Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 12 [END]

Asterisk - Going for the knockout

Go for the weaponry

winter15-highw We’ve reached the end of the season for the two series that I’m writing about, and while I’ve generally felt Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry is the better of these two similar series, let’s see how Gakusen Toshi Asterisk ended up this cour.

Paying the Price

Asterisk - Whatever you wanna do

Whatever you wanna do, just win the fight

The majority of the episode, meaning more than half, was dedicated to the final fight of the group, with Ayato and Julis finally taking on Irene and Priscilla. And I have to say that this fight went pretty much 100% as expected: an exactly-by-the-book tournament finale fight, to go with the exactly-by-the-book tournament that the show presented over the last 5 episodes. It even had a twist that was fairly predictable, although you have to say that it was intentionally telegraphed by Ayato and Julis’ conversation as they are going to the match.

Asterisk - mmm spinal fluid

Ahh, that sweet spinal fluid…

Given what they said and showed in the last couple episodes, it was nearly a certainty that Irene would lose herself to the Gravi-sheath. And there really wasn’t any sort of triggering mechanism, just the need to win that pushed her to it. On second thought there might have been something to trigger it: The Gravi-Sheath itself, feeling threatened by Ayato’s earlier attempts to destroy it, may have exerted that terrible personality to take over Irene completely. But Ayato, exceeding his limits even as he feels the binding coming on, is able to finally disarm Irene and destroy the Gravi-Sheath, and stop her from possibly killing Priscilla. But Ayato’s bindings return in a very public display, letting his secret out. And his being wiped out from that allows for a marshmallow hell from all the girl characters who compete to be the one to smother him in their ches… er, I mean, ‘nurse him back to health’. This part was kinda disappointing, as I’d rather have had Julis make some actual progress with him, but that’s not going to happen.

Asterisk - Go for it, Julis

She was soooo close, even with the embarrassment

The remainder of the episode was entirely setting up the second cour. Basically, the show went to every character we’ve seen (with the notable exception of Loser McFail), and some that we haven’t, and got some sort of setup line. I felt like this was a complete waste of time. They know they’re going to have a second cour, they don’t need to try to drum up support for it. And because it’s a show by A-1, it’s got the support from the studio. And nobody’s going to remember all of this when the next series comes up, and they repeat everything that matters at the time. So it felt like it was just a way to clean out the rest of the episode without having to actually do anything.

Asterisk - Dirk's got more schemes

At least the furry-collar coat is appropriate with the hole in the wall

Overall Series Thoughts

Asterisk - Cause war is so horrible

Gotta stomp on the lone flower, because whatever war this is is hell

Despite me bagging on the show throughout this season for its playing all of the Magical Battle Anime tropes completely straight as it laid them on super-thick, it’s undeniable that the show handled itself very well. It was a very technically sound show, and story-wise it was pretty solid. I have to say there were very few surprises, and there were a few completely eye-rolly moments, as Big Hero Ayato saved Damsel in Distress Julis or Kirin. But overlooking these not-that-egregious times, the show was actually pretty good about how the female characters acted, and gave each of them a pretty interesting personality, with a lot of differentiation.

Asterisk - owwww


There was no way you were going to confuse Saya with Kirin, or Julis with Claudia. And while the two most marginalized girls, Saya and Claudia, were my two favorites, the show really seemed to be set on putting the relationship spotlight on Julis and Ayato, even if it was at a glacial pace. Their main bit was being partners for the Phoenix Festa, but there were the small steps Julis was trying to make to get over her embarrassment at the idea of liking a boy.

Asterisk - Free of the Gravi-sheath

At least Irene can spend more time at the casino now, and Priscilla keeps her skin intact

In the end, I will be looking forward to the second series when it gets here, although I certainly don’t think it will be any different. I think we’ll all hope for more Claudia, and less predictability. Will we get either? I doubt it, but what we will get will be good enough to watch.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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3 Responses to “Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 12 [END]”

  1. zztop says:

    The anime’s adapted Vol 1-3 of the light novels.
    Given how faithful the anime’s pacing has been to the books, it’s likely Season 2 will cover Vols 4-6 of the light novels.

    Likely the 2nd half should conclude the Phoenix Festa, although I don’t think they’ll have time to start the next 2 Festa arcs. (The Gryps arc is still a work in progress, and the author hasn’t done the Lindvolus arc yet.)

    Music-wise, I hope Rasmus Faber comes up with a composition that matches or surpasses “Waiting For the Rain”. It would be a shame for them to suddenly use generic-sounding J-pop songs for the OP and ED suddenly.

  2. zztop says:

    Basically, the show went to every character we’ve seen (with the notable exception of Loser McFail), and some that we haven’t, and got some sort of setup line. I felt like this was a complete waste of time.

    I personally think this is more aimed to build up hype with novel readers, by giving them preview appearances of their favourite characters:
    “OMG, it’s A-sama/B-kun/best girl getting animated!!I can’t wait for Season 2 to come!”

    Kudos to you for not falling into the trap though. 🙂

    The anime did include some original scenes to attract non-readers though. For example, Asterisk’s author said Ep 1’s flashback battle with Haruka was to give the audience a general idea of the tournaments in action.
    And extra appearances by Chairman Madiath Mesa, who looks an awful lot like the masked man who defeated Haruka then…

    • Highway says:

      Hmm, that seems like a bad reason to include that fight with Haruka. It didn’t seem like it was a formal tournament like the Phoenix Festa. If anything it seemed like it was an underground unsanctioned fight (of the type we saw quite a few of during the series) with dire consequences. I thought the reason that was shown was to contribute to Ayato’s “mysterious past”.

      I don’t know if I deserve anything for thinking it was unnecessary. It just felt like complete time wasting. Heck, the animation of Ernesta and Camilla might even have been completely reused from their earlier walking in the hallway conversation.

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