Original Run: April 4, 2021 - June 20, 2021 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Science Fiction Based on the Series Created By: Natsume Akatsuki
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Combatants Will Be Dispatched. Reader discretion is advised.***
On Earth, the evil Kisaragi Corporation has nearly taken over the planet. Their sights now turn to other worlds. To set the groundwork for their next conquest, the organization sends their most veteran operative, Combat Agent 6 (voiced by Yuusuke Shirai).
Joining 6 on his mission is the newly built Kisaragi Company Pretty Girl Android, Alice Kisaragi (voiced by Miyu Tomita). Together, the two teleport and land in the Kingdom of Grace. To secure a foothold, 6 and Alice join the Kingdom’s military and quickly distinguish themselves – both with their combat prowess and less than honorable tactics.
Regardless, 6 and Alice win victory after victory for the Kingdom of Grace, and soon, the higher-ups in the country put them in charge of a special unit. Joining the pair are three of the military’s top soldiers, Snow, Rose, and Grimm (voiced respectively by Sayaka Kikuchi, Natsumi Murakami, and Minami Takahashi).
From this point on, a combination of strategic genius and pure stupidity follow 6 and his team wherever they go.
Let’s get something out of the way. Combatants Will Be Dispatched (Combatants) is from Mr. Natsume Akatsuki, who is also the creator of KonoSuba.
Supposing you have not seen or heard of KonoSuba, I strongly suggest you get on that. It is, arguably, one of the best isekai shows ever – as well as one of my personal favorite anime. If you are familiar with the series, what comes to your mind when I say the following:
Combatants is from the same guy who did KonoSuba.
I imagine an expectation has just entered your head.
Although such a connection is intriguing (yes, I am assuming all those who watched KonoSuba enjoyed it, fight me), I must warn you to be wary. While Combatants has the same comedic style as KonoSuba in many respects, the two shows are also quite different.
All the same, Combatants was entertaining. This series relied on a type of humor that was equal parts silly, absurd, rude, lowbrow, and dumb. Please note, I use all those adjectives in a positive light.
Due to the inherent nature of this sort of presentation, concepts such as story and narrative, though existent, take a back seat. Combatants did craft an air of wanting-to-know-what-happens-next, but any tension that might have existed couldn’t stick when up against the sheer number of d@$% jokes.
I mean, I have never seen an anime start a war because the protagonist impulsively plopped their penis on top of another country’s king’s head. Again – and I swear, there is a point to this insistence – Combatants and KonoSuba are QUITE different shows.
Yes, I laughed at the above-mentioned scene, but not because of the act itself. Instead, this series caught me off guard. This show was very good at never going in the direction you would expect. That was part of the reason why I found Combatants hard to put down.
Another reason was the characters, or, more specifically, the relationships between the characters.
Getting right to the heart of the matter, everyone in this series was an asshat. In their own ways, all our main characters were selfish, rude, manipulative, and tended to look out for themselves if given a chance.
- Rose overlooked many questionable situations when pacified with enough food.
- Grimm tried to seduce every man she saw and had a bitter hatred towards anyone in a relationship.
- Snow was glory-hungry and her greed often outweighed any honor she had.
- Alice Kisaragi was cold-hearted and always tested a theory even if it meant someone would get hurt.
- 6, well, 6 was just a f@#$ing prick.
I suspect many of you are wondering why such a cast would be worth following; they all seem like the worst. That is not untrue, but keep in mind; they were the worst to each other.
Since no one was the moral anchor of the group, they could contain their awfulness. Even when a third party interacted with our…I was going to say “heroes,” but there’s no way that’s the right word. Instead – even when a third party interacted with our “leads,” those other characters also had their own failings. So, in the end, everything tended to balance out.
And that hits it on the head. When there was balance, Combatants was a solid slapstick comedy. Unfortunately, this is also the deciding difference between this show and KonoSuba.
In KonoSuba, which also had a lead party of asshats, there was always balance. Combatants wasn’t nearly as stable.
I can see why someone might not like this show. While this series went no further than other anime comedies with ecchi elements, Combatants had a real bad habit of toying with lines that should not be toyed with.
This is why I wanted to make the distinction between Combatants and KonoSuba crystal clear. Although the two shows had many similarities and their style of humor came from the same place, there was one thing KonoSuba never was – uncomfortable.
Allow me to repeat myself. I found this series entertaining; it made me laugh more often than not. However, a few misguided jokes did put a damper on the fun.
There is an argument I can hear in my head.
6 was an agent of an evil organization. Thus, as a villain, he got more powerful and had access to better equipment with every evil act he committed. Therefore, can you fault a bad guy for doing bad guy things?
The whole evil-point system gave Combatants the room to get away with a lot of things. Except, it wasn’t a blank check to do whatever the hell it wanted either.
On more than one occasion, this series entered a grey zone between innuendo and assault. And on these occasions, it didn’t feel as though a whole lot was stopping this show from crossing that boundary.
Hell, why am I even beating around the bush? There was a scene where 6 and Alice were willing to let a giant tiger man have his way with a prisoner. That was just one example, but it was a persistent issue throughout this show.
What I am getting at is, Combatants would sometimes act in bad taste. That bad taste devalued and held back a show that could have been remarkable.
Am I being overly sensitive? I do not think so.
Good comedies are good not because they have jokes. No, they are good because they have funny jokes. When a show’s humor is not funny, for any reason, that is a problem. To Combatants’ credit, its humor worked frequently. But when it fell, it fell hard.
I hope this review has given you sufficient warning about what sort of show this is. The ball, therefore, is now in your court.
For myself, it would be wrong of me to act as if this series didn’t cause me to hesitate from time to time. Conversely, it would also be wrong to pretend I didn’t like this show when it did something well, which was often.
So, although Combatants Will Be Dispatched has earned a recommendation from me, please watch it at your discretion.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Combatants Will Be Dispatched? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
If you liked what you have read, be sure to follow Anime Hajime on our social media sites so that you never miss a post or update. Also, please share this review across the internet to help add to the discussion.
Additionally, if you wish to add your voice to Anime Hajime, why not consider writing for us? If you would like to contribute, check out our Write For Anime Hajime page. We welcome your style.
For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and I’ll see you next time.