What’s the show? Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair, Episode 1.
O…kay, and what’s it about? It’s about a group of adventurers in a fantasy setting, anyone who can use magic are called ‘Periods’, and they go around accepting quests to battle ‘Spirals’—
—Wait! They’re called ‘Periods’?! Listen, the sooner you can move past it the better, it’s an unfortunate name and ~probably~ not intentional.
What do you mean “probably”? Well this show’s a parody, not a full-blown everything is played for comedy parody but rather a subtle dig at gacha-style RPG phone games.
You’re going to have to explain those terms to me like I’m an idiot. Baka…
What? Nothing! Right, so gacha is like Japanese toy vending machine, but in its usage here it means spending in-game currency to win new characters which range in rarity from one start to five star. Five star drops being very powerful characters but, of course are very rare. You use these characters you unlock to battle through quests, destroying evil minions and levelling up your characters all the while. They’re big business in Japan, though only moderately so in the West. Also you usually play them on your phone.
Right, so I take it some knowledge about that kind of stuff is important to get the most out of this show? It helps, the majority of the humour comes from references to these kind of games, and it breaks the fourth-wall a couple of times to reference things the characters couldn’t possibly know. Most of the fourth-wall breaking comes from Choco, the white haired loli.
Please don’t say the l-word around me. So who are the other characters? There’s a lot, like almost too many are introduced to remember them all, but it’s got this kind of absurd pace that makes it work. Haru is the protagonist, and also the most boring of all of them. The other members of the team are Liza a magic user and Gajeru, some sort of goat/man? There’s some mentions of him being foreign which puts him at the butt of some jokes from Liza, who is kinda mean to him.
Any other notable characters? Yes! There’s a fake “Team Rocket” (or Team Skull seems more appropriate based on their costumes) bad guy group called “Wiseman” and they’re just pure joy to watch, just like in Pokemon the enemy characters have more personality than the heroes!
A-ha, and is this a kids show? I can see why you’d say that, it’s got a very Saturday-morning anime vibe to it. The show kinda reminded me (and fondly too) of show’s like Pokemon and Fairy Tail and to some extent Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon (and even Digimon, though I never watched the series some of the monster designs felt reminiscent of what I’d seen in commercials). But this not a kids show, it airs at midnight in Japan, its audience is very much teen aged.
Midnight?! Is it that adult. Right, I sometimes forget you’re not familiar with the anime world and Japan and all that. Midnight is a pretty typical timeslot for more niche audience shows, i.e. show’s that aren’t Shonen anime. It’s not at all adult, but there are a lot of skimpy outfits, I mean skimpy by your standards probably. It’s all fairly standard for the likes of me.
A pervert. Correct.
So what’s your final say on the first episode and do you recommend it? If this show had played it straight, and didn’t have all the references to gaming tropes and the larger culture surrounding iOS/Android gacha RPG games the only thing it would have had going for it would have been cute character designs and the genuinely fun “Wiseman” bad guy group. But it’s there references and tongue-in-cheek humour that add an extra layer. It’s nothing remarkable, in fact its downright derivative at times, but the fact that the show is not only aware of it but makes fun of itself makes it a joy to watch. Most people will probably be indifferent towards it (in fact I know a lot of my followers will downright hate it) but personally I can’t wait for next week and with the exception of Food Wars’ return it’s the most fun I’ve had with an anime all season!