I finished watching The Asterisk War a few days ago and I needed time to really take in what I just viewed. I’ve got some shit to say on this one, first being that whoever exposed this series to me needs to DM me on Twitter so that we can have words. Second goes without saying but I should get a reward or compensation and I’ll need to think of a hashtag to make this official. I’m probably being harsh on this series but I’m not going to act like this series is good. I mean on paper it looks interesting enough and I went in with no expectations but I just couldn’t help but wanting more from nearly every aspect of the series. I think I could go on for a bit with this one so I’m just going to write a couple of paragraphs and see where it goes.
The soundtrack was good and I liked the character designs, I want to make sure that it doesn’t seem like I’m going to shit on this show. In all honesty this series hovers around the average zone in terms of quality because it looks as if it tries to play everything safe. I felt like there was just enough of a story to keep me watching but there was nothing that made me think this could be a standout show. I’m trying to think about it now as I write but the show really doesn’t do itself any favours in terms of making any memorable or enjoyable moments, it just goes along. I really have a load of thoughts that I think I’m going to write at the end of this post.
Three paragraphs in… and now I’m about to tell you the plot (or what I understand of it), so basically a meteorite struck the earth and gave humans superpowers, these superpowers interest people so much that the superhumans who are called genestella fight in different tournaments all year round called festas (this series only shows the phoenix festa) and the winners get their wishes granted. In response to the meteorite striking the earth, a group of people whose name I can’t and won’t try to remember take control of the earth as some kind of central government. The main character, a guy named Ayato goes to an academy with the hope of finding his sister who disappeared five years prior and this is probably as good as the explanation is going to get.
The other main characters in the series are called Julis, Saya, Kirin, Claudia, Lester and everyone else’s name will be dropped with some context (hopefully). Back to the plot, this show has 24 episodes and in spite of that, everything seems so rushed. There’s barely any explanation for anything like the origin of the festas, Ayato’s strength, the nature of the ogre lux’s (weapons) that they use and so many other things. It looks like this series just does stuff because… I just watched a bunch of anime tropes get clusterfucked into a ball of complete mediocrity. I know that it’s normal for anime to borrow from other anime but this was just so in your face with it, I really felt like I could say that I’ve seen this before for so many things with this series and it would be an accurate description for this series despite the fact that it’s such a general statement. Most of the episodes that take place before the phoenix festa really didn’t do anything to stamp home any relevance which isn’t a good thing given how many characters they introduced. I think I could say more about the plot but then it might start getting to the point where I nitpick, in all honesty it’s one of those shows that you have to watch for yourself to see how many questions you end up asking.
If I had to say that there was a sticking point for what was bad about this series, it was the characters themselves. They all failed to be interesting and completely drowned in the presence of Ayato which I’ll get into later. All of the main characters were meant to be strong somewhat but it’s hard to buy into their strength when watching how far they were eclipsed by Ayato. Other than trying to get Ayato’s attention, I really had trouble making out their personalities e.g I know that Julis was meant to be a strong willed character but outside of her talking about her goals I couldn’t see it and everyone else was… well… everyone else.
Ayato was by far the biggest sin of this series when it came to characters. He was perfect, which I’ve learned is awful. He came into the school supremely strong, quickly activated the fan service of this show if you look at the first scene, had an attitude where he couldn’t be bothered by anything and became the guy that everybody decided to over rely on. I don’t get too bothered this stuff but he had no flaws which meant that there was no room for growth as a character, there was no room for tension and it became disrespectfully obvious that Ayato was going to win the phoenix festa. Ayato was bland as a character which isn’t always bad but in his case it was, he was a prime example of the series playing it safe because it meant that the main group of characters could never get into a truly sticky situation as Ayato would always be there to bail them out. There never ever seemed as if there could be tension within the group because in the case that there was Ayato would probably solve the issue. I always wondered what kind of overpowered main character bs that Ayato would pull and when it came to the first fight of the phoenix festa, I just had to wait for the series to outdo itself. I could never really tell if Ayato’s motive was to find his sister or to bone Julis because he did a poor job with both, even the whole thing of him being whipped by Julis made little sense to me, I mean in real life there are guys who play the game that way and will endure nonsense from women as long as they end up doing the dirty but anime doesn’t usually work that way. It just seemed like the show tried to make Ayato cool by taking the best qualities of any imagined character and putting it into one hoping for the best and instead it ended up being a disaster. I get how having the best qualities ever makes you seem more interesting but it puts characters out of touch with the audience because there’s nobody on this earth who could possibly be the way that he is in any sense.
I’m going to be honest, this isn’t anywhere near one of my best posts but thinking and writing about this series makes me tired so I’m just going to put the rest in notes.
- From the first episode I got the feeling that it would be better for the world if I finished this show as quickly as possible.
- From the first few minutes of episode 2 it was obvious that a lot of girls in this series would take to Ayato.
- In episode 2 I learned that Julis isn’t a snitch and even though in that case it didn’t make sense, I respected it!
- Ayato’s sister was obviously alive, this wasn’t even shocking.
- I used to play these sim date games when I was younger and this show gives me that vibe.
- When the people attacking Julis turned out to be puppets made by a guy named Silas (whose name I just learned at that point) I was disappointed.
- I was hoping that this series wouldn’t turn into a love story but that would have been better than what I watched.
- Some of the camera angles in Ayato’s fight with Kirin didn’t make any sense.
- Kirin is 13? The fan service in this show knows no bounds.
- I didn’t know what prana was until it got mentioned in episode 7 but when it was mentioned, it was as if I was meant to know what it was.
- Ayato and Kirin’s interactions always give that I need an adult, I am an adult vibe.
- So the girls in the series want to be petted on the head by Ayato? I don’t know if I have to say what I’m thinking here.
- Lester is useless.
- It was hard to be interested in Claudia’s ability when they weren’t really showcased.
- How many moves does Ayato know?
- The fight between Ayato and Irene was pointless (there’s someone in the series called Irene), nothing went into the build-up.
- Ayato and Julis’ relationship is probably the most realistic part about him, sometimes you just wanna hit it for no reason.
- Ayato unlocking the next level of his power could have been interesting if he wasn’t already stupidly strong.
- Ayato and Julis vs AR-D and RM-C wasn’t interesting at all, especially considering that Ayato was already out of their league.
- Why was Julis told about Ayato’s sword taking the ideal form of its wielder and Ayato wasn’t?