When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace – Anime Review
Synopsis: Six months ago, the literature club gained superpowers, but nothing else happened. So, they carry on with life waiting for battle. (Official HIDIVE Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: When Supernatural Battles Become Commonplace starts off brimming with potential and uniqueness. Rather than have our heroes gain powers and run around saving the world, we’re treated to the uncommon sight of them merely goofing around in school waiting for something, anything to happen. There’s a lot of comedy to be had early on in the form of our sole male member of the club, Jurai Ando who suffers from ‘Eighth Grade Syndrome’ and is the most excited about having powers even though his power is completely useless and only for show. Watching him constantly try to talk up his powers or shamelessly reveal his attachment to it makes for some great laughs. But it’s not just him. The other four female members of the group also bring the laughs, in particular his childhood friend, Hatoko Kushikawa who plays in parts the straight man and in parts the cheerleader to Ando’s insanity. Then there’s the youngest member of the group, Chifuyu Himeki, a precocious, innocent, yet somewhat strange kid making Ando bend to her will whenever she wants with her precious looks and pleas.
Tom: What makes the first seven episodes work so well is Commonplace’s cast of quirky characters. While the show can be a bit haremy, even early on, it’s presented with a group of teenagers that feel fun and crazy. Their powers compliment the nature of each other’s personalities and helps to make the show feel vibrant and fun even if we’re still just dealing with the day to day. The show hits its high point mid-run when Hatoko, the polite airhead of the group, goes on a crazy, screaming rant at Ando, making for the single most memorable moment in the series. This moment also signifies the highest point of the show before everything goes down hill.
Linny: The second half of Commonplace is likely to be one of the biggest messes you have ever seen in anime. First off, the show starts introducing new character after new character until the story feels overstuffed and you’re struggling to remember and juggle all these new additions. Then our main cast members start having mundane or random meltdowns all for the sake of nonsensical and forced drama. The show then crams in a hamfisted explanation about why our cast got their powers but never really concludes that explanation/plot line with a satisfying resolution. You’re forced to sit and watch brand new, never-before-mentioned or seen characters prattle on and on about stuff you were never given a proper explanation for or experienced at all, before they then become entwined into the show’s finale, effectively forcing the finale into territory that doesn’t jive with the anime’s earlier content. It boggles the mind just how disconnected the later half of the show becomes from the fun filled start.
Tom: The drop off after that seventh episode brings about ham-fisted backstory and explanations for why our heroes, along with other teens, have gained these super powers. It’s jarring, unneeded, and feels uninteresting since up until this point the series was far more about the day to day life with their new found powers than anything more epic, making this twist reveal, accompanied by a slew of new, unfamiliar characters, undesirable. Thankfully this detour is short and we quickly return to our regular cast. Sadly that return doesn’t set the show back on course however, as Commonplace dives into cliche harem/romance plot line after plot line. The show loses all momentum and ultimately nothing interesting comes about by the final episode. For everything it does right the show sabotages itself so effectively that all the goodwill it generated amounts to nothing. It’s a shame, because those first seven episodes felt enjoyable, if not at times thoroughly engaging. But what comes after is such a put off, that I can’t find myself recommending this series as something for audiences to go back for.
Linny: If there’s any way left to enjoy Commonplace, it would be by sticking to the first 7-ish episodes and pretending it is a short mini series about the daily lives of school kids who gain powers but no reason or chance to use them and the comedy that arises from that. The second half should be avoided at all costs unless you’re morbidly curious about watching a show completely derail off its track. Commonplace starts off with a lot of promise and laughs, and a premise that could have been an enjoyable comedy had they stuck to that tone. But by adding in too many new and badly established characters and plot lines and resorting to harem cliches, Commonplace is doomed to leave a bad taste.