Continuing on from the first volume, this second collection of Eromanga-sensei dives headfirst into the competition between five authors all vying for a single publishing spot. Despite the big tease, the publicity stunt ends up feeling inconsequential, barely lasting an episode. It was always a sure bet that Izumi Masamune was going to pull through and, inevitably, he does.
After the competition, Elf Yamada, the self-centred light novelist prodigy, invites Izumi, the sweet and salty Senju Muramasa, and Shido Kunimitsu, who came third place in the competition, to a stunning island owned by her family. The pretence is a ‘writing camp’ though there’s little in the way of actual writing, except for Izumi who writes Senju a one-shot of his now-completed series as, surprise surprise, she turns out to be his biggest fan.
Eromanga-sensei is filled with coincidences like that, most of which are par for the course. But it is a bit of a stretch to accept when flashbacks reveal that Izumi’s first reader and believer in his work was, unbeknownst to him, his adoptive sister Sagiri who then becomes, again unknown to him, the erotic artist of his light novels.
The rest of the episodes focus on Izumi and Sagiri releasing their new series. Ironically the best and most blatant fanservice here isn’t ecchi, it’s not even in the least bit lewd, but seeing Izumi walk past the otaku from Oreimo was a delight, the better for being tucked away in the credits of the penultimate episode. Were that the series did end there, as the final episode itself was anticlimactic. It seemed more an excuse for the characters to play non-copyright infringing Twister and felt more like an OVA. (The show’s actual OVAs weren’t included with this release.)
As before, there’s a lot to like in Eromanga-sensei, between the bright poppy visuals, the voice cast, the opening and closing themes and the exaggerated look at the publishing industry. But the same issues still persist, namely the sexualisation of its young female characters. Worse was how those characters were framed, with their thighs, bust or butts filling up the screen as they spoke, as if their voices were somehow emanating from those body parts. Yet under the icky is a sometimes sweet, often funny and almost always entertaining series, worth a look if nothing else.
Extras: Textless opening & closing; web previews; trailers