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First Glance: Sasaki and Peeps

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Light Novel Adaptation by Silver Link
Streaming on Crunchyroll


Sasaki is a middle-aged office worker who is overworked, underpaid, and barely gets by. He decides to adopt a pet bird, but his life is drastically altered when the bird begins speaking and claims to be a powerful sage from another realm.

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Jel’s verdict: Doin’ Too Much

I had a sense of dread halfway through this episode when I realized they were swiftly blowing crucial plot aspects, despite having an entire hour to develop the premise. It was evident they were attempting to do something, but what? It turns out not much; the author appears to have a lot of ideas and decided to try to fit them all into one story.

In most circumstances, a typical guy obtaining a talking bird to teach him magic to utilize in his daily life would enough as a premise for a single series. Alternatively, having the talking bird assist said man in establishing a commerce network in another fantastical realm utilizing common modern-day commodities could be entertaining in and of itself. Perhaps another option is to have this guy develop magical abilities and then be recruited to work for a secret government group that tracks down other people with talents. That could be a whole series by itself, right? Sasaki and Peeps dare to wonder, “What if we tried to do all of these things at once?”

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I started into watching this knowing nothing about the source material, but it wasn’t until the unveiling of the secret government organization that I realized it had to be a web book. Many web novels have a “amateur chaos” quality to them, the result of people who are probably first-time writers pouring out their ideas without the benefit of an editor. The ultimate result is something like Sasaki and Peeps, which has some potentially brilliant concepts but the author lacked the ability to bring them together.

In addition to the crazy plot, it is also poorly written and paced. In order to cover all of the plot points, much of the episode consists of montages with Sasaki narrating what happened. We don’t have time to process each huge life-changing event, so everything feels empty and pointless. It’s perplexing why this episode seemed so rushed despite being twice as long. I suspect that some of this was an adaptation choice, and that the director should bear some of the burden. If this is what the original material is like, I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to read or watch.

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On a plus note, Sasaki and Peeps often avoid the normal wish fulfillment traps of the isekai genre, despite having plenty of opportunities to do so. There doesn’t appear to be any romantic spark between him and his new gorgeous lady psychic cop partner (yet), and while a neighbor girl expresses some implied envy, I believe she’s acting. Sasaki is also an interesting character. Despite being the typical cool, decent guy protagonist, he is totally OK with lying and cheating to get his way when the occasion requires it. There are indications of something good here, but we never have the chance to enjoy them.

For my tastes, if they had concentrated on Sasaki learning magic and applying it to his mundane daily life, it may have been a terrific program. However, this is not the case, and we are left with a jumble of ideas that do not actually work together. The fact that they had a full double episode to establish the premise and still seemed rushed is telling. If any of this sounds fascinating, I think it’s still worth watching to see for yourself. I wouldn’t recommend it, however.

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