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26 of 26 episodes seen
Ok, lets start from the beginning. Waaaaaaaayyyyyy back in 2011, Nichijou first aired. I was in the motion of looking for something new to watch so I was keeping an eye on the new releases. When I glanced over Nichijou, my initial reaction was "hmmm high school slice o'life comedy... heh". Nothing immediatly jumped to my attention as a "must watch anime". Slice of life has always been very hit and miss with me... so I decided it probably wasn't worth my time and moved on to watch other things.
But... and I'm not entirely sure why... something stuck with me. When I first saw the ad for Nichijou, there was a picture of a girl, standing somewhat alone on top of a trash pile (with a few characters in the background), holding a flower pot. The most notable thing about the character was a giant wind up toy screw sticking out of her back. At the time I dismissed it but the image somehow stayed floating around somewhere in my subconscious. The art style just appealed to me, it was so simple and yet somehow a little bit elegant. And so, a couple of months after it finished airing, I decided to watch the series. I loved it.
Nichijou is a very odd series to review. Like most slice of lifes (slice of lives?), there isn't really a plot. Its just that... a slice of life, a little piece of a characters life. Or in Nichijou's case, many characters lives. Its a formula that is almost entirely dependant on how well the audience can relate to the character in question. There are other factors too of course, being a comedy, the humor itself is obviously important, and things like art and sound add bits here and there, but above all else, characterization is the key to its success. And well, in that regard I think Nichijou succeeded far beyond my expectations.
Lets start with the main characters. We basically have 2 groups, one being a young High school girl named Yuuko, with her 2 friends Mai and Mio, the other being a Robot named Nano, who lives with a child professor and a talking cat named Sakamoto. Wait what, talking cats, child professors, ROBOTS... do go on. Yes Nichijou certainly has its fill of odd and wacky characters, but to be honest, they are all very relatable and loveable characters. Each of them are funny in their own way, but they also have some very down to earth, even touching moments.
But, to be honest, the side characters are also pretty hilarious. Its funny, the series kind of jumps from story to story, sometimes lingering on one for less than 10 seconds, sometimes lasting for over 5 minutes. And yet it never feels confusing or cluttered. I don't think there was a single character I didn't at least somewhat enjoy watching, and it became very enjoyable to wonder in the little 5 second breaks between each short segment, as to who we are going to meet next.
Ok, so the characters are all well and good, but that can't be it can it? Well no, theres obviously more to it than that. Lets start with the comedy. To be honest... this is the part that tears me apart a little (just a little mind you). There are some freaking hilarious scenes in this show, but there are also some jokes that fall kind of flat. A lot of the jokes in this series (especially the ones between Mai and Yuuko) are more... "weird" than funny. I feel like there are a lot of puns in this series too, which isn't a bad thing, but seeing as I can't speak a lick of Japanese they usually won't mean anything to the average english speaking viewer. But I don't think the bad or the weird jokes are enough to do the series any harm. For each joke that falls flat, there are 2 or 3 more that will have you grinning from ear to ear. So I think the comedy holds up very well as well. As a final little touch, I think the art and music are both very well done. The art is so simple, but it just works so well. It captures the mood of the series perfectly I think. The sound too I think is amazing. There is a little bit about half way into the series that has no dialouge, about the girls building a tower of cards. I won't give away what happens, but the orchestra accompaniment makes it feel like its straight out of Fantasia. Overall very well done.
Looking back over this little piece on Nichijou... I still think something is missing. My head tells me that it isn't exactly that amazing of a series. While quite strong.. the characters are good and the comedy is good... its not anything special right? It doesn't step over any boundries, its not the funniest thing I've ver seen... so why do I love it so much? I think the reason is, above all else, this series has a wonderful beautiful atmosphere to it. While there are some very wacky moments, the series will always take time to slow things down and create a very peaceful and relaxing atmosphere as well. Everytime I watch an episode, a feeling comes over me. I feel safe, I feel at home. I'm in a world that I'm used to, that I've come to love. Its not perfect, there are some flaws here and there, but here it is cheerful... peaceful... ordinary.
