With Naoya now in the realm of the succubus, nothing good can happen for him.
What They Say:
The First Semicolon
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Astarotte’s Toy had a very unusual feeling with the first episode in how it presented itself since it was being rather proactive in a way. It may seem odd to say it, but it reminded me of Chu-bra in how it’s trying to deal with a fantasy situation in a somewhat realistic way. With Astarotte going to mature in the next few years into a full fledged succubus, she has to learn how to manage things with the whole drinking the seed of man in order to survive. Of course, we’re not completely clear on what’s involved in drinking said seed, but it obviously is intended to titillate and unnerve us. But for Astarotte, it’s a fact of life she has to deal with, and earlier than other girls because of the fear of men that was pretty much beaten into her.
The negotiations that go on between Judit and Naoya are mild but cute as they talk about the portal passage event and how it felt and a bit about what’s involved. Mostly it’s just setup for the meeting between Naoya and Astarotte for the first formal time, considering how poorly his arrival went. Astarotte’s pretty cute in all of this as she’s nervous about meeting him but makes quite the proclamation when she does enter the room, all princessed up. Simply stating she wants his presence this night, it sets the stage for something that can be easily misconstrued, but you get the feeling that they’ll go in a different direction with it. Getting Naoya used to what this life is like, and this world, is part of the fun though and seeing how he reacts to her and her actions is potentially the make or break aspect of the show.
A lot of what the episode deals with is the kind of very simple and child-like ways Astarotte tries to get rid of him. They’re cute and she has a very simple but expected view of men at this point, so her imagination is running away with her. While it is cute, what saves the episode is the more serious side where Naoya learns from Olav about how Astarotte ended up this way and why it’s so important for her to get back on track since her life is at stake. Everything serves to nudge Naoya further into helping, but based on what we’ve seen of him so far, he’s that eternal nice guy who will always help out. The more he learns about her and her family life, the more he wants to help though and the more all the others in the residence come to like him and want him to succeed with her. It’s simple but effective.
While Astarotte’s Toy could go in some very, very bad ways both in execution and actual content, the show feels very restrained and almost bordering on the edge of fairy tail kind of material. It has that more mature angle to it which is what can be unnerving, but it’s treated respectfully by all involved, even Astarotte to some degree, and it has an atmosphere that’s very inviting in which for it to unfold. I expected a real travesty of a show in some ways going by the pre-air information and the overall concept and the start of the first episode made it seem like it’d be a full on fanservice fest, but as it moved on, it’s really a very interesting piece of work that has a lot of potential. It blends the humor and serious side well while never letting either get to be too much. It’s one of the show this season that has me the most curious as to what it will become.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.