The Testament of Sister New Devil Review

Episodes 1-5

When a pair of girls, Maria and Mio, come to live with regular high school student Basara Tojo, he finds his life changed forever. Not only does he discover that Maria is a succubus, but that Mio is a future demon lord, who attempts to throw him out of his own home. However, Basara has a secret of his own – he is the last in a long line of demon-fighting warriors, and to make it even more complicated, Basara finds himself forced into a master-servant contract with Mio, and he ends up becoming her master! Despite their differences, the trio suddenly find themselves becoming close in more ways than one…

As anyone who is into anime will know, the medium is full to the brim with a whole host of varied shows, from big shounen action, to moeblob comedies to the occasionally heady and thought-provoking sci-fi. Anime is capable of catering to such a wide demographic of ages and tastes that there’s bound to be something for just about everyone. So with so much variety, why does anime constantly get so much of a bad rap? For some people, anime is something to be hidden in shame from other non-fans, not something you can go around talking about like video games or comic book movies, or really any other big geek hobby that has broken through to the mainstream in the past decade. A large part of this is down to preconceptions that the public at large has for non-Ghibli works, namely that they are full of sex and tentacle monsters and general perversion, which anyone who has seen much anime, mainstream or not, will know is largely untrue. Although in recent years these notions seem to be eroding thanks to mega hits like Attack on Titan or Yuri on Ice!!!, there are some titles you come across that just seem to set the whole medium back decades, completely reinforcing the stereotypes fans are so desperate to shed. Enter today’s subject: The Testament of Sister New Devil.

The Testament of Sister New Devil (based on the light novel series by Tetsuto Uesu) starts as it means to go on, introducing our main protagonist in the opening scene, then immediately following that up with him committing a sexual assault in a bathroom. First impressions are very important, and introducing the protagonist like that is absolutely damning, but it just sets the tone for what’s to come, and in hindsight, merely acts as the tip of the iceberg. By the time you’re introduced to the three main characters: Basara and his two sisters, you can immediately tell this show is nothing but pandering fan service by the design of the lead females. Mio is your generic redheaded tsundere that you’ve seen from a million other harem anime, who looks like she has two gigantic, physics-defying water balloons stapled onto her chest, whilst Maria is the default lolita imouto, who is scantily clad to an absurdly uncomfortable degree considering she looks ~10 years old. A third girl later on who is somewhere in-between the two body types further cements the fact that the girls are not characters, merely a variety of bust sizes injected with stock personalities that the series tries to exploit to appease fans of every type of body type. If all that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable enough, then the pseudo incest will almost certainly be the nail in the proverbial coffin.

 

After the initial episode does all the basic setup, it is from the second episode onwards where you really get a sense of this series’ true intentions, and it far outpaces anything I could have expected. After opening innocently enough, the second episode soon develops into what I can only describe as hentai without the actual deed itself. The scene goes on for a good five minutes, if not more, and is as near the knuckle as you could probably get away with in a mainstream anime, and the whole thing is genuinely uncomfortable to watch, especially given that the consent of the girl in question is definitely not given. The plot-based justification for this scene being so graphic, or any scene for that matter, is incredibly flimsy and the amount of sex they shove in is just unnecessary, and will only serve to alienate viewers looking for a fun fantasy show.

Even if there were a good show here, it would still be so buried in excessive fan-service that it could turn some people off, given the hyper-sexualisation of the lead girls and their general dependence on Basara to do anything against the villains, with Mio and Maria proving almost totally ineffectual. Yuuki, the third girl, is an exception, but she still does nothing but seemingly worship Basara, which is barely any better. It is this second episode that sets the template for Sister New Devil going forward, having a bland and boring fantasy story which is punctuated with increasingly lurid scenes of not-sex, rinse and repeat, barring the odd episode which it dedicates to action, which is far more watchable, but unable to make up for the shortcomings. If you’re looking for a good action-fantasy show, you’re going to be severely disappointed, as even on that level it’s weak and uninspired.

Animation production on The Testament of Sister New Devil is handled by Production IMS, of Gonna Be The Twintail and Castle Town Dandelion fame, and continue to prove themselves as one of the most lacklustre studios around. Animation seems to vary from plain average to actively sub-par, although given its direct competition in terms of content is poorly cobbled together hentai, it might as well be animated by Kyoto Animation by contrast.

Anime Limited’s release of Sister New Devil includes both a Japanese audio track as well as an English dub, produced by Funimation. 

In Summary

The Testament of Sister New Devil is what I can only describe as a microcosm of everything that anime fans find embarrassing, serving to reinforce perpetual negative stereotypes about the subculture that I wish we could do without. If you have made it this far and still find your curiosity piqued, then your expectations are likely to be fulfilled, otherwise avoid at all costs if you value your time. 

3 / 10

IncendiaryLemon

Lover of everything moe, IncendiaryLemon adores 'Cute Girls Doing Cute Things' anime and occasionally other things too.

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