Hundred – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 4th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Hayato Kisaragi faced significant trauma as a child, a first hand witness of the devastation wrought by the Savages, huge monsters bent on killing mankind. Hayato still has nightmares about the loss of his childhood friend. Now, in order to combat the horrible Savage Life Form attacking the Earth, he’s enrolled in the Little Garden Marine Academy for Hundred users.
Hayato gets into trouble on his first day, as two students are about to be expelled after he chooses to avoid their greeting and pick up party at the airport. Not wanting anyone to get hurt because of him, Hayato challenges the Queen of the school, Claire Harvey, to a duel. Now Hayato, who’s passed the compatibility test with a starling score of one hundred, must master the power of the Hundred armament system before his duel with the queen.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Hundred continues the long running tradition of magic high school/academy anime. We’re treated yet again to another story about young school students who have magical powers and must battle to save the world against whatever menace it happens to be facing this time. I’ll give Hundred that it’s got decent, sometimes even nice, animation. The character designs themselves are fairly nice but nothing that strays too far from the norm with this kind of series. I will say that the designs of the Savages, our monsters of the series, are quite cool and the brief sequences of gore did make me sit up and take notice.
Linny: I don’t know what Tom is on, but I have to disagree about the character designs. They (the men especially) reminded me of those retro weirdly elongated body designs once popular in shoujo mangas where the men seem like future stand ins for slenderman. If that’s your thing, then hooray for you. They’ve just always looked unsettling to me. I will agree that the monster sequences are pretty bad ass and the brief usage of gore made an impact. The show was most enchanting when it had its monsters onscreen and rampaging, which then made the rest of the show look bland with its depiction of school life.
Tom: Whatever I’m on that makes me think the visuals were decent, it doesn’t help save me from the generic main character, Hayato Kisaragi, who reminds me a lot of Asterisk War’s and Chivalry of a Failed Knight’s protagonists. Individuals who happen to have extreme power just lurking inside them. Comparatively he’s a bit more clueless, but he’s really too close to that common archetype to make me drawn to him in any way. He’s also got a friend, Emile, who we all know is secretly a girl with a deep connection to him. There’s also the queen of the school who Hayato ends up in a duel with, something we saw two seasons ago with both Asterisk War and Chivalry of a Failed Knight and Hundred isn’t giving me anything unique that makes me want to watch those duels a third time. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before.
Linny: What the show lacks in design, it more than makes up for in cliches. If you’re a fan of the familiar, or the shows that Hundred harkens of, you should definitely check Hundred out as it seems bound to follow the talented transfer student route. You get the school Queen, the sexually ambiguous best friend, and even the sickly younger sibling who’s the reason and motivation for him joining a new school.
Tom: The show’s magic mechanic is pretty generic, and a bit under explained as well. All we really know is that Hayato happened to score the highest on the compatibility test and that, theoretically, he can use a Hundred weapon better than anyone else. The savages, the big enemies of the series, are kinda interesting, but will we really ever see them? It’s not uncommon in Magic Academy anime for the big bad to remain generally in the background, mostly unseen, while the series instead focuses on the wealth of character drama and conflict inside the school. No matter which way things go, however, I am unable to understand why this series was listed as a Mech. The Hundred weapons don’t come anywhere close to qualifying and that’s a huge mislead of a genre tag (one I purposefully didn’t include for our own tagging system.)
Linny: My personal issues with its lack of originality aside, I was also let down by the lack of exposition about the few original elements it did have. The show gives very little explanation of its Hundred weapons, especially when characters mention what they can do but not how or why. There is so much build up to the fight and the potential of the Hundred weapons, and for people who enjoy the premise, this will definitely raise their excitement and need to continue watching.
Tom: The very progression of Hundred is so far quite generic, despite that brutal opening flashback to Hayato’s childhood trauma (not that a childhood trauma is uncommon in this type of anime.) Interestingly enough, Hundred chooses to stretch out its opening, forcing the battle with the school’s queen into the second episode, something usually concluded within the first. So, as a bit of praise, Hundred seems to be taking a more methodical approach to things, rather than rushing through its adaptation. Hundred is based off an ongoing Light Novel series, so if Hundred proves popular we could be looking at several more seasons. It’s a big if though.
Linny: So far, it seems like the Queen, the best friend and Hayato himself will be the main players in the story and that’s great if you are immediately attracted or impressed by any of them. However, if they all came off as bland or common to you, then I’d understand why you’d drop the show after this one episode.
Tom: Hundred is yet another entry in the Magic Academy landfill. They’re a dime and dozen and unfortunately I’m not convinced Hundred is doing anything interesting enough yet to make it worth watching over all the others. It blends in with the masses. Now, if you enjoy Magic Academy anime, then Hundred should still provide ample entertainment, but if you’re looking for an elevation of this common story, Hundred fails to bring interesting and new twists to the table.
Linny: You’ve seen or heard of Hundred a million times already, just with different names. It seems destined to fulfil and fall into the talented transfer in a magic/combat school genre exactly as all the others before it. There’s nothing wrong with following an established path but it’s not going to win the show any new fans.
Hundred is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.