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Studio Apartment, Good Lighting, Angel Included Episode #01 Anime Review

4 min read
© matoba / SQUARE ENIX / 天使つき製作委員会

“Towa and Shintaro”

What They Say:
After a long day, high schooler Shintaro Tokumitsu’s plans for relaxing in his studio apartment take a turn when he discovers an angel on his balcony. The divine girl, Towa, reveals she’s there to study humanity, and yet despite his skepticism, he agrees to put her up. Prepare for the most heavenly and high jinks roommate experience of all time!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga of the same name, it comes from matoba and began in 2020 as serialized in Monthly Shonen Gangan. The series has done well in Japan and the manga was also picked up by Yen Press who has several volumes out in English so far. The anime adaptation is one with a solid pedigree behind it with Kenta Onishi directing it from the scripts by Shogo Yasukawa. It’s animated by Okuru to Noboru which isn’t a studio that has stuck out in my mind but has had some good productions, from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Ω to this past season’s release of My Instant Death Ability Is So Overpowered. So it definitely left me curious to try it out.

One of the things I hate to do when watching or reviewing a show is to compare it to something else because it basically has to stand on its own in my view. But, sometimes, shorthand is appropriate. And from the first episode here we’re basically getting a remake of Ah! My Goddess. We’re introduced to high school student Shintaro who has a studio apartment of his own since he’s going to a distant school from where he was. He’s got a pretty standard job to help support this and works hard at it but it definitely takes its toll on him. We get a pretty good bit of information at the start about his life that makes him easily accessible and then watch him crash hard that night. Unbeknownst to him, an angel named Towa has come down to Earth in order to study humankind and report back on them and she slept on his balcony because the trip was tiring. So when he wakes up and she’s in his place, it’s a nice little bit of dialogue-chaos as he thinks she’s just a stranger and kind of weird.

So he’s actually pretty glad when he heads off for the day and she departs as well and he figures he’ll never see her again since she’s obviously crazy. But after work, he comes across her in the street where she’s being taken advantage of by a creepy guy and he ends up rescuing her, though it ends up using the last of his strength. So the bonding begins with her taking care of him and you get all the standard trappings of this kind of milquetoast friendship-to-romance thing. The back half starts to work on how these two will live and operate together since he feels responsible for her as she’s just obviously incredibly naive. Shintaro does his best to keep up with her but that child-like innocence causes a lot of cute situations to be dealt with. It’s a good episode in showing how the two navigate things together and his helping her to adjusting to dealing with human things, but also personalizing the experience such as getting her own cat mug. It’s cute, which is the draw.

© matoba / SQUARE ENIX / 天使つき製作委員会

In Summary:
While there are a few pervy moments that are more reactions than actually showing anything pervy, the majority of the show is pretty innocent. It feels like it follows the Ah! My Goddess model pretty well here and you know there’s a slate of more chaotic personalities coming down the line to make things more complicated for Shintaro. The relationship dynamics are very much in the “cute” stage with nothing meaningful here but I can see it attempting to be more as time goes on in order to draw the characters out and play with that dynamic. It helps that the show has a good look to it with lots of details – especially in capturing the shopping district experience – and that kind of approach makes it feel very real and accessible to audiences. I can see this as a pretty harmless and fun little exercise but it’s also going to have me drawing a lot of parallels to other properties because it is so familiar.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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