HomeAnimeANIME REVIEW | Mighty Morphin Romance in "Love After World Domination"

ANIME REVIEW | Mighty Morphin Romance in "Love After World Domination"

ANIME REVIEW | Mighty Morphin Romance in "Love After World Domination"

There are some questions that have never been asked when it comes to sentai and superhero programming. One of these questions is, “What would happen if the hero fell in love with the villain?” Does the thought of a Power Ranger falling in love with Rita Repulsa send shivers down your spine? Well guess what: it shouldn’t, as this season’s Love After World Domination has proven to work in many wondrous ways!

Based on the manga by Hiroshi Noda and Takahiro Wakamatsu, Love After World Domination focuses on the battle between the Gelato 5 heroes and the villainous Secret Society Gekko. Leading the charge of most of these battles is the “Red Gelato” Fudo (Yusuke Kobayashi) and the terrifying “Reaper Princess” Desumi (Ikumi Hasegawa). Despite them fighting on opposing sides, Fudo and Desumi discover they have a very special chemistry between one another. As Gekko and Gelato 5 face off, the two lovebirds find ways to escape the battle and commence with the dating!

This marks the second time this year the anime world has graced us with a sentai parody, with last Winter gifting us Miss KUROITSU from the Monster Development Department. However, unlike that season’s kaiju-filled comedy, a solid knowledge of this genre of entertainment is not needed for Love After World Domination. If you’ve skimmed through a Power Rangers show or even that Japanese version of Spider-Man, then you’ll know exactly how this anime’s world works.

Most of the show focuses on the growing relationship between Fudo and Desumi, and the wild ways they grow closer as a couple. Because neither have ever dated before, their concepts of a good time can be all over the place. In one instance, Fudo takes Desumi to a gym on a date, followed by a romantic dinner via protein bars and insect talk. Desumi, on the other hand, has a better grasp at setting dating locations, as she suggests theme parks and beaches to Gekko for battlegrounds. And once Gelato 5 and Gekko commence the fight, Fudo and Desumi skedaddle and enjoy their time together.

That’s not to say their secret rendezvous are pitch-perfect; someone’s gotta catch wind of what they’re doing. Said person is “Pink Gelato” Haru (Rina Hidaka), who has her own personal feeling for Fudo. However, seeing how happy Red Gelato is with the Reaper Princess keeps her from spilling the beans to the rest of Gelato 5. Instead, Haru becomes a powerful ally in keeping Desumi and Fudo’s love under wraps, even going so far as acting as a kid sister to both fighters.

Desumi isn’t the only villain that’s dealing with love issues. “Steel Princess” Kyoko (Hisako Kanemoto) has her fair share of puppy love over a coworker. It gives Desumi — alongside the reluctant “Beast Princess” Kiki (Kana Hanazawa) — the chance to use what she’s learned from her relationship to help her friend. What follows is one hilarious visual gag after another, leading towards a double-decker punchline that’s too good to spoil here!

Gelato 5 has their own share of hilarity as well in Love After World Domination. “Blue Gelato” Hayato (Kazuyuki Okitsu) has his horndog issues, which results in him getting knocked the crap out by any woman (especially Beast Princess) who wants nothing to do with him. “Yellow Gelato” Misaki (Nene Hieda) has the tendency to gossip, especially when she’s had a couple of beers in her. Then there’s “Green Gelato” Daigo (Junji Majima), who winds up having a history with Desumi that’s as funny as it is pathetic!

But within the comedy is a genuine sweetness between Fudo and Desumi. These two are obviously in love with one another, as they go out of their way to be together. Despite her fighting in an evil organization, Desumi keeps on constantly proving that she’s not a bad person at all. Granted, it doesn’t help that the Gekko minions spread rumors about her eating bears and other villainous things that she wouldn’t dare even dream of doing! But at least Fudo knows the real person behind that skull mask, which is what is the most important thing of all.

Fudo always acts as a voice of reason for Desumi, despite his lugheadedness. Be it a chat about their relationship or an assurance that he’ll love Desumi even if she merged with a gorilla, Fudo has a sense to say the right thing at the right time. He listens to his heart, which does a lot more good than harm when it comes to their blossoming love. (It also helps that he was raised by a wonderfully nosy mother, who finds her own ways to help the two out.)

All of these characters are acted with perfection by the Japanese voice cast. Kobayashi does a wonderful job balancing between hero and lovebird as lovebird, with Hasegawa bringing loads of adorability and toughness as Desumi. Hidaka performs with a mixture of worry and kindness as Haru, while Majima’s stoic attitude works well for the comedic moments with Daigo. Stealing the spotlight every time is Hanazawa, whose Beast Princess emotes with a hilariously loud voice with the right amount of bad attitude.

It’s clear that Project No. 9 is trying to make things up after their botched adaptation of Super HxEros. Love After World Domination is gorgeous to look at, with the fight scenes feeling straight out of a solid shonen anime. When the action calms down, there’s a wonderful amount of detail placed in Desumi’s beauty and Fudo’s gruffness. However, it’s when the comedy is in full swing where Project No. 9 goes all in for hilarious facial expressions and sentai-styled slapstick.

The duo of Satoshi Hono and Ryunosuke Kasai bring a soundtrack that fits greatly with both rom-coms and heroic action series. Its battle songs sound right out of a Kamen Rider episode, while the cutesy love melodies fitting with the personalities of the lovesick characters. Masayoshi Oishi continues to be an anisong juggernaut, with his collaboration with Yukari Tamura in the opener “Koi wa Explosion” being a bouncy and dance-worthy number. (The version with the villainous Culverin Bear is also a hoot to listen to.) Idol group DIALOGUE+ brings the personality of Desumi to musical heights with their end theme “Koi wa Sekai Terri to Tomo ni”, a genuinely sweet song to cap off every fun episode.

Love After World Domination is the rom-com of Spring 2022, even with such heavy competition this season. Yes, Fudo & Desumi may not be as wacky as Aharen-san & Raido and lack the cleverness of Kaguya & Shirogane, but they make up for it with their sugary sweetness and out-of-nowhere punchlines. It knows when to be funny, and it knows when to show its heart, balancing both perfectly like a Megazord standing on one leg. Even if you’re not a fan of the sentai genre, Love After World Domination will make you find ways to cheer for this season’s toughest and most adorable couple this side of a moon fortress!

Voice Acting: (Japanese dub)
Final Grade (not an average):

Love After World Domination can be viewed on Crunchyroll and VRV. It has been licensed by Crunchyroll. Episodes 1-9 were observed for review. Promotional consideration provided by Crunchyroll.

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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)