Asu no Yoichi is the winter season’s fanservice-comedy and it does not fail to impress in either department. Could one of the best first episodes of an ecchi comedy I’ve seen be proof of great potential?
The story is non-complex: the main character is a 17-year old samurai who lives with his father in the mountains. He has mastered all of his samurai training, so his dad sends him to go to the city and gain worldly experience. He is to live in a dojo of a family that was ancient friends with his. The dojo is populated by four smoking hot sisters – two with enormous breasts, one girl-next-door, and a loli.
The first episode has comedy in a lot of places. First of all, the main character, Yoichi, is like a modern Kenshin Himura in his extreme politeness and sense of justice. Instantly, he is more likable than most harem leads, since instead of a relatable character, they went for a badass one. A lot of the comedy comes from the main character’s lack of knowledge about the world, which I felt was played just right.
The four girls all have INSTANTLY recognizable voices and personalities – the caring onee-san with enormous breasts, the tsundere girl-next-door, the quiet but attractive fujoshi, and the insanely innocent and adorable loli (I’d point out the voice actors, but I don’t know the characters’ names!). It’s pretty easy to see how each of them will likely end up interacting with the main character (especially when the fujoshi mistakes him for being gay from the get-go) so the enjoyment will be based on how well-written things turn out.
There was the usual kinds of fanservice, but it wasn’t overdone. Lots of focus on big boobs, an accidental groupe, a pussy-face-plant, but none of which was too obtuse. A particular scene where the loli was trying to help Yoichi identify her older sister via breast size I thought was quite funny.
There was a good spot of excitement in this episode, too. Yoichi beats up a street punk, catches a purse thief, and uses a huge banner as a grappling hook to jump from one side and story of a mall to another before being vaulted out the window onto a moving train. While entertaining and well-placed, none of these was really stylized as an ‘action’ scene, so I’d be hard-pressed to call it an ‘action-comedy’, but we can assume Yoichi will have to use his sword a good bit, especially since the street punk looks to be a recurring character. It should be noted of course that Yoichi is extremely badass.
Animation-wise, it was pretty strange. The sword-swinging bits and stuff had pretty bland animation, and overall everything was quite average, and yet there were random bits of CG that looked like they were trying to show off, such as a river at the beginning and an escalator. I can’t help but wonder if the animators just suck at prioritizing.
Oveall, though, I thought this was a really great first episode, especially for an ecchi comedy. A lot of jokes were there, and it felt like a lot happened, even though the story got next to nowhere. It was a good enough introduction of the characters, mostly because they were all identifiable in seconds. Animation and directing are nothing special, but it was well-paced and shows promise. Plus the loli and fujoushi both look to be a lot of fun.
The only thing I want to see less of is the blonde girl-next-door character. She seemed really boring in this episode.