If theres one thing this series has to teach... its that ordinary is in the eye of the beholder. What might seem ordinary to you, might be completely alien to another. But its that regular stuff you take for granted... Your Ordinary Life... that makes you who you are. Enjoy it to the best of your abilities. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
To begin, as the title states, Jinrui wa is a story set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic future were humanity, while still being there, is on a large decline. In their place, a race of timid and odd little creatures aptly named fairies have started to grow immensely and take the reins as the dominant race. But to be honest, this all really has very little impact on the actual plot as the show puts very little focus on the decline of man. Instead we have a semi slice of life-y sort of approach where each episode is a little bit stand alone, with a few events connecting them from one to the other. So despite the somewhat darker outlook of the show's setting, it actually has a much more lively and refreshing tone.
But that doesn't exactly mean the show is nice. The tone kind of wavers from episode to episode, sometimes being upbeat and comedic, sometimes being rather sombre and down to earth, and other times being just plain weird. There's even a bit of an overtone over the whole show that feels quite cynical. Its a bit all over the place really, but due to the show's episodic nature, it all blends together quite smoothly. The shows stranger characteristics really give it a very unique feel and that alone gives you a reason to bother watching it.
But of course there's more than just tone to a show. The characters of Jinrui wa are quite an interesting group to examine. To be honest, a lot of the characters are rather static and one dimensional. Pretty much every side character doesn't get an ounce of development, and most of them are only on the show for 1-3 episodes. But that doesn't make them terrible characters at all. A lot of their characterization comes from simple design and small little bits of intuition. Eventually you can come to love them for all the little things that they are. But of course, what about the main character herself? Watashi is a very interesting character indeed. She's easily the most drawn out and developed character in the series, as the entire show is basically seen through her perspective. Her struggles, the insights into her thoughts, her nice but still somewhat cynical (and fairly lazy) personality... they all mould Watashi into a very relatable character, and a strong protagonist.
But what of those cheeky mascots themselves? Yes the fairies are probably the most stand out thing about this show. They're odd little things and very difficult to describe... but I'll try my best. The fairies personality, their lifestyle, their existence, their appearance, their very soul can be summed up in 2 little symbols... :D
So to put it bluntly, I really enjoyed these past 12 episodes. The art was fantastic, the opening was a catchy little diddy that really got you in the mood for the show, and the humour, when presented, was actually quite funny. I have a few complaints about the show, although most of them are fairly nit picky. I'm a bit disappointed the show never really... went anywhere... in that no real goal was made or achieved. One could argue that due to its slice of life style approach, an objective didn't really need to be present, but I do think the show could have had a bit more definitive ending than it did. Also, there was a few time leaps in the show Haruhi style, so the show itself isn't really in chronological order. While they didn't impact the plot really, they were a bit jarring and kind of confusing at times.
But I digress, what ever faults the show has, they hardly match up to the positives this show presents. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, is probably one of the most interesting shows I've watched in a long long time. While not ground breaking, it has a very unique and charming quality to it that will always make it stand out to me as a great anime and one everyone should consider watching. So with that, I say enjoy.. enjoy this weird, sarcastic little joy to behold, it won't disappoint. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
6 Main characters
A variety of side characters (add at own discretion)
1 Relatively simple Slice of Life plot
1 Modern Day restaurant setting
A dash of comedy
throw them in a bowl, stir thoroughly, and your reward is Working!!. If your working comes attached with a ' at the end, don't worry it tastes exactly the same as a regular Working!!
Yes and here we are, with the second installment of that little series Working!!. The original was a quaint little show with a nice set of characters, a decent little story and while a little bit forgettable, it was overall a well put together show. So how does the sequel hold up when compared to its originals fairly rooted stand? Well lets dive in and talk a look.
As you could probably tell by that short little opening recipe there... Working'!! is very similar to Working!!. In fact it really just feels like the first season was meant to be 26 episodes but they weren't entirely sure how well it would sell, so they edited half of them out and saved them for a later day. Why they decided to call it Working with an apostrophe is a bit of a strange choice to me. I get the feeling they didn't just want to stick a number after it so they thought they'd be clever and put an apostrophe there to screw with people that have bad short range vision. Personally I would have called it something like Working: Some More, or Working: Another One... but maybe that wouldn't translate so well to Japanese. Anyways... while similar to the original, that isn't entirely a bad thing, as I've said the original was a decent little show, a fun little romp through the lives of a couple interesting characters.
