Alternative title(s): Koi wa Sekai Seifuku no Ato de
Manga Adaptation by project No.9
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Desumi and Fudo are hopelessly in love and learning the ins and outs of the dating game. There’s just one problem – she’s the Death Queen of the evil organization Gekko and he’s the leader of the Sentai squad Gelato 5, dedicated to foiling their plans.
This is a great idea with lots of comedic potential that’s ultimately let down by a pretty flat, uninspired presentation. Like a lot of middling anime comedies there aren’t really jokes so much as mildly amusing skits that sort of meander their way to a conclusion, never really delivering a punchline or building to an effective climax. The confession scene is a great example – it’s completely competent, and the revelation that he knows all about her because he’s been stalking her social media accounts should in theory be the perfect point to launch an increasingly escalating series of jokes. Instead, they kind of just do the bit again a few times before it fizzles out into a more conventional awkward romantic interaction. Which is fine, if the show seemed to be set on being a heartfelt romance story, but it’s not particularly good at that either, and the result is a production that feels awkwardly suspended between two poles, neither sharp and wicked enough to be a killer comedy nor character-focused and sincere enough to be a good drama.
I will say that even though the tokusatsu parodies and jokes are pretty broad and stick firmly to the culturally familiar cliches, they’re done well enough and with a decent amount of affection for the source material. I definitely could have done with some sly deeper cuts, but then that’s me, and that probably wouldn’t have been great for the overall watchability. Love After World Domination seems like a likable low-key show that will definitely hit the spot for some people. I’m not one of them, but you could do a lot worse.
The base premise of “Red Ranger is secretly dating the Obligatory Female Villain” has decent potential for a rom-com, and plenty of opportunity for jokes. The problem is that Love After World Domination barely has any jokes. It’s content to assume that the mere premise will keep you entertained for the whole runtime while the actual interactions between the characters are otherwise trite anime romance cliches. Now, of course, this is just judging the first episode; it’s possible things the show will leverage its ideas into more specific, interesting gags. I just don’t exactly have high hopes.