When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace: Episode 1 – “Change (Alpha Episode)”

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace is an anime based on a light novel series written by Kota Nozomi and illustrated by 029. The anime is produced by Trigger, and is directed by Masahiko Otsuka. As of this writing, no one holds the North American distribution license for When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace.

The focus of the series is on the five members of Senko High School’s Literary Club. Jurai Ando has a case of “chunibyo” (eighth grade syndrome), Tomoyo Kanzaki is bemused by Jurai’s antics, Hatoko Kurshikawa is a polite girl who takes Jurai’s antics seriously, Sayumi Takanashi is the club’s president, and Chifuyu Himeki is the niece of the advisor who hangs out with the club.

One day, Jurai is pulling one of his antics and claiming that his arm’s hurt due to possessing a superpower. They’re all surprised when light suddenly manifests from Jurai’s hand and spreads across the Literary Club’s room.

This opening scene quickly established the various character tropes that will be appearing in the series, and it also established the various characters’ interactions with each other. This scene also established the tone of the series; while this first scene was amusing, I wouldn’t say it was laugh out loud funny. This kind of humor continued for the remainder of the episode.

The story jumps ahead six months in time, and we learn that everyone in the club room now has some kind of superpower. Jurai’s power is a seemingly useless black flame called “Dark and Dark”; Tomoyo can speed up, slow down, or stop time, although she cannot rewind it; Hatoko has the ability to manipulate earth, water, fire, wind, and light; Sayumi can return people to their original state by touching them; and Chifuyu can create any element and manipulate space. At first, these superpowers just come across as kind of random; however, knowing that the title of the series is When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, it can be assumed that these powers are going to become more important as the story progresses.

It’s revealed later in the episode that they aren’t the only ones who awakened supernatural powers; student council president Mirei Kudo can steal any ability she witnesses being activated. The climax of the episode sees Mirei trying to battle with the five members of the Literary Club, and the ending shows someone outside the school, watching what’s going on from the shadows. I suspect that this person watching from the shadows will probably remain a mystery to the audience for most of the series.

This episode was definitely an establishing episode. Admittedly, I started getting a little bored about halfway through, but I think that was more due to the nature of this episode. Now that the basic concept has been established, I’m hoping that Episode Two and beyond won’t feel boring at all to me as I watch them.

Even though I felt a little bored during Episode One, I can still see that this series seems to have promise and potential going forward. If this series is done right, I think it could end up being a rather enjoyable series. While the humor may not be laugh out loud funny, it’s still amusing enough that I can see the humor in it. And even though I’m seeing some very obvious character tropes in this series, I hope that the story can help the characters rise above these tropes and help the characters to become more developed over time.

I’m looking forward to watching Episode Two in order to see where the story is going to head from here.

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