There isn't a single person in Sakuradamon High who hasn't heard the legends about Seiji "The Mad Dog" Sawamura's demonically powerful right hand. His reputation makes it fairly difficult for him to approach girls, and after being rejected 20 times straight, he half-jokingly vows to finish high school with his right hand for a girlfriend.
Much to his surprise, after waking up the next morning, Seiji discovers that his demon right hand has mysteriously turned into a miniature girl, Midori Kasugano, who reveals that she has had a crush on Seiji for the past three years. Because their situation is not ideal for either of them, Seiji attempts to return Midori to normal. But after causing a big misunderstanding at the Kasugano household, the pair decide to keep their predicament between them until a solution is found. Thus begins an odd relationship, and what could be the only chance for Midori to finally be with the one she loves.
How would you ever feel if you went to sleep one day, tired of not having a girlfriend, and the next morning you woke up to find out that a girl who likes you had taken the place of your right hand? Or if you liked a guy but were too shy to tell him, and then you woke up to see that you were the dude's right hand? It's an impossible situation, you would say, but that's what's so great about anime: Anything can happen! A high schooler whose reputation as a delinquent scares away any girl he tries to hit on, Seji Sawamura,
and a timid girl who's had a crush on him for a long time, Kasugano Midori, are thrown into this very situation. Do we sense romance coming up? Definitely! Comedy? Has to be! Action? Uh, maybe... Ecchi? What!?
No, I am not kidding, the show has all that, with the main focus on the first two. Because when your right hand loves you, that's bound to escalate into a romantic comedy, right? Midori no Hibi (Midori's Days) executes a somewhat standard living-together romantic comedy setting with a refreshing twist, and also does a great job of not leaning too much towards the ecchi side of things. You see some topless females now and then and some bikini shots, but that's all you really get, and after bad experiences with ecchi-intensive shows like Kanokon and Rosario+Vampire, I'm very delighted to see a show that manages to keep it on a decent level and focus on something else. Action scenes are scattered around too; our blond main character is a delinquent after all.
The episodes of Midori no Hibi does nothing special; each episode features a new (mis)adventure in the now jumbled-up lives of Seji and Midori. Be it an otaku who thinks Seji is a doll maniac, a girl who really likes Seji or a trip to a hot spring, you'll be taken through a lot of before-seen situations, and some new. The ending is cute and happy, and when you think about it, the only good ending an anime as Midori no Hibi could have. And while the unoriginal way in which the final episode is played out comes off as borderline facepalm-provoking, it was still an enjoyable watch, right up until the final scene.
One of the things I love the most about Midori no Hibi-- No, the thing I do love the most about it is the whole concept about bringing out what's on the inside of oneself, both feelings of love and supressed personality traits. While the characters don't develop much in the sense that their personalities actually change, they do develop by bringing out feelings of love or personality traits which are in ways hidden from others. And while we have all seen the soft-on-the-inside delinquent and the timid girl, the producers have done a good job with them in regards to the aforementioned aspect. And who can forget the uptight and determined yet tender Takako Ayase whose unrequited feelings of love towards Seji never comes to play, or the otaku who seemingly had a more human side to him inside, but in the end was no more than a crazed otaku anyway? When all comes to all, the cast isn't extremely original nor large, but a lovable gang nevertheless.
The quality of the animation is quite good for this kind of series. The whole story takes place in a city, and there's frequent scenes on high places with scenic views of said city, which are usually animated quite well, from lights in the streets to the monorails criss-crossing the cityscape. Street views of the city and other close-ups such as furniture in rooms are usually beautiful and detailed, but the quality does deteriorate from time to time. The strongest point however, is found in the gorgeous lighting and shading effects. They are eminently soft and relaxing, and especially during the dusk scenes do they come off as tremedous. The character designs are in an entirely different class however, as they are very varying in quality; often no more than mediocre yet often very good. A few close-ups looked like simple Flash animations, while at times they were detailed and fluid, both in design and movement.
The soundtrack was more than likely the weakest part of the anime. Not that it was outright bad; it was in fact quite atmospheric and fit well with the series, but there were no outstanding songs in the background music, and they were quite standard-fare for a romantic comedy. Two mellifluous themes for the opening and ending make up for some of it however, and the voice acting is superb too; the seiyuu manage to portray the characters very well, both their current mood and their character types.
You may have noticed how I used 'soft' or some variant of it frequently in my review (was there some anti-aliasing feature for this show I didn't notice was on?), and that's just what it was. Soft, happy and cute. And just the right length to make it stay that way. If it was one season longer, I'm dead certain the show's quality would have worsened. And part of its charm is that it is such a short watch anyway. If you want a show that's short and charming, Midori no Hibi is the show for you!
