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[Big Order]
AKA: ビッグオーダ
Genre: SF/Fantasy/Harem
Length: Television series, 10 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: Currently available streaming crunchyroll.
Content Rating: R -17 (Violence, mature situations.)
Related Series: Big Order OVA
Also Recommended: Elfin Lied; Ajin: Demi-Human
Notes: Based on a manga by Sakae Esuno, published in Shonen Ace magazine.
Rating:

Big Order

Synopsis

No, this show is NOT about something you might place for the whole office at the drive-thru. It IS about Orders, a group of about 2,000 or so individuals with godlike psychic abilities, including our "hero" (I use the term loosely; he screws up a lot), Eiji Hoshimiya. Eiji is widely considered to be the perpetrator of the Great Destruction, a cataclysmic event that wiped out much of humanity a decade or so before this show starts, though Eiji's own memory of this seems a bit murky. Strangely, an assumed name seems adequate to let him pass as an ordinary high school student (high school goes on in anime much as it always has, no matter WHAT has happened), until a young woman named Rin Kurenai arrives with the intention of murdering Eiji to avenge her parent's deaths in the Destruction. Her arrival is soon followed by his recruitment by a group of Orders calling themselves the Dazaifu City Government in their plan to rule the world.


Review

The moral issues around (and social non-acceptance of) nearly-invulnerable individuals who can kill, or enslave others, with a mere thought, have been used to create some powerful (albeit often violent) animes; Elfen Lied is kind of like that, and another title I'm looking at, Ajin: Demi-Human, is an even better example. While I'm only about four episodes into Ajin at this time, I've got to say that it is ALREADY running rings around Big Order. Big Order is kind of unique; I've NEVER seen a show with such an interesting premise so completely demolished by fanservice silliness in combination with lapses in logic so huge that you could fit entire parallel universes in them. The lead, his sibling, and the prospective members of his harem (yes, there's that of course) are all infuriating characters in their own rights as well. Probably the best way to introduce the show is actually through a catalog of some of its major offenses to reason and good taste, though I warn you that I'm not necessarily presenting these in the order they appear in the show:

EXHIBIT ONE: We do not normally leave matches around small children. We certainly know better than to leave loaded firearms around them. But hey, giving a small child the ability to do whatever they want to the very fabric of reality, what could go wrong?

EXHIBIT TWO: Eiji is assured by a floating, pink-haired, female-appearing entity named Daisy that world destruction was not his wish, but for some reason he doesn't press her to find out what his wish WAS. When we DID find out what the wish was that caused the destruction, it wasn't clear to me AT ALL how that wish would have necessarily led to the near end of the world.

EXHIBIT THREE: Rin Kurenai is, I guess, the ultimate tsundere, since her objective is to actually MURDER Eiji, as opposed to just sending him flying through space or leaving him lying in a pool of his own blood, as less dedicated tsunderes typically do. And yet EVEN WHILE SHE IS STILL OSTENSIBLY TRYING TO KILL HIM she gets upset because he's failing to "notice" her!!! Talk about ambivalence! (The Orders, while nearly omnipotent, each have specialties- Eiji's is Domination- and I have to admit it was kind of hilarious to watch Rin trying to find some way to do Eiji in while under the sway of Eiji's power. The Orders each have giant avatars- huge figures resembling robots (or mummies; Ajin has similar ones) that actually execute the powers; Eiji's Domination power is rendered as his avatar firing darts into those he wants to control.)

EXHIBIT FOUR: Did I mention that Eiji is a major sis-con? HER name is Sena, and she's not his sis by blood. Folks familiar with anime clichés know what doors THIS usually opens in these shows (re Photo Kano.) Eiji is quite willing to literally sacrifice the world to save Sena, who has some mysterious illness that the Orders, despite their godlike powers, somehow can't seem to cure. When the Dazaifu City Government Orders make vague promises to Eiji to find a cure for Sena if he joins their plan to conquer the world, he's very cool with it all. They actually TELL him that he'll just be their puppet ruler (and will shoulder all the blame for everything), but he thinks it's all good if they save Sena, and he can easily just force them to obey him later. So not only does Eiji have a bit of a one-track mind, but he doesn't seem to give much thought to the possibility that other Orders might be more clever than him about some things. (For example, the Dazaifu leader is one Hiiragi Yoshitsune, who's a strategist- we KNOW this because he plays chess, always a dead giveaway in anime shorthand- AND Hiiragi also has the rather formidable ability to make anything that's happened false.)

EXHIBIT FIVE: That fanservice/harem nonsense. Sheesh. We of course have a hot spring scene involving groping by one Kagekiyo Tairano, but the chief object of sexual exploitation in this show is one of the Dazaifu bunch, named Iyo, whose particular Order power is (frequently faulty) divination. (She dresses as a shrine maiden; I bet you weren't expecting that? Yes, I actually knew that you WERE expecting it.) Iyo, like Mio Isurugi in MM!, has a hair ribbon that looks like cosplay rabbit ears. She tells Eiji that if her ribbon is pulled off, she'll get pregnant, which he sensibly doesn't believe, but since there's very little in this show that actually DOES make sense, when he inevitably pulls off her ribbon, yes, she really does get pregnant. (I somehow missed this in sex ed.) Iyo firmly believes, in any case, that Eiji is destined to father a child with her- even though a wealth of experience with anime would indicate that the "smart money" is on Rin- and she's quite willing to even risk their own mission to accomplish this goal...AND willing to approach him in an incredibly unseemly manner (we'll call it that, and leave it be.) If one could SEE it (Crunchyroll optically censors all this of course) I do believe that there might be some full-frontals (AND full-backals) of Iyo. Iyo's cute, but I was having a little trouble with her personality.

EXHIBIT SIX: "If you love her, then fight for her, even if she pushes you away or rejects you." Fine, but in my opinion running you through with a sword might be a bit much. Good time to reconsider your relationship at this point. I KNOW it's incredibly popular in anime, but this sort of thing gives people the wrong idea (for example, that it can be done without killing the blade's recipient.) And it's just RUDE, frankly. Made me feel that the person doing it really was not worthy of the general adoration that everyone in the show seems to give that person.

EXHIBIT SEVEN: The episode titles. OK, maybe I'm getting petty now, but can't help myself. The English episode titles are chock-full of exclamation points (e.g., Order! Execute Strategies!), which Gets! Kind! Of! Annoying! after a while.

I reserve one-star ratings for shows that are more than usually offensive (mere stupidity is not enough; SO common), and this show is not really more than usually so. Just USUALLY so. A complete squandering of a terrific idea. If you are offered an Order, make it the daily special.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: Poor Iyo. While I can't SEE it, she's clearly showing the most skin, though her obsession with making babies with Eiji mainly seems perverse because he's such a doofus (you'll see one example when you finally see his actual part in the Great Destruction.) While the plot may be juvenile, it is nevertheless Not For Children



Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll.
Review Status: Full (10/10)
Big Order © 2016 Asread
 
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