This Week in Anime
Big Order is a Trashy Treasure

by Steve Jones & Nicholas Dupree,

A writer by the name of Nicholas Dupree thought that he won the upperhand when, in exchange for watching Eiken, he was guaranteed one (1) TWIA column about the animated travesty known as BIG ORDER. Let's just say no one made it out of this excursion with a Happy Meal.

CONTENT WARNING: Nothing you're about to read qualifies as "good taste." There is censored nudity too, so consider this TWIA NSFW.

This series is streaming on Crunchyroll

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.

@Lossthief @mouse_inhouse @NickyEnchilada @vestenet


Nick
Steve, it's time. We waited for this. Worked for this. Suffered for this. But it's finally here: BIG ORDER TWIA HAS ARRIVED!
Steve
Thank you for all of your hard work in making this one happen, Nick. You drove a hard bargain, but in the end, Lynzee had no choice but to let us do this. And I think the best part is how few regrets you must surely have about this whole experience.
Listen, we'll get to that OVA. But first we should probably explain to all the fetuses who weren't anime fans in 2016 just what makes BIG ORDER so special.
God, this is a show near and dear to my heart. And I'm afraid we're probably going to cover all of its best moments here, so if you have any inkling of a desire to experience this big beautiful trainwreck on your own, turn back now. Otherwise, let's turn up the jazz and talk about what good writing looks like.
BIG ORDER is a show based on a manga of the same name, written by The Future Diary creator Sakae Esuno. And it is perhaps the quintessential Bad Anime. Nearly every bad thing that an anime can do, it does, with the passion and verve that can only come from unbridled ambition colliding with horrifically tasteless creative drive. If you like watching bad things, this is a dumpster made for you and you owe it to yourself to roll around in it.
It's so good, and so immediately obvious how desperate it is to make that Future Diary lightning strike twice. In fact, it's pretty much the same premise, but done even more tastelessly, and worse, which I have to respect. And don't take my word for it: take the word of Yuno Gasai, who is just given a slight dye job and tossed wholesale into this anime.
It's so blatant you have to laugh. Though it's worth noting that this show's Yuki is far, far stupider, which is saying a lot. Also he's a super villain who canonically killed billions of people by wishing to be his favorite cartoon character.
Yeah so the basic premise is that Eiji here accidentally destroyed the world because something happened that made wishes come true. Whoops! Now it's 10 years later, everything is terrible, and there are a bunch of people called Orders running around who have also been granted the power to materialize their wishes. How? Who cares! The more important point is that every Order gets a butt-ugly CGI Stand-reject to help them fight "cool" battles. And I'm just now realizing I don't actually have a good screenshot of one of the Order avatars, because they all look so shitty.
I got u man

That it decidedly not a perfect clock, my guy.
Who needs character design when you can slap some noodly arms on a Casio? Eiji's looks like a half-asleep mummy.
But yes, everyone has terrible looking Stands with dumb, broken powers. Like Rin, who is literally unkillable:
Right, so the quirk is that their power is a direct result of whatever wish they happened to make at the time. That might sound interesting, but in practice, these powers are invented and forgotten completely at the convenience of the author. Have a little sister with an incurable mysterious anime disease? Don't worry, we got you, fam.
OH RIGHT THE SISTER. Can't forget her.

Warning: That line is some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad foreshadowing.
And how! Eiji's little sister Sena is kinda the tertiary main character, despite the fact she spends about half the show in suspended animation. Also she's his stepsister. That's going to become very important shortly.
Nah it's fine, Eiji can't be a siscon when he's already married! I'm not joking. He accidentally uses his world domination power to mind control Rin into marrying him. This is the opening to episode 2.


That's the magic of Big Order. You think it's going to be a trainwreck, only to realize every subsequent episode is another train with the brake lines cut thundering down the tracks towards the current burning wreckage.
And what makes it even better is how desperately it's trying to ape other trainwrecks. Like, good try with the accidental Geassing, Big Order, but nobody out-Geasses Code Geass.
I just love that Esuno took his Yuno clone and immediately started mind breaking her from Yandere to Tsundere. It's wonderfully stupid.
The second episode is also definitely the funniest one, because it quickly devolves into Rin trying to indirectly kill Eiji (since she can no longer do so directly thanks to his Domination power), and the results are sublime.

What's the point of making your heroine immortal if not to throw her into an ACME death maze?

Girl really just full-stop turns into Wile E. Coyote.