I read the synopsis for this anime, and I just had to watch it. I mean, a girl becoming a boy\'s right hand? Impossible!
Oh it\'s possible. In Midori No Hibi, Sawamura seiji is a well known delinquent with a \"devil\'s right hand\", he\'s known to be in alot of fights with bad people. He\'s dying for a girlfriend, but he gets rejected by every girl that he approaches.. and he just came to the conclusion that his right hand will be his one and only companion. (That sounds wrong..) Until.. he wakes up one day to find out that a girl named Midori is his
right hand, and has had a crush on him since forever!
I really liked this anime, it was too sweet. I got so caught up in it.. I finished it today.. and I only started it yesterday. Anime\'s that I finish quickly like that have my full concentration. It was the storyline that caught me, but with watching it, loads of other things made me continue to watch it.
One.. the love Midori had for Seiji, it\'s crazy. She loved him with all of his heart, despite him being known as a delinquent. Two, how hilarious alot of the episodes were, I was expecting it to be funny, I mean come one a girl is a boy\'s right hand, there had to be hidden gags in just that right? Three.. just the romance, I wasn\'t expecting it to become so romance-y all of a sudden, but it did and I loved every single bit of it.
I think the main thing that made me want to watch this until the end was to see how she became his right hand, and to see if he ever got a girlfriend. But this anime is really light hearted, and it\'s just something to watch if you want a bit of a laugh, a bit of romance. I teared up in the last episode, I didn\'t want it to end. I wanted it to go on a little more, but that would be silly.. it couldn\'t have gone on for much longer.
The music is beautiful, the opening themes and ending themes are so nice to listen to. An enjoyable anime, definitely. Just because it has a not believable plot.. doesn\'t mean it isn\'t good.
Manga or Japanese Anime: Midori no Hibi is 13 episodes long, and ran on Japanese TV fron April 3rd, 2004 to June 26th, 2004. Its manga run is done as well, having run from January 18th, 2003 to October 18th, 2004 in Shogakukan's magazine Shonen Sunday. Viz is releasing the manga Stateside, and the final volume (number eight) will be out Stateside October 10th. Media Blasters did a dub of Midori no Hibi, translated as Midori Days, and the final volume (number three) was released back in 2005.
Story: Seiji Sawamura is a high schooler who likes to get into
fights, and has an infamous "devil's right hand"; however, this doesn't have the greatest reprecussions for his love life (he's asked out twenty girls and been rejected by them all as of late). Midori is a girl who has a crush on Seiji, but can't work up the courage to talk to him.
One morning after lamenting the night before that he'll be stuck with no one but his right hand for a companion the rest of his life, he wakes up to Midori on his right hand.
The situation is pretty odd, to say the least, but, oddly enough, it works out really well, especially as a comedy. The romance between the two is really sweet to watch as the series unfolds. Midori is amazingly sweet, upbeat, and dotes over Seiji at every given changce. Oddly enough, she doesn't get on my nerves like most of her character types do. And even though Seiji has a tough-guy image and can be oblivious to Midori at points, he does show his soft side more than once.
Episodes, more often than not, follow what I've dubbed the triple F formula -- fighting, fanservice, and fluff. Episodes seem to be polarized: they tend to either be really good, or really sucky, with none hitting any marks between. These two points are probably the only drawbacks to the story.
Art Style: The animation was done by Studio Pierrot, which also did the anime for Fushigi Yuugi and Fruits Basket. To me, Fushigi Yuugi and Fruits Basket seemed heavily stylized in one way or another. This didn't seem that way. Beautiful character designs, smooth animation... not much I can find wrong with this, really.
Music: The soundtrack for this series rawqs. There's a basic theme, outside of the opening and ending, that you hear throughout the series in various forms. It doesn't get boring at all, oddly enough. Jazz, acoustic guitar, and classical-esque themes are the order of the day apart from aforementioned variations. The opening and ending aren't all that bad, either. I mean, they aren't particularly memorable, but they're still nice songs that fit the series well.
Voice Seiyuus: Good. There aren't really any roles that particularly stand out to me, but I do like the seiyuu that were chosen for the roles, as they fit the characters well.
Voice Actors: Pretty much what I said above; no standout roles, but the voices still fit well, and don't get on my nerves like most VA dubs tend to do.
Dub: The first I saw of Midori no Hibi was the dub of the fourth episode on a Newtype sampler. All in all, Media Blasters did an okay job with the dub; not many liberties taken with the dialogue, and no censoring that I could see.
Length: This is where the series suffers a bit. Thirteen episodes doesn't seem like all that much, but, with the triple f formula and the polarization of episodes make the series drag a bit.
