Heaven’s Design Team

Heaven’s Design Team

Heaven's Design Team anime series logo
Heaven’s Design Team

Series Overview

Heaven’s Design Team (Tenchi Souzou Design-bu / 天地創造デザイン部) is a slice of life comedy series about the design team that was hired to come up with all of the animals that inhabit the Earth. As the series explains, God decided it was too much work, so he outsourced the animal designs.

I’ll discuss the main characters in more detail in the following section, but for now, I want to give some basic background on them. While the protagonist is an angel, the actual members of the design team are other gods.

So the design team’s employer is the monotheistic “God,” and the rest of them are other (Greek/Roman) gods. For example, Meido (冥戸) is Pluto (冥王星). That’s not really all that important to know. But, I figured it was worth mentioning because if you watch this on Crunchyroll, the subtitles swap from their Japanese to English names a few episodes in.

Personally, I prefer the Japanese names for the characters. For one, I think it sounds better. Meido-chan is just cuter than Pluto-chan. And on top of that, their Japanese names aren’t the names of the gods; their names reference the gods.

Anyway, the series follows this design team as they attempt to create animals that both meet the requirements of their employer and are capable of surviving on Earth. So, they generally start out with a request from God, and then it’s up to them to figure out how to make it work.

I think the concept of this series is very good. It was fun to watch the designers workshop various animals and tweak them over the course of an episode until they end up with the final result. Seeing the process of making a giraffe, for example, is fun.

Main Characters

Shimoda is the protagonist, but since he’s not one of the designers, that’s all I’m going to say about him. There’s also Higuchi, who creates animal prototypes. And the last honorable mention is the bug team, which specializes in bugs, obviously.

Tsuchiya is the leader of the design team, and his most famous creation is the horse. The only problem is that he wants to make everything into a horse and that generally doesn’t work for most requests.

Kanamori is the designer who specializes in birds. Whenever a request for a bird comes in, it goes to Kanamori. Or, if a random request is given to Kanamori, it generally ends up becoming a bird. She’s also obsessed with beautiful things, which is why so many birds have elaborate display features.

I don’t remember Kimura having a specialty in terms of animal type. However, what he’s known for is creating animals that taste good — at least to him. He tends to taste-test everything he creates.

Meido holding a poison dart frog from the anime series Heaven's Design Team
Meido holding a poison dart frog

Meido is my personal favorite designer (because she’s cute). And as a cutie, Meido only designs cute animals — and by cute animals, I mean scary, creepy, and dangerous animals. If an animal is deadly or partakes in things like cannibalism, Meido designed it.

Mizushima is the practical designer of the group. Everything he designs is as efficient and streamlined as possible. He doesn’t care about fancy display structures, just utility. For this reason, he’s the one who designed the snake. Legs are unnecessary.

And, finally, we have Unabara, who has a dual specialty in cute things and sea creatures. This time, when I say cute, I actually mean it. One of his favorite of his designs, the sea otter, combines both of his specialties.

Could Have Been Better

As I mentioned earlier, I really like the concept of this series. But, unfortunately, I don’t think the execution is all there. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very enjoyable to watch the characters design various animals. Sometimes their initial designs are so different from the end result you’d never guess it was the same request.

That’s the best thing about the series, though. Aside from Meido, I wasn’t really all that interested in any of the other characters. Yokota, the chuunibyou leader of Hell, is fairly entertaining. But even he’s not a great character by any means.

Because all of the characters typically have one thing they really like to make, that also means that many of the jokes of the series are repetitive. Tsuchiya always wants to turn things into horses. That’s a gag that I think only worked the first time, and yet it kept getting used.

Kanamori creating a secretary bird from the anime series Heaven's Design Team
Kanamori creating a secretary bird

Along with that, a lot of the animal prototypes suffered from the same exact issues when it came to survival. It’s fine to have one prototype die because all of the calcium in its body is being used to make large antlers. But we don’t need to see that happen every other episode.

Then, there were also the creations that were solely included as gags. I wasn’t really a fan of these because they didn’t go anywhere. I like to see the progression of the animals designs, not some design they threw in that’s never actually going to evolve into a real animal.

A great example of that in action is when a Chinese dragon was created. I believe the whole thing was filled with gas to make it fly, and it propelled itself forward by farting or something. That’s not the kind of thing I find entertaining.


Overall, Heaven’s Design Team is a 6/10 from me. There were certain aspects of the series that I really liked. But it was simply far too repetitive with a lot of its comedy. And then when it tried to branch out by incorporating different comedy, there was no additional value to it.

Something I will praise about this series is the combination of OP and ED. Personally, I think these were some of the strongest OP and EDs of the season. The songs are pretty good and I really liked the visuals for them both.

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