First Look: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

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Alternative titles: Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!
Anime Original by Diomedéa
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

The conveniently named Earth Defense club is about to disband as they are short one member and too lazy to do anything about it. That all changes when a mysterious visitor from space grants them the special powers they need to live up to their title.

Artemis’ verdict: Too Bad The Content Isn’t As Enthusiastic As The Title

Imagine Sailor Moon if the main cast members were all guys, but still with all the sparkly jewellery, magical wands, and low-level nude transformation sequences. Now add a dash Lucky Star into the mix – you know, deeply philosophical conversations about nothing in particular, like which end of the chocolate cornet is the head the importance of chikuwabu as an oden ingredient. Finally, dump a bright pink alien-wombat into the mix just for shits and giggles, and I guess you’d end up with something like this. Truthfully, I’m a little confused about where I stand on it; as an obvious parody, it seems weird to take the show with any kind of seriousness, but the problem is that the jokes aren’t actually all that smart or funny on their own terms. They’re not even outrageous enough to push the envelope like Excel Saga or Puni Puni Poemy did in their day – at best, comedy levels reach ‘mildly amusing’, and Binan certainly can’t rely on its production values to take up the slack. On the surface it sounds like a lot of fun, but in reality, this strikes me as disappointingly lacklustre so far.

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Jel’s verdict: Infatuated

I love dumb humor and even silly parodies can be great in moderation, so I was pleasantly surprised how funny this first episode was. Between the boys’ immediately wanting nothing to do with a talking pink wombat and the fact that he might have murdered a 77 year old man to accomplish his mission, I’d say our mysterious alien friend was my favorite part of the comedy. Even the parody aspect, which has a lot of Magical Girl and Super Sentai send ups via Sailor Moon, was amusing and right on point. It makes you wonder, do characters like that spend time planning their attack names or do they just spout the first stream of consciousness nonsense that comes to mind? Overall I had a good laugh with Earth Defense Club but I’m not sure where else they can take it without beating the same jokes to death. I think they may have at least earned another episode to find out.

Marlin’s verdict: Amusing

This was one of the rare shows that didn’t have a completely terrible premise, so I’m actually not surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did.Some of the jokes landed pretty well, most especially the parody of the mascot trying to blend into human society. It also had some pretty decent character introductions compared to your average LN adaptation these days. The battle also reminded me a lot of the goofier episodes of Samurai Flamenco when he’d be defeating some random sentai monster spoof. Anything that can make a good joke out of attack names and transformation sequences does a pretty good job in my book. I share some of Jel’s worries, but I think I’m willing to give this show a shot. That is not something you can say about many of the series that have come through so far.

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