It's also one the precious few instances of Big Order using its conceit constructively, i.e. utilizing Rin's immortality to do ridiculous death slapstick.
It's also the only time the show is genuinely funny on purpose, because while BIG ORDER is an absolute laugh riot, it's largely for how colossally stupid it is while trying to be smart. Like this beautiful scene that plays like Code Geass if Lelouch hit his head really hard.
And this is AFTER there's big climactic scene where Eiji and his allies whip up some ridiculous schoolyard bullshit to neutralize two nukes on their own (including a dude whose power is to always be more powerful than his opponent. Just sit on that one for a moment). It's like the story got fed up of even attempting to be clever and went "okay, I'm sick of nukes. Nukes are canceled."
Like it makes sense in a certain way. The premise is that Eiji is blackmailed by these guys into becoming the leader of their world domination plan, and that would beg the question of why somebody wouldn't just drop a warhead on him and call it a day. But then they solve it by having a subplot where they kidnap a random toddler who has anti-nuke Calvinball powers. Oh and during all this Eiji gets a girl pregnant.
I honestly can't come up with commentary funnier than the scene itself, so here it is: Eiji grabs her ribbon and she instantaneously becomes pregnant. This is a real fucking thing that happens in Big Order. I love this anime.


Like, complete with the belly-expanding sound effect too. Absolutely genius.
See this is why Big Order is King Shit of Trash Mountain. Any stupid anime can have weird fetishes and questionable sexual politics and dumb powers. But only Big Order combines them all into magical divine conception via tugging a charm point. Complete with Eiji freaking out over a paternity test.
Iyo even WARNS him about it beforehand, and he still manages to fuck it up.
What's really fucked up is this actually makes Iyo fall in love with him. So our hero has his harem members via a) mind control and b) magic babby. Brilliant.
Which is as good a segue as any into the third harem member:
Hahahaha.
HAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAAAAAA

AS IF A BAD 2010s ANIME WOULDN'T HAVE INCEST.
Gotta respect that hustle tho. Many bad shows are content to tiptoe daintily around the incest. Big Order barrels through the dumpster and makes DAMN sure you know these two are banging.
No shit. Sena's fucking locked in on this.
It also gets better! Iyo, on several occasions, tries in vain to woo Eiji away from his siscon ways and into eloping with her via methods that don't involve ribbon grabbing. They don't go so well.
Oh right, turns out magic pregnancies are non-binding.

BTW we're using the streaming versions to keep this column as SFW as it can be, but yes the blu-rays Discotek was generous enough to put out for this 4-years-old tire fire are uncensored so you can get all your unobscured David Lynch references:
Spoilers: it ain't sexy in the slightest, but there sure are some interesting takes on Brownian motion, if that's your bag.
Are you surprised? We left the corpse of good taste in a ditch four states back when the magic baby bump showed up.
Anyway, Iyo eventually gets fed up of stripping in vain in front of Eiji and decides to handcuff him to a bed in a secret underground bunker, like you do. Because, again, there is no facet of poor taste that Big Order is not willing to fetishize. But things fall apart just as she's about to "seal the deal" because it is CANONICAL that Eiji can only get it up for his little sister.


And the best/worst part is he TELLS her about it.
Hey now, you're skipping over the part where Eiji's mind controlled bride gets DOUBLE mind-controlled by his evil dad (again, this is Every Bad Anime Idea) into betraying him.

Which technically she wanted to kill him originally so it's actually just her getting turned back to normal? Except also now she's really in love with him because fuck if I know.
I mean I'm also skipping over the Fish Gun, but that's because otherwise I'll be here all day shouting about absolutely insane Big Order scenes.
Ah but that episode's got the best single frame in the whole show:
And framing.
Hey wait a second...

Is..that can't be intentional right...
Right???
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, except for the rarer, even more sincere form: imitation with full frontal.
Anyway, in between Eiji's nonfunctional Little Order and the mind control double helix, Sena gets kidnapped by their mad scientist father, who apparently has the same taste in women as his son.
Look, he might be a delusional creep with totally unexplained mind control powers, but he also comes up with dogshit acronyms. Truly Father of the Year.
Oh fuck, we forgot to mention the computer fairy that floats around in the background of every episode to spout stupidly cryptic foreshadowing. Hi Daisy.
Why is she here and what does she do? Well, remember how Future Diary also had a floating magic girl who talked with the protagonist and greased the plot when it was necessary? There you go.
Except she doesn't even do that. In fact her job is totally usurped by Bad Dad in the final two episodes as he reveals his big evil plan. What's that plan, you ask? Why of course it's an inventive and creative new goal for an evil anime dad scientist that has never been done before or since in the mediu-it's instrumentality.
Ah, you just can't beat the sweet tangy taste of yet another instrumentality ass pull. Sure hope it doesn't lift anything else from Evangeli—oh nooooo
That ain't the last one either, but before we get to that we also get the reveal that actually, Eiji DIDN'T cause the apocalypse. It was SENA who did it. Also now she's evil.

You hate to see it. And by "it" I mean Sena's dress (using that term loosely) in this scene. Also the trash cherry on top is the implication that her dad must have given it to her. Big Order!!
The even shittier cherry is that we learn WHY she made the wish that caused 2nd impact:


That's right, this girl destroyed the world so she could fuck her brother.
And Eiji's Order power is not Domination but instead the very specific power to overwrite his and Sena's memories and steal her Domination power—so they could fuck in peace in the post-apocalypse.

