Hundred – 01 (First Impressions)

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Hundred is the first Spring offering that left me pretty…meh. It’s another one of those shows that has trouble hiding all of the ways it’s derivative, simply calling to mind all of the shows it reminds me of without having anything unique to say, at least not yet.

The world of Hundred is apparently a dangerous one, but the only peril we’re shown is a very brief flashback in the cold open giving us the tiniest taste of the destructive power and dread-evoking qualities of the CGI “Savage.” Thanks to that, and the rest of the episode being so peaceful, the danger feels far away and in the past.

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Aside from Generic, Mildly-Kind MC Kisaragi Hayato’s bird’s-eye-view of his new home, the floating academy Little Garden, we don’t get much of a sense of the great ship’s grandeur, though I understand the need for it to be mobile (that itself is at least a hint that this world is a perilous one).

Kisaragi arrives not as a less-than-zero loser, but someone with the record-highest “Hundred Compatibility Score,” and thus already a minor celebrity among his fellow students. Two would-be groupies greet him with a banner, and another girl, Erica Candle, is also enthusiastic about meeting him.

The most notable encounter is with Emile Crossfode, who is a very friendly, very girly silver-haired boy, but someone whom from first glance I never once believed to be a boy. Something to do with the fact Emile looks just like the girl Hayato was with in the flashback. Note that I don’t consider myself a genius for making this connection.

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During a thoroughly pointless and interminable opening ceremony, Class President and “Queen” Claire Harvey (who of course sports blonde ringlets) expels three people, including Emile, for seemingly petty infractions.

Claire may seem a bit unfair and strict here, but this is a military school, and her job is to toughen these greenhorns into Savage-killing Slayers. Being late, speaking out of turn, and talking back is not acceptable behavior in the military.

She also shows a little flexibility (even after Emile disses her scores, which are lower than Hayato’s, by promising to reverse the expulsions if Hayato can defeat her in a duel. It saves face for her, and gives Hayato a chance to prove whether the gaudy numbers on paper mean anything.

Emile takes Hayato to the lab, where the top Hundred researcher Charlotte (who is, of course, a pint-sized, lollipop-sucking prodigy) gives him his Hundred (which is, of course, a katana). He and Emile then do a little sparring, and for a fleeting moment we see how this show could redeem itself with a little combat action. Maybe.

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After training, Hayato heads to the hospital to visit his little sister Karen, whose care will be paid for in exchange for Hayato’s services. Karen both wants him to kiss her on the lips to greet her and calls him a pervert for staring at the nurse’s ample bust. She was notably absent in Hayato’s flashback, with Emile in Karen’s place and me thinking (s)he was his little sister. Clearly Hayato doesn’t remember Emile.

Hayato walks in on Emile changing, it’s a good opportunity for him to learn Emile is not, in fact, a boy, but only posing as one, but…he doesn’t. Instead, the surprised Emile knocks him out. When he wakes up, she sows his badge back on, but cuts herself, and Hayato has the sudden compulsion to suck on Emile’s finger. Very vampire-like behavior, but he waves it off as being abundantly caring.

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The next day is the big duel with Queen Harvey. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see it, because Hundred preferred to dilly-dally around with other matters. I understand why it wanted to introduce Charlotte and Karen and give Hayato and Emile some time together, but I felt it a little problematic that this first episode is all setup and no climax.

Hundred isn’t embarrassingly bad or anything, just a bit underwhelming, and lacking distinctiveness. It’s not nearly as bold as My Hero Academia, as dark and edgy as Muv-Luv, or as lovably goofy and bonkers as, say, Chrome Shelled Regios. Everything’s very tame and neutral. I’m not optimistic.

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