Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 07

Asterisk - grappler

Don’t need any fancy swords!

winter15-highw Let’s see if I can come up with anything coherent while being sick. Or maybe I should just go take a nap. That’ll be up to you to decide after reading this post.

Out of the Frying Pan

Asterisk - Your... sword... is so big

Wow, your… sword… is so big!

Having last week ending on Ayato and Kirin tumbling into some hole, this time we’re starting in the water, which is better than the bottom of a hole, if we’re talking about an island. Or “island”, as the case may be if it’s held up by a bunch of piers. And having gone from being attacked by a bunch of little ooze nymph dragons, now we get one big ooze dragon (which brings up a similar familiar question: Would you rather be attacked by a bunch of duck-sized horses, or one horse-sized duck? The answer is obvious if you think about it). Unfortunately, this whole sequence was a big batch of circumstantial fail for me.

Asterisk - One Slice Ayato

In the end, not much of a fight

First of all, I thought they’d use Kirin’s non-swimming as an excuse to have Ayato carry her around for the whole fight, like they did with Julis. But I guess having just one enemy lets him put her down for a while. Then they racked up the fail points one after another. First, the dragon just swims around for a minute while they’re talking. This isn’t even ‘Talking is a free action’, it’s “I’ll wait until you guys are ready”. Second, he cuts out 2/3 of a column, and it doesn’t collapse on her? I was hoping for squashed Kirin. Third, the ultra-facepalmy “Sugoi! It’s getting soooo big, senpai!”, which might have been the worst moment of this series so far. And fourth, the fearsome dragon lasts all of one hit. Follow all that up with “I’ll fill in my backstory while we’re conveniently waiting for rescue, which shows up right after we finish our moment of embarrassment”, and the first half of this episode was just all lulzy and formulaic, even down to the break with Kirin’s abusive uncle because of Ayato’s backing.

Asterisk - no more punches

I said no more punching.

Taking One’s Own Path

Asterisk - Can't miss this match, empty seats

It was so “can’t miss” that only these 5 showed up

I don’t know exactly what the point of Kirin dueling Ayato again was, but it was a way to fill up the rest of the time of the episode and to show off all sorts of “Amagiri Shinmei Style” moves with different weapons. It was still a bit lulzy, in that it was a ‘must-see’ match, but the only people in the special watching room at the big arena were… the characters we already knew about. Including Loser MacFail, who was apparently redeemed by having Silas Norman identified as the bad guy from the first arc, and is now one of the ‘good guys’. And it’s Lester who gives us the first hint at Ayato’s strategy against Kirin: have a bunch of weapons to throw away, like Neo. Again, typical of an anime fight like this, we’ve got a lot of talking during the fight, but overall it wasn’t too bad. At least this time they both pause to talk to each other. And of course, Ayato ends up winning the duel, although he does so not with his outright strength, but by outfoxing Kirin with fighting styles she doesn’t expect.

Asterisk - wait you were here

“Oh, wait, you were here? Shit!”

We also get a reprise of Kirin splitting with her uncle, with added attempted blackmail thrown in for a little spice. But you’d have thought he’d notice Claudia standing there right next to him before making his blackmail threats, since he obviously realized they were a bad idea as soon as he identified her, and walked away stunned after that. It’s not like Claudia’s exactly easy to miss. And I was a little offput by Kirin’s thanking her abuser, which is probably a very Japanese thing to do, but just felt wrong all around. It’s hard to see what he did for her ‘as a manager’, by holding her father’s misdeeds over her head and physically abusing her. If she’s that good, she’d end up at the top just because she’s that good, not through strategically picking people to fight.


It probably wasn’t as bad as this post makes out, but there were a lot of things in this episode that really poked me, and nobody likes to be poked. The duel between Kirin and Ayato was pretty good, although not as visually interesting as the first one. However, the whole first part of the show was pretty circumstantially derpy. Not necessarily the main beats, but in how it was all put together. I hope for better from this show, but I’m thinking that this is pretty much exactly what it is. And that’s not helped with any more focus on internal fighting at Allekant. Someone tell Ernesta to turn on a freakin’ light!

Asterisk - Team Kid and Loli

Next week, Team Kid and Loli?


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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11 Responses to “Gakusen Toshi Asterisk – 07”

  1. skylion says:

    Yeah, that was nothing but derp at the top of the episode; cute in spots but nothing really deep or long lasting. It basically says that the opposition sucks at making magic monsters.

    …and yeah, what is up with that “abusive/stupid” adults a villains trope. I had to deal with that in 35 Shoutai. I guess there are certain old Gothic Horror, “the sins of the forebears are born by the current generation” thing is alive for the plucking in LNs….

