Plunderer – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Every human inhabiting the world of Alcia is branded by a “Count” or a number written on their body. Depending on how each person lives their life, this Count either goes up or down. For Hina’s mother, her total drops to 0 and she’s pulled into the Abyss, never to be seen again. But her mother’s last words send Hina on a quest to find a legendary hero from the Waste War—the fabled Ace! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Despite the “Count” concept, Plunderer has a fairly generic premise: A young girl is on a mission to find a forgotten hero, who is the only person who can possibly help her. You’ve seen it in Star Wars, you’ve even seen it most recently in Netflix’s The Witcher. I’m not saying it’s a bad plot or anything, a lot of amazing stories use basic concepts like this to build themselves up into epic, memorable tales. What makes something like this a negative is when everything built of over it is so lackluster, so banal, or even straight awful that this basic, core idea shines through harder than anything else. That’s the problem with Plunderer.
Linny: What’s extremely frustrating about Hina, our young girl seeking said hero, is how the show makes her unbelievably ignorant for the pure sake of exposition; but also only when needed. Even though she has clearly spent years walking this world she has no idea about the numbers system everyone depends on. She saw her mother get swallowed up as a result of this numbers system and its what sets her off on her big quest, yet she has to have the numbers concept explained to her by a total stranger years down the road. But on the other hand, she also knows a lot about the Ace (read Hero) she’s been searching for, meaning she is aware of things about this world when the story needs her to be knowledgable. It’s clear that the story has no idea on how to deliver exposition organically without turning Hina into a dunce or even reversing it at other times. She’s also completely inept, always getting into trouble and needing to be rescued, something that clearly brands her as a straight male fantasy.
Tom: Hina being a damsel, and a convenient, if wishy washy, avenue for exposition might be okay, if Plunderer wasn’t also the worst kind of Ecchi. Ecchi anime walk a fine line between providing tits and ass for, typically, horny male viewers, and straying straight into uncomfortable, molesty territory. Some anime make this work, Highschool DxD comes to mind as one of the better options, or the classic Golden Boy. But Plunderer is one of those titles that doesn’t know the difference between acceptable ecchi pandering and something that’s straight sleazy and gross. Hina runs into Licht, a character of immense importance that anyone at all familiar with fantasy anime will immediately recognize as who Hina is actually searching for. Licht’s introduction though is as a ravenous pervert who doesn’t stop groping her even when she expresses discomfort. It’s uncomfortable to watch and even as Licht gets his comeuppance, it never condemns him for long. It’s like if Master Roshi was the main character, and got the girl in the end, even after his perversions just because the story dictated it. Licht ultimately ends up saving Hina from the series’ Starter villain, who also turns out to be a molester. The difference between him and Licht that makes one’s behavior okay but the other’s not? This guy turns out to be evil, oh and the show’s tonal shift between when Licht does it (for goofs!) and when our baddie does it (for evil!). Otherwise nothing else sets that behavior apart and it’s pretty reprehensible how the series expects us to just like Licht simply because he happens to be the hero.
Linny: Plunderer is extremely lazy, basic and unoriginal about its pervert centric humour. It’s also so aggressively to the point where we have the pervert character Licht, literally grab Hina’s thighs and try to force them apart (because her Count happens to be on her inner thigh. Ain’t that convenient?) It’s upsetting and disgusting, especially since the show clearly seems to think this is funny/ok enough to include it happening again in the next episode preview (It seems to be someone/something else doing the grabbing and pushing but my point stands). Even though the show has Licht getting beaten up by women again and again for being a pervert, all of it is treated as one big joke and given how the show has its prominent female characters in this episode either be dressed with their breasts hanging out or get upskirt shots constantly, Plunderer reeks of being a straight male pandering fest.
Tom: Overall I think Plunderer is an ecchi best left to the die hard fans. It’s chosen avenues of fan service feel unsavory and hinge upon molestation being an acceptable goof. The art isn’t even particularly high quality, with a few shots already making me wonder how fast production will start to drag. I think most audiences can give Plunderer a pass without missing anything worthwhile, heck even the basic concept is something you’ve already seen time and again.
Linny: Straight male pandering content aside, Plunderer has the most idiotic story telling in general. For example, towards the end of the episode Licht reveals that his number is -999 ,which the villain of the episode just scoffs at. Now the show has clearly established that once your number hits 0, you get dragged to the abyss. Yet all the villain does is laugh and claim that it only proves how pathetic Licht is. It takes his underlings to launch into expositional dialogue to explain how and why Licht hasn’t been sucked into the abyss but its ridiculous that their boss/the villain doesn’t blink an eye at it all. The show and this episode lacks so much logic, it is highly unlikely anyone could enjoy watching this for the story. All I can ever see anyone enjoying this is for the ecchi content and even then I think you must have to be pretty starved for ecchi content to resort to this show.
Plunderer is available for streaming via Funimation.