Hyperdimension Neptunia: Episode 1 – “Planeptune’s Goddess (Neptune)”

Hyperdimension Neptunia is an anime based on a role-playing video game. The anime is produced by David Production, and is directed by Masahiro Mukai. The series is streaming on FUNimation’s website on Fridays. It should be noted that the streams for this series require viewers to have a membership at FUNimation’s website and that they are 17 years of age or older.

The story is set in Gamindustri, an unreal world that is divided into four states: Planeptune, Lastation, Lowee and Leanbox. Each state is governed by a Goddess. The Goddesses fought each other for Share, which is the source of the Goddess’ power.

The Goddesses have a couple of forms they take on. In their human form, they look like little girls. In their Goddess form, they look like women; when they’re in Goddess form, most of them have noticeably large breasts that are flaunted by what they wear. I think this is probably one of the factors that led FUNimation to make this stream available to viewers 17 years of age and older.

At the beginning of the first episode, the four Goddesses come together to make a treaty which forbids them from taking Share by force, and it also causes the Goddesses and their younger sisters to have a new stage to their relationships with each other.

During the first episode, the Goddess named Neptune learns the power in the Sharicite of her state is decreasing, due to the people’s hearts drifting away from Neptune. It’s evident to the viewer rather quickly that Neptune doesn’t take her job that seriously, and is more interested in having fun. Neptune goes to a neighboring state to get advice from a Goddess named Noire; however, Neptune doesn’t seem to be paying attention to what Noire is telling her or truly trying to understand what Noire is trying to teach.

Noire receives a call that monsters are bothering some of the citizens in her state, so she has Neptune and the others with them accompany her. The monsters are called Dogoos, and kind of look like dogs that only have heads. Noire has Neptune go after them by herself; however, a couple of her friends join in when they see that she’s being outnumbered. During the battle with the Dogoos, the monsters start licking at Neptune and the others; sometimes, they’re trying to lick them in some rather inappropriate places. This innuendo is probably another reason for the age restriction on FUNimation’s site.

After the fight, Noire scolds Neptune for relying too much on others for her battles. Then, Noire goes to a cave to fight more of the monsters; but after defeating what she thinks is the last one, she is suddenly attacked by something that looks like a dragon. During the fight, the dragon knocks into Noire and she reverts back to her human form. Predictably, Neptune comes into the cave and saves the day,

Right at the end, two hooded figures are shown watching what’s going on. One of them looks kind of looks like an anthropomorphic mouse, and it comments that the two are looking for something while looking at a device that looks suspiciously like the Dragon Radar from the Dragon Ball franchise. I suspect that they were meant to be the hook to keep the viewers interested in what’s going on so they will tune back in for the next episode; however, they just appeared out of nowhere with little to no explanation, so it doesn’t work to make me want to watch another episode right away.

Since a lot of the story focuses on the Goddesses in their human form, the series has a rather cutesy feel to it. While it feels like the show is trying to present a plot, I just don’t feel that this is quite working. I really didn’t care enough for any of the characters to root for them to succeed; perhaps this is due to my not having any knowledge of the role-playing video game that this series is based on. By the time I finished the first episode, I was rather bored.

I’ll go ahead and give the second episode a chance to see if maybe there might be something there to make me want to continue watching this series. But it may be a couple of weeks before I can watch the second episode, because I’m not going to have access to streaming anime when the next episode becomes available at FUNimation’s website. However, I will try to catch up as quickly as I can.

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