You know, after the first episode of this show, I didn’t think it was possible that I could actually be more confused about the actual plot than I already was. However, this episode certainly proved me wrong, providing very little detail about anything relevant while at the same time raising even more questions about the show than I already had. Not only that, but the entire episode felt like a tool to force all of the characters to interact with each other instead of an actual attempt to expand the story.
The explanation for what the giant chocolate monster was in the first episode is very rushed and makes almost no sense. All that’s given is that some deity is residing within Sasami’s brother for whatever reason and it uses it’s power to grant whatever random desire he has. Also, apparently this world is full of god-things, which isn’t explained in the slightest; it only mentions the one in the brother is the strongest. So, if that wasn’t enough to confuse you, it’s also revealed at the end of the episode that whatever kind of god is in her brother was at one point inside Sasami… or something like that.
So, I think it’s safe to assume that this is a show that isn’t going to be very adept at conveying it’s story, because even the actual story of this episode didn’t make too much sense. They explain that a lot of students are missing from school and that they think a large number of them are skipping because they’re playing some MMO game. And so, they decide to pretty much play the game to find out why people are skipping, as stupid as that sounds. I mean, what are they even trying to find out, if kids are actually skipping school because of the game or not? Can’t they just ask the students themselves, or maybe their parents? Also, why the fuck do they need to go to Sasami’s house to use her computers? I’m pretty sure a robot-person would have a laptop or two lying around somewhere, and a school in Japan in this day and age has to have plenty of computers for faculty to use. As a matter of fact, Shana-knock-off-girl was even playing some hentai game on one in the first episode. So it makes no sense for all them just to go to Sasami’s house just for her computers, but like I said, it’s just an excuse to get the characters to interact with each other.
And in my opinion, the characters are all pretty weak. Out of the three main girls, the blonde girl (who is apparently in elementary school) is pretty much a complete throw-away character. The other two girls, whose names I can’t even remember, aren’t much better and aren’t really anything beyond what their appearances suggest about their obvious archetypes. See, I can’t even remember their names, that’s how uninspired and stock they are. Sasami’s brother is also very annoying and is practically more of a plot point than an actual character. Sasami, though better in almost every way than the rest of the cast, still isn’t all that interesting in the end. When everything is said and done, she’s a very standard smart but socially awkward hikikomori character who doesn’t seem to venture too far from that trope.
Despite Shaft being pretty as always, I really don’t think this will end up being that great of a series. At this point I wouldn’t even be surprised that directors know they can probably coast on Shaft’s popularity and not try as hard to really make the story all that great. The characters are pretty bland and forgettable and there isn’t a much of a concrete story to be found in all of this. One thing I will say is that I’ve liked a lot of the background music in this show, because for whatever reason there’s been a fair amount of blues/rock music in it, which is kind of odd, but it’s nice to see the show at least has some variety in that aspect.