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Final Impressions: Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?

Sorry to leave you all hanging. After episode 7, I was all ready to write up some impressions, but then what seemed to be a major battle started. So I decided to wait until it ended. Well, that ended up being the conclusion of the series (barring any further seasons). I enjoyed Problem Children are Falling from the Sky, aren’t they? (Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sō Desu yo?), and that punctuation kinda reflects my feelings for this series. While it was fun to watch and knew how to make fun of itself and its genre, the show’s broad vision and short, 10-episode run ultimately ended up making this a very forgettable series that fell short in almost everything it seemed to want to do.

Mondaiji… never quite delivered on any of the more interesting aspects at which it formerly hinted, such as those drawn by the conflicts/relationships regarding the use of parallel world intersection; Izayoi’s puppetry of the No-Name’s leader, Jin Russell; or the effort that went into laying out the world’s rules. The light novel by Yu Amano and the manga by Rio Nanamomo, which are (I assume) the source material for this anime, are still ongoing, but stopping at episode 10 feels like a good enough end.

The characters are rounded and grown to a decent degree. To the show’s credit, it was adept in endowing the characters with different individual, Problem Children group, and No-Name group airs and attributes. The down side is that what is witnessed when a character is alone or around their newfound Earthly cohorts or any of the No-Name clan is static – the characters do not change. The show adds on situations to make growth seem to occur when it actually does not. But at least the show was trying? Then again, trying is pretty much all Maondaiji… seemed capable of given its scope.

A big to-do was made of getting the no-name community – this formerly-decimated community that was so close to literally falling off the edge of the world – to rise in strength and gain momentum in climbing the proverbial ladder, yet nothing even came close to fulfilling that aspect of the plot. We did see the community revive and make plans, but in 10 episodes, there’s not a lot the series could really have done to accommodate such an epic undertaking without falling short or glossing over just about everything. Why bother elaborating on such a world if its rules are not leveraged to give meaning to the struggle? What viewers inevitably wind up with is a series that is fun to watch for its humor and banter rather than anything else.

Battles are pretty if only almost immediately forgettable; in hindsight, I remember most ending enthusiastically if only disappointingly with Izayoi punching or kicking something really hard (oh so impression-inducing, eh?). The multi-part conclusion, although unnecessarily convoluted, is actually the most memorable as it brings together both individual and team dynamics. It’s in these episodes that the series tries to wrap itself up with the No Name community representatives (the problem children) taking part in another community’s leader inauguration festivities, which come to include a grand gift game, posed by a party-crashing Demon Lord, that mixes and a riddle and action and affects the whole world as opposed to just the protagonists.

The real problem is that, even at its best, Mondaiji… was enjoyable fluff with promising hints. This is a shame given the quality of the show’s banter as well as its visual gags. If another season gets animated, I’d watch if for no other reason than to pray that the time and effort the series has spent laying its groundwork culminate in some sense of progression. Otherwise, I’ll just watch Kuro Usagi and Izayoi trade barbs and sexual innuendo and be quite happy with that if I have 20-some minutes to waste on a chuckle each week.

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