D-Frag!

d-frag cover art

Available from Amazon

Available from Right Stuf

D-Frag!
Released By: Funimation
Released: 4/28/15
Reviewed: 2/5/16
Rated: 14+

Story

Kazama and his gang want to be the baddest guys on campus but they don’t have anything on the girls in the Game Creation Club (Provisional)! After helping them put out a fire in their club room, he is strong armed into joining their club to keep them from being disbanded due to having too few members. This isn’t the only threat the club will face throughout the run of the series though as there are plenty of other things that are threatening to bring this club down.

 

DFrag02

The Good and the Bad

You may have noticed lately but I’ve been watching a lot of series on a whim and D-Frag! is the latest in that string. I had sampled a couple of episodes of this one when it first premiered and found it amusing enough that I wanted to continue it someday and finally that time came earlier this week.

Like many comedy series that have come before it, this is an interesting mix of paradoxes in that while it never really made me laugh (it, in fact, annoyed me with what it considered to be comedy on multiple occasions but I’ll get to that in a bit) it still managed to entertain me throughout the run and keep me invested enough to want to finish it.

The biggest issue that D-Frag! runs into is that for it relies too heavily on one form of comedy and that’s having the main character scream his reactions at everyone else all the time. I actually felt bad for Austin Tindle (the English voice of Kazama) as his throat had to be worn down to nothing after each recording session he did for this series. Regardless of that though, hearing the main character constantly screaming at the many female characters introduced throughout the series was annoying at best and just not funny at worst.

Luckily D-Frag! doesn’t always rely on Kazama’s yelling to tell the audience that something funny just happened, sometimes something genuinely funny happens that isn’t screamed about… of course, many times these funny things involve one of the male characters being abused in some fashion but sometimes you just have to take what you can get.

DFrag04

In the first episode, the girls of the Game Creation Club (Provisional) establish that they need a new member to avoid being shut down and Kazama is their guy. When their first act of persuasion doesn’t get the job done, they jump straight to the elemental attacks which is funny in itself but when you see that the tiniest, cutest girl of the bunch, Roka, uses the power of darkness it became enough to make me crack a pretty big smile at the ironic silliness of the situation and that’s how D-Frag! manages to suck you in for twelve whole episodes.

While you do have to sit through a lot of yelling and reaction jokes, when the series actually calms down and just lets the characters be silly and develop who they are it pulls you in. It’s my policy to never give out major spoilers in reviews but pay attention to the reactions that Roka gets towards the middle of the series when the club has to go rescue Kazama from a gang that has him tied up. It’s moments like these that really sold me on the series and kept me tuning in episode after episode.

In terms of the overall look of the series, the animation produced by studio Brains Base is very bright and yes, filled with moe asthetics. The characters are all very cute in their own way (though certain characters such as the ones who make up Kazama’s harem were obviously designed with extra care) and will occasionally flash their big eyes at you in an effort to make you swoon over them.

Music

Composed by Akito Matsuda, the background music is not going to be the reason why you tune into this series. Thinking back on all twelve episodes I am hard pressed to remember a single track of background music that stood out enough to be considered memorable. However the opening and closing theme songs are incredibly catchy pop tunes which will get stuck in your head quite easily. It wouldn’t shock me in the least if these songs eventually found their way into my personal music player.

DFrag03

Overall

While it won’t go down as one of the best series of 2014, D-Frag! contains just enough punch to it to be entertaining throughout its run even if it relies on reaction jokes a bit too much. While the story might not leave a lasting impact on you, it has proven to me that it can be a pleasant way to spend a day or a weekend. I don’t know if or when I’ll rewatch the series but I know that if someone asks me about it in the future, I will have very few reservations about telling them to at least give it a chance. Having a copy of it in your personal library certainly will never be a requirement but if you do get a chance to sit down with it, you’re likely to find yourself in for a good time. Recommended.

Final Grade: B