First Impression – Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Second Season

Asterisk - Julis is gonna win

“It’s time for series 2!”

winter15-highw As skylion would say: “Don’t call it a comeback!”


Asterisk - She's like 10

Of course little miss 9-year-old is the strongest

So the short version of this post is: There’s a reason that most places are labeling this episode of Gakusen Toshi Asterisk as #13. Not only was there not really an ‘end’ to the previous series in the fall, but there’s not really much ‘beginning’ to this one, as the show jumps right in with the same formula it left off with. And that means that we’re going to have a tournament battle for half the episode, and we’re going to have some half-assed exposition about some characters we don’t know yet for the other half.

Asterisk - Ignoring Julis

“Let’s just ignore von Riessfeld! That’ll work great.”

To start off this second half of the split-two-cour series, we’re re-introducing Jie Long, who we already had seen some of in a fight with Saya and Kirin. But while we just saw a couple mooks to lose to some main characters last time, this time they go to the trouble of introducing the head of Jie Long, Fan Xinglou. She’s super strong because she’s beating something like 50 guys who are attacking her, but we don’t actually see her do anything. Just accept she’s super awesome. Anyway, we didn’t get enough of Jie Long before with the two boring guys fighting Kirin and Saya, so we get two more boring guys to fight Ayato and Julis. But ONOZ, now everyone knows that Ayato is super weak except for 5 minutes every couple days, so it’s strategy time.

Asterisk - Trickytime


Tricksy Wabbits

Asterisk - Not friendly schoolmates

No love lost between these pairs

Some people might say that it’s kinda cheating to win with strategy, but what’s the point of contests like this? To win. And it’s not like Julis and Ayato cheat. They just manage to get the Jie Long guys, “Song and Luo” (although it doesn’t matter what their names are, because they’re just random Jie Long mooks) to stand on the spot marked X (ok, technically, Ayato stands on the X) so that they can surprise them with a crossover attack. Finish up with some backing and filling about how these Jie Long guys don’t like the NEXT Jie Long pair, the Lu sisters, and you’ve got another episode of a battle tournament anime done and dusted.

Asterisk - Serious Sisters

They look *almost* exactly the same…

Abandoning the Best Part

Asterisk - NekoMeidoFlower

You can see them there in the back

If it feels like I’m being a bit cursory and unkind with this, well, I am. One of the bigger problems with this episode was that it completely bailed on what made this show anything but a completely trope-straight battle anime: The different characters. Claudia, in contrast to what I was hoping for at the end of the last series, didn’t show up at all, not a single time, unless you count the CGI next episode preview. Saya and Kirin showed up solely on a video screen coming to congratulate Julis and Ayato, and we get introduced to some green-haired girl in a maid costume with animal ears named Flora to see Julis. That was it.


This could have been an episode of any battler anime, and was not special at all. There wasn’t all that much special about Asterisk in the first place, but this episode managed to scrub even that out, leaving it as a bland battle anime episode. You’d have to think that the follow up episodes would have to be better than this, but unfortunately that’s not necessarily the case. One of my bigger gripes in the first series was that it was so much straight battler, and this doubled down on that at the expense of the things that made the previous series better than this, to the point that I really didn’t want to even write this post (can’t you tell?). I’m hoping that it will do better with the characters, that they felt they had to jump into the action, but this wasn’t the way to do it, if you ask me.


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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13 Responses to “First Impression – Gakusen Toshi Asterisk Second Season”

  1. zztop says:

    Fan Xinglou’s super strong because she’s beating something like 50 guys who are attacking her, but we don’t actually see her do anything.

    The novels explain that she was testing them if they were worthy of being her disciples. The applicants just have to touch her, although since she’s an awesomely powerful loli no one can!!
    Festa age restrictions mean she’s still too young to join the games though.

    Finish up with some backing…about how these Jie Long guys don’t like…the Lu sisters.

    The Lu brother and sister, actually. Flat chest’s a boy. And yes, they’re utter a–holes in the novels.

  2. zztop says:

    It’s too bad Rakudai Kishi couldn’t get an immediate sequel concurrent with Asterisk – it’d be interesting to compare how it adapts its straight battle arc (the 7-Star Games) with that of Asterisk’s.

    How does everyone find the new ED compared to Waiting for the Rain?

    • Highway says:

      The new ED is entirely unremarkable. Might as well not be there.

      It’s possible that Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry couldn’t have gone in the same pattern because Shin Oonuma is busy with another series this season, Anne Happy (which I’ll be writing about soon). Who knows what his schedule was when they were setting it up, but I wouldn’t want a different director for Cavalry.

    • Highway says:

      And also, I’d imagine they could have made the first season of Cavalry pretty much all battles and tournaments if they wanted to. Thankfully (imo) it wasn’t, and I think that you could make a show around the battles so that it didn’t overdo them.

      • zztop says:

        Cavalry’s Season 1 was largely setup, so the battles and tournaments weren’t the main focus yet. A Season 2 would have several big battles as per the light novel story, but there’s quite a few character development parts too.

        • sonicsenryaku says:

          but the thing with cavalry is that it actually seemed to know how to use a tournament arc as a vehicle of storytelling

        • Highway says:

          Yeah, as sonicsenryaku says, there were some big important battles in Cavalry as well. Even ones that took a whole episode, such as Ikki’s fight with Kuraudo, or Shizuku’s fight with Touka. But the way the show handled them was to actually use them for character development. And more, they emphasized the times when they weren’t fighting.

          In Asterisk, the parts between the fights are, frankly, terrible. There’s nothing compelling about having a bunch of trash-talking from one couple towards another couple, especially characters that noone has met and nobody cares about. And even when they have the better characters show up, all they talk about is “Good job on that fight! How are you going to do on the next fight? Good Luck on all your fights!”

          • sonicsenryaku says:

            im not gonna lie man, if this is what i have to look forward to i dont know how im gonna make it through season 2 of this show

            • Highway says:

              I’m with you there. I’m already looking at episode 14 and wondering if I really want to take a look at it, and it’s not exactly winning.

  3. sonicsenryaku says:

    this is one of the major issues i have with this series: julis and ayato characters are not strong enough to carry an ep or the series in general and at the end, i was kinda bored by this season premiere. Plus asterisk doesnt really know how to fully utilize a tournament arc

    • Foshizzel says:

      How do you fully utilize a tournament arc? Calvary’s tournament arc wasn’t anything special either…just saying…

  4. skylion says:

    Abandoning the best part

    Yeah, my biggest beef. Also, battlers, what’re ya gonna do with ’em?

  5. Foshizzel says:

    I know my comment on this means nothing cause Hwy already knows I liked Asterisk more than Calvary, but hey I’m happy to see some of the characters again! I mean I’ve never really cared much for Julis or Ayato all that much other than the fact of them not falling for each other as fast as Stella and Ikki did imo and yeah I know someone will have issues with that statement lol…

    So yeah were back with another season and yes sad but true they are still in the middle of a tournament which I don’t care cause hey I’ve sat through long ass tournament arcs in DBZ, Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter and Naruto so I’m fine with that setup and I don’t think the whole second season will be about this dumbass tournament, but who knows if it does I hope we get to see Ayato’s sister and they figure how to break his curse…

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