Alternative titles: Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, The Asterisk War: The Academy City on the Water, Anime Was A Mistake
Light Novel Adaptation by A-1 Pictures
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Students can join magical academies and fight each other in magical battles. It’s as original as it sounds, believe me.
Euri’s verdict: The Boring War: The Boring City on the Boring
A-1 Pictures certainly has a shaky track record, but given we’re coming straight off the back of Working!!!, a show which I think surprised everyone after a completely forgettable second season, I can’t help but be disappointed. The Asterisk War is a bad show, that much is certain, but it’s not as gross as Lance N’ Masques, and it doesn’t have art that looks horrendous or a completely unfathomable plot. It’s bad because the show is devoid of evidence that the creator is capable of free thought. It’s a cookie-cutter show about students that attend a magical academy, and we’ve seen it all before.
It’s unreasonable to be angry, really. A-1 Pictures didn’t pick this show up because they thought it would be the next big thing, and I’d be surprised if Yuu Miyazaki, the writer of the light novels, thought so either. It’s average in every way; a completely safe bet on all sides. It’s unfortunate, but this is the current state of anime. There are going to be thousands of people all over the world who are going to be really into The Asterisk War, and if you’re one of them, that’s great! It’s good that you can still enjoy these kinds of shows, truthfully, but we can do so much better than this. Elliot Gay over at Doki Doki Kusoge tweeted an image that compares The Asterisk War with Chivalry of a Failed Knight (which also aired this season, so stay tuned for that review!) and I think it shows pretty well just how regurgitated these shows are becoming.
So yeah, I’m disappointed. The Asterisk War just doesn’t do anything original that I can point out and comment on, be it positively or negatively. It’s just another show that focuses on students in an academy, features accidental breast groping and walking in on someone getting changed, with flashy and completely uninspiring magical battles to string it all together. It’s okay, though, because there are some genuinely good shows airing this season, and I know that when I complain about cookie-cutter shows again in three to six months time, I’m not going to remember the name of this one.
Jel’s verdict: This Show Sucks*
Rather than waste time saying how all these light novel power fantasies are identical, I’m going to share my results from playing Iro’s Light Novel Mad Libs Bingo and laugh hysterically. I will write a new review when they decide to write a new show.
*Footnote: this show sucks
Iro’s verdict: Light Novel Mad Libs
If you needed any evidence that light novels (and consequently, anime adaptations thereof) are disgustingly formulaic these days, just compare this show with Chivalry of a Failed Knight. They’re almost indistinguishable. Skip it.