Out in the wider world, Wednesday may be known as “hump day” but here on Okazu, it is always a good day when it’s Guest Review Wednesday! And today we have a lovely guest review by returning Guest Reviewer an all around extremely nice person, Mariko S. (Seriously, I honestly think our Guest Reviewers are swell.) It’s so much fun for me to read other people’s experiences and perspectives. Definitely one of my favorite things.
And even better, Mariko is going to talk to us about a series I know nothing at all about, which is awesome. So, take it away, Mariko!
Mikagura School Suite. (Streaming on Funimation.com and Viewster, with subtitles in various languages: English,German, French, Italian and Dutch.)
What a weird little show. On the surface, it seems like a series tailor-made to sell toys and cards to kids: a girl enters an unusual high school where everyone develops super powers related to their club activity and battles in video game-like contests for school ranking. The gem battles, the colorful characters and unique powers all spell kiddie fare… but…
First off, the heroine, Eruna, is an unabashed pervert who lusts after all the girls on campus. Not in an “Oh, she’s so impressive” Class-S way, but like, horny nosebleed let-me-kiss-you stuff. (Forced to start her own club, she creates the “Surround Ichinomiya Eruna With Cute Girls Club”). The main reason she chooses this crazy school is because a girl she thinks is cute goes there. There’s no “What are these confusing feelings?” here: she’s blatant about her desire for girls and matter-of-fact in shutting down the interest of boys.
Second, the show isn’t particularly interested in those battles that in any similar series would be the focus of every episode. Eruna is strong, but not the strongest, and is beaten a few times. When this happens, she more or less doesn’t care and just wants to make friends with her opponents. A lot of the battles take place off camera – she will just show up and say “Oh, I won my last two matches!” or, “Oh, I lost!” and then the show will move on to other stuff. The battles that get shown tend to happen fast.
Eruna is an unusual/interesting heroine aside from her girl-lusting as well. She is that rare anime heroine who has absolutely no lack of self-confidence. She always thinks she can handle whatever happens, and when she loses or someone is nasty to her she fights back with jokes and smiles and energy. She doesn’t mope or cry once. These character traits are a surefire way to raise a show’s esteem for me; much like Marika from Mouretsu Pirates, you can’t help but love Eruna.
The last thing I’d like to mention is the show’s weird and manic sense of humor, based largely around how bullishly oblivious Eruna is, and her purposefully misconstruing things other people say (or just outright steamrolling over them verbally). I actually laughed a lot, surprisingly.
If you can get past the fact that there has probably never, ever been a teenage girl this confident and blatant about her sexual attraction to women, it’s a fun and breezy watch and a welcome change of pace from Yuri tropes.
Art – 5
Story – 6
Characters – 7
Yuri – 8
Service – 5
Overall – 7
Erica here: Well, that does sound…refreshing. Based on a light novel series, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going with the less-common, but still common enough, “predatory lesbian” trope. It’s just that they so rarely get to be fun, too, which really makes it sound interesting. Thanks very much for the review! I’ll keep an eye out for it. ^_^