Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 05 – 06

Asterisk - Battle time

A-1 definitely makes the action scenes look good

winter15-highw This week I’ll talk about Gakusen Toshi Asterisk first, but having ‘the honor’, as it’s referred to in golf, doesn’t necessarily mean that Asterisk has pulled ahead of the competition, or even that everything’s great in the battle city.

Refining The Technique

Asterisk - A little closer

Julis is still learning this “deredere” thing

We’re not done with Julis as a girl with interest in Ayato, as they’re trying to become better as a partnership for the Phoenix Festa. And they’re trying to bank on the wild card that Ayato is, that nobody knows what his true power is, to be able to surprise their opponents when they start the tournament. So Julis admonishes Ayato to not fight any “unnecessary” duels. And right there is where you know that this show is just not that subtle, because you know he’s going to be fighting some duel sometime.

Asterisk - Council of Elrond

One group of ingredients

Asterisk - Lots of ingredients

Ernesta stirs things up

But before we get to the inevitable duel, there’s a bunch of mise en place that the show has to get to work on to start the next story arcs cooking. This leads to a show that feels exactly like the prep work for cooking that is probably necessary, but isn’t the most exciting thing to watch, especially with the way the show presents it, cookbook style. Take 5 school leaders (not 6 because it’s we’re trying to be lean here), some secret deals, throw in a petite genius genki schemer and her tall, severe, genius compatriot, stir up some controversy with the good guys, and then set it aside to let it cook for an episode or two. Then for a side dish, start mixing an abusive uncle and a twin-tailed middle-schooler with a sword who just happens to be the best fighter in the school with the chivalrous main character and you’ll end up with the ‘unnecessary duel’ that we knew was coming. If it sounds a little formulaic, it was a lot formulaic.

Asterisk - Stopping the jerk

“There’s no hitting little girls while I’m here”

Forging a Friendship

Asterisk - Relaxing

Claudia taking it easy

Even though she seems farther and farther from getting her boyfriend, Julis is still in the show at least as a source of exposition. She gets to talk about the top of the Seidoukan first page, and acknowledges that Ayato should push her out of the top three. But it’s the two still above Julis that are the ones the show is interested in. Claudia finally gets some explanation, and to be honest, her “weapon that sees into the future” seems like it doesn’t give Claudia herself enough credit. But Kirin, the white-haired twin-tailed middle-schooler mentioned earlier, is #1 without being a magic witch or having an Ogre Lux weapon, which makes her pretty amazing. And even though in her first encounter she seemed totally under the control of her uncle, Kirin has her own agenda, as Claudia points out and Kirin later confirms.

Asterisk - OozeBeasts

Great, unbeatable ooze beasts

And we get plenty of time with Kirin in this episode, as she and Ayato are alone together for something like half of the episode, including the end part where they are set upon by a group of fire-dogs or something or other. As an action piece it was ok, but it was completely typical and not that interesting. The primary interesting part is the oozy beasts that reassemble themselves after being dismembered that are another of Allekant’s inventions. The other thing we’re supposed to think is interesting is the giant hole in the ground that swallows up both Ayato and Kirin. As someone who’s done a lot of work with sinkholes lately, that part was just annoying, because you don’t have bottomless holes just open up, especially on a constructed island right next to the water. But I’m sure there will be more of that next week.

More Claudia

Show ▼



A good enough episode, I guess. But the parts I remember are the parts that just aren’t that good. It’s not that Asterisk is making big mistakes. It’s just that it always retreats to the tropes, even if it makes a feint towards the unusual. And while it doesn’t seem to have completely given up on the Ayato x Julis pairing, it’s kind of stuck them in situations that don’t allow them to get much closer. It’s like it tries, for instance with the curry scene, but in the end it’s just rote and sterile. But at the same time, the show’s not going to really let anyone else get close to Ayato either, with Kirin just being too young, and Claudia just not catching Ayato’s eye, despite trying to sell it really hard. But hopefully for us, Claudia will keep trying.


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!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

13 Responses to “Gakusen Toshi Asterisk 05 – 06”

  1. zztop says:

    Comparing Rakudai and Asterisk, one major difference is how the writers have been adapting the source novels.

    Rakudai’s been changing and switching around novel events for anime format, while Asterisk has been very faithful to the pace and events of the novels. I’m not saying it’s bad or good, just an interesting observation to make.

    Some viewers think it’s because Asterisk has more episodes to work with, but then again it’s most likely the director’s preference.

    • Highway says:

      I think either approach is fine. As someone who always prefers to watch the movie / series / anime first and then read any source material*, I think the most important thing is to make a coherent and interesting adaptation. That’s far more important than hewing to the whims, foibles, and even mistakes of the original author. Heck, how many of these LNs and manga are written by complete novices? Having the ideas is much more important in that space than having developed the skills of a good writer. And while by the time these ideas get to an adaptation, they’ve been approved by the masses, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement.

