Nov 27, 2020
First of all, WRAPPING PAPER ISN'T HAIR! Ahem....excuse me. That's just the name of a badge on Anime-Planet that you can earn by watching this particular anime, which is how I learned it existed in the first place. Despite the curiosity I felt after discovering it, though, I ended up spending YEARS trying to find it with English subs included. I eventually found it and was able to watch this pair of OVAs; however, it's evident now that all of that searching was NOT worth it.
Lads, ladies, and non-binaries, I now present my review of the 1994 OVA series, "Tanjou: Debut".
Tanjou: Debut, known in English
as "Birth: Debut", is based on a 1993 video game of the same name where the player is a manager for three idols; however, nothing except its opening theme hints that this is what the anime's source material is about. Instead, each of its two episodes tells two completely different stories with some of the same characters. The first episode follows Aki Itou, a high school girl with a crush on an employee at a restaurant she frequents, who is told that said crush already has a girlfriend, and misunderstandings ensue from there. The second focuses more on Saori Fujimura as she and her two friends - one of them being Aki herself and the other being another girl named Kumi Tanaka - dig up a time capsule that they buried 10 years ago. They discover that inside of the time capsule, alongside each of their own boxes with their own possessions inside, there is a fourth box with a small bouquet inside of it, but they can't remember whose box it was....apparently.
Look, I have no problem with each episode having a different plot from the last; there are plenty of other anime that are similarly episodic, but they manage to make sense for what came before each episode and even sometimes be enjoyable to watch. Tanjou: Debut, however, doesn't do either of these things. Some aspects of the second episode don't make sense when you think about what was going on in the first, such as how the relationship between two characters was established in each episode; this disconnect is rather jarring. It certainly doesn't help that neither episode is that enjoyable in the first place; both of the plots in this anime are boring, highly predictable, and full of characters I personally didn't give two cruds about. As I mentioned earlier, both episodes have the same main cast, but both iterations of these characters are as bland as the plots and go through little to no character development.
As for the art....well, a quip about a certain aspect of the character designs in the form of a badge name is why I'm here in the first place, is it not? Not only is the artwork every bit as bad as you probably expect (with Aki's design being especially awful, in my opinion), but while not flat-out awful, the animation is very dated, even for its time; I'm sure that we all know that Studio Pierrot was capable of better even back then. Meanwhile, the music is rather forgettable, as it doesn't stand out when placed next to other tunes from the '90s; I don't even remember how the opening or ending themes go, much less what they were even called. The voice acting isn't anything to write home about, either.
Overall, Tanjou: Debut is a bad way to spend an hour of your time. Looking for it isn't really worth it, either, but if you REALLY want to earn the "achievement" of watching the "wrapping-paper hair anime", be my guest. Don't blame me for not warning you if any negative feelings are born in your heart after you watch it, though.
What did you think of this review?