On his high school graduation day, Itsuki's cousin, Mahiru, tells him that she's pregnant. Just then, a gate of light emerges and transports the two into the world of Granvania. In this land, "Impurities" have been causing a disturbance to the Stars, ultimately plunging Granvania into chaos and disorder. And Itsuki, now revealed to be one who is fated to meet with the "Star Maidens", is seen as Granvania's last hope and was thus given the task to produce "Star Children" and combat the "impurities". And unless the task is complete, Itsuki may never be able to return home. (Source: Wikipedia)
Damn. Seriously, God damn. Conception, you really made me wonder if there’s a ceiling of just how terrible a show can really be. I should say right off the bat that video game adaptations these days rarely make the break for an audience. But here we are in 2018 and we got a show about pregnancy. That’s right, a show that literally has a plot about pregnant characters and an insufferable protagonist.
I have not played the original PSP exclusive game. There’s actually a remaster coming out for the PS4 but that’s not on my bucket list either. 2019 has way too many great games for me to care about this. But the real question is if you should give a damn about the anime adaptation known as Conception.
In the medical world, conception is pretty much the action of conceiving a child through. Bear in mind that the show is branded with this premise as it’s pretty much the selling concept. The catch now is that Itsuki has to form relationships with “Star Maidens” after being transported into this world known as “Granvania”. The show pretty much dedicates to Itsuki’s quest to produce Star Children in the hope of restoring order. I get it. The premise of the show is absurd and you may be confused on how to approach this. The simple answer is to just let go. I mean, let go of your inner thoughts and watch this with some popcorn. It’s pretty much a show that’s so bad that it has potential to be the worst of the year.
But damn, is it really as abysmal as it sounds? Maybe you should stop judging the cover and watch it with an open mind! I wish. Challenging myself to watch Conception is like taking on the second round of Fear Factor. It tested my mental limits to wonder how much I can watch this without puking. But it wouldn’t be fair to say that Conception is really the worst anime of the year. After all, it may have some potential with its cast of stars? Well, let’s take a look. The main protagonist is Itsuki Yuge, a high school student without a big goal in his life. There’s nothing remarkable about him until we find out his role early in this show. Not to mention, I could say Itsuki is like a puppet. He does the job assigned to him despite feeling conflicted. I should mention that Itsuki is a good person at heart but someone that doesn’t fit with a popular crowd. He’s pretty much just a normal guy with an abnormal task of forming relationships with the Star Maidens. This brings in the question of just how much we should expect his relationships will develop. The easy way to look at this is the plot structure. It has 12 episodes so naturally, common logic dictates that he’d get at least one episode with each girl. Well, not exactly. In some episodes, he tames not one but two! I’m not going to go into details but every episode’s title that has “child” in it should make them sound obvious.
The Star Maidens themselves consists of 12 different girls with each of their distinctive personalities. From whatever the creators had in mind, it seems every girl represents a textbook personality that you’ll recognize. Some like Mahiru is the typical friendly girl next door type. Others like Femiruna display a degree of aristocratic mannerisms because of their social status. We even have a girl with split personality in the form of Liris and Lirie. But I don’t think any of these really traits matter. The real question we should ask ourselves is if we should care about them. Quite frankly, it’s a big fat no. Let’s face it, this show not only has an intolerable plot but also suffers from pacing. The early episodes quickly dives into every character relationships in the most straightforward way possible. There’s no buildup, little emotions, and lack of charisma. Instead, we get Itsuki and his robotic-like dialogues that saturates the series. It gets painfully awkward to watch when we also get a mascot character taking the form of a talking bear. You may initially see as a cute addition to the show but don’t let a character like Mana fool you. Behind that cute flying animal’s appearance is perhaps the most perverted character in the entire series. It seems he tries to get every chance for Itsuki to commit to the Star Maidens in the most ludicrous way as possible. In some episodes, it seems Mana has developed a strange attraction towards Itsuki himself. At that point, I pretty much stopped questioning the logic of the show.
So a question emerges if there’s anything redeemable about Conception at all. Well, I wish. Gonzo is known for some of their more aesthetic works but from this show, you won’t see that. What you get instead is poor animation quality that looks like something from a hentai. I took a look at some footage from the original game and this anime didn’t make the characters look any better. It honestly looked like a show made in the PS2 era with outdated visual quality. And of course, sexual fantasies is all over the place. Expect a lot of scenes in the bedroom as it is part of the “plot”. Can you believe it? Conception has a plot! Normally, I’d make a joke about “watching this for the plot” but by the end of the show, that joke wouldn’t even be half funny.
After watching Conception, I probably also lost a good dozen amount of brain cells. I’m an avid fan of roleplaying games but Conception is pretty much the worst example of being in such a category. It could have been something to satirize the fan service norm or a cleverly crafted parody. What we get instead is an abomination buried by Gonzo and the insufferable character cast. I wish there was something positive to say about this anime honestly. But seriously, if you want to save some brain cells, then stay far away from this atrocity.