So we’ve made it to the S1 finale of Asterisk!
Here’s my review.
Before this anime even began I knew there was a second season coming in 2016, so right from the start I had a feeling this would end probably on a cliffhanger and not tie up all the loose ends. So with that in mind let’s take a look at how this final ep went down and what we can look forward to in the spring.
For starters I’m very happy they didn’t cram the Ayato/Julis vs. Irene/Priscilla and Kirin/Saya vs. Robots into this ep, that would’ve rushed things too much as they’ve been leading up to both battles for a while. So for this ep they focused on just the Ayato/Julis vs. Irene/Priscilla battle, which was the majority of the ep. Last week did a nice job of humanizing Irene and Priscilla and the struggles they faced, so with the help of a little flashback via Irene dreaming, we’re able to fill in some gaps as to what happened to them as kids and how they ended up where they are today. That was a good addition to their back story as it just cleared up some points. Unlike a massive info dump sequence where we have someone explaining things for the next 10 hours, we get a brief overview of the situation.
As for the battle that happens, it’s got some strong points in terms of animation (that one part aside) but at the same time it’s very much what you’d expect from a typical magic high school anime battle. While the stakes were high, I felt there should’ve been more incentive for Ayato and Julis to win this battle as for the last two eps its pretty much been all about Irene and Priscilla. Yes I know Julis got her back story in ep… 2 or 3 about how she needs money for some orphanage back home, but all that’s forgotten by the time we reach ep 12. Had they made something dramatic happen, like she gets a call saying something bad has happened or something like that, then that would raise the stakes even higher and make every battle count more so. It’s not too much of a big deal but I just felt that maybe we should’ve been reminder why exactly Julis and Ayato are fighting aside from Julis just mentioning it in passing.
The battle went more or less how I expected it to go. Big opening attacks from both sides, Ayato and Julis getting the upper hand but Irene clawing her way back into it. Julis throws some heavy attacks while Ayato goes into finish her off, but Irene gets possessed by her weapon and goes into some demon mode, hurting her sister in the process. Ayato unleashes some hidden power and defeats her, winning the match. It’s once again nothing new nor super exciting, but I guess the fact Ayato isn’t a massive Gary Stu as so many other MCs in similar shows are, it was a tolerable fight scene to watch. Julis played a big role in it too, so it wasn’t just Ayato showboating his power for the whole time.
I was expecting more fallout from Irene losing, like Dirk getting really mad with her, but he doesn’t because he, along with every other person in existence, finds out Ayato’s secret about only being able to last 5 minutes before his power is cut off by the magic his sister put on him. Great job buddy, you won the fight but revealed your secret in the process. I’m sure that won’t come back to haunt you at all.
So with the fight over, along with the ep too, it’s time to wrap things up for this season by taking a quick spin around to other schools where we see people smiling mischievously at the intel acquired on Ayato. As mentioned there were quite a few schools in the area and we only got to see a couple of them this season, meaning next season we’ll hopefully dive into all the other and see what they’ve got planned for our absolute duo of Ayato and Julis.
We end on a high note as the harem collects in the room after the battle to check on Ayato as he’s very sore from the fight. He’ll need some time to recover but for the more part he’s fine. Props to Julis for almost kissing Ayato right before being interrupted, that surprised me seeing her make a bold move like that. There hasn’t been much movement on the romance front of this anime so seeing her take a huge step like that was nice to see, but as this indeed is a harem anime it’s pretty much expected for a moment like that to be ruined by the rest of the girls.
For a magic high school anime, Asterisk honestly wasn’t too bad. Sure it’s nothing amazing or new, but I enjoyed it largely because they weren’t always going out-of-the-way to put fan service first and force scenes on you that seem very out-of-place. So many magic high school anime seem to do that and while it’s fun up to a certain point, I’d like to also see some story here and there too. Asterisk had a few moments but overall it wasn’t littered with unneeded fan service moments as honestly it’s not progressing the story at all.
Aside from that I really liked the art along with the music too. In general I like A-1 Pictures and their style, Asterisk was a bright and colorful anime that had not just good character designs and fight scenes, but the back grounds also looked nice and the whole setting for the anime was neat too. Too bad we didn’t get to see around the school some more, but maybe we’ll get that in S2. As for the music, well Rasmus Faber, that’s really all I should say. If you’re familiar with his work then you’ll know why I like him so much. I was impressed with the OST once again along with the best ED of the fall season, Waiting for the rain by Maaya Sakamoto. Ah I love that so so much!! I hope S2 continues on this trend of having great art and music as they really looked good.
So looking back at Asterisk as a whole, it’s nothing new or exciting, but I liked how it was executed and paced. As there is another season I’m not concerned about the loose ends not being tied up, but for the main events that happened in the first season, they were more or less brought to a close in this ep. I’m not sure about the general opinions going around, but honestly I liked Asterisk for all that it’s worth. I went in expecting a magic high school anime that might be decent, and I got just that. It hit the right points and didn’t turn into a harem mess with all the girls craving dick each ep. I’ve seen that far too many times to be entertained by it anymore. So for a score, I’ll give Gakusen Toshi Asterisk S1 a solid 7/10. Good for all it’s worth.
That’ll bring this season of reviews to a close now. As always I’d love to hear you comments on this ep and first season as a whole, so light up the comment section below. In conclusion, thanks for sticking with me till the end, I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this anime, and I hope to see you back in April for the second season!
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