First Look: Conception

Game Adaptation by Gonzo
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Itsuki Yuge is brought by his cousin Mahiru to his schools rooftop to reveal her secret: She’s pregnant. When they then get transported to an alternate world and her baby turns out to be a demon, it becomes Itsuki’s destiny to bone the zodiac. This is actually what happened.

Marlin’s verdict: Well That Was Very Literal.

All first-hand accounts of this game was that its idea was always more of a figurative procreation going on here, but this seems to be completely abandoned for this adaptation. Bizarrely enough, we start out the show with incredibly detailed yet silhouetted images of naked women, which should have clued me in to the departure from source material this anime seems to be taking. What’s really bizarre is the juxtaposition of really slick animation in the demon fighting scene, including a drastic departure from normal anime artstyle that almost reminded me of western design, with a scene where Itsuki fumbles around with a cami strap for literally twenty seconds.

Just lie back and think of England.

The characters are all pretty bizarre, seemingly introduced just to get abandoned in the next scene. I get that the weird flying tanuki was probably in the original game to make all the innuendo that the game couldn’t manifest without getting a mature rating, but now that there is actual sex involved she becomes an incredibly unsettling figure. I’d suspect she was the real villain if I didn’t know just how closely this game is trying to ape Persona. Our main pair also seem to suffer from the consequence of trying to craft dialogue out of the multiple-choice nature of a dating sim. Our hero vacillates between understandable bewilderment and an undeserved braggadocio reminiscent of the Persona 4 anime’s interpretation of its own lead. Then we get to this absolutely awkward lovemaking scene where, even after the girl admits she wouldn’t mind consenting to sex under normal circumstances, Itsuki still has to make things weird by talking about their mission to save the world and go home. It’s so bizarre I’d almost say you have to see it to believe it, but it’s also so sleazy that I’m not sure I can do that in good faith.

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