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by Kevin Cormack,

Sasaki and Peeps

Season One Anime Series Review

Sasaki and Peeps Season One Anime Series Review

39-year-old Sasaki is an average Japanese salaryman. He lives in a modest apartment, works long hours for a small trading company, and harbors little ambition to rise further in the cutthroat business world. When he decides that a pet would enhance his simple life, little does he know that the tiny Java sparrow he adopts will become his ticket to a crazy adventure involving magic powers, parallel realities, psychic warfare, and psychotic magical girls. For Peeps – his beloved new pet – is the reincarnated "Star Sage" from another dimension. Sasaki's world is about to be expanded in myriad dizzying ways.

Sasaki and Peeps is based on the light novels written by Buncololi, and streams on Crunchyroll.


Sasaki and Peeps surely represent the end stage of the Japanese light novel explosion. We've run out of endlessly iterative and overcomplicated isekai power fantasy concepts, flashy and violent psychic battling's getting old, and magical girls have been deconstructed over and over until there's nothing left but rusty wands and tear-stained, torn petticoats. So I can only imagine Sasaki and Peeps' author's story pitch was "Screw 'Less Is More.' Let's do everything. Just shove it all in there." For better or worse, they succeeded. In its animated incarnation, Sasaki and Peeps is Overstuffed Smörgåsbord – The Anime.

Opening with a double-length first episode was a gamble that I'm not entirely sure paid off. I guess it was important to cram in as much of the extremely chaotic world-building as possible, but for an adaptation as sluggishly paced and leadenly directed as Sasaki and Peeps, it may well have driven potential viewers away. It took me two attempts to get through the opener purely because my eyes glazed over, and before I knew it, the episode ended.

I forced myself to pay attention on my second attempt, and I admit the unassuming and polite Sasaki somewhat took me, his delightful little bird sidekick, and the frankly deranged storytelling pattern. Sasaki and Peeps add handfuls of new plot points, such as the original author being a spirited kid attempting to relate an overly complex story. "And then this happened, and then this, and then this, and then this…" We've only just gotten used to the idea that Peeps is a former human wizard isekai-d to modern Japan in the body of a talking bird when he spirits the dumbfounded Sasaki to the Otherworld and teaches him magic.

But oh-ho! Back in his home world, Sasaki's recruited by a shadowy government organization to use his new powers as part of their war against illegal psychics. Plus, Sasaki's teenage schoolgirl neighbor has latent yandere tendencies and a worryingly developing fixation on him. Plus – a homicidal magical girl appears! None of these concepts get a chance to develop or breathe as the show plunges headlong into the next random thing.

It's not as if these new developments happen organically, either. So much of the plot is carried by Sasaki's humdrum narration, which is used for lazy infodumps. Characters don't interact as much as Sasaki narrates their actions. You'd think an anime that rams so many fantasy concepts into a single season would at least be wild, uncontrolled fun - but it's never more than mildly interesting at best and, at worst, deathly boring. The animation never rises above barely serviceable, even for what might be generously classed as "action sequences."

Take the extended storyline about the incarcerated Marc in the painfully generic Otherworld. Sasaki and his various associates stress about how "oh no, it's such a disaster" that this inconsequential non-character is in prison. I didn't care, and several episodes focused on this most pointless of side plots while the rest of the show suffered.

The plots in Sasaki's world are marginally more interesting – at least until we discover hyper-competent, career-obsessed psychic co-worker Hoshizaki is only a sixteen-year-old girl, draining her of all interest to me. Although Sasaki shows zero sexual inclination towards any of the female characters he meets, there's an unsettling focus on him associating with minors. Elsa in the otherworld is an actual child with a crush on Sasaki, the initially antagonistic Shizuka looks like a little girl despite her apparently advanced age, plus there's the aforementioned proto-yandere schoolgirl neighbor. An anime that associates a middle-aged man with a school-aged harem feels off-color.

Peeps himself is one of the show's saving graces – voiced by the legendary Aoi Yūki (seriously, are there any roles she can't succeed in?) – he's adorably cute. Most of the scattershot humor that lands involves him directly. I like that he's not completely perfect, despite his formidable powers – he screws up, sometimes hilariously. The rest of the supporting cast is somewhat lacking in charisma – especially in the Otherworld. Sasaki's business of selling convenience store items at vastly inflated prices in a technologically primitive world would be a fun concept if it hadn't been done multiple times before and better.

I can't end this review without expressing my abject revulsion over the ungodly abomination that comprises the ending sequence animation. I can't understand what kind of profound emotional damage or hatred of one's fellow man drove the animators to produce this horrifyingly unnatural assault on all that's holy. From Sasaki's unchanging "I'm dead inside" facial expression to the shiny plastic terror of the characters' bodies, this CG-animated cavalcade of pain will live long in my nightmares. That's one way to leave a lasting legacy, I suppose.

Overall (sub) : C
Story : C
Animation : C-
Art : C
Music : C

+ Peeps is fun. Interesting mashup of varied storytelling tropes. Some genuinely humorous moments.
Execution leaves much to be desired. Unfocused storytelling and flat, uninspired direction.

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Production Info:
Director: Mirai Minato
Series Composition: Deko Akao
Deko Akao
Nanami Hoshino
Akira Nishikubo
Goichi Iwahata
Hiromitsu Kanazawa
Mirai Minato
Takanori Minoura
Akira Nishimori
Junya Nishioka
Miyana Okita
Seiji Okuda
Kōji Sawai
Namako Umino
Shinichi Watanabe
Hideyo Yamamoto
Episode Director:
Haruka Hirota
Naoki Hishikawa
Yūshi Ibe
Mika Inoue
Hiroshi Maejima
Mirai Minato
Yamato Ouchi
Ryūta Yamamoto
Unit Director:
Takanori Minoura
Junya Nishioka
Original creator: Buncololi
Original Character Design: Kantoku
Character Design: Saori Nakashiki
Art Director: Yūki Araki
Chief Animation Director:
Saori Nakashiki
Miwa Oshima
Yuki Sawairi
Kazuyuki Yamayoshi
Animation Director:
Ayana Fuji
Minami Hoshino
Mika Inoue
Seiya Ishida
Towa Kadomatsu
Kazutaka Kawamoto
Jung Nam Kim
Yumiko Kinoshita
Misaki Kitamura
Tamami Kobayashi
Kōsei Kudo
Nono Kumai
Guang Long
Kaoru Maehara
Hiroshi Maejima
Maki Murakami
Masami Nagata
Yuka Nagata
Keisuke Nishijima
Kazunori Ozawa
Takurō Sakurai
Yuki Sawairi
Hideaki Shimada
Ryōta Shimizu
Takanori Suzuki
Hiroshi Takeuchi
Yoshino Takura
Miho Todoroki
Shintaro Tsubota
Yūji Wada
Zhi Peng Wu
Tatsuya Yada
Michitaka Yamamoto
Hua Zhai
Sound Director: Nobuyuki Abe
Director of Photography: Yūtarō Kikuchi
Executive producer:
Keisuke Sano
Haruki Satomi
Kosuke Shukuwa
Asa Suehira
Yukihiro Sugitani
Shō Tanaka
Hiroyasu Taniguchi
Sou Yurugi
Kōsuke Arai
Hayato Kaneko
Yukari Kuwayama
Akihiro Narita
Shuka Nishimae
Shun Orui
Kenichi Tokumura
Shunichi Uemura

Full encyclopedia details about
Sasaki and Peeps (TV)

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