      As an adaptation, Asterisk could probably be a bit better, but I think it’s close to as good as it can be with the material it’s got.

      *I feel it’s always better to watch the video based adaptation first, because books, by their nature, invite imagining voices and tones, and give more information. If you watch first, then read, you will fill in the parts with more information, and generally come away from both more satisfied. If you read first, then watch, I find that invariably people spend more time thinking about “They didn’t do THAT part right, and they didn’t do THIS part right, and they should have used Soandso for that role, and…” So from a general enjoyment point of view, “Watch then Read” has a trend of increasing enjoyment, while “Read then Watch” hits a plateau and then drops.

  2. skylion says:

    …yeah ,for all the fuss, the pot has yet to start simmering…

    I like the addition of Kirin (because of course I do), but feel her backstory is a bit silly in the magic school. She either proves how magic is useless or how “something” is not and that they are trying to cut both ways. But at least she has the capacity for a good arc and the prodigy ingenue.

    • Highway says:

      The structure of the schools has been handled poorly. Why are there six different ones? What is the difference between them? Why are people like Julis, Saya, and Claudia at Seidoukan, and not Le Wolf or Queenvale, or Gallardworth with the paladin guy? It feels like there’s supposed to be a differentiation there, but the show has done zero to try to say what anyone is good at except for Allekant. This is probably information that you could read on the website, but oof, I can’t get through that much kanji without some work.

      • skylion says:

        It’s All There In the Manual is a poor form of storytelling…

      • zztop says:

        IIRC, there are 6 schools because the author wanted it that way.

        The novels explain the main difference between them is how the schools elect their Presidents, and the general mindset of their students.
        For example, Allekant’s President is merely a rubber stamp leader. True power is held by whichever R&D faction is the strongest ATM, which is currently Ferrovius (Camilla and Ernesta belong here).
        Most Allekant students are also amoral, factional nerds who are willing to do anything for their research and even endanger others, like with Ayato and the bioweapon dragons.

  3. HannoX says:

    I like the fact that it was Kirin, not Ayato, who figured out how to destroy the beasts attacking them, even if she only got to destroy one. It’s not just her incredible speed and skills that make her #1. She can also analyze a situation and discover the foe’s weakness. She’s a threat all the way around and I think Uncle doesn’t realize how dangerous it is for him to be treating her the way he does. When she feels she doesn’t need him anymore, he’d better look out.

    Geez, Claudia, what’s your next step–appearing naked in front of Ayato? Not such a bad idea for many of the viewers, too.

    • Highway says:

      Claudia will be in the Student Council Massage Room under a towel when he walks in with noone else there. “Since you’re here, why don’t you help me out a little? Lower… lower… lower…”

      One thing I’m starting to think about Claudia: She doesn’t feel like she is deserving of Ayato. Maybe that’s just what I’m inferring from the show, and maybe they just haven’t done enough with her character in this first arc and a half, but I think she really feels like she is tainted somehow (and that Julis is not), either because of the deals she has to make on behalf of the school, or because of something in her past. I’m going to say that that’s my early idea for why she doesn’t approach Ayato in a more straight-forward manner to try to be her boyfriend.

      I thought it was also pretty good the way Kirin was shown to have analyzed Ayato’s fighting style, it made her seem a lot less like someone who was “just good at fighting”.

      • HannoX says:

        Interesting take you have on Claudia and I think there’s something to it. As for why she’s said she’s not the nice person she seems and why she might feel she’s not worthy of Ayato, I think it’d be something in her past and probably have to do with what she said about her mother. Does she think she might take a path similar to her mother’s? She probably already felt she wasn’t a nice person before she started making deals on behalf of the school.

      • zztop says:

        If the cut of her swimsuit bottom is any indication, Claudia clearly shaves her lower Asterisk, if you know what I mean…

  4. zztop says:

    A-1 definitely makes the action scenes look good.

    The visuals and the music are definitely the main highlight of Asterisk, and I think it helps elevate the source material a bit.
    Like the constant flame jets spewing from the too-spicy curry. 🙂

    Also, the full ED’s already out.

    Classiest ED of the season? 😉

  5. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I dunno why, but it is 3.30am in the morning and I am doing pointless anime sales statistics analysis… since 2000. Using average series sales per series, there has been a downtrend since 2011 from 6.8k to 4.2k. This year so far it has bucked the trend with 4.8k per series so far but with an incomplete year. However, the huge sales outliers need to be removed since the SD is way bigger than the average…

    Perhaps that rokka poor sales article has inspired this analysis…

Leave a Reply