Jouji NakataKana UedaEmiri KatoMinami Takahashi
D-Frag!
Also known as: D-Fragments
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2014: D
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2014
Director: Seiki Sugawara
Original creator: Tomoya Haruno
Actor: Kana Hanazawa, Katsuyuki Konishi, Aki Toyosaki, Akira Ishida, Ami Koshimizu, Chiwa Saito, Emiri Kato, Eri Sendai, Hiroki Gotou, Jun Fukuyama, Kana Ueda, Kenichirou Matsuda, Kouki Miyata, Megumi Toyoguchi, Mikako Takahashi, Ryoko Shiraishi, Shizuka Itou, Yuko Sanpei, Atsushi Kousaka, Hiroki Yasumoto, Jouji Nakata, Marie Mizuno, Minami Takahashi, Miyu Matsuki, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Ryoka Yuzuki, Ryokan Koyanagi, Ryoko Ono, Shinobu Matsumoto, Shuuhei Iwase, Takahiro Fujiwara, Tetsu Inada, Tomomi Isomura, Yuta Odagaki
Studio: Brain's Base
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=15705
Website category: Anime 2014
Review date: 18 February 2015
D.Frag
It's a Brain's Base comedy and impressively mental, although I believe it's considerably cut down from the original manga. It's a school anime. It begins confusingly, ends undramatically and goes through lots of really weird stuff in between. It's funny. I enjoyed it.
Kenji Kazama is a delinquent who cuts classes and hangs out with a very small gang, but he's also the only sane man in the universe. The show's main nutters are the Game Creation Club (Provisional) and they are indeed barking, but after a while you'll come to realise that there's a sanity chasm in almost everyone on this show not called Kazama. That's the show's main source of comedy. These people can make mountains out of molehills so small that they're microscopic. Half an episode can be spent on two characters passing each other in the corridor and getting worked up about something so trivial that it technically didn't exist in the first place. This is funny.
The Game Creation Club are our anti-heroes, though. They're four girls:
(a) Roka, who's either short (when drawn realistically) or one of the Seven Dwarves (in super-deformed mode). Hobbies: tying bags over people's heads, being the most feared person in the school. Elemental superpowers: fire and darkness. No, don't ask. It makes sense to her.
(b) Chitose, also Student Council President. All-powerful purple-haired thug who likes starting fights and causing trouble. Elemental superpower: earth.
(c) Sakura, pink-haired tomboy. Elemental superpower: water.
(d) Minami, teacher who likes using her taser on people. Hobbies: sleeping. Elemental superpower: lightning.
These people cannot be trusted and are guaranteed to make trouble and/or cause any scene to degenerate into silliness. There are plenty of other characters, though, all somewhere on a sliding sanity scale. The busty Takao is an old friend of Roka's and in denial about everything, including her eventual crush on Kenji. She's the president of the real Game Creation Club, but ends up spending most of her time hanging out with our anti-heroes anyway. Student council vice-president Ataru is a masochist, etc.
What's the plot? Um. There isn't one, really. Every so often some loons will have a showdown with the Game Creation Club (Provisional), in an attempt to have the club shut down. That's about it. Otherwise it's just random silliness, the plotting equivalent of throwing lots of insects in a jar and seeing what they do. The Game Creation Club has almost no interest in creating games, but at one point Roka invents a "Scramble for Porn Mags in Space" board game and then inflicts it on others whenever (in)appropriate. (This is accompanied by fantasy sequences of the game's characters on their porn-hunting adventures.)
I wouldn't even say that the show has a dramatic finale. It has a concluding three-parter with the Game Creation Club going up against an old friend (i.e. enemy) of Chitose's, but there's no real attempt to give this emotional weight. The last episode is silly even by D-Frag! standards. However that would be of no significance at all if the show got renewed for a second season and I'd be very happy if that happened.
Did it live up to my Brain's Base expectations? Yes, it did. It's more original than it sounds, with an anarchic, occasionally violent edge that stops the show from being generic wackiness. Being friends with the Game Creation Club feels almost dangerous. The title sequence is just as mental, by the way.
Otherwise, though, there isn't much to discuss here. The show's goal is to make us laugh at its characters' goals, which are trivial, stupid and/or with the lifespan of a butterfly in a blast furnace. These people are ridiculous, as Kenji is continually pointing out. We're talking about people who can have a hot-blooded face-off lasting half an episode about a one-round game of straw-drawing (i.e. pure luck). I was also amused by the enthusiasm with which everyone leapt on an apparently innocent game of Mobile Phone Tag after spotting the opportunities it offered for mugging, cheating and violence. This couldn't be called an important show, but it's funny. I'd recommend it.