The Fall 2015 Anime Preview Guide
Testament of Sister New Devil BURST
How would you rate episode 1 of
The Testament of Sister New Devil BURST ?
Well, this show is certainly back. Testament of Sister New Devil BURST works very hard in its first episode to remind you of its predecessor, which aired some time ago, so I can't really blame the sequel for needing to go over many similar scenes and themes. Once again we open with Basara's father Jin fighting a demon lord before hopping over to Basara's house for a heavily censored orgasm scene for Mio, who is apparently dreaming of Basara, her “onii-chan.” The rest of the episode is basically scenes of everyday school life – there's a sports festival coming up! - with foreshadowing for the rest of the season: someone, most probably Hasegawa-sensei, the overly friendly school doctor, is controlling others with magic. As set ups for future episodes go, it's actually not bad, and the bigger question seems to me to be not who will be controlled, but whether or not the controller wants to work against Basara or to win him over to her side. As with the previous season, how this gets played out will determine whether the plot is watchable, because if you're in this for the fanservice, it is once again censored quite a bit. The major exception to that thus far appears to be in the jiggling breasts department, with the best animated moments in this episode belonging to the dangling bosoms of Mio and Yuki when Maria dresses them up as “bitches” (Yuki's word) for Basara's delectation.
There's an interesting formula used for this episode that doesn't quite work, with the very deliberate mix of school and fighting/magic. It almost feels like a one-for-one situation: one scene of school, one magic bit. One scene of school, one magic zombie. While it could easily be to show the way Basara's life feels to him, equal parts normal and supernatural, it feels a bit too contrived to truly flow, and the fact that neither part really seems to have any effect on Basara himself – he doesn't even really get ruffled when he's attacked on the train platform – it just generally falls flat. Mostly it feels like a contrivance to get Yuki's sister involved in his harem, which most definitely happens towards the end of the episode, when Maria bespells her and then has Basara and Yuki work together to bring her to orgasm. This, I felt, was the most uncomfortable section, not only because Kurumi is even less comfortable with it than Mio initially was, but also because, well, incest factor. To be honest, I'm usually able to write that off with an, “eh, fiction,” but for some reason this felt more uncomfortable than usual, possible because of the consent issue.
As was the norm with the previous season, the animation here is pretty lazy and unattractive, with very stiff movements and shortcuts. Also as with the previous series, Maria remains a highlight (despite my thoughts in the previous paragraph), combining her own perverse personality with a vulnerability that makes for a nice relationship with Basara despite all odds. She also seems to suffer the least in terms of character design and animation, generally looking better than the rest of the characters.
While I did eventually come to enjoy the previous season of this show, this first episode isn't making me want to continue the journey. It adds uncomfortable elements and doesn't do enough to intrigue me with the new plot and villain, plus it still looks fairly unattractive in both art and animation. Unless you loved the first season, I'm not sure that this one will have a lot to offer, and since it certainly can't be watched unless you've seen season one, I feel like it can be safely left alone.
Testament of Sister New Devil BURST is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
Review: After two season off, Testament of New Sister Devil has resumed with the exact scene that the first season ended on: with Basara's father Jin confronting Leohart, the current Demon Lord, in his throne room to seek payback for messing with his children. Quickly he shows why he is a man whom even Demon Lords must reckon with. Meanwhile, back in the human world things have settled down a bit for Basara and crew, enough so that Basara has joined the executive committee for the upcoming sports festival. Encounters with Hasegawa, the school nurse, suggest much more to her than meets the eye, and indeed, the departing Yahiro/Lars even warns Yuki and Mio to be wary of her. Thanks to Maria's perverse mind, that eventually leads to Yuki and Mio dressing up in sexy lingerie and dog ears to entice Basara into relations to further strengthen their bonds and thus their powers (the dog thing because they are Basara's “bitches,” you see – and yes, Yuki even outright says that). The problem is that Kurumi accompanied Basara home that day after meeting him and informing him that she had been sent as an additional observer, but when Kurumi objects to this Maria decides to bring her in on the fun by making her experience an arousal reaction similar to the one Mio and Yuki get when their bonds are activated. This naturally result in Basara having to attend to her with Yuki's help. And yes, you can still interpret that as probably meaning “bring her to orgasm.”
So it looks like Kurumi is getting officially added to the harem, which seemed predestined to happen based on some of the late episodes of the first season. Zest's prominent appearances in the opener suggest that she, too, will eventually be in the mix, no doubt to the consternation of Mio, who is shown to be having naughty dreams about Basara. Finally seeing Basara's father in action is pretty cool, and Maria's wonderfully lewd mind and “amused at the world” demeanor continue to be one of the franchise's most appreciable aspects. Those who like their fan service will find no shortage of censor-worthy content, although any last shred of self-respect or dignity that Yuki might have had died when she got down on all fours while wearing that revealing lingerie-and-dog-ears outfit. (This would apply to Mio, too, is she hadn't already fully lost her dignity in the first season.) In terms of fan service intensity the franchise is still about on the level of a To Love-Ru Darkness, though its frequency is less and the first episode, at least, does not obsess over it quite as much.
The weaknesses of the first season are also still fully evident. The animation is nothing special, with a lot of stills being used, and the same could be said about both the artistry in general and the character designs in particular. More so than a lot of these series, it also completely debases its female characters; only Maria is free of this, and that's because her status as both a succubus and the instigator of a lot of the sexual shenanigans essentially makes her immune.
As harem series go, this one is still above-average in the fan service but mediocre otherwise.
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