Right away you'll be hit with a sense of familiarity when the opening starts to play, as the similarity between the two is just enormous. The characters all return, the jokes are similar the location is all similar, and the art style is identical. Since I doubt you're using this season as the jumping on point for this series, you can basically use your own judgement of the first season as your basic analysis for this one. The characters are still the same, while not entirely deep or moving they each have their own quirks and traits that make them likeable. The plot isn't entirely there but it works in its slice of lifey sort of way, with small little dilemmas that get resolved over each episode. Your bound to get at least a few laughs from an episode and the art and music still both look and sound very nice, and keep the atmosphere of the whole series very in tune with what its going for.
So O.K, so far all I've done is say how similar it is to the original, what does it do thats different? Well... to tell the truth not a whole lot, but there are a few things. For starters, a few new minor characters get added who help liven up an already interesting cast. Also, old characters who didn't get a whole lot of screen time in the previous segment get a bit more of a chance to shine, such as that one older sister who always hides in her room, or a more touching side of the Manager. Also, once again being a new season, the show likes to experiment a bit with its characters, mostly by pitting characters who don't normally associate with or against each other. Stuff like Soma talking more with Inami, Inami talking with the author older sister, Takenashi and the manager etc etc. But aside from that, its still very much the same show, and this is where I start to find my problem with this little sequel.
While each episode is pretty nice, and overall the series is an enjoyable little series, I really think it has no right to exist. Ok hear me out first. For starters, it really is just more of working S1. I keep going back to that I know, but there really isn't much else to say about it, it is very similar to the original.
But that alone is not enough to condemn it, if the show took the opportunity to help expand its characters or its plot in some sort of way, then I feel this series would have been worth it. And it does... sort of. Like I said a few minor characters get a bit more drawn out, so that we can relate to them a bit more and feel like they are decent characters. But here's the real problem. NOTHING. GETS. RESOLVED. AT ALL. Every single episode from start to finish goes waaayyy out of its way to make sure everything returns to the status quo by the end of the episode. The only things I can say with confidence change over the course of this season, is one girl gets a bear, one gets a cell phone, and one gets a cell phone number... whoop dee doo. And I mean, sure. Every episode one character learns a bit of a lesson, but they never really go back to it. You come back to the next episode and Inami is still throwing punches, popura is still a child at heart, sato still has a crush on todoriki who still has the hots for the manager etc etc. At the end of the season, absolutely nothing important will have changed from the originals finale.
Even the first season had a bit of a flow to it. It was mostly keeping a tab on Inami, and her overcoming her crippling man-phobia. And while it didn't go very far in curing it over the first season, it still ended with you feeling like they had come at least some way forward in the process. In Working'!!, one could almost argue that Inami regresses a little, possibly even putting back what the first season tried to achieve. So really, the fact that so little happened in the grand scheme of the Working!! series as a whole, really makes me feel like this season has absolutely no point.
But overall... I can't call it a bad series because of that complaint alone. Overall, its just more of Working!! S1. If you liked the first season there's no reason you aren't going to like this one. You might like it a little bit more even if you prefer this seasons comedy, or maybe like the different takes on a few of the characters. I still enjoyed the jokes, it was kinda nice to see the characters once again, and it was good enough that I was easily able to watch it until the end. But I will say this: Anime as a whole would have lost absolutely nothing had this series never been made. Its a fun, but ultimately pointless little romp, like getting a high score on tetris. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Let me start for once with the OP of this season (how appropriate?). I normally don't care much about the opening of a series but this time was an exception. Baka to season 1... and even the ova, had 2 really fun openings. They were fast, they were fluid, they showed off a lot of what to expect from the characters without giving away the plot (well... what little plot there was). I even caught myself laughing at some of the imagery in OVAs opening, and that was a first as far as openings go. The second seasons opening just feels like a drag. The music is much the same as its predecessors, but the images are just so dull. Still shots, and random images of items that are somewhat connected to the show (like a nail bat, or that fox doll thing that minami has). It was just a bit of a bore, after how fun the first 2 openings felt is all... but again its just an opening so the show can't really lose any marks for it.
Anyways, on to the actual meat of the series. Baka to test to Shokanjuu... was never really a series that strong in plot. It was a fairly mindless rom-com... but it certainly had a lot more going for it than this season did. It had an overall goal to say the least... The down trodden F class is sick of being considered the scum of the earth, and needs to work its way up the intellectual ladder to show that they aren't any less human than anyone else, by beating the top of the school class A. It was simple but effective, and even helped learn us a lesson: Just because your grades are bad, doesn't mean you can't achieve greatness.
