Taku’s First Reaction: Gabriel DropOut

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“This is the human world…It’s breathtaking. Here, I’m going to become a great angel who will lead people to happiness.”

As I’ve said before and will stand vehemently behind, I’m a huge fan of moe and the moe genre. Cute girls doing cute things is a concept that has always appealed to me and it’s always fun to see what kind of little twists a show will put on the tried and true concept. Another thing I’m a big fan of is the concept behind one of my favorite shows, The Devil is a Part-Timer! The idea of taking magical and mythical beings and deities and throwing them into the human world to live normal lives. So, what do you get when the two of those are thrown together? Well, you get Gabriel DropOut, a show that, after only watching two episodes, is already shaping up to be a frontrunner for my Anime of the Season. Gabriel DropOut is this season’s big premiere from Doga Kobo, a studio that has become a particular favorite of mine known for their work on Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and Yuru Yuri, and promises a fun, hilarious romp featuring angels and devils living together on Earth.

Story and Characters

In the world of Gabriel DropOut, angels attend a special school in Heaven. Upon their graduation from this school, they are sent to the human world below in order to continue their studies among humans and research the inhabitants of Earth, learning about human lives with the intent of returning to Heaven as full-fledged angels. At the graduation ceremony, we meet our main character, Tenma Gabriel White, a newly-graduated angel who finished top of her class. She descends to Earth initially with the intention to spread happiness to those around her, but after discovering video games, she becomes a lazy, slovenly young girl who never does her work and relies on her friend, the demon Vignette.

With the show being largely in comedic, much of the storytelling within the show and the central themes of each episode revolve around the characters themselves. Gabriel, the main character, once an upright exemplary student, has been swayed and turned into a lazy slob after discovering video games. Vigne, her demon friend, plays the role of “mother” for Gabriel, keeping her on-track and looking after her. Satanichia, or Satania, is a demon in Gabriel’s class who largely plays the role of the “prankster”, often crafting schemes to play tricks on Gabriel which typically fail horribly. Finally, Raph is another angel from Gabriel’s class, a sadistic girl who develops an affinity for Satania. The characters’ interactions make for a large part of the focus of the show and to great effect, as their interactions seem natural and are always amusing to watch.

Aesthetics

Doga Kobo brings their usual high quality of animation and design to GabDrop with colorful and diverse designs among the main cast. Art Direction for GabDrop is led by Masakazu Miyake, who is known for his work as Art Director in Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! and Humanity has Declined. Character Design is headed by Katsuhiro Kumagai, whose work features such popular anime as FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Skip-Beat! The character designs are colorful and diverse, with each character sharing their own thematic identity and variations.

Sound Direction for Gabriel DropOut is headed up by Yasunori Ebina. Ebina is most-known for his work in Sound Direction in the Naruto franchise and Yuru Yuri. The music of GabDrop has a nice mix between the soft, fun, bouncy tunes used in the show’s slice-of-life scenes, as well as the grandiose tracks used for Satania’s “demon” moments or scenes involving the characters’ mythical sides. When talking about the show’s sound, I have to pay particular note to the show’s opening theme, Gabriel Dropkick. It’s a very interesting track that has a wide variety in its sound, switching the overall tone of the song based on which character is singing the section. It’s a really cool little effect that adds a lot of flavor to the theme. It’s an absolute earworm and it will get stuck in your head as soon as you listen to it, I guarantee it. Speaking of earworms, it’s rare that I like a song as quickly as I liked the show’s ED, Hallelujah☆Essaim. It’s got a very nice sound to it and a driving melody similar to some of my more favorite themes, as well as depicting each member of the cast in an outfit and form more similar to that of their hidden identity.

Should You Watch It?

In a word, definitely. My past two First Reactions this season have had me a bit more on the fence about recommending them, based on the themes and content matter of the shows not being for everyone. Gabriel DropOut is a comedy that is as adorable in design as it is hilarious in writing. By the first ten minutes of Episode 1, the show already had me in stitches and struggling to not burst out laughing, lest I disturb my friends in the same room. Gabriel DropOut promises to be a hilarious romp, filled with lots of cute hijinx and lots of laughs. It’s definitely worth the watch and is a definite early front-runner for my personal Anime of the Season.

Gabriel DropOut can be streamed on Crunchyroll with a one-week delay on new episodes for free members.

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