ISUCA – 01 (First Impressions)

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The rundown: One night Asano Shinichiro is captured by a specter but is saved by a mysterious ponytailed archer, who turns out to be his classmate Shimazu Sakuya, head of a clan tasked with sealing specters. When a powerful specter attacks the school, Sakuya is overpowered (and stripped down), but Shinichiro is able to rescue her. After they accidentally kiss, she levels up and successfully seals the specter.

What worked: Frankly, not a lot. After watching an episode of the caliber of Tokyo GhoulISUCA felt a bit…lobotomizing. The properly creepy centipede woman marks a promising start. There were also a few moments (just a few) in which the dialogue reached that difficult-to-nail Akame ga Kill! combination of peril and comedy. I also liked the two-headed cat design.

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What didn’t work: Hmm…where to start? Well, how about the beginning: We get a woman flashing her (censored) boobs in the first ten seconds. The school scenes prior to messed-up things going down are pedestrian at best. Shinichiro is a fairly valiant fellow and Sakuya is feisty and cute, but let’s not kid ourselves: we’ve seen these archetypes umpteen times, and ISUCA brings essentially nothing new to the table.

I won’t decry the abundance of fan service, seeing as how that’s one of ISUCA’s listed genres…but there was an awful lot of convenient physics in play, from lightning with the precision of a tailor to the face-crotch and kiss-fall. Also, the fact that having the life sucked out you being a pleasurable experience is clearly a shameless excuse for Sakuya to tilt her head back and make funny noises.

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The verdict: ISUCA has a few moments that are genuinely fun and entertaining, and quite a few more moments that are either exceedingly dumb or derivative or both. The ecchi elements vary from eye-rolling to smirk-worthy, while animation varies from crappy to passable.

I won’t be overly hyperbolic: this show wasn’t patently terrible, just…disposable. It’s just not anything that sets my heart ablaze. I’ll have no trouble waiting for the next episode. It’s watchable…if nothing else is on, and I don’t feel like using my brain for a half-hour.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “ISUCA – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. I agree with the lion’s share of your review. I’d probably have given it a 5, but thats a franklin/preston trope in it’s own right ;)

    Coming out 3 weeks late didn’t do Isuca any favors. Coming out along side 3.5 other ecchi/harem/school/supernatural shows is probably worse. Having seen them all, and with the caveat that ‘genre-overload’ set my patience really low, I’m comfortable ranking Isuca second from the bottom.

    Why?

    Even though it had action, Isuca follows the ‘people stand around dramatically not doing much while a giant monster that also doesn’t do much stands around not doing much.’ There’s no tension to it, especially because the action’s main goal seems to be facilitating female characters having their clothes ripped off or making seckzy noises.

    Additionally, where the other shows break up the action into different contexts, Isuca is basically all one long chase sequence. (after the opening) So it felt longer and more drawn out than it really was.

    Fafnir is debatably uglier, Absolute Duo’s protagonist has less personality, and all of them (including Stepsister Demonlord & World Break) are more or less equally by the numbers conventional genre shows. However, every show but Fafnir has more things it does better than Isuca.

    Absolute Duo has a tighter art style and more enthusiasm for it’s cliche cat-eared character; Stepsister reverses on gender and hero conventions; World Break is so sincere with it’s ridiculously bad premise that I can’t help but smile… I can not figure out why Isuca bothered?

    1. Sounds like the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander of anime: it’s lighter and cheaper than the competition, but everything else on the market does pretty much everything better, and you kinda wonder why they bothered.

    2. Starting with that gym class scene, I noticed there were a lot of short scenes where absolutely nothing happened. Kind of a shame, I think Saenai Heroine no Sodate-kata was the only good harem/romance this season and it was the only non-fantasy one.

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