I recently finished watching The Testament of Sister New Devil and it occurred to me that reviewing the series isn’t complete unless I have a little chat with the Shinmai-Guy, Dewbond from the Shallow Dives in Anime. No one has had more to say about the series and as a regular guest of the site, it felt rude not to. As with the other discussion posts on this site, it’s best viewed directly on the website. Click Here!
Hey, Dewbond, thanks for agreeing to join me for the discussion we’ve all been waiting for. I know you think about it many time a day and I’ve only recently watched it, so it should be good to see how our opinions differ. As you’ve probably guessed we’ll be discussing The Testament of Sister New Devil or Shinmai Maou no Tesutamento. Anyhow, I’ve made you wait long enough. So, Dewbond, what do you think about Shinmai?
Hey Lynn, glad to be back here once again, what are we talking about- ah FUCK.
Sigh! Well, I knew this day would come, let’s fucking talk about Shinmai Maou no Testament. This is a series that I have a history with, where I’ve run the gambit from hatred, to black hatred, to ambivalence, to ambivalent hatred, and back to ambivalence. I’m sure you’ve seen my blog posts going over the series in frankly, way too much detail.
Indeed. I’ve never seen such a range of emotions and all attached to this show. In all honesty, I started out a fairly curious and went through a few stages from shock to boredom. I’m a big fan of ecchi shows and a lack of story is fairly common, but this series really pushed my tolerance levels. I’m looking forward to really getting into it. Where would you like to start?
Shinmai is a show that I think needs to be discussed in two separate parts: The Ecchi, and The Actual Plot, because both of them represented the best and worst the series has to offer. Let’s talk about the ecchi first, because that is what 99% of people came to watch the show for. What did you think of the fanservice?
Sounds like a plan. Firstly, I’m just going to say that the scenarios are as hot as hell. There’s clearly been a lot of attention paid to these scenes in terms of animation. My big issue with the ecchi stuff though is that other than Maria, no one seems to be into it.
Basara seems like he’s having a terrible time being forced to do these terrible things and the same goes for Mio except she just seems to be mad. Even Yuki only seems to tolerate it so that she can keep up with Mio. Where is the passion, the excitement, the thrill? It just feels wooden.
An interesting take, I would agree in some parts. First off, yes, the ecchi is absolutely stellar, some of the best stuff short of hentai. It’s clear they knew where the bread as being buttered, and Shinmai wastes no time in showing the goods. There are some scenes are legit ‘hot under the collar’, ‘holy shit’ moments. This is an ecchi show, and when it comes to that, Shinmai Maou passes with flying colors.
What I would say though, is that I do think some girls are into it more than others. Maria who is the driving force behind it is clearly enjoying herself, and Chisato’s moment in the final episodes you can’t deny. It’s probably the best scene in the series. However, I agree that neither Mio and Yuki seem to be all that interested, doing it more because they have to remain stronger. Though it is clear that as the story goes on, Mio becomes more and more eager to have those moments with Basara, he himself really doesn’t show any real interest.
But that gets to one of the major problems of the series, that anytime it shows that Basara might be having an emotion, the series chickens out.
The infamous blackout scene! I just feel like it would be more enjoyable if everyone was enjoying it. It wouldn’t have to go too far either. I just want everyone to be having fun!!!
I feel like that was the main issue with the whole series. A failure to commit held it back across the board. Straying from the fan-service for a just a second, even the fights lacked any real intensity or conviction. It had some nice visuals, but otherwise, it was fairly average.
Well, I think that brings us to the overall plot of the story, which should start at Basara Toujou. What are your thoughts on him in regards to those blackout scenes and beyond?
I think it would have been nice to get some sort of reasoning for it and I don’t think that would have been too hard to fit in. Basara was fairly boring and didn’t really hold my interest as a protagonist. It’s a shame because the first episode did enough to make me interested in the story but it never really took off after that.
Like all harem male leads, there has to be a degree of being unaware of what is happening, because if they are, they might just pick a girl and the entire harem falls apart or becomes something different completely. I’ve always accepted that, but the really good harem/ecchi shows often add layers to the male character which endear them to the audience. Basara has all the potential to be one of the best male harem leads, maybe even THE best, but the show absolutely pussies out each time.
Look at the scene in the bath with the cake. Basara just snapping and starting to lather the girls up with the cake is a great moment where the stoic lead finally lets his guard down and really indulges in his primal lust. That is a great moment, and it should have resonated with him. A real push-pull between what Basara knows he HAS to do, and what he WANTS to do would have been great depth to this character. You can still have the harem antics we all love and make that work, but the story just fades out and pretends it was all a dream. It’s fucking infuriating.
Agreed. Giving him a little internal conflict would have been a great change and made his actions more believable. It also had all the baggage from the Hero Village but we never really looked into that beyond showing us what happened. That should have really played out in the fight with the heroes, but again… no commitment.
The guy is covered head to toe in scars, and that is NEVER brought up. Not once!
In all the moments where he’s naked around the girls, Mio, Yuki, NO one ever asks him about it. That would have been a great moment of development, but instead, it’s just Basara being the stoic boring-ass male harem lead. Now he’s not Ichika from Infinite Stratos, the worst harem lead of a somewhat decent harem anime, of all time, but he is not far off. What is frustrating though is that you can SEE where Basara can be made better, it’s laid out in the text and subtext of the story, but the story is either unwilling or unable to do anything with it.
Definitely, there was a lot of potential. Even fixing the boring story wouldn’t have been that difficult. It never felt like there was urgency or that anything really mattered. We know he’s going to win, but at least make it look like he might lose. I think that’s enough about Basara. Where would you like to look next?
