Ebiten was my summer candidate for the series whose premise was so head-on-desk stupid that it might just work. Everything about this series is very odd, including its journey to our screens. It’s a web-only series, and for quite some time no one was subbing it in English until a group known primarily for hentai decided to pick it up. I was hesitant to include any caps at all given how LQ the encode is, but until BDs come out this is all we’re going to get, so my apologies for any eye injuries caused by viewing them.
Was it worth the wait? Well… This is fairly lowbrow stuff, I won’t deny – and this is definitely not looking like this season’s R-15. But I did find myself laughing a few times, and Ebiten has the merit of not being an ultra-safe, generic formula show like so many this summer. It also benefits from art and character designs by Inugami Kira, who also works on Seitokai no Ichizon. This is definitely now as smart or funny as SnI so far, by a long shot, but I do love Inugami-san’s style.
So just WTF is Ebiten? I’m still not sure I know myself. In the original it’s a story of a boy named Nouya Itsuki (Ise Mariya) who intends to join his school’s astronomy club (天文部) but instead ends up joining the fujoshi club (天悶部). Fujoshi are quite the theme this week, aren’t they? In the anime, however, the premiere skips right over any mention of his maleness and has him in (presumably) trap mode from the beginning. The premiere itself is mostly devoted to a preposterous “test” the club’s sadistic Todayama Kyouko (Asumi Kana) subjects Nouya to – that is, when she’s not stripping hardcore BL fan Kanamori (Nishi Asuka) to various forms of stripping, humiliation and bondage. As for the test itself, it’s a full-on parody of Saint Seiya through a fujoshi lens.
I certainly wouldn’t blame anyone who disliked this – I almost did myself. But as I said I did laugh a few times at the sheer randomness of it, and the total lack of explanation for any of the weirdness that was happening was strangely effective as a comedic device. I give Ebiten points for strangeness – I may end up hating it myself, but it’s singularity makes it interesting enough to watch for a couple more episodes, assuming we keep seeing subs.