I expected to hate Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, and indeed there is a lot to dislike if you’re not into ecchi stories or combat in general. And I don’t think it’s particularly good, however I found the story intriguing. We have a “Earth guy sent to another dimension to be their great warrior” setup, but it starts at the end. He’s defeated the demon king. He’s done. He’s leaving. But Princess Listy doesn’t want him to leave so the first scene is him fleeing with a big pack (obviously a person inside) while maids shoot at him. He stops them by magically removing their underwear. Okay, I didn’t say it was a great show. When he returns we learn that this happens from time to time and those kids who come back from these dimensions are sent to a special school. Oh, and it’s clear he has GREAT POWER, so certain people in the school will want to fuck with him. As a further complication, the girl in the pack (I was right) is the dead demon king’s daughter, taken along at his request so maybe she can get some peace and quiet for a a change. The story is laid-out better than many shows. We learn just enough to get us through the scene and there is only one infodump I can remember. There’s not much to the hero, Akatsumi, apart from his interest in messing with (but not molesting) girls. There’s even less to Myuu, the daughter. We’ll see how it goes.
I suppose I got what I expected from Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru! 1, but this story about a boy who has to choose a wife in order to succeed his late father as corporate head, with his sister as one of the girls, but she won’t tell him who, surprised me by its lack of energy. I expected something livelier, maybe with more jokes. I don’t even know if I can call it a comedy at the moment. Shouga, the harem guy, is a decent, dull sort. The first girl, Konoe, is quiet and sweet and tries to kiss him on the first day. The main comic character (so far), Kannagi, has a scene so slowly-paced that the jokes fell flat. Maybe the girl dressed as a witch will liven things up. As for the setup, they’re teasing us with probably misleading clues, like that cell phone. There’s a whiff of KyoAni’s Key trilogy, not only in the slow pace but the fact the Shouga has some hazy memories, Konoe talks about destined meetings, etc., but visually this show can’t compete and I hope it doesn’t try. But there’s more girls to meet, so I’m not going to make a judgement on this show yet.
In Campione!, a guy named Godou travels to Italy to return an old artifact. He is accosted by a feisty blond named Erica who starts to push him around until she’s distracted by a giant pig that rampages through the city. He meets more weirdos of a cosmic nature, a sarcastic brunette, a lascivious witch or something named Lucrezia, and more gods appear. Apparently gods get loose and, having nothing better to do, start rampaging. I don’t need to tell you that his artifact has some power to it as well. I suspect we’ll be getting a lesson on ancient deities in this show. The battles are all right, but they’re so busy explaining things to us that they lose some effectiveness, especially the last one, where the exciting battle music seemed to go on forever. Godou might be an interesting lead. He starts by being a hapless fish out of water but soon gets a gleam in his eye and joins in the fun. Erica goes from feisty to starry-eyed a bit quick. I think the brunette died; I’m confused about that. Worth a couple more episodes.
Both parts of Polar Bear’s Cafe 14 are good. First, Polar Bear has the crazy idea to switch places with Panda for a day. It should be a disaster, but apart from the initial shock from Handa and some others, he’s a hit at the zoo. No surprise there; Polar Bear is the smoothest male character in anime today. In part two the three animals go to the beach and do all the normal beach things. Nothing much happens. Penguin complains that they don’t do anything much together (though they do), but since he gets to catch and dry some fish he can’t complain too much. Neither can I. After having a bunch of mostly mediocre new series dumped on me it’s nice to kick back and watch some wild animals hang out.