But season 2 is... well... really just a bunch of filler stringed together. I kid you not, the first not 1, but 2 episodes open with a "beach" episode (you know... that episode thats in almost every rom-com, where they go to the beach really just as an excuse to show off the main female in a bikini). It actually takes until episode 4 before you even see the little summons, and thats really in a filler episode as well. In fact, they avoid having tests and summoned beings in the show so much, that I kind of wonder why they didn't just call the season "Idiots". Anyways, while Idiots doesn't really have any one big plot to string the series together like the first season did, it does have a variety of sub plots that span over 1 - 3 episodes, so its not totally without merit.
The thing that really bugs me about this second season is that it really seems to be trying to alienating a good portion of its fan base. Since a sequel will primarily be aiming at current fans of the show, it should aim to build up what it already established and improve the formula that apparently worked out the first time. Instead, Idiots seems to take the show in a different direction. The first season was a light hearted comedy, with a touch of romance and a little bit of tactical warfare. Season 2 on the the other hand... is really looking to be more of a romance with some comedy filler put in here or there.
Now there's nothing wrong with that formula either, in fact the first season had some rather touching and more serious moments to it as well. However... it never did this at the expense of comedy. This is again, because the first season WAS a comedy, it made sure every episode was a laugh, and added those little touching scenes as a drizzle of caramel on top of the already delicious chocolate fudge sundae. Idiots however, decides to put romance on equal grounds to comedy. There are a couple episodes that are almost devoid of comedy actually, and look more like something I would see in Ef - a tale of memories rather than a show that has "Idiots" in the freaking title.
In any case, none of the above grievances really makes Idiots a bad show. I would prefer a more linear story like the first season but its not totally necessary. The characters are more of the same, if you liked 'em in the first season, you'll still like 'em here. The show does suffer a tiny bit from the usual trap that sequels fall into... that is over abusing certain popular aspects or quirks of characters to the extreme (like always making Akihisa cross dress... it was funny in the OVA but if you keep making it a running gag it loses the charm) but its not enough to really do any harm. The art is still really really nice to look at, although with today's sophisticated technology that doesn't really say a lot since looking nice is easier than ever. The comedy... while a lot more sparse than the first season, is still relatively funny. My only problem was that it was a more generic rom-com style comedy, where as I feel the first season had a bit of a more unique sense that made it stand out as an anime.
Really, to sum up, Idiots just shouldn't bear the Idiots and Tests and Summoned Beings name. On its own its a pretty solid anime, the comedy again holds up fairly well, and I was even fairly touched by some of the character back stories. It's just that it's too different from the original... and I felt a little betrayed is all. If it had been its own series I probably would have felt a lot kinder to it. I feel like a child whos been hoping and asking for a new set of roller blades all year long... but when christmas comes round I get a pogo stick. Sure its fun at times and I found a few new things to do I didn't know about before... but its just not what I hoped for. Oh well, its fun enough for now... maybe next christmas. read more
Probably the most interesting and obvious things Elemental Gelade has to offer is its setting. It is set in a somewhat futuristic fantasy world, with lots of flying machines and advanced military hardware… but rather medieval style towns and scenic landscapes. The strangest thing this series has to offer is the introduction of a new species of humanoids, Edel Raids… beings with the ability to change into weapons. If you can look past the absurdity of their premise (seriously? They evolved to be turned into weapons?) the Edel Raids are quite fascinating and author Mayumi Azuma does quite a nice job handling them. She doesn’t go too deep into the details on how they work, but she shows off how they generally act as a race (fairly human like but with a fear of man), and explains a few attributes related to their abilities. If you really look at them, then they are a little idiotic, but if you dive into the fantasy of it all you will find that Edel Raids are quite an interesting addition to the plot.
The plot itself is holds up to the tides of time. At its very core its pretty generic, young boy helping a young girl that mysteriously got attached to him, but as the plot progresses it gets a fair bit better. It deals with things like oppression, belonging, and growing up. The theme of humans constantly hunting Edel Raids for their powers is what drives most of these feelings and overall is pretty solid. Its not perfect by any means but is well worth reading to the end.
