[Review] Love After World Domination

I’ve gotta give credit where it’s due–I would have missed Love After World Domination if not for a friend’s recommendation. The super sentai setup and bright colors gave me expectations of unfunny gag humor and cheesy references. Both gags and references are assuredly present, but the cheese is delightfully delicious and the humor usually spot on.

There have been countless additions to tokusatsu in just anime alone, from shows like GARO to more recently Godzilla: Singular Point. Love After World Domination joins their like with forbidden love between leaders from opposing factions, Red Gelato, head of Gelato 5, and Reaper Princess, rookie of Gekko. They navigate frequent clashes between their groups, high school life, and workplace drama to discover the many firsts of love together. Each episode brims over with silly scenes of them ping ponging between punches and hand holding, attempting in spectacularly bad ways to keep their relationship a secret.

Best girls for life?
Desumi teaming up with Red’s mother is GOALS

Female characters occupy much of the cast list, including two of the Gelato 5, the Princess Series, and even some of the Beasts of Gekko. They’re each formidable in their own unique ways, and combat expectations for their roles. Desumi is hands down my favorite character of the anime with her unerring ability to bring together seemingly opposing styles of strength and femininity. Whenever she’s confronted by others about her love for all things cute, which happens quite frequently, she never hesitates to assert herself. Desumi can enjoy crepes and still kick butt!

It’s a miracle very few people in their immediate circle pick up on the romance, but the ones who do are easily swayed into support. It’s completely believable to me that anyone who spends just a little bit of time with Red and Desumi can’t help but love them both for their exuberant sincerity to one another and their personal goals. I appreciate how they almost never expect the other to sacrifice their obligations and enjoyments for the other. Even when one of them has an unfair expectation, their feelings are acknowledged and addressed–take for example Desumi’s jealousy at Red and Pink’s friendship, as well as her later anger at him filming a wedding commercial and him not understanding why it means so much to her.

You’d think what surprised me the most about Love After World Domination was the twist on a villain and hero dating, but that doesn’t even come close to my shock at how much time is spent at Gekko. We get to see up close all the inner workings of their leadership and lower ranks. Families like Desumi’s live out their lives for the agency, retire, then send their children into Gekko to continue the cycle. Workers have company housing and are typically placed in the same schools if they’re still students. Gekko is supposed to be the “bad guy,” not your stereotypical Japanese company! From what I can tell, employees are happy working there, paid decently and provided opportunities for upward movement to men and women alike. Let’s just forget the fact that Gekko aspires to world domination through the generation and redirection of humans’ negative energy, shall we?

Other problematic areas of the anime exist–like the ever-present stalker lesbian trope in Heat Princess, and the abduction and infantilization of others by the school nurse, Blood Princess–but overall the spirit of the show was comical yet heartwarming. Red and Desumi convinced me of the strength of their bond and the ability for love to transcend all, even the infantile rampaging of the Ultimate Phantom or the glares of Desumi’s little sister.

Rating: 1 dango

*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

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