By Shelley Pallis.
Basara Tojo’s father is locked in a grim struggle with the new Demon Lord, and Basara is stuck with a sorcerous roommate and her succubus bodyguard… but, you know, school life goes on, and he hopes to get onto the festival committee and turn his homework in on time. Testament of Sister New Devil BURST picks up where the first season left off, with a hapless Japanese teenager saddled with a bunch of demonic house-guests, and a conflict in an alternate world that he would really prefer not to know about.
Testament of Sister New Devil is based on a series of books by Tetsuto Uesu, an author who specialises in bawdy high-school comedies with magical girlfriends. It bears something of a similarity to the same author’s earlier Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, with its concentration on a teenager whose mundane school life is off-set by a ridiculous set of obligations and crises at home. Hisashi Saito’s second anime season piles on the fan service, acknowledging that the viewer is likely to be just as, if not more interested in the way the girls jiggle as to any ongoing plot about spirit swords, magical powers, or a former Demon Lord called Wilbert. In the ultimate accolade, the eroticised nature of the show came to the attention of censors in the People’s Republic, who listed it among 38 anime and manga banned in China – although to be fair, the other spiked titles included Attack on Titan (for its politics) and Death Note (for its philosophy). Considering the content of Testament of Sister New Devil, while its bare flesh was likely to have been one consideration, Chinese censors may have also objected to its belief in magic.
Notably, the entry on Uesu in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction pulls out several interesting elements of his work, suggesting that rather than phwoarring his way through each of his novels, he might be struggling to cram thoughtful and innovative sci-fi concepts into a juvenile format. The SFE points to the way that Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero encapsulates the “thousand-yard stare of many a computer gamer back at the Monday-morning school desk”, and singles out the implications of Mio’s fate in Testament of Sister New Devil, as a chattel passed on from father to hero, glumly acknowledging that her new master has won her fair and square. However, only Uesu himself is in a position to confirm whether the SFE has smartly identified his higher-brow interests, or if he really is quite happy writing about guys who like boobs, and the girls who have them.
Testament of Sister New Devil BURST is released in the UK by Anime Limited.