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Eromanga Sensei

As the Spring season got under way, I noticed Eromanga Sensei's episode discussions on Reddit receiving hundreds of comments and how it was among the most popular anime on AniChart's list. It completely flew under the radar for me when I previewed what would be airing in Spring, other than it's slightly risque title. When I finally got around to watching it, I realised it had nothing to do with a mangaka producing a H-Manga series. Instead, the protagonists are a light novel author and illustrator duo. And if you're wondering where the 'Eromanga Sensei' fits in, you'll find out later on in my review.

Eromanga Sensei revolves around first-year high school student and light novel author Izumi Masamune. He's paired with a mysterious illustrator bearing the pen name Eromanga Sensei. Through the course of the first episode, he discovers by accident that his shut-in younger sister Izumi Sagiri was the titular Eromanga Sensei. Although initially embarrassed and even hostile towards Masamune, Sagiri gains confidence and manages to leave her room in later episodes. If watching this reminds you of OreImo, it's because their light novels share the same author, Fushimi Tsukasa. Yes, even the romance in Eromanga Sensei goes down the same path, at least for now.

Expectedly, the cast grows as the season progresses. Sagiri's energetic and persistent classmate Jinno Megumi is first to be introduced, followed by other light novel authors bearing their own quirks and eccentric habits. I certainly hope popular light novel authors aren't like that in real life. The supporting cast was the highlight of the show for me, lifting an otherwise ordinary story. Rival light novel author and potential love interest Yamada Elf threatened to steal the show at times, having a number of episodes dedicated to her solely. Sagiri's character development was a boon too, growing out of her 'tsundere' stereotype. Usually, I get tired of these characters quickly, having seen one too many in other anime, but Sagiri was an exception.

The plot is definitely not Eromanga Sensei's strong suit, with Masamune struggling to come up with an idea for his new light novel. His love for his sister inspires him and his editor eventually accepts his manuscript. However, the characters, gags and pacing of each episode makes the process more entertaining than my summary sounds. Expect cameos from characters affiliated with the Dengeki brand. Think Kirito from Sword Art Online and Ruri/Kuroneko from OreImo. They were pleasant surprises and I'm sure that there'll be more to come as the season progresses.

As the episode count grew, I began to understand why Eromanga Sensei was so popular. The lovable characters played a big part in making sure viewers returned for more every week despite the simple plot. A-1 Pictures did a great job animating this series, even beating out Saekano, I daresay. I'm looking forward to a second season and an improved plot because the characters will face challenges tougher than a writer's and artist's block...right?

Written by ET

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