The everyday lives of the Minami sisters continue. Chiaki, the youngest, continues to call people idiots while worshipping her eldest sister. Kana, the middle, still can't figure out that Fujioka's feelings for her are a crush, not a grudge. Haruka, the eldest, still unknowingly avoids Hosaka's advances to invite her to the volleyball team, and after a long day of excitement, the sisters enjoy sitting at the table at their home.
This is the 4th Season of Minami-ke and I'm glad to report that a lot of effort seems to be put into this one, probably making it the best of the series, so it is definitely a MUST WATCH.
Just like the rest of the series, it is still a situational slice of life comedy so not much development is to be expected, which is reminded in each episode. The art is great and probably even greater than the rest of the series. It features the same VAs which fit each character, good OP and ED, and BGMs that fit each scene. They have the same
fun characters and the supporting ones were given increased screen times, giving viewers a chance to get to know more about the cast and their roles, and showing a better, wider view of the world of the Minami's.
Minami-ke Tadaima is most enjoyable. Each episode contains several sketches which were carefully planned for quality humor, and is incorporated with fanservice of just the right amount and level that is strategically used for some gags. Few minute problems exist such as the use of backgrounds that do not match the mood/situation and some overly forced coincidences, but these do not at all affect the overall Minami-goodness, and viewers would still be served with good laughs.
Minami-Ke Tadaima is the fourth season of the series Minami-Ke. It’s a slice of life comedy with elements of high school romance sprinkled into the mix. To say that this show is unique and is a “must watch” would be stretching it. The slice of life genre has always been one of my favorites, but this show just didn't do it for me. The jokes are pretty stale and some of them lose their potential humor simply because of the way they’re set up. But let’s stop with the general impressions and get into the specifics, shall we?
Being a slice of life school comedy, Minami-Ke
Tadaima respectively does not have a complicated plot. It follows the ordinary lives of three sisters: Kana, Chiaki, and Haruka Minami. Each episode is formatted linearly: An ordinary problem is presented, hijinx ensues, and a conclusion is met. It’s simple and should be effective. I say “should” because the sheer quality of most of the jokes and the reactions of the characters actually works against this linear format. That's not to say that the show never made me laugh. It got me a few times, but for a comedy, it was rare.
Aside from Hosaka and Kana--huge shout-outs to their voice actors by the way--most of the cast is a bit uninteresting. Again, most of the show's failings are brought up from the lack of reactions and lack of exaggerated responses from the characters and some of the characters ended up as tropes. Take Makoto's character for instance. In order to hang out with Kana without drawing the suspicion of his classmates, Makoto takes on the form of Mako--a female version of himself. You would think that this could draw out a few laughs, but the setup for the jokes are really typical and not fun in all honesty. In truth, I think the whole show could be described as “really typical and not fun,” but I do think the music helps ease the boredom.
The music from the show is actually pretty good. The music used in the comedic scenes generated a silly, albeit cheesy, atmosphere. More specifically, the opening was always something I looked forward to listening to. It was really upbeat and I think it captured what the show really tried to be: a heavily emphasized comedy. The ending theme was less than addicting, but my ears didn't bleed because of it, so that's good.
Art Style / Animation:
Being a show from 2013, Minami-Ke Tadaima actually doesn't look great in comparison to some of the other shows that came out at the time. While the art style is a bit dated, the animation is serviceable enough and the character designs are unique and even a bit fun at times. While I wouldn’t consider the artistic direction of the show to be its strong suit, I can see how others might enjoy it for its simplicity.
Minami-Ke Tadaima was a pretty below average experience for me. It just wasn't as much fun as I thought it'd be and I really like the slice of life genre, so I know that's not the problem. Aside from Hosaka's and Kana’s characters, the show was a bore to get through. With its lack of good characters, its repeated use of unfunny jokes, and without a solid reason to keep me coming back to the show, I had a really hard time getting through this one. Even some fans of the show found out that they didn’t love this season of Minami-Ke in particular. In the words of Chiaki herself, “Please do not expect much out of it.” I cannot and will not recommend this show, even to slice of life fans.
Hmm, this is...hmm. Just finished this one, so this review will be my freshest of the seasons of Minami-ke. Prepare for disappointment. But, before you get the wrong idea, well this IS because the studio changed again, this review is not centered on its art style alone, but it will play a major role on how this review goes.
This season did something that I was heavily afraid of: they embraced cliché again, something that has not been done since the second season. And by embrace, I mean EMBRACE. Right off the bat, it appears that they are repeating old elements from prior seasons, recycling
old ideas to be specific; and they did not do a good job with it at all.
Before I go on, I HAVE to say the positives now. From the looks of it, all the voice actors returned yet again and the writers were still capable of writing humor that made me laugh a lot in a few areas. They finally had a moment where Fujioka almost confessed to Minami, which was all I needed. Given it is a comedy, I knew it was not gonna happen, but it was amazing to almost see.
Lastly, the charm of the anime is still there, but now it has mixed with Okawari and Okaeri from the looks of it, as far as delivery and art style go; and just throw in things from season one, too. But, not in the way that you might think. With all that being said, though, it is still Minami-ke at the core and DID bring back the voice actors, alongside the soundtrack once more, so you might still enjoy it in that regard.