Well, let’s talk about the girls and where they stand in the wider world of harem females. Now I’ve said before on my blog that a show can have a dumb plot, and a boring male lead, but as long as it has endearing and fun female characters it’ll be successful. I still believe that. A harem NEEDS to have good, well designed, sexy and fun female characters or else it’s going to bomb. What is your take on the girls of Shinmai?
Firstly, let me say that I loved Maria. She was the shining light in the series and was a lot of fun. On top of that, she had her trump card which turned her into the perfect girl in my opinion.
As for Mio and Yuki… well, they were fine. Obviously, Mio was the boobs and Yuki the bum, but they also lacked a bit of personality. Mio in the first episode was excellent, especially when she woke Basara up, but we never really saw that level of confidence again. Yuki was also fairly flat and just did things to not be outdone by Mio. The competition between them should have been far more intense, but it also just seemed to go through the motions.
Chisato was stunning and also quite endearing, but other than episode thirteen which was after the actual story finished, she didn’t really do that much. What was the deal with the bandaid she put on Basara’s finger?
God only knows, but yeah, the girls of Shinmai range from interesting, to just plain dull. They are all sexy as hell, no bones about it, but Mio has literally nothing about her that hasn’t been done before. Her mannerism, her hairstyle, her personality, everything is something you’ve seen if you spent just a few months really diving into the anime world. She honestly feels like an answer to the popularity of Rias Gremory in High School DxD, that Shinmai needed their own busty red-head. The problem is that there is no layers or depth, or interesting takes given to her.
Now I’m ok with that, and Mio being the princess who needs to be rescued, having been thrown into a situation out of her control is fine, but there just isn’t anything aside from her (excellent) tits that catch my interest. Yuki meanwhile is just a discount version of Date A Live’s Origami. I never cared much for Maria, but she does have the only real personality out of the main cast. Chisato I loved, mostly because she is in the only real great scene in that first season and has some actual real chemistry with Basara.
Agreed. Mio is definitely Shinmai’s answer to Rias, although it’s not really close to being correct. Also, as you say they all look good, but lack personality. It is yet another missed opportunity for the series. So, was there anything you actually liked, other than the Chisato scene?
I liked the cake scene, and the animation is actually quite solid throughout. The fanservice, of course, is grade-A quality, and there are some moments of the first episode that had me going. “Hey, this is actually pretty good,” but that’s honestly it. What about yourself?
Pretty much everything you said. The syrup was also great and I really enjoyed the way Maria teased Basara constantly. That was the most interesting relationship for me. I also had to laugh at the heart of the monster that had been Zolgear’s castle and it looked like a clitoris…
Another thing that bugged me. I was pretty disappointed with the heroes who decided that they should take care of Mio because of the demons that were trying to get her, rather than the actual problem – the demons. That wasn’t a very heroic decision.
I did like Basara’s guy friend, though I can’t remember his name (which speaks to the level of endearment these characters have). I will admit that he is better than Kiba is for Issei in High School DxD..
Hell, I can’t even remember much of the story, aside from “sexy times, sexy times, boring plot, sexy times.”
You’ve pretty much summed up the entire series right there. And his friend’s name was Lars (well, that was his demon name, I don’t remember his fake name).
All in it was a pretty average series that had a lot of potential that it failed to deliver on.
My Blog: Shallow Dives in Anime was made in one part because I had to just rant about this series because I REALLY did not like it when I first watched it. As time has gone on though, and I’ve revisited the series. No, the series isn’t a truly ‘bad’ one, but fuck is it just dull, and boring. If you just want to see the ecchi, then you can just go to Pornhub and search up a montage of the fanservice. Congratulations, you’ve seen the best part of the show.
Like you said, it has the potential for greatness, and I can see it, but it doesn’t have the courage to seize it. Fifteen years ago, what Shinmai Maou no Testament is would have been more than enough, but in 2019 where Hentai is just so easy to get, there is nothing else to pull you in. Perhaps it’s in the light novels, but I have no desire to be with these characters in the hope that shit gets better.
I’d agree. Dull and boring is where it belongs. It’s not terrible, but it’s not good.
Well, thanks again for stopping by for a chat. I know you’ve been itching to talk about it with someone for quite some time now. I hope I’ve been able to help work through some of your issues. I’m already looking forward to our next chat.
I’ve fully made peace with this series, that peace of course only holding unless we get another season. If we do, then it’s back on the hate-train! Thanks for having me back here Lynn, and I hope we can do this again sometime soon!
And there you have it. We all absolutely think something about The Testament of Sister New Devil. How about you? Do you have anything to add or would you like to challenge an opinion? Let us know in the comments. I know we’re both all talked out about Shinmai, but I think we could go a little longer! Anyhow, we’d also love to hear your thoughts on the series.
And finally, don’t forget to check out Dewbond’s blog – Shallow Dives in Anime.
Thanks for reading.
Other Posts in the Series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – The Day I Got a Little Sister
- Episode 2 – First Contract Between Servant and Master
- Episode 3 – Reunion and a Gap in Trust
- Episode 4 – Until Sadness Reaches Zero
- Episode 5 – A Little Sister’s Morning Demon Lording
- Episode 6 – Bearing Growing Emotions
- Episode 7 – The Depths of Love and Hatred
- Episode 8 – Erotic Succubus Out of Control
- Episode 9 – Merits and Demerits of Master and Servant
- Episode 10 – Plaintive Betrayal
- Episode 11 – Espionage… What Lies After
- Episode 12 – For This Night, This Moment
- Episode 13 – The Hard, Sweet Daily Life of Toujou Basara
- Bonus Posts
- Waifu of the Week