What’s the show? Conception, Episode 1.
Uh-huh and how is it? This is a momentous day for harem anime fans the world over—today we bare witness to something that’s been a long time coming, ever since the first harem anime aired a thousand years ago (or 1992, same difference) audiences the world over have been shouting at their screen for the protagonist to just have sex with all the sexy anime girls who are obviously so DTF! Finally a harem anime where the protagonist actually has sex with all the girls in said harem. Finally a protagonist with the balls (and penis too but this isn’t an anatomy lesson) to take charge and thrust forward into a brave new world!
…What on earth are you on about? I’m talking about Conception of course; an isekai harem anime in which two high-schoolers Itsuki Yuge and his childhood friend Mahiru Konatsuki are transported to the futuristic fantasy world of Granvania. It’s a world that’s been plunged into chaos by “impurities” and the only way to save the world is for Isuki to have sex with the 12 ‘Star Maidens’ in order to produce ‘Star Children’ to combat the “impurities” and until he’s completed this task he and Mahiru cannot return home!
Well… that’s certainly high concept… I think? Think what you will, peasant! But you are beholden to the next generation of harem anime, the series destined to change the very world of harems forever!
So I take it you like this show huh? Eh, it’s okay.
Wait, what?! Then what was with all that grand standing before? It sounded like you were really into the idea? You’re correct, I’m into the idea of it, I’m just not sold on the execution here. First of all this show looks really cheap looking, like a bargain bin anime—if such a thing even exists—it’s lazily animated and very ugly at times. Secondly—and I’ll probably get some flack for this but it feels too much like a game—the same way the Danganronpa anime did. I can already tell each episode is going to follow the same format, we meet a new ‘Star Maiden’ he gets to know them some, there will probably be some lame action scene, and then he goes to pound town. Rinse and repeat for 12 episodes.
Oh. So you didn’t like it at all? No actually I loved it.
But, wait… huh?! It’s refreshing to see something so subversive—also sex is so rare in anime that it feels different because of that sole fact—something which may be lost on the casual viewer.
Sex is rare in anime? Yes. While sexuality definitely isn’t—in fact there’s probably no form of media (other than porn) that’s more sexualised than anime but despite all the fan-service and boobs and upskirts and skimpy outfits and what not, you seldom see kissing, let alone sex—even in romance anime! So for this show to have both right off the bat in the first episode, and the promise of more in every single episode is kind of a remarkable gimmick.
Okay. So the opinion is somewhere between “okay” and “loved it” then? Nah it was trash.
…I… uh, what…? The show had the audacity to skip over ~semi-important~ lore (presumably) and literally have a character hold up a sign saying “visit the website for more information”, like if you can’t even be bothered to try then why bother! Also said character, who serves as a sort of ‘guide’ to this new world for our protagonists is an annoying flaying Tanuki named Mana who speaks with a shrill voice and makes crude jokes—you know kinda like that another annoying wise-cracking animal mascot from that game-based anime I mentioned earlier… Also this show has a bit of a “forced intercourse” vibe—which is just a polite way of saying it’s rape-y. We’ve got our two high-school aged protagonists who have to have intercourse with each other otherwise they’ll never be able to leave this world!
Wait, so the girl the male protagonist came with into this new world is…? Yes she’s one of the 12 star maidens too.
So you “love this okay trash” is that the final opinion? It’s kinda clever and kinda romantic too—I mean if you’re forcing me to put some adjectives into that sentence.
Explain. So removing all external influences and the fact that these two are forced to have sex with each other, there’s actually a really sweet scene where Mahiru confides to Itsuki that she has thought about the idea of them ‘being together’—after all they’ve been friends for ~ages~ and they share a familiarity and intimacy. And so they look into each others eyes, he fumbles a bit but she helps him and then they kiss and then they… well *insert a bunch of sexually suggestive close-ups of skin rubbing against each other* and then end credits!
Right. So the final sentence comes out to something like: “I love this kinda clever, but really just okay, kinda romantic trash.” Does that sum it up? Just wait til I tell you about the other ‘Star Maidens’ who are about to be involved in this sexed up harem… I’m sure you’ll find some fun new adjectives to want to add to that sentence. But you know what, this review has gone on long enough, let’s leave that ‘til we meet them properly, shall we?
Okay, but one last question as this is the first episode, who do you recommend this to? Strictly for people who actually like harem anime’s—there’s no point otherwise—also for those who are willing to overlook some serious production issues and subversive content.
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