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Sep 16, 2012Maji de Otaku na English! Ribbon-chan: Eigo de Tat... (Anime) add
1 of 12 episodes seen
Yeah, how much you enjoy this show will determine whether or not you like unintentional humor. Too bad it's intentional humor often falls flat, and everything else seems uninspired. Three.
50 of 50 episodes seen
Well, as much as I am loathed to put labels on what are clearly three-dimensional characters, here we have a show where Ai Yazawa pretty much presented us with what could be a psychological profile of a tsundere before such a term even came to existence. She's brassy, full of herself and can sometimes be unfairly cruel, but that is just a front she she feels she has to put up in order to shield her vulnerable side.
Yes, it would be convenient to say Mikako is the way she is because of the childhood trauma of a divorce (and what her Mom did afterwards). But alas, the reason behind her disagreeable personality is artistically anticlimatic. That is simply the way she is, as is evident from the flashbacks from her childhood and later when she becomes "honest with herself." This is the place where I feel the anime succeeds because we become too used to seeing the lead female character who is cutesy, klutsy, timid, moe or whatever stereotype that is supposed to appeal to the regular anime audience. She is truly one of the more variated full-rounded characters you'd find in any narrative.
The main drawback from this show, like a lot of the shoujo anime that aired around that time (Marmalade Boy, Kodocha) is the number of episodes. I really believe they could have more effectively told the story that they presented if they instead aired around half the episodes. Of course I am talking about filler episodes that sometimes introduced inconsistencies (***spoiler****e.g. why would Mikako be unable to sell her wrong-sized clothes at the second flea market if she was able to sell out all those exact same clothes at the first flea market?***spoiler***), but that is a minor quibble compared to the parade of episodes that occupied the middle featuring a love triangle between three supporting characters. They could have easily settled that matter in a handful of episodes, but they stretched it out over at least ten episodes, padding those with situations based on uselessly masochistic self-abnegations so contrived that my suspension of disbelief almost never recovered.
But thankfully, it didn't overtake the main story of the show, which was the real draw in the first place. It's clear the creator had a lot of fun with her inaugural anime adaptation and it shows through her somewhat unconventional artwork and character designs. The whole thing sort of reminds me of "Doug". The animation certainly shows its age, although it's pretty solid for what was shown at the time. For those who are expecting the quality put into Yazawa's other two animes by Madhouse Studio, be warned that you've been spoiled.
The music, mostly provided by Mikako's seiyuu Rumi Shishido might be an acquired taste for some (for those who don't like unsteady singing voices), but it grows on you, at least it did for me. The story, as long as it focuses on the two main characters, is pretty solid-grade work as it navigates you through the ups and downs of a teenage girl trying to cope with her contrary personality. As for enjoyment - well I wouldn't have spent at least 62 total hours going over the series if I didn't enjoy it. So in the end it would have received a higher grade for the story and characterization if it weren't for the mostly repetitive fillers. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
I won't sugarcoat or paper over the fact that the show revolves around a nine-year-old continuously making mature sexual advances against her twenty-three-year-old teacher, some of which would be actionable by law even if she is of age. It is what it is. I understand and respect the position of those of you who simply will not entertain that aspect of the show. The boundaries that the show puts up that might give the brave viewer at least partial absolution in watching the show would be the fact that none of the adults neither make nor return any of the propositions, all the adults in the series have the kids' best interests at heart, and even if Rin were to encounter an adult that might pose a threat to her, she has shown time and again that she can stand up for herself and take them down.
It is the psychology behind the actions that brings me back to the series every week, despite the censorship and the remaining fanservice that serves to give the show notoriety. Rin may be more sexually aware than a girl her age has any right to be, but when it comes to relating to adults, she is still like a kid who has just learned a new swearword: she simply doesn't know when it's appropriate to put such knowledge to use and she seems to think that purience is the only way to win love. And like a child, she can be easily hurt if she feels the love she gives is not reciprocated
As a result, Aoki Daisuke finds himself in a bind that he in part created for himself. In his quest to become Great Teacher Aoki, he wants to be on friendly terms with his students and avoids antagonizing them unnecessarily. But in closing the gap between the student-teacher relationship, he allowed Rin to get close enough so that if he unequivocally rejects her sexual overtures, he risks irrevocably hurting her. Hurting her is not an option for Daisuke since he truly cares for her well-being, despite the daily discomfort she puts him through. It also doesn't help that he has little to no experience in the practice of love which prevents him from adequately dealing with Rin's behavior.
Watching the interactions between Rin and Daisuke and seeing their complexities of their relationship manifest themselves really carries the show. However the show would have been stronger if some time were spent developing the side characters instead of using them as simple foils. I would like to see more of why Mimi, Kuro and Rin need each other in their lives and more of what makes Shirai-sensei and Hoin-sensei tick. Also I am disappointed in how they made Reiji into a dislikable character towards the end. Also, the removal of the distracting censorship would help the series tremendously.
The technical aspects of the show were so-so. If every episode were animated as brightly, as detailed, and as fluidly like the OVA, we would encounter little criticisms here. But the way animation budgets are, we watch the series that we have, not the series that we wish. The sound could be summarized by any of one of three backqrouund music: xylophones, a recorder, or a violin piece. The OP and ED were standard J-pop fare that are not the least bit memorable. All in all, the anime adaptation of the manga still passed the test and I would highly recommend the series. read more