Shachibato! President, It’s Time for Battle!? – 1st Episode Review
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Synopsis: Based on the popular strategy game, Minato has become the new president of the Kibou Company. In order to be a good president and help the company grow, he must lead his party of adventurers through the Gate and collect Kirakuri — a type of energy that is extremely valuable and fundamental to the city of Gatepia. However, there are other companies vying for the chance to gather the Kirakuri. (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Shachibato is another entry in what feels like a never ending parade of mobile game adaptations scheduled this season. Typically mobile game anime aren’t all that worthwhile, doing the bare minimum required to turn what was once an interactive experience into a passive one. Shachibato’s anime is no exception. From beginning to end this first episode is nothing but dull.
The episode is kind of broken up into three chunks: the introduction to our world and lead characters, an exposition dump of game mechanics and secondary characters, and an action sequence. Minato himself, as we come to find in the first five minutes, is an exceedingly bland lead. He’s yet another every-man, but lacks clever dialogue that might’ve elevated his character even a little bit. The rest of the cast isn’t much better either. Everyone is pigeon-holed into tropey characterization that isn’t endearing nor entertaining, making for a thoroughly uninteresting cast of characters.
Without a cast of fun characters to grab onto that makes the rest of this episode a difficult slog, one made worse by how little effort is offered in every other aspect of the show. The second chunk of the episode is about hammering home the game mechanics, thinly disguised as Minato having the company’s operations explained to him. Here the episode drags even harder than before, offering up tons of information we simply do not need as a viewing audience. Rather than truncating this info or at least offering it up in a more dynamic way, we’re made to watch Minato as he watches a video explaining the mechanics of his new company. We don’t actually watch the entire instructional video, a joke cuts the rest of it off for us, but it takes too long to get to that gag for the preceding minutes to feel like anything but a waste of our time.
The third chunk of the episode works to put our cast of characters in the field and offer up what is more likely to be a typical episode going forward. This is where the show has one last chance to impress; to prove to us that there’s something here worth tuning in next week for. Unfortunately even action can’t make Shachibato a worthwhile Spring anime. Most of the action occurs off screen, and when we do see our characters fighting the animation lacks any kind of dynamic appeal, making for an impressively unmemorable sequence.
Ultimately I don’t know who Shachibato! would be for. What’s here is so lackluster, with such minimal effort exacted to turn this mobile game into a proper anime that it feels like a cynical cash grab that makes Bungo and Alchemist look like award winning material. Maybe if you’re extremely hard up for a light-hearted fantasy series Shachibato then has some worth that way? In truth though this sits alongside Gal & Dino as some of the worst Spring has to offer.
Shachibato! President, It’s Time for Battle!? is available for streaming via Funimation.com