Testament of Sister New Devil
Basara was surprised to hear his dad announce his sudden engagement, and that he'll have two sisters moving in: Mio and Maria. It's a rocky start, but they get along well enough. The illusion of their simple daily life evaporates as the truth comes out after an attack on Mio.
Mio will one day waken to inherit the power of the lord of the underworld, and Maria is a succubus tasked with protecting her until that time comes. It turns out the marriage was simply a hypnotic suggestion so the two could move into town safely. But Basara has a secret of his own. He's descended from the Hero clan, traditionally the enemies of the devils but in recent times a truce has been maintained.
Some in the underworld want the ways of war to return, and view Mio as a means to that end. Before that happens they'll have to get through Basara, who's sworn to protect his new family.
I picked up Testament of Sister New Devil because I liked the crazy title. Right away I liked the attractive art, so it started well. I can't explain why, but I wanted to like this anime. Yet I found that difficult with the more I watched.
A big problem (or feature) of Testament of Sister New Devil is the absurdly juvenile trashy fan service. The elaborate excuses used to justify this content is bold enough that I give it respect. Mio has a curse binding her to Basara, so when she goes full tsundere mode, he has to fondle her breasts. I think that's how it goes. A neck tattoo glows as the curse activates, then he's required to "relieve" her, but a huge smoke grenade of white fog censorship fills the screen. Mio is moaning and squealing and I'm like, "what in the hell is going on behind that fog dammit?!" Later on it uses small avatars to block the censored content which is kind of amusing. This stuff eats up a lot of time each episode, with everything coming to a screeching halt for "fan service time". Yet with this type of content I expected much more from the episode titled "Erotic Succubus out of Control".
You might think that was my biggest problem with Testament of Sister New Devil, but strangely it's not. I can overlook "Whee, boobies!" time, but looking at what's left paints a bleak picture. There's more typical harem stuff and it does that well enough. In fact the three girls who come to live with Basara work really well together in a harem context - particularly with the succubus who's eager to get anyone hooking up with Basara so she can film it. It has surprisingly little of this content, with most of the remaining parts spent explaining the story/background, and occasional fighting.
Basara's past with the hero clan vs demon realm is incredibly weak - the sort of story typically reserved for side characters in most anime. Basara himself is the cliche noble guy trying to protect everyone. Every other episode involves contrived "self sacrifice" on his part so the girls fawn over him in gratitude. Attempts at drama I found stupid, and I'll leave it at that. I was especially bothered by Mio (the sister devil) being completely worthless when it comes to fighting. As a underworld successor, I expected her to be more than a damsel for Basara to rescue all the time.
What really cripples this anime are crappy fights and terrible pacing. Hardly anything is accomplished on a per episode basis. This anime positions itself as if battles are a major feature, but they're half assed, unremarkable, and boring. Fights pick up a little towards the end, but still lack enough tension.
I wouldn't say the ingredients of Testament of Sister New Devil are bad, it's the way they're applied that doesn't work well. There's too much time spent with fan service (even with amusing quirky censorship). The second season proves my suspicion that the whole point of this anime is powering up girls by doing pervy stuff to them. Counter to logic, with the crap fights in this show, the second season goes into a fighting tournament story.
So overall it's mostly lame, but has it's moments.
Yuki: I'll win this in order to have Basara fondle me a lot.
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