Today we have a blender filled with cat-based aliens, cars, guns, secret government organizations, cat ear fanatics, cameos, homages, and who knows what else. How do these things mesh together. Well lets get the blender spinning and check, but before that, will it blend?
Kakazu Kio, an ordinary high school freshman, sees a mysterious cat-eared girl during a family gathering. During the gathering, Kio gets drunk, becomes unconscious, and wakes up to find the mysterious girl sleeping in his bed. The girl introduces herself as Erin and claims that she is a real alien from outer space. Because of this claim, government agents, private organizations, alien fanatics, cat worshipers, and even dog aliens chase after Erin. Now, Kio and his friends must save Erin from the impending threats the universe has tossed at them.
Even though this plot line sounds incredibly clique, the original writer (probably the mangaka, but not sure) thought a great deal to make a well thought out unique plot. For example, the alien-fanatic group wanted to attack Erin because they could not accept that the first intelligent beings that humans made contact with were so human like. Even though the plot is well thought, Asobi also has many filler episodes that fill the show up with excessive fanservice, while providing little plot or action. As a consequence, there is not much of a story for viewers to follow in Asobi.
(Sphere – Now loading… SKY!!): A fairly catchy song, but nothing seems to make the song very memorable. In my case, I bascially forgot about it after the episode was over.
(Kanae Ito – Happy Sunshine): A song with decent vocals throughout, but the atmosphere the opening vocals created in the song is destroyed by the banjo and other instruments used to create a festive tropical feel. Luckily, the vocals and the music start following each other after the opening, but the banjo in this song was terrible enough for me to say this song was the worse ending of the series.
(Kana Hanazawa – Kokoro no Madobe Nite): A nice calm song talking about the hope that the future brings. I can’t think of anything negative to say about it, so it is my favorite ending from this series.
(Haruka Tomatsu – Omoide ga Jama wo Suru): A decent song with a nice calm opening and an upbeat chorus, but the song loses its appeal from the ridiculous amount of echoing at the end of the song.
The normal background music is used if background music is used. Throughout the episodes, you hear the typical summer insects and the various types of cheerful backgrounds played at very low volumes, so most of these sound effects barely have an effect on the viewer and the show.
Minori Chihara – Oira wa Sabishii Spaceman (The song is done twice in the episode, once with the whole cast and once with only Minori Chihara. The original version of this song was done in Captain Future, a very old anime series): A very calm song with (a) solid vocalist(s) portraying the deep emotions of a traveling astronaut. Both the instruments and the vocals immerse the listener in a pool of sadness and loneliness that is forged from the lyrics. Probably my favorite song in the series (Did not count this song with the other EDs since this was an insert made for this episode)
Kanae Ito, Haruka Tomatsu and Kana Hanazawa – Smile☆Peace: A Christmas jingle with cute vocals. Like most Christmas songs, both the instruments and the vocals perpetuate a joyful atmosphere, but unlike most jingles, the song wasn’t very catchy. Maybe it is because I watched too many Christmas themed shows this season (… Amagami), but the vocals felt like they were from a typical cute song and the beat felt a little too weak and faded. (Note: When I am talking about cute vocals, I am referring to the high pitched vocals in a song used to add moe appeal)
Probably the most unique point about this anime is the attention to details in both the backgrounds and objects. The animators put a huge amount of attention into making all the guns, cars, bookstores, malls, and more look right. Consequently, almost every gun in the show accurately looks like it real life counterpart, so you can actually identify the guns used by the characters.
Here are some examples for your viewing pleasure:
The other place where the animation shines in this series is in their action sequences. The action scenes are fluid and usually quite fast paced, and on a few special action scenes, the action is fully rendered in CG to provide a highly detailed immersive scene that captures the fine details of the environment and explosions.
As for the rest of the show, it is fairly standard with its share of panning, close-ups, and rest of the normal things to expect from a 2010 anime series. The only thing that was questionable in the animation is the sometimes random use of CG scenes as shown below.
Knowing the genre of the series, you can probably guess who the main target audience of the show is, people who want fanservice. (Personally, I don’t they did that great of a job of providing fanservice, but a guy who doesn’t care about fanservice is probably not a great judge for this.) Luckily, that is not all this show offers. For those who like cars and guns, you will love the details put into the various guns and cars used throughout the series. If you like cameos, this series has a few small cameos from various series like Kampfer, Zero no Tsukaima, Seiken no Blacksmith. Besides those minor cameos, Asobi also had a whole episode dedicated to Captain Future.
Sadly, if you did not fall into any of the categories above, you will not find this show very enjoyable. As stated before, there is not much to say about the plot. Even though the plot is well reasoned, the plot is stil very clique and has plenty of fillers. Luckily to redeem this plot line, they have some very nice action scenes, but sadly these action scenes are so short and happen so infrequently that they barely contribute to the show at all. The only other reasons I can see people watching the entire series is for comedy or for music. Sadly, Asobi does not contain much comedy at all, and when there are jokes, most of them are not funny or memorable. As for the music, it is very hit and miss. Sometimes the composers will really force the festive feel into songs that don’t need it, but some of the other songs are quite nice. Disappointingly, even the best of songs from this series are hard to justify listening to a 2nd time, let alone a 3rd or 4th.
Pic of one of the few action scenes you will see:
+Very fluid and entertaining action scenes
+The animation has great attention to details
+Plot line is thoroughly planned (for the most part)
+Very nice homage to Captain Future
-A clique plot line
-Plenty of filler episodes
-Action scenes were too short and too few
If Asobi capitalized on the action sequences, this would have one of the better shows this season, but with the its amount of flaws, I could not give Asobi a high rating.
Technical Rating: 5/10 (Rating that rates a show/episode based on how it does in animation, story, music, etc.)
Personal Rating: 6/10 (Rating that reflects on my what was my personal enjoyment of the show/episode)
Asobi is another typical harem series with an almost nonexistant story and plenty of fanservice. To make up for these shortcomings, the series has solid action scenes and a logical storyline, when there is a storyline. If you want to watch another harem, this series is worth a look. In you like action, then I advise you watch episode 10 and then watch something else like Highschool of the Dead or Strike Witches 2. For everyone else, this series is probably not worth watching unless you want to look at cars and guns.
To maximize your enjoyment of this series, watch episodes 1 and 2 to introduce yourself to the series and then watch episode 10 and onward for the action and the main arc of the story. (You might want to watch episode 9 too because it is a great emotional homage to Captain Future)