Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 07

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The Roommates practice their roles for the play, with Tulip training Satomi especially hard in Knightly duties — including fighting. Satomi takes his lumps but learns quickly.

Apparently the villainous villain is “Clan,” Tulip’s sister and second crown princess to the empire. Tulip says Clan has a stealth ship, which is why they cant find her. Why she is explaining this to Satomi (who doesn’t care) during there a tea break is rather questionable.

Her reasons for training him to be a Knight are pretty dubious for that matter. He’s only supposed to walk around on stage in costume for goodness sakes…

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“it would be pointless to go looking for her” – Tulip says while Clan is hiding in the closet behind to her. Smooth!

Clan makes several attempts on Tulip’s life but is regularly thwarted by Satomi. In fact, Satomi is first to notice Clan, who’s terrible at stealth because she’s clearly evil and conspicuous amongst the theatre club. (regardless of wearing their school uniform)

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Meanwhile, Ruth has discovered Hercules-chan but hasn’t figured out that ‘the cute bug’ is a ‘beetle.’ So she hasn’t gotten made yet. Because aliens know everything about everything except that we call certain types of insects beetles. Gotcha!

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“I have come from untold time and distance” – Blue Knight

The Blue Knight’s introductory lines to the Gray Princess sound and awful lot like the premise to El Hazard. That the princess doesn’t recognize his crests either — and remember Tulip just submitted her nation’s legend word for word — make it look more and more like we’re going to have a time travel other world moment somewhere in the future.

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Apparently Boob-chan is the only one to notice this. Though, for added mystery, she’s heard the same line from… some guy that gave her a trading card or something. It’s unclear, honestly.

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The conflict climaxes on the eve of the festival, with Satomi saving the day on several levels and Clan being completely defeated. Satomi even gets a dragon ball style charge up moment to break through Clan’s defense field.

Then Tulip knights Satomi while he’s sleeping through the credits. (episode end)

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Seven weeks in and RnS is has cornered the market on watchability the way Bud Light has cornered the market on drinkability. It’s absolute minimum effort and quality necessary to keep a viewer’s eyes on the screen and their brain function just above absent.

A mystery has been eluded to but who can care? This was a wacky antics comedy for 3 episodes, remember? It’s not like there’s anything at steak hear — for goodness sake! The worst that can happen is 4/5 of the characters lose their claims on a 10×10 apartment that has, thus far, shown no significance other than they all ended up there!

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Still, drinkability is drinkability! The character interactions are more fluid now. Their relationships a little more believable and nuanced. Amidst all the nonsense, Satomi even asks Tulip to teach him how to dance and it’s half way cute, in a Tsundere sort of way.

But my goodness! I’m not invested in this show and it’s clearly going to ramble on in a predictable-yet-random direction for at least 6 more episodes, I think I’m going to leave it where it is. Satomi is knighted. He’s going to travel time and space somehow and several of the girls will probably get happy endings, one way or another.

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Final Note: The best moment since the premiere was Ruth, having realized the Beetle is a Beetle, chasing Cosplay-chan and Hercules saying ‘Shoo! Shoo!’ with an angry Japanese accent. If there was every a sound byte worthy of a ring tone or an alarm clock in my life, this would be it!

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 06

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Satomi challenges The Roommates to each create a script for the Theatre Club, with 5 points awarded for a finished script and 20 points of territory rewarded if the club chooses a Roommate’s script. The amount of turf is too hard for The Roommates to pass up and soon they are all happily competing. 

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Tulip wins by *cough* plagiarizing *cough* a common fable of her people entitled The Gray Princess and the Blue Knight. Her happiness is quickly dashed as actual casting her fellow high school students in the lead roles only plops Satomi and Sakuraba together, furthering their chemistry and chances of hook up.

Little do the Roommates know, another alien has landed via space time quake and is watching them prepare for the play. Clearly, she is up to no good!

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RnS loads the bases this week with an unexpected drive into left field. I wasn’t expecting a two part ‘school play’ episode immediately after a two part beech episode and I was expecting it to present an entirely new, mythical side story even less.

Could Satomi actually be the fabled Blue Knight of legend somehow? Could Sakuraba be his Gray Princess? Everyone appears to be seeing visions along those lines…

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Meanwhile, a giant Rhinoceros Beetle is living in their closet. Long story short: it’s Cosplay Girl’s fault and “Hercules-Chan” is there mostly as a throw away gag to tie into Ruth’s previous unrequited love plot from the beach arc.

That said, something’s going on with that beetle and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it again as a more prominent plot device.

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When did this show get so pretty?

From Tulip’s hologram/bound book to Ghost Girl possessing Satomi to ‘Ghost Write’ her contribution for the script challenge, to the cheap box of curry behind Cosplay Girl, episode six is packed with nice details. In fact, this episode is the best looking the show has produced so far.