    Team Kid and LOLi. Well, I know where my money is going…

    • Highway says:

      I was less offput by the abusive adult villain than Kirin’s thanking him for it. At least Usagi wasn’t thankful to Reima or her ‘mom’.

  2. zztop says:

    I don’t know exactly what the point of Kirin dueling Ayato again was.

    I think the point was to show Kirin’s independence from her uncle’s control. Remember up to that point she’d only dueled in contests her uncle decided for her, and she never had the courage to protest back. She was dueling Ayato again out of her own free will.

    And I was a little offput by Kirin’s thanking her abuser.

    I think it’s more of a personality thing. I got the impression she’s the meek, good hearted type who’s not really the type to hold a grudge, no matter how badly the other party was treating her.

    • Highway says:

      To be honest, I don’t think there’s any acceptable reason for Kirin to thank her uncle. Expanding on what I said, there’s no evidence that he was actually instrumental in any of her success, and at most he held her down because of his own ambitions, on top of mentally and physically abusing her. By thanking him like that, I feel she excuses or forgives his atrocious behavior, which he showed no remorse or regret about, nor any inclination to change. He was just shown that it would not continue, and he gave up and left as if he was some aggrieved party. It’s wrong, and a bad message and a bad example to show in this world, and should not be lauded or approved of, or even written off as part of her character.

      Storywise, it felt like the entire point of Kirin rematching Ayato was for her to lose a fight she had already won. And that was ultimately pointless as far as she goes. The only point was to conveniently place Ayato high on the rankings. She could have joined Julis, Ayato, and Saya anyway. She could have broken away from her uncle anyway. The whole thing was just contrived.

      • skylion says:

        or even written off as part of her character

        The only possible way for this to come off as part of her character is that is displays how far she still has to go. She’s divided herself from her uncle in declaration only, but the horrible spirit of the situation still lingers. This might make a good character arc for her….but I’ll admit this explanation is still uncomfortable….

        • Highway says:

          The thing is, the only thing that I’d think would be good is if she realizes through her contact with other people that she shouldn’t be thankful to her Uncle, or other people who might abuse or even take advantage of her. Not that she needs to hold a grievance or a grudge through her entire life, but that she’s learned from the experience and shouldn’t ever accept being treated like that as a person.

          One other way that they might play it off as something that was inculcated in her as part and parcel of the discrimination against the Genestella. But I think that’s way outside the scope of the show, and they’ve only made the most minimal allusions to that, like Uncle telling Ayato “She’s a Genestella, “your type” don’t even feel something like that.” That may be true, but it’s also not the point, because whether something physically hurts is different from other kinds of hurt.

          • skylion says:

            Well, as it is the seventh episode, it might be in the scope of the show. The discrimination hasn’t been given a proper explanation as of yet, so that’s points against, I’m afraid. So perhaps, Kirin’s character is that in action?

            Do you think that the line you’ve brought up, “…don’t even feel something like that” is a way to underscore the hypocrisy? If they don’t feel it, then why use violence or the threat thereof? That makes the situation stick a bit more.

  3. zztop says:

    Some extra novel details.

    1)Kirin’s uncle abuses Kirin because of jealousy issues. The uncle was supposed to inherit the Toudou school, but was passed in favour of his Genestella brother (Kirin’s father), since it was felt a Genestella was the better option in leading the mostly Genestella students.
    Resentful and jealous, he cut ties with the Toudous and started working at Asterisk. He’s hated his brother ever since, and by extension all Genestella, “those who stole what was rightfully his”.
    Ironically, his skill at assessing Genestella is what makes him so valuable to the IEF.

    2) There’s a legal presumption against Genestella in the Asterisk universe.
    If a Genestella hurts or kills another person in self-defense, the law always rules against them and they are given the most severe punishment. The IEF has failed to change this.
    (On the flipside, the fact that a Genestella can simply stop an attack by a normal person and the normal is fairly powerless to them makes that presumption understandable. Especially on how Kirin and Ayato simply had to hold the hand of the uncle to stop him from doing any harm.)

    • Highway says:

      There’s a significant problem with assuming that one who has overwhelming force *could* find some way to deal with a situation in a different way. What it comes down to is that the Genestella are held to a different standard out of discrimination. If it’s a situation like Kirin’s, where the death of the kidnapper would be considered justified at the hands of a normal person, it *should* be considered the same way at the hands of a Genestella.

  4. zztop says:

    Ayato’s VA, the anime director and Asterisk’s LN author* will be attending this year’s Anime Festival Asia in Singapore, Nov 28. If anyone here at Metanorn (or Singaporean contributors)are attending, this could be a good opportunity to ask questions about the series. Like what he thinks of the anime, his plans for the series, and who he thinks best girl is.

    Also, a pic of the author in the flesh. He looks older than I thought.

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