Anime Spotlight: Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?

Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? is a 10-episode anime based on a light novel series of the same name. The anime aired in Japan from January 11-March 15, 2013. There is also an OVA episode that was released in July 2013, which is not available for streaming on Crunchyroll. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution license for Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?

The series opens with three children, who live dull lives because of possessing unmatched psychic powers, receiving envelopes that offer them the chance to go to a place called “Little Garden.” They all decide they want to leave their current lives behind, and they are greeted by a rabbit-eared girl named Black Rabbit. They learn that in Little Garden, they can use their psychic abilities to participate in “Gift Games,” in order to earn wealth and prestige for a community. They ultimately end up joining Black Rabbit’s community, and they learn about how this world and the “Gift Games” work… and along the way, they learn things about themselves.

When the “Gift Games” are explained at the beginning of the series, it comes across that this is a concept that should be able to last beyond 10 episodes. Since I was going into this series already knowing the small episode count, I was afraid that it would feel rushed and that there wouldn’t be a true ending. Sure enough, I was right. There’s a slow buildup over the first 2-3 episodes, but by episode six, it was obvious that the writers were having to rush out revelations faster in order to fit the story into the 10 episodes. And, as I expected, while the story presented in these 10 episodes ends, the series itself is open-ended. In fact, the last couple of scenes seem to attempt to establish the potential to continue the story later. From doing some research, I could see that the light novel series was still ongoing when the Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? anime was in production, so this helps to explain the series’ non-ending. This seems to be a major issue with anime that are greenlit and produced before the source material is still in production and hasn’t reached its conclusion yet. My guess is that the Japanese anime studio hopes that the anime will be successful enough to warrant producing new episodes after the source material has either ended or made enough progress to warrant a second season of the anime. Unfortunately, most anime produced under these conditions seem to never get any future seasons, so the fans of the anime are left with a story that doesn’t truly end.

The animation is decent for what it is, but it doesn’t really stand out much compared to other anime produced around the same time. It doesn’t look bad, but there’s nothing to make it stand out, either.

Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? also has some “fanservice” in it, primarily with Black Rabbit, but it’s not too “in your face” and it doesn’t really distract much from the story.

Overall, Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? isn’t a bad series for what it is, but now that I’ve seen it once, I’m not interested in ever watching it again. And since it’s been several years since this series originally aired, I really don’t expect to ever see more episodes being produced that would tell more of the story that has since appeared in the original source material.

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