I wanted to do a review of this as a First Impression when the fall anime season started, but literally no one would sub this.  Now that the fall season is almost over, the first episode has finally been subbed by the good folks over at EveTaku, and I’m really happy for it.  I will only do a review of this first episode as this isn’t a conventional anime series.  If you want to watch this, a download is available on the EveTaku site.

It's just as it says.

As stated above, this isn’t your usual anime series, so I’m eschewing the usual reviewing style.  In fact, calling it an “anime” series isn’t entirely accurate.  It’s more like a live-action series with a bit of animation at the end.

The whole series revolves around ad-libbing (it’s even in the title itself!).  The two recurring voice actors for this are Emiri Katou (who plays the god of thunder, Raika) and Kaori Fukuhara (who plays the god of wind, Fuuka).  There is a new guest VA every episode.  In the very first episode of the series, that lucky VA is Takahiro Sakurai (providing the voice of the teacher character).  All three voice actors have starred in many anime—I won’t bother listing all their past roles because that could take several paragraphs.  The point is, they’re very experienced voice actors.

The cast has assembled!

"He has a sister!"

All three VAs are given a basic description of their character (to give them an idea of how to act), and then they are basically left alone to do their own thing.  To help create some semblance of a plot, there are several cards that the VAs choose (randomly, without knowing what they are beforehand) with some subject matter that needs to be fulfilled.  Obviously, their dialogue quickly devolves into silliness, though they do try their best to keep a somewhat coherent story.  After all the voices are recorded, it gets animated into a short (roughly five) minute animation that gets tacked on at the end of the episode.

I'm still rather sad that the best lines got cut out in the actual animation...

If you are watching this series only for the animation at the end, you’re doing it wrong.  The actual “anime” itself is animated similar to flash animations on the web.  It’s mostly just chibified characters with the VA’s voices slapped on.  It’s also really random (due to the cards the actors drew).   If you are watching this for the anime alone, it’s going to look very bad.  The most entertaining part of the episode is watching the voice actors in action (yes, live-action).  In this type of series, I think the “journey” is more rewarding than the ending.

The animation doesn't get any better than this, folks.

I'm not going to summarize the "plot" of this episode as it's funnier to watch yourself.

This series is definitely not for everyone.  It offers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of an anime more than it delivers an anime itself.  That’s not necessarily a BAD thing, though.  After watching this episode, I’ve gained a whole new level of respect for people who choose to dedicate their life to voice acting.  It’s also made me appreciate the work of these people, which I’ve taken for granted in all my years watching anime.  The job’s not always easy, but it can also be fun (judging by how much the VAs were giggling throughout the entire recording).  I’m really looking forward to future episodes.

This is undeniably my favorite scene.

Out of five:

      

Want to know what in the world was going on? Watch the episode and find out!

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