Disclaimer: I’ll keep this review as safe for work as possible, but due to the nature of the show and a point I need to discuss regarding that, this review might stray into NSFW territory.
How far would you go to protect your family? When Basara Tōjō finds out that his dad Jin is getting remarried bringing two daughters into his family, Mio and Maria Naruse a Demon Lord Princess and a Succubus respectively. Basara takes on the responsibility of looking after his younger sisters from all manner of threats Human or Demonic. Testament of Sister New Devil is a 12-episode series which aired in Winter 2015, produced by Production IMS (High School Fleet, Hundred), licensed by Anime Limited, with the 13th OVA episode included in the release.
Basara is an ex-member of the hero clan, who had to leave during his youth because of the incident where many of his friends died. Mio is the daughter of the former Demon Lord, she was raised in the human world since birth, believing that she was human until just before the start of the series, she has the ever-eloquent catchphrase of “I’ll kill you a hundred times over.” Maria is Mio’s follower and guardian who helps train her Demonic powers but also tries to create some ‘encounters’ between Basara and Mio. Yuki Nonaka is a current member of the Hero clan assigned by the clan to watch Mio and is a childhood friend of Basara.
So, for those of you who might not be aware Testament of Sister New Devil is a harem and ecchi fanservice heavy show like Highschool DxD and Freezing etc. However, Testament’s issue is how it handles the fanservice to which at times and very occasionally approaches sexual assault levels, making Testament very uncomfortable to watch, across the 12 episodes (I’ll get to the OVA again later). This happens about 5 times where it does get uncomfortable and quite frankly it’s not needed but is used as a way of progressing the story. Unlike DxD which if you take the ecchi-ness out you still have a very well-developed story. Yes, Testament does have somewhat of a story, but it just feels like the whole purpose of the show revolves around its fanservice scenes. The OVA episode it just the same, although we do get a bit more backstory for a supporting character, like most of the shows which have an OVA its full of fan service again to the level which made it somewhat uncomfortable to watch.
Ignoring the excessive fan service there are a few things which I was really impressed about, mainly the English dub and the action sequence visuals. The dub includes Chris Hackney (Seven Deadly Sins as Basara, Lauren Landa (Annie in Attack on Titan) as Mio, Kira Buckland (Edna in Tales of Zestiria) as Maria and Xanthe Huynh (Hanayo Koizumi in Love Live!) as Yuki, along with Kirk Thornton, Ray Chase, Todd Haberkorn and Wendee Lee to name a few. It’s a very strong cast list and they did give very good performances for their characters. Visually, Testament is quite impressive in the fight scenes, with the magic incantations and the explosive results. The sound effects were also impressive along with the music. The opening theme is “Blade of Hope” by sweet ARMS and the ending theme is “Still Sis” by Kaori Sadohara.
The biggest issue I have with Testament comes back to the fanservice, it’s not just the fanservice content I take issue with, is how it tries to rely on the fanservice being its only selling point. I genuinely believe that if the uncomfortable fan service was removed and the usual stuff was toned down a bit, that maybe just maybe the story would be able to hold its own. It might need fine tuning slightly to make it flow a bit better. I did watch both this and season 2 not long after they aired and I do recall that season 2 is more story and action focused as it somewhat does away with the fanservice.
As hard as it might be, if you can look past its over-the-top and excess fanservice, Testament of Sister New Devil with its good visuals, sound effects, and English dub is a good and somewhat enjoyable show. However, due to its nature and apparent reliance on the fanservice, it’s hard to look past its fanservice content and this will put a lot of viewers off.
Review copy provided by Anime Limited