Young Mari hates eating vegetables and drinking milk so much that she has nightmares about being force-fed the items. One day at school, the young girl chokes down her milk and vegetables and promptly faints from the shock. When she wakes up in the nurse’s office, she comes face to face with Ninninman, Piman and Milk, three food sprites that only appear when Mari drinks her milk and eats her carrots and peppers. Though Mari is less than enthusiastic about being haunted by her most hated foodstuffs, can the three spirits help her realize the importance of friendship, and maybe even teach her to finish her meals?
Well what ever the hell The Agency of Cultural Affairs of Japan invested in, it spawned this master piece of a one shot anime.
Well since there isn't a plot summary on the page I'll provide one here.
Mari is an average grade schooler who hates eating carrots, peppers, and milk. One day during lunch time at school, she passes out after forcing carrots and peppers into her mouth and washing it all down with milk. She passes out moments later and wakes up in the nurses office where she meets a miniature carrot in a suit Tarroc (carrot spelled backwards) Man or in Japanese Ninninman along with his two friends Piiman and "Milk".
Mari's best friend Momo gets a pet dog. And the dog runs away the next day. She feels sorry for her and finds (and saves) her lost dog with the help of her little veggie creatures.
The plot wasn't as special as the premise of the anime. Eating food you hate in order to summon little creatures of that food? It's easy to believe that some of the budget went into weed. Anyways, it was crazy awesome.
The art and animation exceeded my expectations. The backgrounds and character designs were pretty high class. Animating little cartoon vegetables is no joke, but this anime did it. I mean it. They DID it.
Nothing special, voice acting was good.
It was a one shot episode so there really isn't much to the two girls we see in the anime. Mari was pretty much a little girl who doesn't eat her greens and goes to great lengths for her best friend. It was the veggie characters that did it for me. Although I'm not sure how to explain them, their personalities makes the comedy work.
Well WOW this was MUCH better than I had anticipated. Even if there were some parts that were tedious I had a few great laughs, especially at the end.
Due to the lack of free time which is supposed to be allotted for my daily serving of anime, I resorted to watching short anime films and such. Of course, I was hoping to find something as magnificent yet light as Tsumiki no Ie. Then I stumbled upon the 4 short anime shows that comprised the 2010 Young Animators' Training Project. As the name of the said endeavor implies, its an on-the-job-training project funded by the Japanese Animation Creators Association to train fresh aspiring animators. Although I found it not as touching, unique and outstanding as Tsumiki no Ie, this anime collection was still worth the watch as each story brought me back to those shows and stories I used to love when I was still a child.
Bannou Yasai Ninninman (Super Veggie Torracman) is a show that obviously caters to young audiences and is best recommended for those little ones who have trouble finishing their meals particularly, leaving their veggies untouched (or secretly feeding it to the dog). Mari is a young school girl who totally dislikes veggies, carrots and bell pepper in particular and even drinking milk. she detests it to the point that she gets nightmares of being forced to eat them. Also, she has a fear of passing a certain bridge, which is inevitably part of the way to her school, caused by some traumatic experience in her past. Because of this, she has to go around the main street and take a twice longer path to get to school, even dragging her bestfriend Momo along. But all this began to change after a day at school lunch. Mari passed out as she tried to forcefully wolf down the served carrots, bell pepper and milk which she hates with utmost disgust. Waking up, she finds herself in the nurse's office along with small strange veggie-creatures namely Torracman (carrot), Piiman (bell pepper) and Milk. Ironically, her most hated foods personified, out to help her change and face her fears.
The weakest point of this anime perhaps is its story. Despite having the clear intention of teaching children, in a fantastic way, that veggies and milk can be your bestfriend and friendship is something worth treasuring, told in a simple yet fun plot, the story appears to have been rushed, given less thought on plot and character development leading to the lack of connection or rather jumping into the next scene without enough buffer to give the story good cohesion. Anyhow, in spite of the quite simplistic nature of this story, I bet the target audience wouldn't mind much though as long as the exciting idea of bringing veggie characters to life gives them their much needed dose of bright colors, morals and fun and laughs, which this show delivers quite well.
Surprisingly, I'm giving this show quite the plus points for some breathtaking artwork. Backgrounds were drawn with perfectly great detail beginning from Mari's room, house and street, to the combination of natural and urban scenery on the way to school, even the bird's-eye-view of their city near the sea. Even the character designs were good eye-candy combining soft and bright colors with clean lines, bringing out the cute and kiddie factor of each character.
Unfortunately, the shows music didn't come out with that much impact for me, although most of it went well with the scenes. Particularly, I liked the exciting (and squeaky) one that went with Mari's forcing herself to eat her greens and the one with Torracman/Ninninman's stage intro plus the lights going off spelling "It's showtime!", other than those nothing else is special. Probably with the exception of the ending theme which I disliked the most. Aside from the fact it didn't go well with the ending scene it plays along with, to me, it sounded quite the generic superhero/magic girl stuff.
Despite having the most negative points of the four 2010 YATP shows, since my inner child has already consumed my current psyche after watching the first two of the four, I did enjoy the show's cuteness, the laughter, particularly Torracman's annoying/funny/persistent nature, and his most unforgettable "Go ahead, make my day" impression was quite the ruckus.read more
Young Animator Training Project/Anime Mirai short reviews: Part 4/12
I feel I should have liked Super Veggie more than I did. The whole veggie eating thing is just part of a larger theme of overcoming your fears, which is a pretty universal narrative anyone can understand and empathise with. Plus I usually like stories with little kids as protagonists. They have energy and enthusiasm but I can also sympathise with their small-time conflicts which translate into much broader and more universal feelings of loss or regret or fear or whatever. Thing is, Super Veggie doesn’t lean on that side heavily enough. The kid doesn’t feel fleshed out. Instead we spend too much time on the craaazy carrot character, who is a bit too wacky to the point that he gets irritating and he ends up overshadowing the kid entirely, and in doing so overshadows the entire story. More story less Dirty Harry references please.