Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They? (2013)

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They? is a 10 episode anime, plus an OVA, based on the light novel series.  It follows three children who were taken from their worlds and placed in another, called Little Garden, where residents play games in order to increase their wealth and status for their communities.  Each of the three children has "gifts" of their own carried over from their own world, being supernatural powers.  The one thing that each of them had in common was that they were bored with their own world, thus this place is the perfect place to satisfy their desires.

Sakamaki Izayoi is the sole male of the group.  He is arrogant, however, he has the skills and power to back it up.  We are constantly shown how overpowered he is in his physical abilities, able to hold his own against gods and other mythical beings such as water dragons, all without breaking a sweat.  Despite his strength, he possesses intelligent too and he is often the one to solve the riddles in the games that are played. Kudo Asuka has the ability to command others to obey her words.  This is describe as her authority to force others to do what she says.  Everyone in her own world had to follow her orders, thus leading to her boredom.  However, while her abilities still work in Little Garden, some doubt is cast since there are more powerful beings here.

The last of the problem children is Kasukabe Yo, who can speak to any animal and also obtain their powers as her own once she become friends with them.  She is a little bit socially awkward but extremely agile.  The trio was summoned by Black Rabbit, a bunny-girl and your token comic relief character of the series.  She wanted the three children to join the No Name community in order to build it back to its former glory after being destroyed a few years ago.

It is funny seeing the interactions of Black Rabbit with the trio, who to her, are just troublesome children, albeit necessary.  Despite being the comic relief, Black Rabbit is actually quite well respected int he world and has power comparable to Izayoi.  The backstory of each of the characters are revealed in snippets, the trio wastes no time in continually challenging the heads of other communities and engaging in crazy games.  The rules of each game aren't really that intricate or clever and it covers a wide range of activities but mostly just boils down to one party beating the other in physical combat.

In this aspect, Izayoi is the brute force guy, he is clearly the strongest character in the whole series and it is great fun to see him steamroll everything in his way.  The confidence that he has whenever he engages doesn't get annoying annoying and neither is his arrogance overwhelming.  Unfortunately, as game rules are often only vaguely explained and the winning condition of all the major games, despite however complicated it might have seemed at first sight, still revolves around mainly physical combat.  This makes it harder to enjoy the supposedly cleverness and quick thinking of Izayoi.

Little Garden is truly a fantasy world and inspired by a variety of cultures, the most obvious being Japan but also Greek mythology and folktales.  It is a bright colorful world and just like the characters you have fun.  There are some gems in the dialogue, especially Izayoi who loves to tease and who knew he was such a covert pervert.  As the anime only adapts the first two light novels or so, there is no proper resolution.  Problem Children has a wicked opening theme song and an adorable ending song, both with meaningful lyrics.

The OVA is an obligatory hot spring episode (even though there was already an episode featuring hot springs in the main series), with a lot more fan service.  It is also funnier too, and you have to love how the trio just want to have fun and damn the consequences.  Despite never reaching its potential in its concept, Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They? is still a heap of fun.  It's refreshing to not have the characters fall under the burden of pressure to do well and just have fun, leading to an enjoyable, relaxing anime.


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