The characters follow a similar trend. The protagonist, Coud van Girut (shortened to Cou) is a fairly generic sort of lead at first; a young boy with high ambitions but little patience or experience, who swears to protect a girl who he’s only know for a little bit. He does, however, grow quite nicely and turns out to be a lot more human that most generic shounen leads. For one, he never truly becomes powerful. He goes through training, and of course over time he does start to become better, but he still remains the weakest member in his group. Although he does end up winning most of the battles, its usually through a mixture of luck… and the fact that he has one of the most powerful weapons in the world (where he gains most of his power from) Ren the Edel Raid. His other rather human feature is the fact that a lot of emphasis is put on him growing up. He starts off cold and pretty impatient, but learns a lot from his journey, and always has the goal of returning to become a sky pirate, his lifes dream.
That next turns us to the lead female, Ren… who is a bit of an oddball. At first one might think shes simply the shy and quiet type of character. As it goes on, you start to see that she is more… relaxed than shy. Despite getting mad or upset on a couple key occasions, for the most part Ren views the world with a rather cool indifference. When she does talk, she is actually rather blunt in what she says, and is a bit oblivious to proper social etiquette. Overall she becomes quite a likeable character, and is probably the most memorable one in the manga.
So again, overall the characters are interesting but a little generic. Their companions Cisqua, Rowen and Kuia are all more comic relief than anything else, but they each get a little back story that helps define them as characters. The villains is where the series starts to fall a little short, and its probably my biggest complaint against Elemental Gelade. The fact of the matter is, none of the main villains really seem human. They are almost always evil “for the sake of being evil.” Azuma tries to show off man’s possessive nature and the need for power but really goes overboard after a while. In this, Azuma basically creates an organization that is purely purely evil, that wants to acquire every single Edel Raid as there own, and force them to work under their reign of terrible evilness. And they do other generic bad guy stuff, like killing every henchman that fails a mission (or sometimes a even a little darker than that).
This is something that I think the anime handles a hell of a lot better than the manga I find. While the amount of evil people is still very abundant in the anime, they do a few select things that makes it a hundred times better. First, they don’t have a single evil organization, instead evil people are a little more spread out across the land. Even the good corporation Arc Aile (which Cisqua Rowen and Kuia work for) has a dark side to it in the anime, where in the manga it is painted as a solid gold Edel Raid paradise. Another thing done well in the Anime is the use of edel raids as main villains. In the Manga, while some edel raids are villainous…they really are only doing so, so that they may be accepted by their much more evil masters MAN!!! In the anime, some edel raids are actually evil but for solid reasons like becoming more powerful and helping their race survive. This makes the edel raids seem actually humane, rather than a weakened race of women that must be protected by the righteous man from the evil man.
But really… enough about the Anime (this is about the manga isn’t it?). Aside from the main points, Elemental Gelade has a lot of wonderful points that make it worth a read. The art is fantastic and rather unique. The comedy – romance is mixed rather well into the side scenes, in between some truly epic action moments… although, at times the action does get a little hard to follow from panel to panel. The romance is a much bigger focus than most Shounens, and is played out rather well. Its never too in your face and it has a very nice feel about it.
So, after all is said and done, Elemental Gelade is a potent mix of its many genres, and well worth checking out if you’re a fan of any of them. The plot, while not extensively deep, is fresh and worth reading. The characters are decent, and if you can get past a bit of an over-dramatization of the evil of “MAN” and a few obscure fantasy facts… I’m sure you’ll find the series enjoyable. Personally, I doubt I will ever find a series I could enjoy more, than the Elemental Gelade series. Have fun
59 of 59 chapters read
As stated... Mirai Nikki has a very intriguing premise to provide. A group of people, ranging from pathetic school boy, to homicidal terrorist, to upper-class business man, quite a good variety of people lets say, are given a gift from god (aptly named Deus Ex Machina). They are given the power to see the future, but in a unique sort of way. Each person in question had one thing in common... they all keep a diary of some sorts, and the future they see is dependant on the type of diary that the person keeps (for example, the lead Yukiteru keeps a diary of everything he sees, as such he can tell what will happen to everything that he can see around him). Even better they are given a chance… a chance to become god. This all comes at a large cost however; they must kill all the other people with a diary in order to achieve such heights.
