Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is a fun and dark a 4-koma manga about the real (?) life of the author, a single woman in Tokyo who drifts through relationships and works at various hostess clubs and the like. Lots of commentary on "birds of prey" (moukin), girls who use their cuteness and affect stupidity in order to try to score men (against whom the author is constantly fighting).
Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is a nice short-form anime that is in an anthology format where each episode has a different director and voice actress for the main character. This type of format in my opinion, is a good fit for anime with a shorter duration and in Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan's case it certainly helps push it above a lot of other shorts that I've watched previously.
In terms of story, there is little to none given the nature of the show but by the end of the series I think the viewer can get a sense of how a narrative involving Ekoda-chan would play out, seeing that there
were characters, topics and themes that would repeatedly appear throughout the skits.
As for the art, animation and sound, those are all down to the discretion of the directors and hence the perceived quality of these aspects may change from episode to episode. For me personally, it's always exciting for me to anticipate how each director would interpret the source material. Overall I think a good job was done with the art and sound.
Where there was a lot of variation with the art and sound, in terms of the character of Ekoda-chan herself, the essense of what composes that character remained more or less the same throughout the series. In this instance that's a positive since what's going on from skit to skit would vary it's nice that there is something for the audience to connect with in the form of the main character.
One thing that has to be mentioned is that although Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is a short with a duration of 3 minutes, there is an interview portion that goes on for the remaining 20 minutes of the run time. That may be interesting or not to look at depending on the individual and it's something that I think could be skipped if it doesn't interest you.
Overall I think Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan was a decent watch although I don't know it's something I could easily recommend to someone to check out.
Okay. Firstly, I completely understand people who write off this anime as trash because it is basically just a 3 minute episodic short series with a bonus 20+ mins. of interviews with the director and seiyuu regarding the process of making their episode.
That being said, I actually enjoyed watching this show (currently still on episode 4) for 2 main reasons:
1. On it's own, I think the shorts are pretty hilarious and I immediately related with and empathized with Ekoda-chan as a character. (I think that may be in part because of the strength of the source material) Even though I am nothing like her,
and disagree with her decisions, I can understand why she does what she does. She feels realistic, almost? (and like not to mention it's just so refreshing to see women portrayed like this in anime - confident and unapologetic but also sensitive and vulnerable - basically, human). And honestly I loved all the absurd little scenes and jokes and imagery. I love the fact that she's naked all the time! Like it's just this fun, absurd anime about a smart and eccentric but also flawed woman. I get that it's a bit off-putting because every episode has a whole different tone and feel and art style and everything can feel very disjointed and just not cohesive? But if you just take every episode and enjoy it for what it is, there's a lot that you can appreciate. Of course some episodes are going to be better adaptations of the manga - not all of them will be good. But I think it's worth it to see the really good ones (my favorites so far are episodes 2 and 4) that work really well and feel like a complete story in just 3 short minutes.
2. I personally find it interesting to hear about a director's process and vision when going about a particular episode and then watching their vision be realized. So, yeah I actually enjoyed the 20+ min. interview portion! We also get to hear from the voice actresses how they go about voicing their version of Ekoda-chan and I think it's really interesting to re-watch the final product with all these insights in mind. Although I will say it's disappointing that there are no women directors so far... I'm starting to lose hope that we'll see ever see a woman directing an episode. Which is really too bad, as I think Ekoda-chan is very... female perspective specific? like it's interesting to see how a man interprets this very female story and perspective... but I would have liked to see actual women (who can either relate to Ekoda-chan or not) make some episodes and also like bond with the voice actresses over shared experiences or something like that lol.
Tl;dr - I would recommend this series to anyone interested in the anime industry and behind the scenes stuff that goes into making anime OR if you like stories with a very unique, eccentric, but still really human main character + absurd humor + unique art + mature reflections on the nature of humanity(?) (pro tip: you dont have to watch the interview part if you don't wanna). The episodes are a little hit and miss (of course, since it's all done by different teams with different visions), but the episodes that do hit, are imo really good.
“It’s a 12-episode series and there’s a different director every episode. I’ve done a few shows like this before. But none of the did very well.” — Akitarou Daichi, episode one director of Rinshi!! Edoka-chan.
