First Look: Matoi the Sacred Slayer

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Alternative titles: Soushin Shoujo Matoi
Anime Original by WHITE FOX
Streaming on The Anime Network and Hulu

Premise

Matoi Ryuuuuuukoooooo Sumeragi is a young shrine maiden whose life turns upside down when she accidentally activates an exorcism ritual and becomes a magical girl. Then her dad gropes her chest.

Iro’s verdict: This Shouldn’t Be Standard But It Is

I’m glad I can still be upset by stuff like this, because it means I’m not too far gone. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is basically your bog-standard magical girl show, with nothing to set it apart from the rest of the pack. Like, even the gross fanservice stuff – seriously, are you going to have her own Dad hit on her magical girl form? – wasn’t even surprising. All I could do was hope that they wouldn’t go for the easy “jokes”, but they did anyway, because this is just how things fucking are. I hate this. This is why we can’t have nice things. Anime was a mistake.

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Jel’s verdict: Soulless

Matoi the Sacred Slayer was so empty and uninspired that I’m hard pressed to even think of what to say about it. It’s basically your stock magical girl story with our plain heroine who just wants to be normal stumbling into her super powers in a time of need. The only spin on it is tacking on some medieval Japanese exorcism bits but even that is not a terribly original concept. Add in the fact that the male cast is completely characterized by their fascination with boobs and the show being more than happy to comply, and this is just a huge waste of time. I’m not even going to get into the terrible production values, with some of the worst in between frames I’ve seen in a long time, and how it’s downright embarrassing but… well, I guess I just did, so there you go.

Aqua’s verdict: Five By Zero

In a season swarmed with magical girl shows for no apparent reason, most contenders are trying to establish a niche of their own. There’s the puerile brutality of Magical Girl Raising Project, the fantastical psychedelica of Flip Flappers, the techno-action grit of ViVid Strike! and then there is Matoi the Sacred Slayer. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is just kind of there. For their first anime original, studio White Fox play things very safe with this bland affair, seemingly the result of a three-hour brainstorming session AnoNatsu creator Yousuke Kuroda had with five convicted sex offenders and a copy of ‘How to Write Magical Girl Shows for Grown Men with No Standards’. Say what you want about the Nanoha franchise and all the unspeakable ills it’s inflicted on the magical girl genre, at least it had some original ideas. Matoi, on the other hand, feels like a rejected light novel with some magical girl tropes mixed in.

matoi

Granted, those willing to look will find some redeeming value here. The interplay between Matoi’s generic anime teenage girl shenanigans and her father’s police investigations works nicely, while White Fox’ animation is still pretty enough to look at. The Mako Makanshouku-esque interjections by Matoi’s gal pal Yuma manage to inject some chuckles, too, but in the end there’s little positives here that can’t be attributed to some poor animator or voice actress’ desperate attempts to liven up a project that is so fundamentally and chronically dismal. Matoi the Sacred Slayer is little more than the umpteenth magical girl show that justifies its ‘older’ target audience only by dosing up with cringeworthy amounts of jiggling breasts, sex jokes and naked middle schoolers. But hey, let’s look at the silver lining – at least shows like these keep the perverted nerds away from the proper magical girl shows.

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