I can’t stress enough that the OP for this show is just super catchy and interesting. It’s not the best or most catchy OP but its damn entertaining and the only consistent thing about this show. During my initial article on the show I touched on how it seemed random and interesting. I can now confirm, this show is random and interesting. Beyond that it can be random inside of random. In fact, my alternate titles for this show were “Random show is random” and “How to get a dream waifu 101.” This show having different directors through each episode seems to be both a blessing and a curse.
Episode 2 was just one hell of an episode. Honestly it was probably my favorite one so far, but not the only good one. To summarize, episode 2 was considerably less fun and cheery and exceptionally more violent. Like, really, really, really violent. I’ve got to admit that the mysterious air about the show is surprisingly captivating. We are thrown not a girl who is apparently super obsessed with kawaii, but the survivor of a horrible random murder of her family by teenagers who are released because they were kids at the time. She then as a witch proceeds to horrifically murder these men in their sleep, in a fashion akin to the brutal fate of her family. Haruto Tsukishiro is not your bog-standard anime protagonist who would balk at murder, especially if justified and even goes to goad the witch onto murdering these disgusting individuals who tactically planned the murders to minimize their sentences. What threw me for a loop was the fact that Takehito Koyasu’s voice was being the voice of reason and NOT MURDER. Not just NOT MURDER but also the voice of reason, morals, and logic. Beyond this and the below random censoring decisions, I found episode 2 great enough to carry my through wanting to watch the rest of this show. Also these different EDs are a nice touch as well with the second one of course being my favorite one.
Episodes 3-5 are considerably less action packed than episode 2 but in retrospect aren’t that bad. The third episode was very boring and slow, with this show being able to make you think it was any generic slice of life show, with our protagonist taking this girl through all the generic steps of a first love, with all the cliche dates to the beach to light fireworks, photo booth trip, movie, karaoke, fast food, aquarium and finalizing with the school festival, which Kayo was never able to attend due to her health. We then find through CatDio that she’s actually dying and the show leaves us with what normal people with emotions tell me are “feelings” when she dies. This drastic 180 had many people who stuck through to a 3 episode test not genuinely sure how the hell to feel. Even the MC didn’t know what the hell to feel!
So for this episode we are given a bit of a bipolar theme. It jumps from the very real and serious topic of body dysmorphia and eating disorders, to exceptionally comical happy-go-lucky. What do I consider “exceptionally comical happy-go-lucky” you may ask? WHEN YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF JOI REVOLUTIONARY TAKASUGI SHINSUKE SINGING ABOUT CURRY RICE. This one was actually sweet and not a super extreme ass episode, very akin to episode one, with a theme of cute things, sweet food, and vibrant colors. Haruto does his dream seducing thing and has Airi feeling not like a fat piece of shit for not being a goddamned thin reed of a model. While another good and happy episode, my take away is that DIO SHOULD NEVER SHOOT RAINBOWS OUT OF HIS MOUTH!
With the fifth episode, we have one very interesting M. Night Shyamalan-esque ending for an already dream filled and random episode. Beyond that it does a bit of world building as well in terms of insight into the Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. We have a very dramatic intro scene where we have a beautiful ice skater a la Yuri on Ice! about to slice her leg off with a hatchet post-slip up on a performance. We find that the girl, Mirei Saegusa, is an Olympic class figure skater and just wanted a normal life as a normal college girl. We then find Haruto giving her a taste of normal college life but not as a boyfriend akin to episode 3 but as a friend to guide her and introducing her to a senpai she beings to fall for. Turns out she’s getting catfished by Lily (Haruto’s dream maybe-sister) in order to motivate her into waking the feth up from her dream as Figure Skating is part of her, literally like her legs and that one can’t simply cut that part out of them. We all think this is grand and Haruto mentions he’ll see her perform to which Mirei says something we don’t quite catch. We find that Kanzaki had a reason to ask Haruto to leave this one be, when Mirei wakes up not as a spunky 18 year old but as an elderly woman. This episode leaves us to wonder how long and widespread Sleeping Beauty Syndrome might be and to build upon the interesting character that is Haruto.
The latest episode is one of supreme random, and is the very reason for the title of this article. We have intricate layers of random tied into one another from start to finish. We start off with random killers yo. Then we have random Onmyoji yo. We find out that we are not really watching Twin Star Exorcists by accident, but an episode of Hell Girl about Natsuki Kamikawa, a middle school girl being bullied by group text, and by normal bullying means. Wait…no, this is 18if! Turns out that the dead pan bully target is actually just obsessed with an Onmyoji anime. Like REALLY obsessed with an Onmyoji anime, to the point she does the Naruto-esque hand gestures and chants. After the bullying goes to far she slits her wrists and succumbs to Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. In a stroke of irony, she becomes an evil vengeful spirit, haunting the dreams of her bullies at first, then classmates, and then even her teachers. Again, in an interesting twist we see Haurto potentially not caring about one’s vengeance but turns around and convinces her to not make them suffer. At this point, after finding out that her family was sad and classmates were remorseful, she sheds tears which seem to indicate her change from witch-dom. But instead we are thrown a random point about aliens from Alpha Centauri and they then find themselves in a command center, flying off in fighters that turn into gundams to fight the alien menace. I can’t make this shit up, seriously. Its like they took the premise to change directors episode to episode to changing directors scene to scene like some random anime form of mad libs. Surprisingly though at its core its a sweet premise where an otaku finds that living in a Shounen is not what its cracked up to be and that she can overcome her depression through the medicine that is GIANT ROBOTS!
I apologize for this being probably my longest article on here but its definitely an interesting show that is practically a series in and of itself. The point around episode 5 however is where the art really seems to start to suffer.The art is a little meh and actually very western animation style in the dream world. Haruto looked like Ben10 for a bit even but mostly its been mediocre at best artwork. Music I can’t possibly find issue with because the OP I’ve already said I found hypnotically grand with the EDs ranging from good to great and that’s impressive with a different one to represent each episode. from a sound effect and voice acting point of view, I find the VA work on point and for details, they actually added the SFX for an injured fox when Haruto smacked the fox spirit this past episode. But I don’t watch this for the artwork or pained animal sounds. I watch this for a random and interesting set of tales that will be explained (hopefully) in the end like Haruhi Suzumiya or FLCL. Let me know what you thought of 18if’s first half with a commend, leave a like and read some more of our articles here on BAYOG and again, sorry for the massive article.