First Impressions – Fortune Arterial

From ZEXCS comes our second series of the season set in a high school on an island. This time it’s a six-year school with a traditional Western look and feel, and the male lead is Kouhei Hasekura, a “migratory bird” tired of moving around every few years with his parents. Of his own choice, he returns for his fifth year to the island where he briefly lived seven years earlier – looking for some roots and a sense of home.

Along the way pretty much every cliche in the book is trotted out and the series could hardly be more formulaic. That is, until the last minute when things take an interesting turn. Fortune Arterial is based on a game, which in turn was based on a visual novel. The first episode certainly played like a game adaption – the harem setting complete with male sidekick and a girl representing pretty much every category. The focus for now seems to be on Erika Sendo, the student council VP and resident tsundere. Her brother Iori is a sixth-year and president of the school council – among other things, as we find out.

The twist at the end was interesting, but this was really a first episode devoted to introductions of cast and setting. For the most part it didn’t really grab me – Daisuke Ono was thoroughly unconvincing as a 16 year-old and the female cast a mixed bag. Visuals were just so-so and neither the OP, ED or BGM really stood out. I’m definitely in wait-and-see mode with this show.

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