for an anime with comedic elements, but not a straight comedy, Eromanga-sensei checks that box.

My Biggest Criticism

Oftentimes, especially lately, I find myself criticizing anime based on my personal expectations not being met. I read a synopsis, see the poster image for an anime, and I come up with my own idea of what I think the anime will be like. And when the anime doesn’t meet that, sometimes I can be disappointed.

I have a criticism here regarding Eromanga-sensei, and it’s somewhat like that. But I think it’s a valid one, and it goes beyond just expectations alone.

My biggest criticism of Eromanga-sensei, is Eromanga-sensei.
Or Sagiri Izumi, whichever name you’d like to use for her.

When going into this anime, you see the name, the poster, and the premise, and you naturally assume that Eromanga-sensei is going to be the central character of the anime, right? She’s at the forefront of the poster, the synopsis (on MAL at least) opens up talking about her, and the anime is named after her! Of course she would be not just a main character, but the central character to the anime, right?

Well, not quite.

While the poster has it look like Eromanga-sensei is this possibly wacky and outgoing girl, she’s not. She’s super quiet, unassuming, and a shut-in. She has some moments that are funny or interesting, but overall she’s actually a really boring character. And she’s actually not present as much as you’d think, sometimes only getting a couple minutes in an entire episode!

The fact is, Masamune is, without a doubt, the main character, and Eromanga-sensei, while she gets some attention, is just another girl in the harem. There are some story elements that tie the two together, but in the end, every single episode follows Masamune, start to finish.

While the anime outwardly presents itself as Eromanga-sensei, it’s really just another ecchi harem anime following Masaume.

And I’m not saying this is explicitly a bad thing, just that it feels like a bit of false advertising. To put it into perspective, I felt like you could remove Eromanga-sensei from the anime completely and it would still end up being a decent ecchi harem anime following Masamune and his fellow light novel authors.

This is what stuck out most for me about Eromanga-sensei, so I felt like I had to address it here.

Sibling Romance?

Aha, perhaps you thought for a moment that I was going to bring up the brother & sister relations as my criticism, as I know that many people were uncomfortable with it! But it didn’t bother me, and here’s why.

First off, they aren’t actually related by blood…. just kidding.
Realistically that’d still be awkward and that excuse isn’t fooling anyone.

The real reason is just because I didn’t see much of this element at all. Masamune and his sister blush around each other, and that’s it for the most part. There are some moments where Masamune crosses the line into creepy territory, like how he likes washing his sisters’ panties…. but when you look at the big picture, this sibling relationship doesn’t really go anywhere.

And Sagiri / Eromanga-sensei felt like she had such little impact on the anime that it just wasn’t that important. Masamune ends up being romanced much more by other girls in the harem than Sagiri. As I said, you could remove Eromanga-sensei from the anime and the anime would still hold up without any issues.

Sagiri is just such a low impact character compared to what she should have been that the whole sibling romance aspect of the anime didn’t matter in the end.

Rating

At the end of the day, Eromanga-sensei is a fairly standard ecchi harem anime with high production value. Only there isn’t that much ecchi, the comedy is pretty spaced out, and the anime isn’t actually about Eromanga-sensei as much as you’d think.

I’m going to give Eromanga-sensei a 6.5 / 10.

I think it’s still an enjoyable anime, and as it is A-1 Pictures, the production quality is excellent. But the actual content is average and on par with so many other anime of this type.

This is a case where if you like this kind of anime, you’ll like Eromanga-sensei. If you require ecchi harem / slice of life anime to have some extra zing! to get you excited, Eromanga-sensei probably won’t excite you very much.

And that’s it for A-1 Pictures’ Eromanga-sensei!

It really gives us a lot of insight into A-1 Pictures and the kind of anime they produce… just kidding.

Really I’d just seen most of their other big titles, and had wanted to give Eromanga-sensei a go. As I’ve said before, this challenge isn’t so much about the studios themselves as it is using the studios in order to watch new anime and possibly find some hidden gems. No luck this time on that front, but I’ll keep on going! There are so, so, so many more studios still to tackle…

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

4 thoughts on “Anime Studio Challange: A-1 Pictures’… Eromanga-sensei! (Spoiler-free Review)

  1. I’ve heard a lot about Eromanga-sensei, but I can’t stand typical harem stuff where the protagonist can’t make up his mind. But then I also get pissed off when I feel like a series is trying to pull a bait-and-switch on me like it sounds this one does. I guess I’d give this a pass.

    Also, thanks for the spoiler-free review! I need to make more of an effort at doing that myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed, typical harem protagonists are the worst. I understand the need to stay away from hard commitment, to maintain the fantasy that any of the harem girls could be chosen, but they need to get more creative with the reasons I think. Obstuse protags gettin old, and it was good to begin with.

      Thanks. Personally, I find it difficult to do the opposite, and actually write a review with spoilers haha. My conscience just cant allow me to do it unless I’ve already written about the series before on the blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: It’s a Mystery! The Mystery Blogger Award! | Never Argue with a Fish

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