For the first couple of volumes, this plays out quite well. A lot of the battles turn more into a battle of the minds, where each person tries to dupe their future opponent… so that their diary will not be able to predict a way to avoid their demise. There is a twisted kind of logic to the diaries, which doesn’t totally hold together… but is about as good as you can get when you have people accurately reading the future outcome of things. For a while this kind of battle is really intense. Situations get hairier and hairier and the solutions are usually pretty clever and well thought out. But eventually a shift starts to take place… and around volume 7 – 8, the books start to take a real nose dive. You see, while the battles previously had used a sense of wit and cunning to get resolved, the newer ones started to fall back on a plot device as old as time itself… deus ex machina powers (although I guess that kind of works in a way… considering these are powers given to them by a guy named Deus ex Machina). The reasons for them surviving in near impossible situations become hazier and less thought out with each passing volume. At the end, a couple large plot points are basically forced upon the reader, and little rhyme or reason is used. I don’t want to give away the ending, but let’s just say the author writes himself into a corner here. He’s creates a dramatic and decisive point for the protagonist to overcome, but realizes he has no logical way to get out of it… and so just quickly writes up some contrived reasoning for the ending, before quickly just cutting it off and ending the damn thing.
The characters are probably more subjective than anything else… so I can’t really comment on them without my own bias. Their interactions are pretty decent, although at times it feels like people just turn out good or evil for no real reason at all (the ninth is really guilty of this). The two leads, Yukiteru and Yuno, rather un spectacular in my opinion. Yukiteru is the typical lead… pathetic, weak, lonely, and most of all a huge whiner. Yuno is a psychotic killing machine, who only thinks about her love for Yuki, and kills anyone or anything that gets in their way. I personally find her to be unnerving and really annoying at times, but a lot of people seem to enjoy that “Psychotic for love” trend, so don’t let me burst your bubble. I also kind of detest how the author tries to make us “feel” for their romance when really they both deserve to die when compared to the other numbers… Overall the cast is a decent group, nothing spectacular but enough to keep the manga on its feet.
So… overall, Mirai Nikki is a decent manga that could have been a whole lot better. The first couple volumes feel fresh and interesting, but the last few feel rushed and contrived. In the end Mirai Nikki is like a virgin’s first time. He prepares and finesses over everything, starts out strong, everything seems to be going great, but then it suddenly ends early and just leaves everyone involved with a feeling of disappointment.
Mast of Epic: The Animation Age is an anime based on a Japanese MMORPG called... well Master of Epic. The game hasn't been released outside of Japan so don't bother looking for it. This anime was made really to promote the game itself, and so is quite good in explaining small facets of the game itself. At the beginning of every episode a small explanation is given of a certain game trait, and the rest of the episode tends to be kind of themed around that first point. Also after every skit, a little "the more you know" style factoid will pop up and explain a little something from the previous skit. As an advertisement agent, this thing is actually quite effective... But considering you probably have no way of getting the game, thats not really a big point is it... How does the humor hold up eh? Wellll...
Master of Epic does quite well in the humor department. Although it is based on one particular MMORPG, it does a very good job of satirizing many of the small idiosyncrasies common to most RPG's. Some examples include going AFK, being resurrected from death, random monster spawn, combat and non-combat skills etc etc. It has some other jokes too, but really you will probably want to be somewhat of an RPG fan... or at least understand RPGs to find a lot of this funny. Still, as a fan myself, I found the humor to be quite simple but effective.
Ummmm and that's it really. The music isn't that great, but the art is pretty good for a little known show like this. Its sad to see that so few people have managed to find this little gem, because its really quite good. As a sketch comedy, I honestly can find nothing wrong with it. Characters are simple but memorable enough, the comedy is funny, there are 7 or 8 repeating sketches that you can enjoy every time they come back. All in all, if you like RPGs, and like this kind of un-connected random comedy, then you'll definitely like Master of Epic. read more
What are probably the 2 main complaints of this anime? From what I see, they would be A). The plot is breaky, un-coordinated, and not really flowing, and B). The characters are unrealistically proportioned, and the fan service is out the roof. Personally... when I analyzed the plot, you know what I thought of right away? Slice of life.... That was the first thing that came to mind. The anime, is structured like a slice of life... a series of episodes, each with their own neat little story that gets wrapped up within an episode. It doesn't so much follow a strict plot line as just follows the daily life of a certain character. This can be a somewhat effective story telling method, people seem to love shows like Aria or Azumanga Daioh, and those have about just as much continuity as this show does. The problem is, is part B.
