Anime of Tomorrow
Hagure Yuusha no Estetica Ep. 1
Summer 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – Aesthetics of a Rogue Hero) (more info)
From what I can glean from Hagure Yuusha’s first episode, people are being taken from our world to another dimension where they are put to the task of fighting a war for the denizens of that realm. Part of this process involves giving normal humans superpowers and naturally some people want to use their new abilities to find their way back home, as Akatsuki Ousawa has successfully accomplished. Returners like our main character retain their abilities and are put through a training program called Babel to put their powers to use here on Earth.
Again, Hagure Yuusha is one of those anime with an interesting premise, decent writing and generally agreeable characters that messes itself up with unnecessary ecchi. Akatsuki brings a naked girl back from the other realm in his backpack for as-of-yet undisclosed reasons and he has the ability to remove women’s will to fight by stripping them of their lingerie without removing their rest of their clothes.
Thankfully, I don’t have to pretend to enjoy this series too much in spite of its ecchi because it’s already starting to establish a typical list of character archetypes—the perverted protagonist, confused victim-girl who is posing as his little sister, arrogant student council president. Cue blank stare as I sarcastically marvel at this list of revolutionary thinking.
If it could have taken itself more seriously and the creators had been more confident about their work, I’d be much more willing to like Hagure Yuusha. As it currently stands I find myself trapped between a cool story and too much ecchi; disappointed at how many times I’ve had to concede that flaw over the years.