So much so that I had to pause and make sure I hadn’t downloaded an OAV by mistake!

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Oddness about a middle shelf show’s mid season looking better than it’s early season aside, what really confuses me about RnS is that it is no longer a comedy.

Sure, Cosplay Girl playing the horse’s ass in the play is funny, and sure, RnS goes through the motions with zany situations like having a Roommate bring home a gigantic beetle but it’s trying fewer than 10 jokes an episode — and that’s counting “we’re embarrassed” style humor.

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I don’t get it? These characters are totally over the top and they’ve been played over the top for 4 episodes. How am I supposed to suddenly shift gears and care about light-touch romantic drama when magic powers and space mecha are still floating around??

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As for the Mysterious New Alien Girl with glasses and cat teeth, who knows? I’m sure she’ll be defeated right away and get stuck in the room with everyone else.

Maybe she’ll be a two-off like the evil Ghost Girl from the beach resort episodes? She’s obviously going to give us exposition and develop Tulip’s back story, which I don’t care about in any way.

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Honestly, if RnS hadn’t upped the render quality (it now has a lighting and color treatment more like Angel Beats!) I may have dropped it this week. Even so, this is not an interestingly rendered show.

Oh RnS…what to make of you?

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 05

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The roommates’ time at the beach turns sour as the Yakuza Bros turn out to be ghost hunters and steal Ghost Girl. With a little guidance from Sakuraba, Satomi leads the remaining roommates in a daring attack to get her back and defeats a giant ghoul-lady-ghost boss monster along the way. Happy endings and deeper friendship ensue.

This week’s RnS thankfully ignores the fact that it’s the second part of a beach & hot spring fanservice episode and jumps right into what really matters: introducing even more characters with inane, unexplained motivations!

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No seriously! I appreciate the vague explanation about who the Yakuza are and what they are up to but it wasn’t necessary to introduce another sexy-lady-ghost into the mix. Especially when she doesn’t seem to have survived her fight with Team Roommates.

Likewise, if we’re honest, we didn’t need to know anything about the Yakuza either, since they too are throwaway, nonsensical, and not very funny characters.

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And humor is ultimately RnS’ central problem. Specifically, when you get past the quirky ‘skins’ applied to the cast, their bones — their archetypes — are completely pedestrian, which puts all the weight on RnS’ visuals and Story. Sadly, RnS’ visuals are average at best and the narrative is soft-ball goofy for-goofy’s sake and not really funny either.

So here we are at episode 5 and we’re watching a comedy that isn’t especially funny, dotted with a little fanservice, which isn’t drawn especially well either. So why am I watching this?

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Technically, there are two mysteries behind the narrative that we haven’t uncovered yet (the shrine and what Satomi is knitting) but the suspicious lack of shrine since the premiere leads me to suspect it will either come out of nowhere to wrap the show up or never return again and the specifics of Satomi’s knitting is hardly enough to justify more episodes…
At best, we could be rooting for one of the girls to ‘happily ever after’ with the protagonist. I’m not sure I care, though.
Do you?

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 04

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Satomi and the girls call a ceasefire and head to the beech. Sakuraba, who is rich and owns a ocean side summer home, is there too. While overly nice to all of the girls, Satomi only really has eyes for Sakuraba, which alienates everyone, especially the Aliens. Meanwhile, a mysterious group of ecchi Yakuza are up to something. Probably no good!

This week RnS throws down its gauntlet and challenges us to watch a beach episode—that also has a hot spring! Each girl gets to have her own ho-hum pre-beach adventure at the shopping mall, which results in typical (and not very exciting) alternate character designs for the episode’s second half. There’s really nothing remarkable here—the girls fan-service play in the water, Satomi gets in trouble for accidentally copping a feel, and Magic Girl even sports the group’s genre-appropriate gym class swim suit!

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While the reason is not explained this week, the beach trip appears to have been staged by two Yakuza Bros. I certainly appreciate that RnS is giving us a side plot that doesn’t entirely revolve around yet another girl for the harem, but it probably would have worked better if the Yakuza plot was given a little more context.

Sure, we know the Bros rigged the lottery so the girls would win, and that they ecchi spied on the girls at the beach, and refer to a nefarious plan, but it’s all so ambiguous, which is totally out of step with the rest of the show (unless you count the still unexplained and not revisited shrine maiden vignette from the premier…).

Maybe I found it more egregious because the episode ends with the Yakuza, still not explaining anything and makes it very clear the beach will be a two-parter! I guess that’s kinda ballsy for the genre?

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The episode also gave us a short but surprising amount of screen time for the captain of the Cosplay Society, who I’d written off as a complete side character but who knows? The unspoken lines between her and Satomi alone make me nervous that she, too, will join the Harem at some point. At least the other cosplayers don’t even have faces and are unlikely to emerge in the harem.