The finale is really just one long incomprehensible chain of plot twists and half-baked metaphysics, all while it slaps the shittiest filter over everything and God takes the form of a giant rainbow gradient skeleton hand.

It doesn't make any more sense in context, trust me.
Yeah for some reason they decided this finale needed to be important so when Godhand arrives it makes everything look like an upscaled episode of Boogiepop Phantom. Also in the middle of this Eiji triple-mind controls Rin back to his side. It'd almost be romantic if he weren't canonically unable to fuck anyone besides his sister.
It's also worthwhile to note that Big Order concludes with a lean 10 episodes. It's great for us, because it means the trash concentration is optimal, and every episode has at least one memorably batshit moment to keep the momentum going. It's bad for Big Order's ambitions of being the next Future Diary, because it's a complete edgelord failure that immediately falls apart under pressure and really only succeeds as one of the finest unintentional comedies of the past decade.
See but that's what makes this trainwreck great. With Future Diary there's things like competent direction and half-way decent story pacing to distract you from how dumb everything happening is, but Big Order stuffs 25 episodes of bullshit into a clown car and drives head long into a sewage processing plant, so there's no chance of people unironically thinking it's a good story.
Also it's not technically only 10 episodes considering, well...Steve, get the chart ready.
It's the perfect shitstorm.
So the folks at Discotek are known for going above and beyond on their releases. Stuff like including obscure dubs, or extensive liner notes, just really cool additions that make a release worth having. But sometimes that approach can backfire. Sometimes, that gives us...whatever the fuck the Big Order OVA is.
BEHOLD:

This is literally what it looks like on the Blu-ray, and it is a Journey. Also, genuinely, thank you Discotek for letting us experience this disaster.
Big Order: The Primer of Anime. So, in case you're like me and your brain shuts off looking at that hand-dandy flowchart, this OVA is designed to loop forever, endlessly, splicing in original story segments with random scenes from the television series, forever. It's also made out 90% repurposed animation from the TV series despite coming out a year beforehand. Don't ask me how that works.
I guess this was probably how they chose to promote the upcoming anime, producing certain scenes ahead of time that could later be repurposed into the anime itself. It's a bizarre move no matter how you slice it. I don't know who thought the phrase "infinite Big Order episode" was ever going to be something that didn't strike fear into the hearts of men, but I want to shake that genius' hand.
The viewing experience can only be described as "What if you personally experienced instrumentality, but also had to watch Big Order forever?"
Sounds like Paradise to me! It's like Endless Eight but with a gacha mechanic. And nudity.
Ah yes so in this OVA, Rin and Eiji fuck. In the first 5 minutes of it. And if you get the path where it loops you back to the start, you have to watch that over again. Like I did. 3 Times.
Me, sowing this TWIA:

Me, reaping:
The random nature of the scene selection also means you can (and will) get the same one several times in a row. For instance, I had to watch Iyo cry and strip in front of Eiji 4 times back-to-back.
Honestly still better than mine. Though I did laugh at getting a scene of Rin playing a PS Vita in her underwear like 4 times. Almost made up for the fucking.
Yeah some scenes are actually unique to the OVA, or slightly different from the TV versions, but don't let that fool you into thinking there's some secret buried here that totally upends and redeems Big Order. I watched them all. There's nothing. Arguably the best thing you get out of it is Daisy's maid waitress outfit.
And even that's technically in the ending of the TV series. Honestly outside of laughing at the sheer odds of whatever version you get on a watchthrough, the OVA is more fun in theory than practice. Though the ED song for it slaps as far as buttrock goes.
Oh yeah, good call! The OP to the TV anime is also a certified completely irony-free banger, imo.
I cannot recreate the emotional journey I had the first time the soundtrack turned the jazz knob to eleven just as the big action climax of the first episode kicked in. Forget tonal dissonance. This was utter tonal devastation. A work of sublime, almost holy incompetency. And an integral part of the Big Order experience.
That insert song plays Every. Single. Time. Anything important happens. It plays IN THE MIDDLE OF IYO GETTING PREGNANT. Which the blu-ray subs oh so helpfully emphasize.
Hell fucking yeah indeed!
So I hope this journey has convinced at least a few people to try out this glorious, wonderful pile of pig vomit pretending to be an anime. You and I have both seen plenty of bad anime in our day, but I doubt anything can ever quite replicate what watching Big Order for the first time was like for us.
It honestly held up shockingly well upon this rewatch, only further cementing its place as one of my favorite trash anime ever. It's a diamond in the rough, if that diamond was a piece of glass that also really liked incest. I will stalwartly recommend Big Order at every opportunity. I will not be canceled for this. I am strong and my taste is impeccable.
Good luck with that buddy.

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