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AKA: イスカ
Genre: Harem/Supernatural Thriller
Length: Television series, 10 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently available streaming on crunchyroll.
Content Rating: R-17 (Nudity, sexual situtations.)
Related Series: OAV.
Also Recommended: Ghost Hunt
Notes: Based on the manga by Osamu Takahashi, serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's seinen manga magazine Young Ace.
Rating:

Isuca

Synopsis

Shinichirou Asano is rescued from a supernatural monster by fellow student/exorcist/tsundere Sakuya Shimazu, and becomes involved in her affairs thanks in part to a certain wild talent of his. Sexual Supernatural Shenanigans Subsequently Ensue (I couldn't find a good "S" word to end that on. Sorry)


Review

The most noticeable thing about this show was Crunchyroll's optical censorship. Seriously. Within a minute of its start, our male lead (who we will get to know better, to the extent there's anything to know about him at all) is in the clutches of a millipede-woman straight out of Wicked City (an outright H-anime that nevertheless is better written than this one), whose breasts are concealed with a big black bar. Later a bevy of "good" character breasts (and butts) will be well-concealed in white fog, so I wondered if we had some kind of clichéd motif going on here, but a good character or two gets the black-bar treatment later, so maybe not. In any case, I get the idea what the show will look like on DVD, and would observe that any show that relies so much on nudity as a draw probably is deficient in every other area of competence.

As evidence I submit Shinichirou's savior, Sakuya. She subjects him to such constant verbal abuse (at first anyway) that I was amazed she could work up such bile against such a totally bland dude. (By the way, Rie Kugimiya was NOT recruited for the voice of Sakuya, so Rie-haters can't blame her THIS time.) She's nominally the head of a family of exorcists, though others in the family are contesting her right to the title, so she feels the need to demonstrate her worthiness by dispatching as many evil spirits back to the netherworld as she possibly can (she uses a bow and magical arrows.) Maybe part of her problem with Shinichirou is embarrassment; she, and a couple of other females in the cast, frequently end up in pratfalls with their breasts or bottoms in Shinichirou's face, and Sakuya's clothing seems to get quickly reduced to just panties in almost every encounter with a spirit. (Even the Ikki Tousen girls didn't usually get THIS stripped in fights, and THEIRS were full contact.) I can guess why, when she first appears (rescuing Shinichirou from Ms. Millipede) we only see her in silhouette; it's hard to look majestic and mysterious when you're only clad in your underpants.

Now I guess I should say something about Shinichirou's special power. He's described as possessing the "Eye of Truth", which in his case means he can discern the "true" name of a spirit by kissing it. ("Lips of Truth" sounded too facetious, I guess.) This is important, since an exorcist can gain control of a spirit by invoking its true name. This doesn't just apply to the spirits, though, and to say more would be to spoil too much, even for THIS rotten show. Conveniently, he's only required to kiss female spirits.

Of course, Mr. Bland MIGHT have actually done a few things to irritate Sakuya. While we have the required perverted-friend-of-the-lead-character-who's-obsessed-with-big-breasts named Ohkubo, Shinichirou himself twice makes tactless remarks about Sakuya's breast size, and by the Rule of Tsunderes in Harem Animes, Sakuya of course has smaller boobs than all the other female characters, and her self-consciousness about it makes her even more irritable. Shinichirou also protects from her a cat-spirit who he calls Tamako. (By the way, NEVER let Shinichirou come up with a password for you. You'll see what I mean, if you watch this.) Tamako's spirit form is a giant two-tailed cat, and in human form she's still got the eyes and ears of a cat. She initially acts like a substantially older, very sardonic character, and that could have worked well; Princess Resurrection was a delight because it defied harem conventions by making its female characters (with one exception) substantially older than its male hero, so they weren't romantically interested in him at all; they saw him as friend, means to an end, or servant, but were NOT crushing on him. Tamako, however, from her promising start, quickly becomes a brainless, fawning sycophant toward Shinichirou, and thus loses any interesting edge she might have had. She also seems to "accidentally" face-sit Shinichirou even more than Sakuya does, and this would seem to carry much more serious repercussions than with Sakuya, because, as we're repeatedly told, Tamako doesn't wear panties. (I'm NOT going to do the obvious double-entendre here. You may, if you wish.)

We've also got Suseri, supposedly Sakuya's cousin and rival for leadership of the family. She speaks in a monotone, dresses as a shrine maiden, and has gigantic boobs, which she tries to use to lure Mr. Bland into her camp by washing his back with them in a scene that, on Crunchyroll, looks like an explosion in a White-Out factory. She learned this tactic from Nadeshiko, a chemistry teacher/exorcist who's supposedly Sakuya's guardian and who really SHOULD be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor. SO, here Shinichirou is, constantly receiving scorn from Sakuya, who's small-breasted (and remember, HE'S the one who thoughtlessly indicated this mattered to him), while being promised sex with a large-breasted girl who at least respects his gift. Hard decision, I know, but fortunately he's a harem lead and therefore incapable of even making clear choices where girls are concerned.

I guess I should say something about the villains. The chief one is a "western mage" rather resembling Sakuya herself and dressed in a rather ugly all-white outfit. She's a villain of the cackling-and-gloating variety, as are the evil spirits in her service. The evil spirits, by the way, promise sexual ecstasy in exchange for one's life force, which seems a much better deal than evil spirits usually offer, come to think of it. (The Monsters of the Week in Sailor Moon would take your energy and give you NOTHING. Cheapskates.)

It's hard to think of any kind things to say about the action sequences here either. In one, Shinichirou finds a student in a pool of blood; after a cursory check he abandons her (!), but I guess it's OK because later the blood vanishes too. (Continuity errors IN A CARTOON are just shameful.) Later Shinichirou and Sakuya open up their hearts and calmly talk to each other IN A BURNING BUILDING (problems with PRIORITIZING, you two?) We are supposed to be distressed when Sakuya is dangling by one hand over a precipice, but the resolution is once again ludicrously anticlimactic.

Other cast members include numerous redshirt retainers of Sakuya's family who seem to fare MUCH worse against the spirits than just losing their clothing; and Matsuri, Suseri's assistant, a small and quiet girl with normal proportions and therefore no reason to be in THIS show at all.

The character art is as uninspired as the rest of it; the songs- well, one does not expect greatness from a group that is called (I think) Macaroni. The closing sequence has Sakuya and Tamako in various Playmate poses, of course.

As noted, an OVA is supposed to be released in 2015, and indeed the show is promising MUCH more of EXACTLY what it has delivered so far. MAKE IT STOP!Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: ADULTS ONLY (even with the censorship.) This thing has more nudity (and less plot) than many H shows. It almost began to seem like a black spot over the villainess' chest was an actual feature of her anatomy.



Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll.
Review Status: Full (10/10)
Isuca © 2015 ARMS, Kadokawa Pictures, Isuca Production Committee
 
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