Generally, people who really enjoy slice of life style anime, don't enjoy a very perverted ecchi style like this. I think it goes both ways as well, I think fans of this comedic style, generally prefer a better plot. Now... its not like harems or ecchi comedies generally have all that GREAT a plot line... but they are at least structured from start to end (with some filler). That is to say, you should probably watch from episode 1 all the way to the end in the right order for it to make any sense. In a slice of life style, usually you just have to watch the first episode or 2, then you could really watch it in any order and it would make sense. Its this kind of mix that can really throw off both sides of the debate and make a whole lot of people hate the anime in question. This is probably the main reason why this show got such a bad rep.
But that can't be it really can it? Well sure, what about the characters themselves. Lets ignore the fan service style of the characters for now. Personally, I don't really care much about the design of the characters. Sure maybe they're over the top a bit in the fan service department... but hey its a show about a Las Vegas style casino... of course there will be tonnes of fan service. Anyways... the actually personality of the characters is rather hit and miss. While each character seems to have a fairly decent personality, and could possibly be even considered enjoyable... the show really ditches the idea of introducing them to us. The first episode catalogs the adventures of a 10 year old girl wandering around a casino (bad parenting? whats that), and briefly bumping into what will be each of our main characters. The problem is, you aren't given enough time to identify or understand any of them. The characters are just kinda thrown out at you, and as the show goes on you see what their character traits are... but it just took you 5 long episodes to figure it out. So while I won't say the characters are bad... I'll say their presentation was terrible.
So you've read all this and you look back up at the score I gave it and say... Hey if there are so many flaws with it, how can you give it a score like that? Well I'd respond... because there's one thing that this show does quite beautifully... and that's over the top animation backed up by... semi decent humor. What I found to be the most enjoyable quality of this show, was the strange over the top presentation of freaking casino games. Like in episode 2 where they play roulette on a roller coaster size roulette wheel, using bowling balls instead of the regular ones. Its got an idiotic campy feel to it... The way it goes so over the top about poker and betting. Like somehow she is able to WILL the ball into the right place, or stop cards from entering her opponents hand. Really, I'm gonna say that her super power is just that she is incredibly lucky. Its this kind of idiotic humor that made the show... somewhat enjoyable for me to watch. Taking such a simple thing and putting it on a grand DBZ style scale really makes you crack up at the lunacy of it all.
So again... the anime is pretty bad. Its plot is mis matched, its characters are decent but hard to get to know, and its humor... while usually getting a laugh once or twice an episode... is usually pretty predictable... But its got a bit of charm to it. You can tell that the animators had fun creating this one, building grand scale casino items, and doing over the top gambling battles. I can't blame you if you hate it, quite honestly I think I SHOULD hate it. But that little bit it added, made me feel like I must see it to the end at least. read more
Feb 11, 2011Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ... (Anime) add
Anyways, lets review Onii-chan no Koto.... you know the rest. In an old baka to review of mine I stated that having a name like... Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, was just terribly long, awkward, and un-original. Well Onii-chan here decided to up the anti and create an anime with one of the longest titles of all time. I know pretty much everybody has and will harp on this, but seriously, its hard to recommend / dismiss this anime when you can't remember the bloody name of it.
Sigh... So where do I begin with Onii-chan ****. For once I believe I'll start with the art. Onii-chan etc etc, has one of the weirdest art styles I've seen in quite a while. The people look alien in it... like weird hideously deformed mannequins marching across the screen. They're EXTREMELY thin, they're arms and legs seem slightly bent in an odd way, it all feels off. It doesn't really detract from the show too much (for me at least), but its not really giving it any gold stars.
I've always said for this kind of show that 2 things are necessary, and the rest is just added on. 1). The characters must be likable / relatable / enjoyable to watch, and 2). It must be funny. Plot is a nice touch, but not necessary as the only purpose of this show is to provide idiotic humor to help us escape from the pains of reality. And does Onii-chan no Koto nanka *omgitdoesn'tend* Zenzen Suki Janain *makeitstop* Dakara ne!!deliever in these 2 categories? Well... kinda.
