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Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai Episode 1

October 7, 2010

Keima Katsuragi loves girls, well, kind of. It turns out he loves 2D girls in dating sims, whilst holding little but contempt and irritation for the real thing.  To this end, Keima is known as the “God of conquest” amongst players of said dating sims thanks to his fantastic ability to capture any girl in any game with ease, a position which sees him receiving countless requests for help in his mailbox every day.

However, not long after we join young Mr. Katsuragi on what seems to be a normal school day, he receives a rather interesting message – a challenge if you will, to prove his skills in capturing any girl he pleases.  No sooner as he agreed to this slightly odd request than he finds himself visited by a girl who falls from the sky, grabs him and whisks him off.  This girl’s name turns out to be Elsea de Lute Irma  for short, a demon from Hell and part of what she calls the “Loose Souls Team” – a group tasked with capturing sould which have come to the Earth to wreak havoc in some shape or form.

The trouble is, these souls insert themselves into the hearts of unsuspecting girls, meaning that the only way they can be removed is having their heart filled instead by (you guessed it) love.  Thus, it’s Keima’s task to make these girls who have been infected fall in love with him so that the souls in question can be captured – arole which is easier said than done considering Keima’s complete disinterest in, and lack of experience with, real life females.  What’s more, his first target is none other than one of his classmates, the energetic and athletic Ayumi Takahara.  Cue what seems like some terrible, cheesy attempts to win Ayumi over from Keima before his eventual victory and completion of his first job.

I have to admit, I rather like the premise of Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai, which at least sets up a decent excuse for its not-quite harem antics and the rather unlikeable character of its protagonist.  That said, during this opening episode I couldn’t really get over the fact that I grew to instantly dislike Keima, not helped by the fact that that very same premise inevitably brings out the worst in him as he has no choice but to scheme and plot to win over Ayumi.  I might have been able to sidestep those concerns had this episode demonstrated some decent humour or applied a bit more style to zip its story along, but instead it all felt very ordinary in terms of animation, pacing and dialogue; distilling that interesting premise down from a real-world pastiche of a dating sim into making it feel more like an anime adaptation of one.  I still hold out a fair bit of hope that the series has a lot of room to grow as it progresses, so I’m a long way from abandoning it just yet;  however, it’s going to have to do some growing fairly fast to avoid becoming more generic than its basic story should ever allow it to be.

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