Review for Testament of Sister New Devil - Part 1 Collectors
Well here something we don’t see a lot of, a saucy harem sex comedy. Forgive the sarcasm, as yet another staple, schedule filling series is released here, like so many others, where a male protagonist gets a convoluted and contrived reason to massage a girl’s breasts (in this one it’s to alleviate the symptoms of a curse). These are the shows on which the anime industry survives. People will watch them, people will buy them; they’re the staple diet of the young teen male anime fan, even if they are practically identikit. All that really matters is that they are enjoyable. If they happen to be individual into the bargain, that’s just a welcome bonus. Sarcasm aside, there is a first with this release. This is the first title from the Crunchyroll/Funimation tie-up that we are getting in the UK, so we get a whole new logo on the discs.
Basara Tojo gets a surprise from his dad one day. He’s going to be a brother. His dad is getting remarried (although his wife-to-be is working overseas), and Basara gets two step-sisters into the bargain. First impressions aren’t good during their meeting at a restaurant, when Basara walks into the toilet without reading the ‘out of order/knock first’ sign. Second impressions are worse when big sis Mio Naruse tries to be sisterly and wake her brother up for school, only little sis Maria Naruse has given Basara the kind of present that can only be misconstrued. Then his father has to go abroad on an assignment, leaving Basara home alone with Mio and Maria. It turns out that Mio and Maria have been keeping a secret from Basara. It’s only fair, as Basara has a secret too, one which makes the new ‘siblings’ perfectly suited to each other.
Thirteen episodes of Testament of Sister New Devil are presented across two Blu-rays from All the Anime.
1. The Day I Got a Little Sister
2. First Contract Between Servant and Master
3. Reunion and a Gap in Trust
4. Until Sadness Reaches Zero
5. A Little Sister’s Morning Demon Lording
6. Bearing Growing Emotions
7. The Depths of Love and Hatred
8. Erotic Succubus Out of Control
9. Merits and Demerits of Master and Servant
10. Plaintive Betrayal
11. Espionage... What Lies After
12. For This Night, This Moment
OVA. Tojo Basara’s Hard, Sweet Daily Life
Testament of Sister New Devil gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these discs, which is clear and sharp, with strong consistent colours. The animation is smooth and fluid, and there are no issues with aliasing, or visible compression, although banding is of a greater concern here than usual. The anime character designs are typically generic, but the emphasis is on the fan service, and the show makes the most out of the female characters’ assets.
The images in this review were taken from the DVD and aren’t representative of the Blu-ray.
You have the choice between Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo English and Japanese, with English subtitles and signs locked to the appropriate track. I watched the Japanese version, although what I sampled of the English dub sounded acceptable enough. The subtitles are timed accurately and free of typos. The stereo is sufficient in bringing across the comedy, and the occasional action sequence. The music suits the show well, without really standing out, and the theme songs are definitely skippable.
The discs present their content with animated menus.
Disc 1 autoplays a trailer for High School DxD Born.
Disc 2 autoplays with a trailer for Valkyrie Drive Mermaid
The big extra feature is the Maria Secret Video Collection, of which there are 6 running to a total of 26:28. Basically it’s a collection of the saucy scenes from the show, this time with colour commentary from Maria and her ‘guest’, usually Mio.
You get the Textless Credits (with locked subs), and trailers for Omamorihimari, Freezing Vibration, Shimoneta, and Unbreakable Machine Doll.
I haven’t seen the retail release to comment on the physical extras or packaging.
I worry for all these Japanese animators, although I have greater concern for their wives/girlfriends/significant others. I’ve seen several of these ecchi shows now, series with animated soft-core action aimed at a young teen audience, but inevitably shoved into the 18 rating bracket by the BBFC, where it won’t do the slightest bit of good for anyone. All of them have variations on the same sex scene theme. The male will begin by kneading the breasts of the female like he’s making bread. He will then flick the nipples, simultaneously on both breasts like toggle switches, twice, no more, no less. He will then clamp on like a new-born getting their first feeding. This will be enough to throw the female into paroxysms of ecstasy. Testament changes things up a gear in one scene. The protagonist begins by kneading butt-cheeks like he’s making bread...
All of these saucy anime sex-comedies tend to blur into one. I guess the thing to do is to find your favourite, the one with characters and story that you care more about, and invest in that. So when I opine that Testament of Sister New Devil isn’t all that great, it’s more of a subjective opinion than most that I have, and the proof is really in the pudding. But these shows are so cookie cutter in their comedy and character archetypes, that they really need to do something different with their stories to stand out. Unfortunately, even on those narrow criteria, Testament of Sister New Devil is playing on a crowded field of mediocrity. The presentation of the show begins by shooting itself in the foot, when disc 1 autoplays a trailer for High School DxD Born, another ecchi series that throws concepts of heaven and hell, demons and angels into its erotic mix, and does it better than this show, enough to warrant four seasons. Come to think of it, Testament of Sister New Devil is also jostling for space with So I Can’t Play H.
Basara’s dad is about to get remarried, and he gets two sisters as part of the deal, Mio and Maria. Only Mio and Maria are demons, from hell, while Basara is secretly of a hero clan with some serious powers. After an initial confusion, it turns out that Mio and Maria are nice demons, with Mio the daughter of the late demon king and heir to that throne, and they’re hiding out on Earth from evil demons looking to usurp that power. Basara agrees to help them, and to that end, Maria forges a master-servant pact between Mio and Basara. Except that Maria is a succubus in a loli’s body, with a seriously dirty mind, and she gets the pact backwards. Now, whenever Mio disobeys her ‘master’, or has bad thoughts about him, the curse activates, and she gets sexually aroused. The only way to calm her down is for Basara to do that breast kneading ritual I mentioned earlier.
A hero living with a demon looks strange indeed, and it isn’t long before more of the clan of heroes show up with an eye to eliminating the demon princess. One of these is Basara’s childhood friend, Yuki, who has now grown up, becoming the kind of girl with breasts ripe enough to be kneaded. Instead of killing Mio, Yuki moves in, and gets Maria to forge a pact between them as well. And the harem begins to grow... If you’re worried about Maria’s childlike stature potentially offending the BBFC, and your own sensibilities, she conveniently has an adult mode for when she’s feeling really frisky, where she gains in height, her hips get wider, her breasts grow to the size of two balls of dough.
Somewhere in the middle of all this is a story about certain figures in the Underworld targeting Mio for her powers, and Basara having to do his best to protect her. The villain is unveiled, and events move to a big finale and then the series leaves us on an open-ended note, with the desperate cry to the sponsors for a second season that usually falls on deaf ears, but this time has actually resulted in a second season, Testament of Sister New Devil BURST. And Burst is exactly what will happen if you keep kneading those implants!
Testament of Sister New Devil is a thoroughly average show, watchable enough, entertaining after a fashion, doing just enough to get the hormones flowing in a young teen male audience, but as so often happens with such shows in the UK, it’s rated out of that demographic and instead aimed at viewers of an age who can afford an Internet connection, and all the wonders that free porn can bring. Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel the urge to bake something.