Beware of ill-fitting tracksuits
A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment
What’s up Moar Powah readers? Ready to get your game on? The Inverseman here with another review! Today we’re looking at the comedy anime D-Frag. How high does this manga adaptation score? Find out!
D-Frag follows Kenji Kazama, claimed high-school delinquent, and his escapades in the Game Creation Club with its less-than-sane members. At first I went in with unknown expectations for, you see, “I’m making you join my school club” with a predominately female membership is one of two red flags that make me wary of fanservice and pandering. However, once I started watching, I honestly couldn’t stop laughing.
Most of the time with the pointless-school-club setup, it’s an excuse to dangle fanservice instead of gags and be too lazy to draw backgrounds for anything except the club room. It’s safe to say, D-Frag does none of this. The actual jokes are a mile a minute and of the crack-humor style. One moment everyone is playing poker and Kazama, usually the straightman of the gags, confidently reveals a straight-flush, but his fellow club members have something completely ridiculous. Non-sequitur humor abounds and everything is taken to the extreme to the point where the school-wide involvement and destruction is a regular affair for the most trivial matters. Nothing is sacred, not even the fourth wall.
The characters are a blast to watch. Seeing Kazama get completely flustered or be provoked to unnecessary levels of violence is nothing but hilarious. Roka, the Game Creation Club’s president is a mix of adorable and funny with her random nature. Takao is a much-needed second source of sanity, but her neurotic reactions to the gags help freshen things up. Actually there is a small love triangle between Kazama, Roka, and Takao, but it never devolves into melodrama and is played for laughs. The other characters have their own quirks, and while screentime is uneven, they are decidedly minor or actually recognized as minor.
The central weak point of D-Frag lies in two departments. The first is that while the series is very well-paced, progressing at a very delightful clip, it’s unfortunately short. The twelve episodes seemed to have blown past me with how well the series keeps you engaged. The other weak point was the animation quality. No real barriers were pushed, but most comedy anime don’t have much budget anyway. To its benefit however, unlike certain other shows about school clubs, the setting does vary around the school and classroom so the art direction was not a soulless affair.
Now the voice acting is where the show Kana Hanazawa delivers the perfect cute, off-kilter, and sometimes crazy Roka. The dub is no slouch either. FUNimation seems to dub comedy anime the best, and this is no exception. With how quickly the jokes roll, the writing needs to be snappy, and even the dub actors really brought out the levels needed. DVDs come with the staple commentaries and also the ads shown on Japanese television.
For the final verdict, I thoroughly enjoyed D-Frag from start to finish. It definitely exceeded expectations with its A-list jokes, good plot-pacing, and ridiculous characters. It’s still so on the short side. Season 2 renewal someday? Now it’s difficult to score comedy in relation to other genres, so D-Frag gets a 4.0/5. It does feel more like a 87-90% or a B+/A- though. Join me next time when I Let’s Play the next version of the Scramble for Porn Mags in Space.
– Great gags
– Very well-paced plot
– Excellent acting for excellent characters
– Production values are okay-ish
– Painfully short
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