Noya Itsuki just transferred to Ebisugawa High School. Since he has always had a fascination with space, he decides to join the Astronomy Club. However, he mistakenly walks into the Asstronomy Club - a club whose members are all female otaku. Itsuki notices that the members are really weird, but he has yet to realize that he joined the wrong club. His life becomes very strange very quickly.
Ebiten in itself is very nonsensical and frequently has many references to quite a few animes, (including full episodes related to sailor moon, dragon ball Z, K-On, etc.) For people who have seen most popular anime titles in the past, the parodies in this show will be quite entertaining, and will incite much laughter on how similar they are able to make their references. There is no serious plot in the anime, and it isn't really a floor-roller, but it is quite funny nonetheless, and just entertaining to watch how they do parodies.
Story: 5 - Not much along the way of a coherent plot, frequently
conflicts are just obliterated by a "just because" incident based on a parody element, which makes for a great laugh, but makes the plot make little sense. This is the point of the series in general, although there is a bit of relationship development, albeit that I didn't know whether they were having relationship development to parody drama romance animes, or if the creators actually wanted some development in there 'for serious'. The fact that I can't tell what is parody and what isn't makes this anime funnier, for me at least, and I enjoyed that. However, the story itself is not an aspect of the anime that was memorable.
Art: 7 - Not bad at all. There are some interesting methods of portraying costumes and effects when they parody certain animes. Particularly, the sailor moon transformation sequence was quite hilarious to watch, by sheer similarity to the original, and the opening themes that mimicked openings of the current anime of parody extremely closely. When they parodied DBZ, they even had strikingly similar "before commercial" and "after commercial" animations, that made me laugh. The characters are nicely designed, however animation is not super high budget and non-focused character movement is minimal. In terms of what I didn't like...the ending theme of most of the episodes had me exiting my player, due to the fact it had real life people running down school hallways all dramatically, and looking awkward. I think it was supposed to be a joke, but it sort of made me facepalm at how they looked.
Sound: 7 - Music in the anime is not a focus during normal screentime, however, when parodies come into place, mimicked themes and sound effects are awesomely similar to original content and at the same time different enough to bring laughter. One of my favourite moments concerning sound was when they parodied K-On, and the episode had the "before commercial" and "after commercial" guitar riffs that are so memorable of K-On. Last episode had a nice ending theme.
Character: 7 - There are only two characters in the anime that go through particular development, and these two characters are the single relationship that develops throughout most of the anime. I won't go into huge detail about them, because spoiling would then occur. Despite the minimal character growth, some of the characters are memorable just because of their comedic relief factor, for example, one girl is the classic "always gets her clothes torn off by something, and is obsessed with yaoi" girl. Although it is cliché'd, this was likely intended in order to have her parody such type of characters. I liked this. Other character personalities include a girl who gets turned on by cats, a "haruhi suzumiya" type club president, a "bossy tsundere loli" student council president, a "soft-spoken mature girl who can get people to do what she wants deviously" club vice president, and, my favourite, a teacher who is a super-stalker for her ex-boyfriend that claims her cat is the teacher of the class she teaches, and that she is just a young maiden. The latter character probably brought me the most laughs, because her entire usage in the plot is to be ridiculous.
Enjoyment: 5 - Although quite funny, I have seen a lot funnier anime many a time. In terms of pure parody anime, this is a reasonably good one. Seitokai Ichizon is probably better ( I haven't watched much of it, but from what I have seen, it is more coherent), in many ways. Some episodes I didn't know the anime they were parody-ing, and this results in me not even liking the episode one bit, and just mindlessly grinding through it without a laugh. For someone who has seen every anime they parody, enjoyment could probably be up to 7 or even 8, however a couple of episodes for me were just bleh. Nothing special. The ones I did know however were good laughs and I kept to watching the whole series in hopes of seeing more of them. Middle ground for enjoyment for me, resulting in a 5.
Overall fairly good, so 6/10. Wouldn't watch again unless showing friends some of the parody parts that I enjoyed, a nice quick set of ten 21 minute episodes for someone who wants a quick fix.
If you have watched Setokai no Ichizen, or GJ-bu, or Setokai Yakuindomo, then you are well prepared for this anime, which for some reason is not listed as ecchi. The Asstronomy (spelt that way on purpose) club does almost nothing with astronomy. Sure they make vague references to it, and there are hints that they all like it, but more than anything, this anime is a source of puns, parodies, references, and slapstick comedy.
The thought process goes something like this: "Plot? what's that? Like this? OH! you mean like this!" pretty much the first half is just enjoyable fun, and what little plot it
does have is actually pretty good, if somewhat shoddily delivered.
Nevertheless! do not let this deter you from watching this anime if you are just hoping for some good laughs. If you are a person who values plot and character development, then try something like Medaka box. Otherwise, enjoy!
Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu
Now I am not really one for parody shows, and while it can be done well, I find that many fall short of what they are really trying to emulate. This is where I find Ebiten. First and foremost I saw the art and I wasn’t amazed. The overly large and styled hair and almost each face being identical (really though, one scene has one face fade into another, and they fit perfectly together) was not something that I enjoyed. This could be because I recently have watched a string of shows with fantastic animation, and this one just felt
bad by comparison, but perhaps to recognize the bad, we must first know what good is. Along with the general art style, fan service was quite abundant, and while this isn’t always a bad thing, it felt very forced, and often tried to be used as comic relief rather than doing what it’s title would imply.
In short, there was no story. This show followed a plot that really focused on general, episode-long adventures, rather than an overarching plot. And while sure characters were introduced and there was some plot substance there, more could have been done to make it better. This was an ONA (Original Net Animation) and I can understand why. As the first 6 episodes were generally about nonsense, the last 4 tried very hard to have a plot that didn’t really make sense to the show as a whole. I can tell that the writers wanted me to believe the twists and turns, but at any moment I was expecting the main to wake up, and it would all be a crazy dream, but that never happened. They took the story that made little to no sense, and ran with it, ending the show like that. Outside of that, the show explores the wacky misadventures of the Astronomy Club at Ebisugawa High School.
The music also was sub-par. I noticed that each opening screen and episode had a general theme of the show it was trying to parody, but I say “screen” and not opening song because while the song and the opening animation never changed, what did were the 15-second clips of the Name of the show in various art and iconic styles. Honestly these 15 second clips were some of the coolest parts of the show. If they had chosen to change the opening each time rather than just create something short, it would have been much more memorable, but in the end the music was just forgettable. Not bad, not great, but just average. The music started to play a role in the plot, but it was so quite under the talking that it might have well been absent all together.
I had no idea going into this show what I was getting myself into. If anything I knew that the art style was going to be different and I had to adjust, but I just couldn’t. The style to me seems lazy and disappointing. While the characters seem cute, I just could not feel for them like I have for other shows. But as the references either weren’t funny or felt forced, I kept checking the time bar to see the time left. Also with the inclusion of the “pheromone story” near the end, really through me off even further. I have no problems with shows that just have episode long stories about goofing around, in fact I think I might prefer that in this type of setting. The first few episodes, based on their descriptions showed real promise, but what I read just prior to watching didn’t match up to what I watched unfold on the screen and that is a shame. This show could have been generic and easy to watch, but in turned out to be boring and one that I will not revisit.
Overall Score: 6/10