Anime Taste Testing: Mashle, A Galaxy Next Door

Allow me to thrill you with my resounding “meh.”

Mashle: Magic and Muscles

Discounting direct sequels, this one was apparently one of the most hyped-up new anime of the season. It was… fine? I mean, I get it, it’s a comedy/gag thing that parodies Harry Potter-esque schools and the overpowered fantasy/magical genius trope because Mash is indeed overpowered… but only physically. In a world where literally everyone has inherent magical abilities with a face marking to prove it, Mash was abandoned as a baby because he had no such face marking. So his kindly adoptive father, who also had a pretty rough childhood by the sounds of it, trained him so much in physical abilities that Mash is now the equivalent of Goku, but also even more of a himbo (as in, he’s a teenager and still somehow hasn’t figured out how doors work).

Like I said, it’s okay – the first episode got a few mild chuckles out of me, but maybe I’m missing something, because I don’t really see what the fuss is about. It’s entertaining in places but not all that funny, and Mash’s stupidity is a bit too overdone to properly work for me. I understand the whole lovable himbo thing, but when you’re a 15-year-old and haven’t worked out the basics of push/pull, that comes across as more try-hard in the comedy department than genuinely funny. I’ll give it another episode or two in case things heat up a bit once the show settles into its stride, but at the moment, it’s above-average at best for me.

Score: 6/10

A Galaxy Next Door (Otonari no Ginga)

Do you like bland slice-of-life shows with blank-slate male characters and idealized versions of women who devote themselves to said male characters, completely and utterly? Do you also like shows about very generic artists making very generic art? Congratulations, A Galaxy Next Door is for you. Don’t get me wrong, this could have been far, far worse, and I count the fact that it’s free of explicit fanservice a great blessing. However, that doesn’t prevent Galaxy from being unoriginal, uninspired, and all-around just plain dull. The ‘twist’ of the main girl character actually being something other than human has been done plenty of times before (sometimes better, sometimes definitely not), and in general, audiences should prepare themselves for a viewing experience that’s so rote and by-the-book that it could function fairly well as a sleeping aid.

If you’re looking for an anime that combines professional manga creation with raising a kid, you should absolutely check out 2020’s hilarious yet heartwarming Kakushigoto. As for A Galaxy Next Door, this ain’t it, chief.

Score: 4/10

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8 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Mashle, A Galaxy Next Door

  1. Been keeping up with Mashle via the volume releases (thanks, local libraries) and so far it seems to maintain the same tone and vibe even when the plot gets more serious.
    I enjoy reading it mostly *because* it’s so simple, it’s a nice mindless read with the occasional really funny gag.


  2. Oh, thank you for the recommend at the end! I had never heard of Kakushigoto, so I had to Google it really quick, and it sounds pretty good. Again, thank you, I’m totally going to check it out. And thanks for the heads up about The Galaxy Next Door, sounds like I should probably skip it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Highly recommended! I was very pleasantly surprised when I first watched Kakushigoto – I laughed hysterically in some places and teared up in others, and it’s not that many anime that make me do both. As for A Galaxy Next Door, yeah, I’d say it’s fairly skippable, especially since it looks like there’ll be plenty else to check out this season.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I kind of missed this post, and then when I saw it I thought I’d read it (I haven’t).

    I’m totally with you on Mashle, even after a lot of episodes, but I kind of like Galaxy Next Door. I still agree that it’s pretty much by the numbers, but it does have its own identity, and I really do like the kids. They feel more real than avarage. It doesn’t come near Kakushigoto, though. Not anywhere near.


    1. I gotta say, I’m running hot and cold on Mashle. I do think things improved after episode 1, but the comedy tends to be very hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes it genuinely does make me laugh, but usually not throughout an entire episode, more like just one or two scenes, and that lack of consistency is a problem even if there’s at least some payoff there.


      1. It’s pretty much the same for me. I think I’d say that, for me, the show has general dork appeal, but the humour is very uneven.

        Also, I’ve finally gotten around to Raelina (Reliana? Realina? I can’t remember the name), and I feel similarly in a non-comedic way. It’s got great scenes in an overall okay show.

        Liked by 1 person


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