When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace. Let that title sink in. It sets a lot of expectations, you expect super powers, you expect fights, and just from how it is phrased, it probably won't all be super serious. This anime delivers on all fronts, and then ramps it up another notch. We start with a normal day for the literature club. Andou, the lone male of the group, acts out a “training exercise” as each other club member shows up. How would they react if his arm is suddenly imbued with magical fire? This short segment teases each character's personality and how they interact with Andou and each other. After everyone is collected, Andou starts to explain how maybe he will have super powers, maybe they all will. Then a huge white light appears and consumes them all.
Six months later, they all have powers, and are completely well-balanced. They are still the same characters as before, they just have powers. Thankfully this is the monthly power check time, so we get a peak at what each character's power set is, and Andou is kind enough to narrate it all to explain the depth of the abilities.
After the danger room scenario is through, the class president arrives and the first supernatural battle is set to begin. What follows is one of the most inventive and logical fight scene I have seen in a long time. Expectations are met and also toyed with, and I can't even remotely do the sequence justice without spoiling it all. Needless to say, it is wonderfully done and is character driven, masterfully animated, and also hilarious. Which really explains the series thus far. The story seems to know what the audience is expecting from the series, and gives you what you are expecting but also tosses curve balls at you.
These curves are subtle spins to the left when it was expected it would spin right instead. The mysterious figure isn't tied to the secret origins of the group, but instead to one individual and understands Andou more than anyone else. Jokes are made at the expense of what one would expect from an anime with super powered high schoolers, yet also some of the tropes are touched upon.
While the cast is one male lead, and four females, it isn't a harem show. And while Andou has been the focus thus far, it is because he fully believed in super powers before they ever occurred, and thus far is the main character. Each other character has a unique personality and set of traits. While they start off as the possible love interest, the naïve one, the stoic but young child, and the tough guy, they are so much more. Tomoyo Kanzaki is also a bit of a chunibyo, but nowhere near as much as Andou. She plays along sometimes, but also takes care of the group frequently. Sayumi Takanashi has two black belts, but also loves reading and there are hints she is a fan of romances. Chifuyu Himeki is the stoic child, who also uses her stuffed animal to talk to Andou when she is upset with him, whining and crying like the child she is if the stuffed animal is taken away. Hatoko Kushikawa thus far has the least growth, but it is only three episodes, she did tell a wonderful tale of her past though which does show there is more than just a polite naivete.
In three episodes the characters have been introduced, a love story has blossomed and ended, and a mysterious stranger with clues to a dark past have appeared. Yet also there has been creative uses of supernatural powers, character based comedy, and just a well written anime. If you are wanting a light-hearted story that is smart and funny, When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is the show for you.
Director: Masanori Takahashi Studio: Trigger