What They Say:
When a pair of sexy girls, Maria and Mio, come to live with high school student Basara Tojo, his life changes forever. The two girls have a secret that they don’t keep for long-Maria is a succubus, and Mio is a future Demon Lord. But Basara has a secret of his own-he’s the last descendant from a clan of demon-fighting heroes. They come up with creative ways to resolve their differences.
The audio presentation for this series brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo along with the English language dub done the same, both of which are done up in the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The show works a lot of dialogue with some fun action thrown into the mix to keep it lively and that has it running all over the place from episode to episode with what it does. The dialogue aspects are nicely handled, especially the silkier moments, and the action has a good sense of impact when the magic is flying or the swords are hitting each other. There’s a lot going on when the action side picks up and the encoding gives it a nice boost with some extra bass in a few scenes that heightens the impact. But both mixes overall are very nicely done with a clean presentation that brings everything through without problems such as dropouts or distortions.
Originally airing in 2015, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes plus OVA are spread across two discs with nine on the first and four on the second. Animated by Production IMS, the show has plenty of standard moments about it that you’d expect when it comes to character animation but it delivers such huge dividends on the high-end scenes that it’s all worthwhile. The character animation, in general, is solid but when it gets sexual and pervy the quality shoots through the roof and the color design, which is already strong, is just fantastic. The money is in these shots to be sure and the payoff is strong and made stronger thanks to a very clean encoding. Fans want this release because it’s uncensored and they want the best-looking presentation it can have and there is only lots to like here and nothing to really complain about as it’s strong across the board.
The packaging for this release comes in a slightly thicker than usual Blu-ray case that holds the two discs for each format and it comes with an o-card that replicates the case artwork. The front cover is a familiar character key visual piece for Basara and Mio with them in action and working together that works well enough, particularly with the indistinct background colors applied to it that gives the character artwork more focus. The logo is nicely laid out with some simplicity to it but enough personality so as to not dominate it and overall it’s appealing without revealing just how utterly pervy it is. The back cover goes for a symbol background that doesn’t stand out much and has the summary of the premise covered well enough. We get the nod that this is uncut and uncensored but nothing about the shots from the show really makes it clear what you’re getting. The packaging really makes this look fairly standard to almost innocent. The extras are clearly listed and we get a solid breakdown of the technical information. With the case being the same, the reverse side has an added piece with a main cast key visual under the right side while the left just has the series logo.
The extras for this release has the basics that we like to have with the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences. But it also has the six mini bonus pieces included with the Japanese releases called Maria’s Secret Video. These basically recap some of the sexy times throughout the show with the two commenting on it from static chibi versions of themselves. It’s not bad and it has some cute moments but the lack of a play-all feature for things that are three to four minutes each is frustrating.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novels by Tetsu Uesu and illustrated by Nekosuke Okuma. Testament of Sister New Devil is a twelve episode anime series that aired in the winter 2015 season and was followed-up with an OVA. The light novels are still ongoing since kicking off in 2012 with eleven of them so far and the show had a second season in late 2015 while also bringing out a new OVA in 2018. The broadcast/simulcast of the show is one that I skipped over because you could tell that it would involve a lot of light beams to cover up all the naughty material and I’m glad I did because this works really well as a marathon show and with all of that flesh exposed. Some series just work far better leaning hard into the fanservice and this one excels at it.
But let’s be honest from the start; this is a series that doesn’t do anything radically new and just from the summary of the premise you can map out the entire run of the season easily. It’s the execution that makes it a winner as we’re introduced to Basara, an oddly named young man whose father has suddenly remarried and he’s now learned that he has a sister named Mio. The trick of it all is that Mio, along with the cute goth-loli friend Maria, are actually demons that are in hiding and are intending to blank the men’s minds and use their place to hide out. Mio’s actually the hidden daughter of the demon king that has now been killed so she’s got a lot of power and there are plenty of demons after her. Of course, it’s not going to go easy because Basara and his father are originally from the hero clan but were exiled after an issue five years prior. So he’s immune to some of their magic and circumstances forces them to live together.
Shenanigans ensue, additional characters arrive, a twist enters the picture, and the final four or so episodes delve into a more serious storyline that closes out the first chapter. Bonus: An OVA that dives right into the fanservice and pervy nature without the constraints of TV and just enjoys the hell out of itself as a kind of dream anything goes episode.
While the predictability is built into it, the show is simply a hell of a lot of fun. Part of that is that Basara isn’t a rube just being taken advantage of here and lusted after by a growing gaggle of young women. He’s a competent young man with his own backstory that’s being explored and is aware of the bigger picture thanks to being a part of the hero clan. It also doesn’t hurt that in the pact that’s formed between him and Mio that it switches it from the usual where he’s the master portion of it and Mio as the servant and that it’s designed to try and deal with a curse that’s been laid out. That leads to the fanservice but it’s a different dynamic than we usually get. Basara’s a solid male lead here in that he’s protective of her and the others as time goes on but he’s not beholden to any particular side. If anything, he’s essentially creating his own side here and drawing in powers from the other sides.
The other area that works is the sexuality. With as many shows as I watch I’ve seen quite a few where it’s just out of place or poorly done because the character interactions don’t feel right. With that working well here, and knowing that it’s just embracing the sexuality side of things in a big way, it all works extremely well. The quality of the animation is there and with the usual range of characters and playfulness of it all it just works. There’s some issue to be had with Maria since she looks young as the goth-loli type and even the nod that her type of demon all look like this when we see her mother later is there, and I totally understand the uncomfortable nature of it. But I’ve also met and have a number of friends that are in their late twenties that look like they’re still in high school and how problematic that can be in trying to have actual relationships. So, that doesn’t bother me as much as it might some others but it’s the rest of the cast that I really like how it works. Basara and Mio are definitely the best and I really like his friend Yuki’s involvement and confidence as she tries to stay in his circle. We get a little involvement with a teacher as well of course and a few other potential women are in the mix but it’s not trying to overload who lives in the house. Which is good as Basara has to do a lot of things to deal with Mio’s curse with a lot of near-sex scenes happening. The OVA takes us further than the TV show and that works wonders.
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this series other than the basic expectations of the genre but I came away from it enjoying the hell out of it. While the story and structure of it is entirely predictable and I won’t deny that at all, the execution of it is strong. It’s fun, it has some very good emotional beats, it’s building a larger background story with plenty to explore, and it thoroughly enjoys its sexuality without any shame. Funimation’s release of this for Crunchyroll brings us a very fun dub and a great looking show that has me excited for what else this franchise has in its future as I want more of it right now.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Maria’s Secret Video, Textless Opening & Closing Songs
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: October 31st, 2017
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.