Overall: Has some minor issues with story and length, but everything else is perfect. If you're looking for an over-the-top romantic comedy, then this is for you.
Now you’d think, at least I certainly thought, that the show would go straight to the gutter with this idea. Incredibly, it retains this really appealing sweetness and innocence throughout, not forced or sugary, just…Disney-like, I guess. I mean good Disney, not all that crap that came out after the late 90s. That’s not to say it’s a clean show, ooooh no, the humor is delightfully pervy, but it avoids far more dirty jokes than it pursues despite the various body humor jokes and endless barrages of giggle-worthy nudity.
After a while, anime humor tends to run together, but Midori Days’ brand of twisted giggles
feels strangely novel, and I think a lot of it is the frequent interludes of character’s fantasies and head-movies. Yes, head-movies, complete with credits. The story is regularly charming and uplifting, due largely to the fact that Seiji is not just a cliché bad-mouthed punk and Midori is not a cliché moe girl either.
Seiji beats up other thugs just to rescue their pummeled victims because he remembers being a weakling when he was younger, and he’s still naturally adorkable when he’s not trying to act street. And Midori has a lot of spirit and spunk that she’s dying to express after being freed from a lot of her old anxieties, the development of which is really fun to watch. I think based on her cooking alone she’s earned her keep, but Seiji may have his mind on other disadvantages. (Use your imagination.) Unlike Midori, he is not enjoying this bizarre new spell and wants things to change back as soon as possible. Now if you’ve seen the movie Groundhog Day, you already know how things are going to turn out here. The fun is in the journey, and for the most part, the journey is a total riot with a tenderly sentimental conclusion. Miraculously, the mushy wrap-up does not feel forced either, making this really a gem of a romcom.
On the technical side of things, the animation is okay, but nothing particularly special. Character designs are very easy on the eyes, but it’s still very very basic, especially for a brief 13-episoder.
The music is fairly kitschy, but amusing, seeing as it’s used to highlight adorably stupid situations.
The voice acting infinitely makes up for shortcomings in either case, though. Of course it sounds great in Japanese, but did the goofiness translate in the dub? Ooooh yes. Let’s just say I’m sorely disappointed that I haven’t heard Seiji’s voice actor in more roles, because he does a top-tier job. He’s as cartoony as need be for all the goofiness, but he also sounds to all extents like a normal teenager. You know how you hear a lot of anime characters enunciate perfectly, even the rough ones? Well, Drew Aaron as Seiji does not, and the casual snideness of the result is very nice on the ears, and very very funny. Midori is also perfect. Usually the high squeaky schoolgirl voice makes you want smear honey on your ears and blow a bear whistle, but Kether Fernandez goes into the ultimate octaves and still sounds very pleasant. Her unnatural pitch is actually excused by her physical situation, as we discover when Seiji switches places with her in a humorous nightmare episode and sounds like he’s been dippin’ in the helium as well. There are still a few grating cheeses in the most minor roles here, but the leads certainly compensate for them.
I’ve already had my sick sick fun telling you what I enjoyed about the show, but I guess I should admit that it has more than a handful of problems. Actually, with all things in Seiji’s life, it’s woman trouble. His mean, drunk sister as well as a little girl and a classmate who have crushes on him all add to the story well when they’re used sparingly, but when they get their own episodes, the show goes from very good to really really bad. Those few episodes in the middle push the series to the limits of poor taste and cheap shots, and I have to wonder why the writers ever thought it was a good idea to take the focus away from Midori and the effect she has on her disgruntled host bad-boy.
Not that the show is any more plausible in such cases. The animators can never really decide how Midori is attached to Seiji’s wrist, so they do avoid showing us, but it’s a little silly to think that TP-ing her is going to fool anyone. There are countless scenes, actually, where Midori pokes her head out and she and Seiji have a conversation in broad daylight and no one notices. The most minimal effort is made to hide her and it works, against all logic. I think Seiji goes to a school for students with impaired vision…who refuse to wear glasses. I’m not kidding, I’d totally believe it. The only character with glasses is also the only character that immediately notices Midori on Seiji’s arm. Co-inky-dink? I THINK NOT.
That, and this show is kinda fanservice-heavy, by which I mean there are only three episodes of the show with no big plump titties in them at some point. You have been warned, for good or ill. Eh. Once you’ve seen two, you’ve seen ‘em all. I’ll never quite understand the male fascination with funbags.
All in all, a surprisingly rewarding romantic comedy that balances innocence and bawdiness, laughter and tears, but yeah, it stoops pretty low on a few too many occasions, and it’s predictable and silly as all get-out. Twisted good fun!
*THIS IS A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MY VIDEO REVIEW WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE: