First Impressions: Hundred
Every season, I watch a single episode (just one, because I don't want my brain to explode from pure rage) of an anime series I just know is going to be bad. Perhaps it's to remind myself that not every anime is going to be great, perhaps it's because I have too much free time. It may even be because I have hope that they'll be better than I think they will be, though that's rarely ever happened. Either way, generally, they tend to have some of the same idiotic elements: poorly utilized school settings, magic, harems, hapless main characters. Hundred has all of these, so you can guess how it goes.
This anime leaps right past tolerable and into garbage level within seconds. Hundred is set in a world where a strange lifeform known as "Savages" are attacking the Earth, and the only thing capable of stopping them are humans who can use the "Hundred", called such because of its ability to take one of hundreds of forms depending on the person using it. Kisaragi Hayato is the newest Hundred user, one with the highest compatibility rating thus far, and as such is granted entrance into the prestigious university Little Garden, where he can learn to use his powers.
All of this is fairly standard, up to and including the part where his arrival at the school makes huge waves. Dodging a pair of students who are seeking to greet him, Hayato ends up causing both students to be expelled by the school's class president, Claire Harvey when they're late trying to find him. Because of this, Hayato is suddenly forced into a battle to save them from being expelled by his new roommate and "partner", Emile Crossford.
That, is the basic gist of the first episode of Hundred. It's also completely, utterly garbage. I have so many questions. Why do so many series lately open with some kind of horrific dark shit where monsters are destroying everything, only to reveal that it's a flashback or a flash forward, or a weird flash foward that's also somehow a flashback, and then we go to some mundane school setting? Why are school settings so boring? How come in every harem series 80 percent of the women are bitches? Mind you, this is less my insulting women and more a criticism of how horribly they seem to be written in any harem series. Let's go down the list for horrible people in this series:
- Claire Harvey, a woman who decides to expel a pair of girls who presumably were doing their job welcoming what's basically a celebrity student to the school. I get being a hard-ass, but expulsion? Even the explanation sucked. "On the battlefield, the slightest mistake will get you killed." It's accurate, but an utter non-sequitur--they're not IN battle, they're in "normal" life. Do you get expelled for every tiny mistake? If so, how does this school have so many students?
- Emile Crossford. Initially, I thought Emile was going to be a trap, which is kind of cool and "progressive" for anime. But over the course of the episode, any goodwill earned by my perceving the series as trying something new was eliminated. Emile's a bitch--dragging the main character into things he didn't ask for, and assaulting him for simple shit like walking into his own room just because they were getting dressed. "It's your fault, you should've knocked." YOU DON'T KNOCK AT YOUR OWN DOOR, THAT'S WHY IT'S YOURS. Then I learned Emile was actually a girl, so she's basically just the typical "I'm going to assault you whenever a situation that could be perceived as sexually awkward for me" pops up. My mind shuts off when I see characters like these and I find myself filled with blinding rage, which is why it took so long to write these impressions. I spent the last week trying to stop myself from shouting horrific expletives at random people on the street.
- Even his sister, Kisaragi Karen, is kind of a bitch. Getting mad at your brother for not coming to see you on time, that's fair. But it's significantly less fair when said sister needs hospital care, and is only getting it because her brother is going to school to make sure she gets the help she needs. At that point, isn't he already basically a saint to you? Are you even allowed to GET angry? Like, what's happening here.
And yes, maybe asking for decent portrayals of female characters in a genre where basically their role is to fawn over a single male character. But once reverse harems became a thing (and a popular thing at that), I was willing to let go of the absurdity of the genre's existence. All I ask for are likable characters with logical reasoning skills and consistent motivations. (For instance: Sekirei.) But man I couldn't even get that.
This first episode sucked. It's bright spots are that it's pretty, and has a fairly expansive color palette. But just because you put glitter on a balled-up piece of paper, doesn't mean it doesn't belong in the garbage.