Anime Taste Testing: Marginal Service, Oshi no Ko

I have never been this conflicted about two anime premieres in a row.

Marginal Service

I’m so torn, you guys. On the one hand, this thing had some truly hilarious moments, and yes, even if you go no further, episode 1 is absolutely worth watching for those moments alone. This is basically Japan’s version of what American cop shows look like, with a dose of Men in Black thrown in, but by way of a ragtag group of super sentai-inspired characters. Like it’s all set in Japan but for some reason, nearly every character seems to be either a foreigner or at least spent a good portion of their lives overseas. I can’t tell you what joy it brings me to see this translated into anime format, purely for the comedic value of witnessing how Japanese people apparently think America operates, at least in terms of their law enforcement. The title cards at the end with an announcer literally booming out each of the characters’ names? BOLTS DEXTER! LYRA CANDEYHEART! PECK DESMONT! Brilliant.

On the other hand, this premiere needed a lot more of that. I wasn’t even sure I was watching a comedy until somewhere into maybe the final third of the episode, because prior to this, everything was played entirely straight and just wasn’t over-the-top enough for me to believe things were purposefully that cliché. Heck, I’m still not 100% sure, as all the sites I’ve seen list this series as being sci-fi action only, not also comedy. So yeah, I need this thing to go all the way, pedal to the metal, giving me that kind of intentionally dumbass balls-to-the-wall energy I got in the final 5 minutes of the premiere – without it, the show just doesn’t work. I’ll be tuning in next week with some high expectations on that front, and Marginal Service will definitely need to deliver.

Score: 6/10

Oshi no Ko

For an anime that saw so much pre-hype, I have stunningly little to say about Oshi no Ko (aside from the fact that yes, three back-to-back episodes for the premiere is too damn long, who the heck has time for that?). If you’ve somehow managed to avoid spoilers for this show so far, I envy you, but I also don’t want to rehash the synopsis here, because on paper it’s super weird, and to actually watch… yeah it’s still super weird. So, suffice to say here that this is a deeply cynical and purposefully (I have to assume) creepy look at Japan’s idol industry and the culture surrounding it, both from an otaku and production perspective. This is cool and all (and obviously acutely needed, even if it’s coming a couple of decades too late), but that doesn’t necessarily make Oshi no Ko any less creepy as a viewing experience. Even if you know ahead of time that everything is said and done for good reason, including/especially its more disturbing parts, I still wouldn’t exactly call this a fun time – or at least, it isn’t for me. I’m fairly conflicted and still have no idea whether I’ll be continuing to watch this come next week, so for now, I’m giving it a Confused out of 10.

Score: ?????/10

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5 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Marginal Service, Oshi no Ko

  1. I dropped Marginal Service right after they announced that the partner died offscreen… That scene with our maincharacter going at it the wrong way and the boss being entirely… creepy boss. Nah, it wasn’t my thing. So this ends up being a comedy. A deliberate one, would you say? I didn’t like the art style; I’m not fond of cop films in general, and this didn’t even look like a good take. I didn’t hate it; I just decided it wasn’t for me early on. I’ve dropped other shows early only to find it was a mistake… Probably not this time, though.

    Oshi no Ko… I fully understand the rating. It’s an idol show that acknowledges the creepy aspect of the business, but… like that? I’m sort of confused, right now. I thought Ai was a pretty cool character, but at the same time used entirely wrong. The creepy baby aspect felt really weird, too. Made sense one scene, was hilariously stupid another, and then creeped me out. The show wavers back and forth like that, so by the end of a movie length episode, I still have no idea what to think of it. One thing I can’t accuse the show of, though, it’s that a cheap knock-off of anything I’ve seen. I may not know what the show is doing, and that may be a mercy. But I feel the show knows what’s it doing. I just don’t know whether I ever wanted this.


    1. Totally get what you’re saying with Oshi no Ko’s back-and-forth between weird/creepy and also-weird/comedic. I do think the creators of the franchise know what they’re doing, but it’s still definitely weird, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for feeling some tonal whiplash from this premiere.


  2. As one of those pre-hype fans for Oshi no Ko, I’m glad it was at least… entertaining? Engaging? enough to watch all the parts of it. I’ll take that is some sort of victory. It’s certainly better then being considered boring!



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