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In the end, the episode is about Satomi showing affection to each girl to some degree, each girl wanting that affection to some degree, and each girl coming to understand-if-not-respect her competitors’ motivations. Well, except Kasagi. I have no idea why she’s in this group at all since she has no motivation to like Satomi, care who wins the apartment, nor have anything on the line at all. But hey, Harem right?

Oh! Sakuraba isn’t in on the hot springs either, because she’s at her mansion or wasn’t invited or the animation team forgot she was even in the episode. No character development for you!

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What can be said? RnS is as cliche as ever but, not counting the totally bizarre reason Satomi accidentally grabbed boob (dreaming about climbing a tree to catch a giant beetle), this week was all harem and no humor. Seriously! RnS isn’t drawn well enough, nor is it smutty enough, to get away with that.

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 03

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Satomi finally tells Sakuraba-senpai that he absolutely needs her… to join him in the obstacle course race. Meanwhile, Boobs and Alien Girl set out to cheat as much as possible. Naturally, Cosplay Girl and Sakuraba win the day…

This week’s race involved a foot race, math problems, balancing an egg on a spoon, speed eating, complex kanji reading, a balance beam with a mine field and a scavenger hunt. Between the mines and bad manners, all the major competitors are slowed or removed or punished after the race in as wacky a fashion as you can imagine. It was cute, if not completely predictable.

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Wackiness aside, this week’s RnS was really about introducing the two under dogs to each other: Cosplay Girl and Sakuraba. Both girls have handicaps and feel social isolated and they both come to each other’s need when life is on the line. In Sakuraba’s case, this is literal, as she has a heart attack and Cosplay Girl’s magic is necessary to revive her.

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In all, this week gave us a fairly typical early-season semi-filler ep. We didn’t learn anything new about the characters, nor did anyone’s relative position in the harem change. It was just pleasant and occasionally funny but completely un-thought-provoking.

For now, Rokujouma no Shinryakusha?! has enough for me to watch but only just.

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 02

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Lacking violent means to win control over the apartment, the tenants agree to resolve their quarrel with card games. Old Maid appears popular and Magic Girl steadily loses territory over the course of the week.

Meanwhile, all the girls join Satomi’s high school and get settled in for the long haul. By the end of the week the Magic Girl is tricked into joining the cosplay society. unfortunately for everyone else, she plays better at cards when she’s too tired to over think things and she wins back much of her territory.

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Initially, as a way to edge each other out, the girls come together and start doing nice things for Satomi. Boobs makes nice dinner and the Aliens help. Ghost sees him off to work and, thus far they have the strongest alliance, ultimately only wanting the room as a room. the cosplayer doesn’t do anything but they all take pity on her for having no money or food.

the group concedes that they are all getting bored and need a new way to compete over the room. Next week it looks like we’re in for an obstacle course challenge…

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I especially enjoyed the silly graphic showing how much room, in the room, each person controlled. It didn’t real matter for the purposes of the episode, as no one lost it all and was kicked out but it was a fun addition to the normal goings on.

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Otherwise, the episode was as before: cute and average looking. we learn a little bit more about the characters but honestly, there isn’t much to know about them. They are tokens. Objects. Archetypal to the point of me not even being able to remember their names…

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Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? – 01

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Koutarou Satomi, a high schooler living alone, moves into a cheap apartment to save his recently divorced dad some money. Little does he know his apartment is haunted, a source of magical power, the nexus of mole-person revenge and the arbitrary site where aliens will practice domination. Things look rough for our… hero… but fear not! he worked damn hard to find such a cheap apartment and isn’t going to give it up without a fight!

RnS has all the hallmarks of a slap-stick harem piece: 7 uniquely styled girl-archetypes each need to win his favor to fulfill a personal objective and none of them can live with anything short of total success. Well, except his landlord / love interest / class mate Kasagi Shizuka, who just wants things kept nice and tidy. She’ll probably get him in the end anyway…

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As harem bits go, RnS is okay. While not visually remarkable, the art is survivable and each girl has enough charm and genre appeal to generate her own fans, I suppose. Likewise, Satomi is neither absurdly rejects their initial advances, nor does he hound dog go all ecchi on us either. His response to the madness is remarkably even keel, which I appreciate.

The humor is also fairly decent. The magic girl is a klutz and everyone assumes she’s just a cosplayer. The mole woman has gold and big boobs and a willingness to use both to get Satomi to relinquish the apartment. The alien’s grand entrance is poorly timed and ends up with her chest planted firmly in Satomi’s face. It’s cute, but all very safe and standard as harems go.

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If RnS deserves any particular criticism, it’s that it plays it too safe. We’ve all seen a million harem pieces before and is this really that different from any of them? Is it better than Shuffle (which has sexier art), God Only Knows (which has a smarter setup) or Love Hina (which is funnier)?

Not really.

For now, it’s just a safe, chuckle-worthy watch. And my wife won’t let me drop it because she likes it too much!

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