Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de is such a cumbersome title. Even Inou Battle Within Everyday Life isn’t much better. So from this point on, I’m just going to refer to this show as Inou Battle in the body of the post. Anyway, here’s the new Trigger anime. Jokes about being triggered aside, when Kill la Kill finished airing, people kept asking me if I was going to look forward to every Trigger anime from that point on. C’mon, one good show isn’t going to seal the deal. Madhouse had plenty of good shows in the past, and look where they are now (but Parasyte might be good). I mean, let’s not run before we can walk. Let’s give Trigger a chance to establish a track record before we start having ridiculous expectations of the studio. Do I expect another Kill la Kill? Nope. Kill la Kill wasn’t perfect by any means, but I doubt any studio could just keep churning shows like that out. But Trigger can at least entertain us with Inou Battle, despite its less than inspiring premise. Plus, this seems to be what the fall is slowly shaping up to be. We still have plenty of shows left to air, but I’ve noticed that when the shows are good, they’re not trying to be too much. They just execute. Can Inou Battle follow suit?
Nah, it’s fucking boring as hell. Imagine that a bunch of chuunibyous are gathered in a club. If you don’t know what a chuunibyou is, they’re often young people who think they have special powers. You know how when kids pretend as though they can shoot fireballs or whatever? Well, it’s kind of silly when you’re in high school, and you still think you’re in some kind of action anime, huh? In fact, I’m sure we still remember that KyoAni had produced a show all about chuunibyous. I only watched two episodes of that anime; I found it unfunny and, of course, full of KyoAni’s moe bullshit. As for Inou Battle, our heroes are like chuunibyous, but I guess the special twist here is that they actually got what they wished for. That’s what we’re led to believe, anyway. I still can’t shake the feeling that these kids just have an overactive imagination. But yeah, that’s essentially the premise. Jurai likes to goof around like a chuunibyou in the Literature Club, but then one day, he actually gets powers and so do his classmates. They’re all girls too, by the way. Other than Jurai himself, the only other male soul in this episode is a bad guy. So instead of a guy and a bunch of girl pretending that they have superpowers, they might actually have said powers. Oh well.
Well, not exactly. The girls seem to have cool powers. Tomoyo can stop time, Hatoko can control the elements, Sayumi can restore things back to their original state, and Chifuyu can summon stuff out of nowhere (I think). But what can Jurai do? He can summon a dark fire that doesn’t even burn. Apparently, it’s just lukewarm at best. So the biggest chuunibyou of them all ends up being rather useless. As such, he continues to overcompensate by being even more chuunibyou than ever. He might end up being the strongest of them all as the series progresses, but whatever. I don’t really care what he can or cannot do. More than halfway through the episode, the student council president confronts our heroes, and she has special powers too. She can’t quite do anything on her own, though. Rather, she can steal your special powers when she sees you activate them. The girls scare her off, however, when they realize they could just beat her up the traditional way. The club members then learn that someone had sent the student council president an anonymous message about the Literature Club. So I guess someone is trying to mess with our heroes. In the distance, a dork hangs upside down from a cherry blossom tree, and says some half-ominous stuff. And that’s it. The episode is over.
Okay, we’ve learned what each character can do. Now what? What’s the big payoff? Honestly, I don’t know. Yeah, they have powers, but to what effect? What are they going to do with said powers? That’s not to say there are no answers to these questions, but Inou Battle is in no hurry to answer them. For now, it’s content to be a light-hearted comedy that might lead to something more. Case in point, a bad guy sort of shows up at the last second, but it’s kind of hard to take him seriously. Unfortunately for me, however, I find Inou Battle incredibly unfunny. Even if Inou Battle is playing the long game, and some sort of plot — any plot — will eventually materialize in the later episodes, why wait so long? For the moment, Inou Battle just looks like a bunch of friends goofing off in a clubroom. They’ll probably run into more people like them, and maybe they’ll come to learn where their superpower had come from. The OP even hints that Jurai will eventually face off against an organization of bad guys. But if I have to sit through a bunch of unfunny fluff episodes before the story reaches that point, I’m not sure I’ll have the patience to stick around that long. I’m not terribly excited by Inou Battle’s premise. It’s just not very compelling.