Now, with that being said...wow, this is a handful. Um, as I said before, they DID embrace generic anime cliché again, but they took it to a new level. They brought up the infamous Ninomiya-kun show again, alongside the mysterious loincloth people showing up at festivals, and they were trying to recycle a lot of old running gags from the first season.
This would be fine, but they delivered them quite badly. On top of that, they had actual cringe-worthy moments quite a bit, but made up for it by returning one of my favorite elements of Okaeri: the background talk. In some scenes, two sets of characters will be talking to each other and whenever the main conversation is not humoring enough, the other one usually is and it is quite enjoyable to watch their reactions throughout it all. The background alone is almost more enticing than what they WANT you to pay attention to.
Oh, and the worst of it? Hosaka. Now, they just decided that he would be a mental case instead of having him confess to Haruka, though they brought up the whole reason why he was doing this to begin with: the volleyball club! ANOTHER season one reference, and one that I actually forgot myself, but he actually WASN'T in love with her! I completely forgot about that, so that was a surprising reminder.
Right, the mental case part you're curious about. Well, apparently, he didn't talk to her for so long that he fell in love with himself. To elaborate, the "Haruka within himself" of whom he saw in his thoughts. Apparently, nobody could find out why Haruka was "imperfect" and so Hosaka just believed her to be a goddess. The problem? He worshiped her like a fictional goddess; one that he would never actually meet because he never talked to her.
But, the one thing that irks me is that he was actually about to and Hayami STOPPED him, ate his offering to her and basically turned him insane; making her my least favorite character of the entire anime after that. She basically took away his only chance of talking to her, and he was pretty casual about it, too. He had a lunch ready and was actually steps away from her, but thanks to Hayami, he never saw her for the remainder of the season and, well, as I said before, went insane basically. Also, he still sees her sisters as her daughters.
Okay, let's see, what else. They introduced a new character, but she is purely filler at most; named Miyuki, she has a lifeless personality and was meant to be somewhat of a mix between Keiko and Kana at first, though she later went from recurring to minor quite rapidly as she only had one major appearance in a segment and, well, she was not as interesting as their newest addition, Riko, whom still brought up one of the more humorous love triangles I have ever seen.
So, the question. Can I recommend this one? That, I can actually say ONLY if you're a die-hard fan of the anime series, because well it did retain most of the charm, it was not that enjoyable to me and I did not prioritize it as much as I did with Minami-ke (my default label for the first season) and Okaeri. Heck, Okawari would be better than this, personally because it had less cliché in it in comparison and was actually more enjoyable in a few areas.
I won't be too harsh and say this season was pure trash, but it didn't appeal to me too much. The only major thing it did was give the anime the most detailed backgrounds I had ever seen, but they still didn't breath the same color into them as the first did. Regardless, they were still very well drawn and detailed.
My score is about as honest as I can get here. And, normally, whenever I dislike an anime, I don't even put too much life into myself to write the review for it; hence, this one coming off as a bit cluttered and not as high on vocabulary as the first review was. But, I do have a few anime that I literally hate to death, so this one is not that bad. If you're a fan of Minami-ke, go for it.
But, if you enjoyed seasons one and three, I might want to skip this one; keyword: might. If you enjoyed season two, you perhaps will like this one a lot as it brings more of that one's style here again with the cliché elements and all, but it is really up to your own personal preference on which seasons you enjoyed the most.
I like how Minami-ke Tadaima begins each episode with a brief commentary:
"This story is a simple illustration of the three Minami sisters and the ordinary life they lead. Please don't expect too much from it." - Minami Chiaki.
Just like all the previous seasons, fans of Minami-ke should be familiar with how it begins an episode with one of the characters commenting along those lines and that's essentially what Minami-ke is entirely about;heartwarming slice-of-life revolving around three plain girls with very lighthearted jokes delivered throughout the entire show. Alas, this season is one you shouldn't "expect too much from it", just as Chiaki said.
With no story
or focus on whatsoever, Minami-ke Tadaima is the latest follow-up, fourth season in the Minami-ke series, however, it does not require the viewer to have watch the prequels in order to understand the storyline(because there really isn't any) or know the characters(because they already provided introductions for most characters). Comedy presented in Tadaima is very light, so don't expect yourself to burst out in laughter. Apart from a few chuckles, Tadaima's sense of humor is random sadly, its bland and unimaginative. Even so, Tadaima is relaxing to watch.
Like all seasons of Minami-ke, Tadaima also had undergone a refresh regarding its artstyle. Okaeri, Okawari and the first all had different artstyle. This season's new art is good, however, its none too special or memorable. Just one's personal opinion though, I still find Minami-Ke's first season was far superior compared to any of the other seasons, in terms of humor, OP and ED and rewatchability, just the artstyle looked pretty dated.
Characters are pretty much unchanged; Kana remains to be the naive, energetic middle sister. Chiaki being the youngest but has more brains than Kana does, and Haruka being the motherly-type. There's almost no character development throughout the seasons so far. On that final note, most of them are still adorable as ever and to be more specific, there wasn't a character I disliked. Hosaka remains to be the most eccentric and funniest character in the whole series.
Ultimately, Minami-ke Tadaima was an decent show for me. On the plus side, the charming characters remained intact, has solid visuals and also can be relaxing to watch but regrettably its sense of humor has gone stale. Some people may even consider this to be the weakest season. Nonetheless, Minami-ke Tadaima should appeal to slice of life junkies, but for anyone looking for good laughs, stay away.