“That’s the thing about Rinshi!! Edoka-chan. It transcends genres.” — Akitarou Daichi
This is why modern day anime is in the toilet, people. Directors seem thoroughly unaware of their own cognitive dissonance in producing low quality anime ad infinitum. But, while the initial remark is a terrible marketing blunder, it’s still superior to Subway using a known pedophile to advertise foot-longs to the public. Speaking
of which, Rinshi!! Edoka-chan might just stimulate your own six inch-er with its unabashed approach toward nudity, save for the missing nipples and areola; which, doesn’t constitute nudity at all, but an unavailing imitation. But if the omission of these vital assets is your bag (baby!), then you’d be wise to act swiftly, because the episodes themselves are only three minutes in duration. With the remainder being interviews with the various directors and staff of the show.
This may sound exceptionally jejune to the majority of the viewing public (which it is), yet it does give useful insight into the mindset and associated trappings of modern-day anime directors. It is, if nothing else, educational.
After watching two episodes of Rinshi!! Edoka-chan, I thought I had the formula all figured out, then it happened…Edoka-chan was turned into a loli rabbit with no clothes. This alteration in the story, obviously, had me asking myself an important question: is this pedophilia or bestiality? But then, it happened (again)…Edoka-chan drew smiley faces on her knees, proliferating the number of questions racing through my mind, the predominant one being: why haven’t I done this before?
On the surface, Rinshi!! Edoka-chan is a peculiar show that is dearth of any substantive value, but underneath its superficiality, at the core, it’s devoid of any semblance of an actual story. The narrative flow seems to revolve around Edoka’s inability to secure a boyfriend, despite her ease in scoring with multiple partners. This emotional obstruction precludes her from feeling “normal,” causing her to feel unwanted by the vast majority of society. But instead of transcending genres, like Akitarou Daichi claims, Rinshi!! Edoka-chan descends into a realm of mediocrity with its undetermined direction, weak characters, and general lack of amusement.
Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is a particularly notable show in its arrangement. Three to five minutes of animation is followed by a fifteen to twenty-minute segment of an interview with the voice actor and the director of each episode, and two to six minutes of a third segment where artists are drawing a key-frame. Twelve directors join in this project and offer various interpretations of Ekoda-chan.
This arrangement gives a unique insight into the thought process behind the scenes and highlights the different approaches of directors and voice actors. The sheer range of differences in style, substance, storytelling, and techniques used is enormous. Each take on Ekoda-chan
intensifies the rich voice of a strong female character with her various issues and actions in a relatable manner. Ekoda-chan's life is full of concise worldly-moments presented in an engaging fashion, frequently from a witty point of view.
Ekoda-chan is audacious, insecure, straightforward and full of complexities. She is relatable due to all her flaws and a self-insert for acting against the norm and expressing feelings that are commonly subdued to socially fit-in. The twelve different takes on her character make her voice all the richer. Her character stays surprisingly cohesive.
This character-cohesion helps to establish a guiding thread that renders the vastly different animation and art styles into a continuity rather than a disjointed mess. The directors had a lot of free reigns, and this shows through the often quirky styles and compelling narrative choices that in their variety are rarely found in mainstream animation. The range is from absurdist arthouse to realistic first-person view. Visual gags frequently blend cartoonish comedy with everyday issues, creating empathy and laughter. The visual aspect is supported by excellent sound design throughout the series, with an amount of carefully aligned sound-effects and well-tuned sounds-arrangements that outshines most feature films. Her voice actors establish more space for resonance with different audience members and create a dynamic Ekoda.
The quality of the episodes is consistently good interspersed with excellent episodes. Episode five easily could have been a short animation film festival winner with its hilarious animation, hectic style, contrast, relatable narration and creative animation angles and plot-development. These episodes don't waste time. The details establish new aspects of Ekoda-chan's personality and her little world.
I highly recommend Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan to any fan of visual comedy, relatable narration and generally to a mature audience. If you seek more insight into the animation industry and behind the scenes elements that are case by case every episode and show a more complex image into thought-processes, you will find them in the interview-segments. If you are only interested in the animation, you can easily skip interview-segments and enjoy the series as a short-series spectacle of a character study. Interested artists gain access to a (tablet) speed-painting of a key-frame per episode which adds details to the approach and individual steps, but lacks details regarding the technical utilisation.
Take note: that Myanimelist doesn't list episode ten which features animated singing heads and an art segment that doesn't showcase key-frame animation. The art highlight of episode ten shows the filming and animated editing of a shot-composition. So if you want to skip an episode because you also have the notion that edited-animation doesn't suffice as animation, then you want to skip episode ten. Please do not skip the fantastic episode twelve.