A Destructive God Sits Next To Me – Anime Preview
Synopsis: High school student Koyuki Seri has a disposition for whipping out witty retorts… but hates people who wait for those retorts! Much to his dismay, he had caught the eye of Hanadori Kabuto, who suffers from a terrible case of delusions of grandeur and everything about him could warrant a retort. Seri swears that he will never utter a retort about Kabuto, but he just can’t hold back. Not to mention, there seem to be even more strange people gathering around him… A high school boys’ comedy that’ll make you laugh and laugh (but can also be cute at times) is about to start! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The jokes come flying fast in A Destructive God Sits Next To Me, so fast that one could almost call them hectic as the endless barrage of joke after joke barely lets you or the story itself catch its breath. At first it felt like the show was going to wear itself thin by hyperfixating on its Chunibyou character, the ‘Destructive God’, Hanatori Kabuto and dishing out every predictable Chunibyou based jokes possible. Fortunately it then moves on to the series’ straight man Koyuri, who is constantly yelling or reacting to every single thing that happens and so there’s then a lot of LOUD comedy happening onscreen all the time. It’s a tad much because it feels like the show is so focused on tossing gags at the audience that it almost forgot that it also needs to introduce and establish its characters and premise instead of just having them spew out gag after gag.
Tom: First episodes are crucial to not only setting the tone of the series, but guiding the audience to understand what to expect every week, or even just setting the narrative straight. While Destructive hammers home the idea that this is a fast hitting, off the wall, non-stop gag comedy, it does a terrible job of easing us into exactly what the story is. Even Crunchyroll’s official synopsis obfuscates the ‘meta-like’ premise we have going on. Koyuki Seri isn’t just a guy who’s got a talent for witty retorts, he’s a character actively pushing back against becoming the ‘straight-man’ to these weirdos. It’s a clever concept, but very meta, and one that really needs to be explained directly at the start. Instead Destructive God just assumes you’re on the same page, and it’s not till maybe the end of the episode that this becomes apparent, and even then I had to go read up on the original manga to fully understand what this series was trying to do.
Linny: It doesn’t help that the title is a bit misleading. It makes you think that the premise is going to be along the lines of “Destructive God” often taking center stage while our protagonist has to put up with his nonsense. But what the episode and the credit sequence establish is that there are a LOT of other cast members who will also prominently feature, causing the mayhem that Koyuki will find himself in, despite his best efforts to avoid them. This first episode not only establishes Hanatori’s quirky, Chunibyou nature, but introduces Tsukimiya Utsugi, a fellow classmate, who actively delights in egging on Hanatori’s delusions. At the same time Tsukimiya also torments Koyuki, all for the sake of enjoying the chaos and hilarity that ensues. Judging from the credits, we have two more regular cast members yet to be introduced. If you are planning on picking up A Destructive God Sits Next To Me, I would strongly advise reading up on the synopsis right before you start and approaching this as an ensemble cast, where Koyuki is forced to play the straight man to the others who are all their own variety of odd. I can’t dismiss this series as merit less as the episode did have a few solid jokes and the loud, non stop gags style of comedy does have its fans but I would caution tempered expectations and reading up before diving in.
Tom: Even once I understood what Destructive God was going for, I still felt perhaps the series was a bit too meta. While the jokes hit one after another, few were hilarious, and the series lacks the timing and visual direction to really sell its material. I think this is a potentially decent title for well-versed anime fans looking for something that tilts towards meta-commentary on tropes and comedic tendencies, but otherwise it’s one of the more so-so Winter offerings.
A Destructive God Sits Next To Me is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.