Asterisk War – Season 1

Asterisk War – Season 1

Invertia was an unprecedented disaster that struck the world during the 20th century. As a result, numerous cities around the world were destroyed. However, within the meteor, an unknown element called mana was discovered, which allowed human technology to make rapid strides. This also gave rise to a new species of human born with unique skills – the Star Pulse Generation, or Genestella. The setting for the world’s greatest comprehensive battle spectacle, the Festas, is an academy city above the water surrounded by six academies called Rikka also commonly known as Asterisk.
Ayato Amagiri has transferred to Seidōkan Academy and soon finds himself in a duel with fellow student Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld. The Phoenix Festa is coming up, and she needs a tag-team partner – but no one matches her standards. Could Ayato and his bound powers of imprisonment be what she needs to succeed? Meanwhile, there is civil unrest beginning within the six academies.

I have a real weak spot for this kind of anime. Supernatural battles in a school-like setting. It’s straight up my alley for an easy, fun watch. From the very beginning, I felt that this one was similar to World Break: Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman (but with better animation, better-rounded supporting characters and a more interesting plot) and Blade Dance of the Elementalers. Ayato and Julia also remind me quite a bit of Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online – a male lead stronger than what is usual and a fiery female protagonist (although Asuna isn’t as painfully tsundere as Julis clearly is).

From the very beginning, we see an interesting range of powers wielded by the students with an ambitious cast of characters. The fact that there are six academies, each with their own president and shortlist of their strongest warriors participating in the up-coming Phoenix Festa, indicates that things might just spiral out of hand. However, things have worked well so far due to the strong variation within their attacks and abilities, meaning that we don’t need extensive character development in order to differentiate between them.

Alongside Ayato learning about his powers and the audience realising that there’s more to Julis than her tsundere-hime first impression, we also have a bit of intrigue coming from Claudia Enfield, the Student Council President. Though she is smiling and mild-mannered, there is more to her than meets the eye, especially when she meets with the other Student Council Presidents from the other five academies. It is unclear yet just what her interest in Ayato is.

Since her first appearance, Kirin has quickly become my favourite character in this series. A timid child prodigy when it comes to kenjutsu, but under the strict discipline of her emotionless uncle. So far she’s been mysterious and it seems that there’s still lots to learn about her. Though I fail to understand why she, at 13, has such large breasts. It is certainly one of the many mysteries currently surrounding her.

Which leads me straight onto my next point; Asterix Wars didn’t exactly get off to the strongest of starts. In the first couple of episodes there was a little bit of fanservice that put me off, so it took me another couple of episodes to really warm up to it. Thankfully the plot soon developed some depth and moved away from such shallow means of garnering interest. It can also be difficult to keep up with all the strange terms used and what they actually mean: prana, ogre lux, strega – they’re words that are not easily remembered, especially when they’re not properly explained. Some of the situations get a bit cliche and there are the usual harem-esque tropes making an appearance but, all in all, this is a pretty well-rounded title.

Asterisk War‘s ending sequence and song is one of the most memorable in the Autumn 2015 line-up. The artwork is slightly different to what it used within the actual anime – a sort of unlined, unblended style slightly reminiscent of cut-outs that is occasionally used in anime artwork. It’s one of my favourites as I find it particularly striking.

The fight scenes have been impressive. They’re fast, varied with some interesting attacks. The elemental powers and glowing blades also contribute to some great visuals. Tension has been building up between students of rival academies for some episodes and, as a result I’m looking forward to when the Phoenix Festa officially begins.

Though nothing groundbreaking within the sci-fi magical-action genre, Asterisk War is a strong enough title that can stand on its own. It is a concept that continues to interest me set in a very compelling world. Though not much explanation is made into how these students developed these powers and some things remain vague, they are often forgotten when the action gets going. If the action continues to ramp up and delivers on my expectations regarding battles and animation, I will be satisfied. It’s not going to break any moulds, but it’s an enjoyable watch.