Post Reply When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace
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Posted 1/29/15 , edited 2/10/15
by Dai_Loli

I’m sure most of you can think for a minute and come up with some anime where the protagonist awakens to some dormant power in the first episode and goes on to fight evil hordes of monsters and the demon lord. When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace starts that way, too: One day, the members of the school’s Literature Club suddenly gain superpowers that let them stop time, create matter out of thin air, control the elements and so on. Except they didn’t ask for these powers, they don’t know why they have them, and there’s no villain to fight them with, so… what happens then? That’s the premise for When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, and it delivered in ways I did not expect it to.

That certainly wasn't expected

Jurai Ando, the sole male member of the Literature Club, is a total chunibyo (we’re seeing that term everywhere since Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions aired, aren’t we?), meaning he’s in his own little make-believe world of darkness, demon lords and devil summoning. In the first episode, while he is alone in the club room, it so happens that his right arm is being overtaken by a (made up) evil spirit and he is struggling to keep it in check. The anime uses this to introduce the characters to us one after the other as they enter the room and react in their own way.

Now, that's a very personal question, Hatoko

Stepping in first is Tomoyo Kanzaki, the tsundere, who is quick to realize Jurai is up to his old tricks and ignores his act. Next is Hatoko Kushikawa, the air-headed and polite childhood friend, who immediately starts calling an ambulance since the whole chunibyo thing flies right over her head. Poor Chifuyu Himeki, the resident straight-faced little girl, gets frightened and starts to cry while the mature club president Sayumi Takanashi steps in and delivers some pain to Jurai for making a little girl cry. It’s in that very scene that the group awakens to their superpowers and the anime skips 6 months ahead where… nothing really has changed, except that they are now holding monthly superpower checkups.

Chifuyu's persuasive superpowers on display

After that first episode, I thought I had When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace figured out: It was going be one of those slice of life / comedy anime that centers on a club that just fools around all day, à-la Seitokai No Ichizon - Student Council’s Discretion, except this time they’ll fool around while using their superpowers in the dumbest ways possible. That would have been great in itself, but the show then went on to deliver something entirely different and surprisingly deep.

Tomoyo's face is also pretty cute (not pictured here)

Although comedy is a mainstay throughout the show, the true meat of the anime lies in its interestingly thoughtful, touching character development and drama centered on Jurai’s relationships with the girls of the club, proving time and time again that he’s a true harem king when he really needs to be. There’s some romance involved as well as the girls gradually become enamored with Jurai, but it never leaves that familiar anime territory where all the girls are ready to hook up but none actually do. Although the drama is often caused by the fact that superpowers have entered their lives, it is more often than not resolved through words and actions alone, with superpowers only coming into play when things get out of hand.

Not really a spoiler

Without selling too much of the punch, things do get out of hand at some key points of the anime, as well as some big reveals and awesome face-offs that got me glued to the screen for more, but if there’s one thing to hold against When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, it’s that it all ends too soon! Just when you’ll get attached to the main characters and the big picture becomes clear, it just… ends. Not in a “I just wasted my time” way, but rather in a “oh my god I want to know what happens next” way.

Dark and Dark can hardly get any darker.

So get ready to laugh at the expense of Jurai’s completely worthless superpower, root for his manly chunibyo antics and discover the truth behind the sudden appearance of mysterious powers as the Literature Club shows us what happened When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace!
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Posted 2/4/15 , edited 2/10/15
one of my favs from 2014
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