The Invasion Begins!
Growing up and living on your own can be tough, but picking a new anime to watch doesn't need to be. If the world of online streaming is akin to renting your first apartment in this metaphor, let “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog” be the helpful landlady that drops by with some friendly advice. Each week we provide additional info and cultural context to help anime fans decide whether they'd like to welcome an unknown series into their homes, or whether they'd like to serve up eviction papers.
What's INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? ?
INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? is a 2014 TV anime directed by Shin Ounuma (Kokoro Connect) and with animation production by Silver Link (Non Non Biyori). It's based on the Rokujōma no Shinryakusha!? light novels written by Takehaya and illustrated by Poco, which are published by Hobby Japan under their HJ Bunko label. Crunchyroll describes INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? as follows:
Kotaro Satomi is a needy student who started living away from home at the start of high school. He finds a bargain accommodation - only 5,000 yen for a six-tatami mat room. But the room, "Korona-So room 106," is targeted! For various reasons, adorable invaders descend upon Kotaro one after another as soon as he moves in. Each with their own ulterior motives, the battle commences between Kotaro and the girls in a tiny six-tatami mat room.
INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? is a genre-blending harem comedy with a light emphasis on romance and a handful of narrative beats hinting at a larger dramatic storyline. Despite including magic, spiritualism, and hyper-advanced technology, the show focuses more on high school comedy than on its many fantastical elements.
Fantasy Facts and Figures.
The titular “Rokujyoma” translates in English to “six tatami mat space,” referring to the room over which Kotaro and company jostle each other for supreme rulership. Six tatami mats occupy an area of about 9.18 square meters (or 98.9 square feet), so the room around which the fate of the Earth revolves is slightly less than ten feet long by ten feet wide.
That's plenty of space for a high school bachelor living on his own, but it gets a bit cramped once you start adding ghosts, magical girls, subterranean dwellers, and aliens from outer space into the mix. Similarly, Kotaro's rent monthly rent bill is only 5000 yen (approximately $44.40 US per month), which is unbelievably inexpensive for a one-room apartment.
Light Novels, Light Entertainment.
In Japan, the phrase “light novels” refers more to the speed and ease with which the book can be read than to the subject matter. Many light novels deal with heavy themes, grim topics, and dark scenarios, but INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? is “light entertainment” in both senses of the word. Even when characters engage in climactic battles that fling laser blasts and magic missiles everywhere, the tone of the series remains low-key and inoffensive.
High School Fantasy?
The most fantastical aspect of INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? doesn't involve any paranormal or supernatural elements. Instead, the most fantastical element is how the series presents an idealized high school life. The students in the show never seem to worry about entrance exams, homework, career paths, or tests. This freedom allows them to enjoy only the best experiences that high school in modern Japan has to offer, such as holiday vacations and the sports and cultural festivals.
The Heroine We Deserve.
Everyone loves an underdog, and in INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? that role falls on Yurika Nijino, aka Magical Girl Rainbow Yurika. Yurika is a powerful (albeit clumsy and unassertive) magic-user, but she serves as the show's punching bag as well as the butt of every joke involving poverty and misfortune. The other characters assume Yurika is just an obsessed cosplayer, not a real magical girl. Yurika is to INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? as Zoidberg is to Futurama.
Crunchyroll currently streams INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? in 95 territories worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. The series is available in the original Japanese language with subtitles in English, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Italian.
The INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? TV anime is also available on home video in North America by Sentai Filmworks, and English language versions of the original light novels are available via J-Novel Club. In Japan, the original light novel series currently includes 27 volumes and 2 side story spin-offs. There's a lot of invasion going on!
Despite its genre-blending, high concept premise, INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? is a very laid-back show. It's the anime equivalent of warm comfort food. If you're in the mood for a series where the plot isn't big on conflict and confrontation and where the drama is more concerned with raising kabuto beetles and playing card games than conquering the world, please consider giving INVADERS of the ROKUJYOMA!? a try.
Is there a series in Crunchyroll's catalog that you think needs some more love and attention? Please send in your suggestions via e-mail to [email protected] or post a Tweet to @gooberzilla. Your pick could inspire the next installment of “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog”!
Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.