The concept for this show is not a common one but somehow familiar: Demons acting more like “babyfaces” and angels like “heels”. Question is whether was done well in a comedic setting. Let us find out as we take a look at Gabriel Dropout.
Themes: Angels, Demons/Devils
Number of episodes: 12 + 2 OVAs
Plot Summary: This is the tale of an aspiring demon named Satanichia McDowell Kurumizawa whose one goal is to rule the world with a iron fist. Her hard work and dedication to achieving this is the stuff of legend. Alongside her is fellow demon Vignette April Tsukinose and while not on the best of terms they work hard to become the best demons they can be. Unfortunately they face great perils in their journey ranging from savage beasts, the complexity that is the human race and worst of all two despicable angels known as Gabriel White Tenma and Raphiel Ainsworth Shiraha.
What I said in the summary is pretty much the gist of the show: Satanichia and Vignette working hard to be good demons all the while Gabriel and Raphiel get in their way, intentionally or not, to slow down their progress. Like I said in the introduction the show has the premise of angels acting being douchey and devils being more likable but in a comedic setting. Here is the thing, the show for the most part is repetitive. What I mean is it heavily relies on the same gags over and over again:
Satanichia/Satania being the best in the world at what she does but unfortunately is not very bright, essentially a hardworking troublemaker.
Vignette/Vigne being more angelic than any angel in the show’s universe could ever hope to be, essentially “How can this demon be so cute?”
Raphiel yearning to see everyone she finds amusing, especially Satanichia, suffer because she is bored, essentially a sadist.
Gabriel/Gab being a poor girl’s Garfield Cat, essentially a slob.
I will give Gab credit, she at least knows the basics of what make Garfield a timeless character:
- Bosses people around.
- Ridicules anyone she finds annoying.
- Is inconsiderate.
- Will show kindness only if it benefits her.
Being a human shaped entity also grants her the “gamer” trait. All the points I have listed are the similarities she shares with Garfield. Here is the problem. For 99% of the show that is ALL THERE IS to her character. Once again those points are the BASICS of what make Garfield a timeless cartoon legend. Rarely does she do anything other than that. I get that that is the point because the angels are either meant to be unlikable or likable jerks at best but when it comes to Gab she does little else until around the 4th quarter of the show. Most of the praiseworthy segments on the show either have her in a minimalist role with Vigne, Satania or another character in the spotlight or do not feature Gab at all. Unless the viewer is a Gab fan there are very few times Gab herself is a highlight of an episode. The point is Gabriel is not a terrible character but a lackluster one.
As far as Raphiel goes she feels more like a side-character than Gab does. Other than wanting to bully people, especially Satania due to being bored there is almost nothing else to her. The one compliment I can give her is…she has a nice body.
Back to our protagonists who are easily the highlights of the show, besides some of the side-characters like the coffee shop owner, the kaichou and a certain other blonde. Vigne has more going for her than being a very kind demon. Like the main heroine she too does everything she can to succeed despite it not being a good idea for her to be super nice. It is especially entertaining seeing her try her hardest to be a villain. She also pulls off the “slim beauty” look quite well.
Last but not least we have the champion of champions, the defender of injustice, an inspiration to bratty children everywhere, the leader of the unselfish generation, the dark princess of bakadom and a true hero, Satania. She almost NEVER does the same joke twice. She may not be the brightest demon out there and her win-loss ratio is pitiful but make no mistake, this beautiful creature of the Netherworld is an inspiration to all humankind and one of 2017’s greatest main characters. While she could have easily carried the entire show on her shoulders she is an honorable ne’er do well and her generosity is as grand as her deviousness. Truly a devilish delight who also happens to have the best body.
As far as the presentation goes the animation is solid and the soundtrack is delightful.
Now I mentioned before that the show felt repetitive. What I meant by that is that no matter what different situation the four got themselves into, the jokes and gags for the most felt samey. In fact when it came to my coverage I could sum up 90% of the show the following way:
“Satania and Vigne rule, Raphi and Gab not so much.” I am not joking. Unless the viewer likes the angels most of the episodes could be summed up with that one sentence.
Somewhere near the end of the 3rd and start of the 4th there seemed to be a bigger plot developing but…nope. Oh well. As far as yuri goes I suppose some can ship Gab X Vigne or look up some others if they feel like it.
In wrestling terms it is like this: Gabriel and Raphiel are the favorites of the owners, basically the ones they want to push to the top…despite them being nowhere near as talented as Satanichia and Vignette. Gab and Raphi get cheers from casual audiences but they are so “green” in the ring they have to constantly rely on others to help put on great performances because they can barely handle it when they get the spotlight, whereas Vigne is barely lucky to get an upper midcard spot and Satania constantly gets “buried”. I would dare say I found Gab as lame as modern day wrestling fans dislike Roman Reigns. Yes, I went there.
Overall Satanichia Dropout is a decent romp. When it gets it right, it gets it right big time. When it does not, it falls flat HARD. The curious can check it out if they so please. As long as viewers do not expect a comedic masterpiece it should work out fine.