The characters are actually fairly original for this kind of genre. The main lead is your basic token pervert, but what do you expect, your here for the GIRLS. The main attraction? of this show is that the main girl is in fact his ADOPTED sister (because we want a nice legal show that still borders on the extreme creepiness of incest). The girl in question, Nao, is a fairly interesting character. She is downright determined to give herself, body and soul to her NOT BLOOD RELATED brother (remember no blood relation means its not creepy). But first she seems to love toying with him. The funniest part about her, and most probably of the entire show, is how she forces her brother into awkward situations, and then basically orgasms over her brothers reaction. Its funny to see what she's actually planning and then how it all turns out.
The next femlae lead is Iroha whom, after one glance, I was like damn... theres gonna be a tusndere... But onii-chan so on and so forth, decided to reject that Idea and instead turn her into a stalker, which makes her a much much MUCH more likable character. So if you weren't already reeling at the originality of a "Adopted Sister" romance, then get prepared for this shocker. Shes a childhood friend, a character trait that has only been used in about 342352345 anime before this one. And of course, the final love interest is the class president, who looks like a shy girl, and turns out to be a shy girl who likes Yaoi, and keeps ALMOST doing perverted things. Both are relatively funny characters, but get predictable after a while.
All in all, the characters are fairly likable, with a good amount of originality to forgo they're extremely cliche back stories, but is it funny? Weeelllllllll.... yes its funny enough. Its not rolling on the floor in uncontrollable fits of laughter, and usually its pretty predictable. But its still gonna get a few chuckles out've you. The perversity of it all might be a bit much for some people, but hey for a show about incest... Its a lot cleaner than most anime I've seen. It even has a random penguin / cat covering up all the panty shots. All in all its not bad, but nothing spectacular.
So in the end.. sigh... I begrudgingly say that I do enjoy this show. Its nothing spectacular, and I will probably forget it fairly quickly once its over, but its still a good show to end the day with. Grab a coke, maybe some popcorn, relax in a comfortable chair, and have yourself a couple chuckles at the perversity of it all. Onii-chan *insertfootballstadiumhere* Dakara ne!! is something harem fans will probably enjoy, and a great way to creep out your family by saying proudly "Today I watched a show about (technically not quite) Incest."
13 of 13 episodes seen
So anyways... here's Working!!. As most any anime with this kind of standing goes, plot is pretty irrelevant. Its not trying to convey a moral or story, its just an anime that's meant to give us a good time, maybe a laugh, or some form of nostalgic feeling. What really matters is the characters... and whether you can a). be entertained by them or b). relate to them. For me, I was actually fairly refreshed with the characters of Working!!. They weren't exactly standout-ish characters, but they had a fairly original feeling about them (even though their general outline has been done before). I'll give you an example of what I mean. When I first saw Poplar (the short one) I immediatly said "She is going to have a inferiority complex, and every joke around her will be about how she is shorter than she should be". And lo and behold I was mostly right (although around about episode 8 this starts to change). But I was oddly amused with its approach in this field. Rather than making fun of the fact that she was short, it more made fun of the fact that she tried to be big. That may not seem like much... but it made a world of difference for me.
Almost every character in the show did this to me. To put it simply... they were fairly generic characters, but were put in a different light than they usually are portrayed as. Another example is the main? girl Inami. At first you think... bah its that girl... u know the one who hits the guy repeatedly for no real good reason. But, whats fairly different about Inami, is that she really doesn't want to hit men... she just does out of instinct. They even give a kinda okay explanation as to why she must hit men, and it helped me a lot in warming up to her character. All in all... the cast isn't going to be winning awards anytime soon... but I found them a much more able bunch than I first gave them credit for.
Hmmm.... well there's not much let to say after that long winded speech on characters. As I said, characterization is really the MOST important thing in this slice of life comedy. I can't really say if you'll find it funny or not, cause everyone has a pretty unique sense of comedy... But I personally found the jokes hit and miss. A lot of run on gags get going after a while, and it can get tiring, but it still gave me a couple chuckles every episode.
And that's my opinion on Working!!. Its not a spectacular, and you could easily hate it a lot more than I did... But for what its worth, I found it quite enjoyable, and it helped re-kindle a interest in anime that I thought was starting to die out. If you do watch it, at least give it a bit of a chance before you decide your opinion on it.
Oh and one final note, this is the ONLY anime where I have ever caught myself softly attempting to sing along with the opening... Its that annoyingly catchy. read more