Early Impressions: Cute High School Earth Defense Club LOVE! Episode 1

Earth Defense Club LOVE! E1 S2Cute High School Defense Club Love!
Premiere Date: 1/7
Studio: Diomedea
Adapted From: Original
Available via Crunchyroll

The mark Sailor Moon left on the anime world has forever changed how magical girl series that follow will be viewed. And, since then, we’ve seen everything from deconstructions like Madoka Magica to completely uncomfortable takes on the genre (I’m looking at you, Vividred Operation). But what about magical boys? If you’ve ever wanted an anime starring magical boys, look no further than Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

Earth Defense Club LOVE! E1 S1

The story of this anime centers around the four – and fifth member (I presume by the end of this episode) – members of the Earth Defense Club, an unofficial club made for the purpose of not actually doing any club activities. One day, a talking pink wombat arrives on Earth and tells the students in the club that they must activate their “love power” and defend the planet from anyone who would oppose love. Reluctantly the students follow the instructions of the wombat who’s actually an alien and awaken their individual “love powers”.

In terms of writing and plot you can only play a concept like this so straight until it becomes unpalatable. Luckily, the writing in the first episode is not only very self-aware but almost serves as a love letter to the magical genre itself. The tropes are all there: a talking animal that guides the main characters into their roles, extended transformation sequences, powers centered around a broad theme like love, the list goes on.

My favorite moment of the episode was how detailed the transformation sequences were. Everything from hair accessories down to the proper shoes was highlighted within these extended moments. The fight scene that followed with a giant, sentient piece of chikuwabu that shoots broth – no, I’m not making that up – was equally wonderful and ridiculous.

Earth Defense Club LOVE! E1 S3

Despite the series’ general campiness and attention to tropes the episode didn’t come off as boring or stale. Its appeal is also twofold; you can watch this anime just for what’s presented on the surface or look to analyze the attention that has clearly been given. Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! differs even from shows in its genre like Vividred Operation where what the viewer is intended to pay attention to is put right in center stage.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! is everything you would expect it to be and that’s just fine. The execution and love of the genre is very noticable and made watching the first episode that much more enjoyable for me. Vibrant colors and quick pacing abound help add to the overall atmosphere of the series. I’m definitely looking forward to future installments since our true antagonists were teased at the end of the episode.

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