Surprisingly, I have to put a SPOILER WARNING up for this review. If you don’t want the “twist” spoiled for you, I suggest watching the first episode of this series before reading on.

Guess who the main character is in this shot. Just guess.

Summary:

Asuka and her four friends are all part of their high school’s radio club. Every few days, they perform what they call the “4:44 ritual,” where they pray in front of a large tree at their local shrine whilst tuning into a random radio frequency (on Asuka’s portable radio) in the hopes that they can “open the door to another world.” Most of Asuka’s friends view this ritual as some kind of weird game, with Asuka and Chloe being the only ones who take the ritual seriously.

One day, Chloe finds a strange rock with a particular radio frequency, and so Asuka and co. perform the regular ritual using this frequency. Unwittingly, the girls actually do manage to transport themselves to another dimension… albeit it is not a very welcoming one. The girls soon find themselves attacked by a fearsome monster, which is defeated by a girl who looks unusually like Asuka.

The mysterious girl angrily transports the five back to their world, and then promptly faints before she can return back to the other world. Due to this, Asuka takes the mysterious girl back to her place, where she and the mysterious girl hang out together for one night. The next morning, the mysterious girl disappears, but not before leaving behind a locket which contains a photo of Asuka’s brother. It is then that Asuka realizes that she and the mysterious girl are the same person.

I wanted to get a screenshot of the actual fight sequence but everything moves so fast (and would turn into terrible screenshots) that I just gave up… Also I’m lazy.

My Opinion:

Well. I’ll give this series some credit. I really was not expecting sudden magical girl fighting shenanigans when I initially watched this episode. But that’s basically all the praise I’m willing to give Akanesasu Shoujo. It feels a little too much like Yuki Yuuna wa Yuusha at the moment, crossed with RWBY; and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way.

As a whole, the story isn’t too bad. It does a decent enough job of setting up the ensuing plot, whatever it is. (Nothing is fully explained yet.) But Akanesasu Shoujo’s first episode also stumbles a lot in many places. A lot of things about the episode felt kind of unnecessary. Like Asuka’s friends, for example. Why did we need so many of them, when the plot seems to be mostly focused on Asuka and her doppelganger from another world? As this is just the first episode, it is possible that all of Asuka’s friends will play a much larger role later on; so I’ll let that criticism slide.

However, the reveal of a mysterious “antagonistic” rival towards the end of the episode made me groan. Did we really need a mysterious rival in a show where there are already alternate worlds with monstrous enemies? Don’t the monsters by themselves generate enough conflict? I sincerely hope that this character wasn’t created just to fill the “rival character” role; because I’ve watched far too many anime with poorly utilized rival characters. It just felt super unnecessary in this case.

Akanesasu Shoujo also engages in one of my least favorite anime tropes of giving characters a “personality quirk” in lieu of actually creating memorable characters. I’m not sure about the other girls (just from the first episode), but Asuka’s “quirk” is that she’s super obsessed with chikuwa… because her family runs a miso shop or something. Okay??? That’s a super random thing to make into a personality trait, and it doesn’t add anything to the character at all. (If I met someone irl that was THAT obsessed with a food item, I’d probably be real weirded out by them.)

There was a decently choreographed action sequence in the middle of the episode, which would have been good had it not been for the pretty blatant CG. The CG does not fit with the overall style of the anime at all, so it was really jarring to see it once it appeared. As for the rest of the episode’s animation… it was okay. Additionally, the girls’ character designs aren’t something I find appealing, but they’re not the worst I’ve seen.

Overall, this was a pretty average anime all around. It’s not terrible, but there’s nothing about it that personally grabs my attention either. The mystery of Asuka and her doppelganger’s long lost brother at least gives this show something to build upon in terms of story, but the characters so far are kind of bland. This early into the season, Akanesasu Shoujo could easily turn out to be really good or really bad. Unfortunately, I’m not motivated enough to keep up with this series long enough to find out.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Yeah, that was pretty obvious.