Alternative title(s): Deatte 5-byou de Battle, Battle in 5 seconds after meeting
Manga Adaptation by Vega Entertainment and SynergySP
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Akira Shiroyanagi is an introverted schoolboy whose only interest is games. One day he’s confronted by a monstrous being who attempts to kill him, then recruited by a mysterious lady named Mion to be part of a superpowered series of deadly duels.
This show is kind of notable for being a thing we don’t see a huge amount of any more – honest-to-god shonen battle trash. It feels like the type of schlock that would grace the back pages of a second tier magazine like Shonen Sunday in the early 2000s, and would probably have received a workmanlike anime adaptation destined for North American bargain bins. Which is to say, there’s basically nothing inspired or revelatory here, but there’s also nothing egregiously offensive or atrocious either. I do think our main character isn’t particularly likable, and I remain baffled by anime & manga’s continued insistence that the easiest way to relate to people is to have them explain everything in video game language, but at least he’s fairly quick on the uptake and not ridiculously overpowered.
In fact there’s decent potential behind the main gimmick of ‘my power is what you think it is’ and some good writing could lead to some clever conundrums our hero has to wriggle out of. Alternatively of course bad writing might bless us with a surplus of Batman style, the-tape-knew-you-would-say-that deductions out of nowhere, so it could really go either way. Aside from the always delightful Mayumi Shintani on vocal duties though, there isn’t really much else to make Battle Game in 5 Seconds stand out though. If you’re after some old-school shonen garbage, I can see this being solid anime comfort food. Just don’t expect anything beyond that.