What They Say:
Lotte has invited her friends and staff to the royal family beach. The swimsuits are revealing, and the watermelons run for their life. This might prove too much for Naoya to handle.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Life has settled a fair bit for Naoya and the others and the group has found themselves on the private royal beach at Lotte’s invitation with several friends so they can have some fun in the sun and relax after all the recent drama with a visiting dignitary that got closer to Lotte than most others had before. Like a lot of the beach episodes we’ve seen throughout many anime series over the years, there are standard things that are to be done here. That includes showing off various swimsuits (which aren’t anywhere near as bad as they could be; we’ve seen worse on young kids at the local beach during the summer) and other fun activities.
Of course, the more adult characters, particularly with the queen, show off their large chests which would leave them in a fair bit of back pain on a regular basis, but they are demons so we can kind of overlook that. While there’s a lot of skin showing, I continue to find the show one that doesn’t really push it too far because it doesn’t linger, it doesn’t work awkward angles to show just crotch shots and shots from behind. That goes a long way towards easing the awkwardness of the show, at least for me. It still manages to have a good deal of fun with it and if you like the characters and want to see them in skimpy outfits, you get it, but it’s not pandering to the same level as a lot of other shows do.
Into every bit of fun there must be some drama, and that comes when Naoya ends up succumbing to a significant fever that ends up putting him in bed. He’s got the high temps but there are things about it that’s causing Judit to question what’s going on and Naoya himself is trying to keep quiet about how part of him is getting rather hot. Of course, after praising the show over many weeks for the way it manages to play things pretty well considering its content, this one goes a bit further with things while still keeping in tone with what Naoya’s overall job really is with Lotte. The results of his inaction with her over it since arriving has come home full circle here though and it’s putting him in an uncomfortable position. With the comparisons to how Lotte has to do these things in order to live and become an adult succubus, it’s still problematic for Naoya and he gets a bit more understanding of Lotte’s position. It’s an interesting approach to take and while it can make you cringe with the way the characters are designed, it is just the kind of mythology being presented about the succubi themselves.
Astarotte’s Toy continues to be the show that’s easy to beat up on and I can see it and understand it clearly, but the heart behind it is what keeps drawing me back to it all. There’s plenty of things that can be uncomfortable with it, though I do continue to think it plays it much better than many other series that go for hardcore fanservice, but the characters themselves and the situation they’re in is just very enjoyable to watch. Naoya’s struggles with understanding what Lotte is going through and the interactions others place on them continue to be fun as it avoids going over the top or overdoing the wacky material. It’s not real world, but it plays things in a toned down way that’s quite appealing and allows it to stand apart from the usual pile of shows that are all about the titillation. This episode ups the uncomfortable side but layers it with enough humor that you can grin throughout it while wincing just a little bit.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
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