Well, the 2012-2013 Winter Anime Season was full of things that seemed like an action series at face value. Demons, heroes, and animation that could imply that the anime was meant for kids. Basically, when an anime looks like that, it goes to me. That is my fault for reading Shounen Jump. Fuck Shounen Jump by the way. They hate good series, but they keep publishing Bleach and Naruto. Enough of that. Senyuu. was another series that I was not looking forward to watching. I honestly thought that this was going to be a kid’s show like Beast Saga. The animation style is what gave me that impression and the lack of information that we had at the time of our anime coverage draft supported that assumption because I saw a lack of kid’s series on the list. Heck, they ended up not even subbing Beast Saga. What we ended up getting was close to what I expected, but it was delivered in a way that I definitely did not expect.
Stop me if this sounds familiar. Demons have invaded the human world and they are causing trouble for the people. In order to counteract this, the king has decided to send off heroes and soldiers into battle with the promise of fame and fortune for the person that takes down the demon king. Just remember, you can’t fight demons unless the human world is still ruled by a monarch. Well, you probably tried to stop me in that first sentence if you were bored enough to think like that while reading this article. So there was a legendary hero that sacrificed himself one thousand years ago in order to seal away an evil demon king, but things never stay sealed away. So the new king is sending the descendants of the fabled hero off into battle. Well, it turns out that in the span of one thousand years, a hero can produce quite a few descendants. Seventy five to be precise. Each one of them has been paired with a soldier from the royal army and they were sent out to both control the demons that have already invaded the human realm and defeat the demon king that sent them there. It sounds pretty straight forward, but what makes it unique is the comedic delivery that the story is told through. Although, it is probably pretty tough to fit a serious demon killing adventure into a five-minute time slot.
A lot of series will throw out characters that you never see again and that is even more likely to happen in a comedy that give you about three and a half minutes of story per episode. However, Senyuu. seems to like keeping its characters around. If you get fully drawn, then you are going to be a recurring character. Most of the characters come in pairs and all of them are a little off when it comes to their respective personalities. Alba is supposed to be the main character and he is one of the seventy-five heroes. Alba tries to fill the straight man role, but the usually just gets him both verbally and physically abused. Not much is known about his fighting skills, but the appear to be mediocre at best. Ross is his soldier partner and my favorite character. Ross seems like a very skilled fighter with great strength and healing magic. The things that makes him great is his sadistic personality. The guy makes jokes that really carry the show at times when he abuses Alba and various other characters. Ruki is the demon king that is actually a little girl. She is very immature and weak in comparison to some of the bigger demons, but she does have teleportation magic. Let’s just say that what she brings to the table in terms of comedy comes from Ross rubbing off on her. Foifoi is a hero that our group ends up fighting because he is pretty evil. The dude is a murderer and that is pretty bad. Rudolf is Foifoi’s partner, but he does not approve of what the young hero does. Rudolf could be described as a noble knight if it wasn’t for the fact that he is a pedophile. Ares is another hero that we don’t know much about other than the fact that she is into kinky stuff. Hime is her soldier partner that appears to be quite the extreme tsundere. The King doesn’t really get a lot of exposure, but he does become pretty important at the end. Other than that, there is a group of twelve demons that are tougher than the rest. This is a comedy and most of the demons don’t really cause that much trouble, but these month themed demons are different. Well, as different as the story will allow.
I want to start this off by saying that this was one of those five-minute and under series that really deserved more time. Before we even talk about quality, the fact that this series involved a hero’s journey to defeat a demon king means that things weren’t handled properly. You really need to give an adventure series more time to properly develop the journey. Onto the specifics of the series, I enjoyed parts of this anime. The concept is overdone, but the execution was good. You quickly found out that this is not a show for kids when we were assaulted with fetish jokes that were funny for the right audience. The humor was the best part of this series. I would say that when Ross really got his chance to shine that we got hints of what was a very high quality series. Some genuine comedy that was sure to make you laugh. At times things got stale and the episodes seemed to not really do much for me, but I blame that on the fact that things couldn’t really get going in three and a half minutes. The four and a half minutes that they gave us always had a one minute ending theme. You can set up some nice comedy in that amount of time, but it was the action that was most disappointing to me. Not because it sucked, but because it actually looked pretty cool. When Ross unleashed his motor powered weaponry and whatnot, it was actually pretty entertaining. However, we never really got anywhere because the episodes took us on such short journeys. The worst part of it all is probably the fact that the great execution lead to a story that I really wanted to see played out more. Not necessarily adding things in the middle of it, but maybe turning the thirteen episode we got into three or four episodes at the most and really getting somewhere.
Wasted potential. That is pretty much what needs to be said regarding this series. I ended up watching the entire series in one sitting when it ended and I was amazed by how much I really liked it. Obviously, waiting a week for three and a half minutes of material hurt the overall quality of the series and that is why I definitely suggest getting it all in at once if at all possible. If you skip the ending theme, then you can knock it out in well under an hour. The series was entertaining and that is probably the best way to describe it. Senyuu. is definitely not a masterpiece in terms of writing and it probably won’t crack your top ten, but it is great for some quick laughs. Do I think it could have been great if it was a full length series? Maybe. I can’t really say, but there was definitely some great potential in there. The series did function well enough with the time it was given, but I think that a five-minute and under series will hit you one of two ways. The first is in a disappointing fashion where you stop making time for something that you obviously could watch if you wanted to. The second is in a longing fashion that makes you desire more. Senyuu. was definitely the latter for me. I have watched far worse comedies in my day and I think that you should definitely give this series a chance if you have an hour to spare.