I had watched the first episode of this when it was released, and it seemed fine, but it didn’t really get me interested in watching any farther. A friend of mine convinced me to more of it, so I did. Frankly, it’s pretty terrible. The show seems unable to decide whether it wants to be serious/dramatic or humorous, and transitions between the two moods so frequently and in such a choppy manner that it succeeds at being neither (other than perhaps being amusingly bad).

Let’s start with the characters. The main character, Kazuma, could have been a lot more interesting a character than he is; however, the execution of the plot lines so far intended to develop his character have fumbled miserably. There was the potential for “love past family hatred” akin to Romeo & Juliet, but instead we have him blowing off all harsh feelings he might have against the family. While this is forgivable from a pragmatic standpoint, as he does cover himself by saying he’ll help them for money, they still could’ve gotten a little more personal conflict out of this.

Things get ridiculous when the show gets to Kazuma’s duel with his father. You’d think that coming back after years of exile and defeating the father who banished you would be a major personal achievement and source of satisfaction in a character and a chance for more meaningful conflict and character development. Instead, Kazuma just kinda goes “lol yay I won, time to go home and sleep,” and the whole thing took all of around five minutes.

It’s also pretty difficult to get a sense of urgency out of any of the battles that go on when the main character has some sort of god behind him. They haven’t yet explained what a “Contractor” exactly is, but it’s pretty clear that nobody’s going to be able to defeat such overwhelming might. So much for that “suspense” thing; the only possible source of it is the potential for him to fail to save the people he cares about. The show does sort of look like it’s going in this direction, but it really needs to do a better job of it.

Now we move on to Ayano. Not much to say here, really, since she’s no more than a stock tsunderekko. While this isn’t necessarily bad by itself, there simply isn’t much to her character at all outside of this. Like Kazuma, she never shows any feelings of conflict or allow the viewer to connect to her in a meaningful way. Outside of the tsundere relationship, there is almost literally nothing else about her character save for showing an occasional sense of duty concerning her position in her family that, due to the nature of her character, is pretty difficult to take seriously.

Oh, and while I’m generally a fan of cool henshins and stuff, other than the cool way in which she says “IDEYO, ENRAIHA!,” the sequence in which she summons her sword is mostly lame and annoying.

Almost every event so far in the show has felt incredibly artifical. The one that stands out to me the most was the scene when Kazuma finds Ayano lying prostrate with a supernatural lethal infection… and pulls out a legendary ultra-rare magical cure-all elixir, which OBVIOUSLY has to be administered mouth-to-mouth since she’s unconscious. Ridiculous. There are numerous examples of similarly contrived writing throughout the eight episodes I’ve seen, as if the writers have no respect for the viewer’s intelligence whatsoever. Episode eight was actually the best of the bunch, just because it managed to actually be amusing.

So yeah, unless you absolutely must watch every single show featuring a tsunderekko ever made, I’d pass on this one unless it somehow gets significantly better later on. Considering GONZO’s track record of usually doing the exact opposite, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I haven’t read the novel, but this definitely seems like the kind of thing that’s probably better left in written form.