The Testament of Sister New Devil
by Rebecca Silverman,
While slightly more explicit than previous episodes, strictly in the sense that Basara uses his mouth instead of his hands when appeasing Mio, this is in no way the fanservice fest that the title implies. While it does commit my personal least favorite trope of the boob show – breasts that inexplicably move on their own (they're not filled with air, guys) – in one brief scene, this is an episode with a surprising amount of plot. Admittedly, for this show “a surprising amount of plot” isn't actually all that much, but still, definite steps are taken to move the story forward.
But first something that is remarkable only in how long it took the show to get to this point: Yuki is told by the village leaders to move in with Basara. I'm sure we all saw that coming, and along with it Maria's salacious wish to have Yuki also form THE MASTER-Servant Pact with Basara, but that it held out until episode eight is actually kind of impressive. Yuki is fairly low-key in her actions, which contrasts nicely with Mio's more heated emotions, but she's perhaps even more determined than the other girl to land Basara, and her quiet determination is certainly not endearing her to Mio. Maria, on the other hand, is eating it up. She whips out home movies of the maple syrup scene from a previous episode to show Yuki and plans to cast spells on Basara's desk at school to make girls rub themselves against the corners of it. She takes Basara on a tour of school make-out spots and then has a little bit of her way with him in Mio's locker. No one appears to be having more fun in this episode – and the show in general – than Maria.
Of course, there may be more to her than we know. The Demon World is clearly gearing up to something sinister, as we see at the end, and Maria is just as clearly playing some part. We can assume that it's against whoever is plotting against Mio (a horned man we see briefly), but the fact that we also see her out-and-out lie to Basara gives me pause. There is obviously major plot coming, and while I hope that Maria doesn't turn out to be as untrustworthy as I'm beginning to suspect, it would be a very good plot twist. At the moment, only we viewers are aware of what is really going on, however, as Basara appears to believe Maria when she makes up a story about her meeting with Takigawa. When this series delves into its more serious plot, it's actually quite intriguing, so the episode ends on a fairly strong note. Unfortunately it is still plagues by some very serious art issues, not only in terms of off-model characters, but also in that the rosy glow on the girls' skin has been overdone, making them look either like sunburn victims or like they suffer from boob zits. Since titillation is supposed to be a part of this show, that's a not a good area to mess up. The new bad guys do all have fairly interesting designs, however, with no uniformity in their horns and one girl inexplicably having two distinct sets of ears, which is interesting. Animation feels quite limited this week, which may be for the better, with a lot of still shots of people talking rather than much moving around. (The less said about the scene of Mio and Yuki swimming, the better.) There is one fairly nice moment as Yuki lifts her shirt over her head, but otherwise this doesn't look great.
The Testament of Sister New Devil may pick up in these last episodes of the season. There's a new threat to Mio that looks more alarming than the previous one and the addition of Yuki to the harem may make things move faster on the romantic front as well. Now we just have to hope that the show can follow through on these small promises.
The Testament of Sister New Devil is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rebecca Silverman is ANN's senior manga critic.
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