To the students of Karai High School, Nanako Yukishiro is a pretty, calm, and cute 16-year-old. However, Nanako is no ordinary girl, as she cannot speak! Instead, Nanako communicates through senryuu—17-syllable-long poems.
Sixteen-year-old Eiji Busujima used to be delinquent in his middle school years. However, he has since turned over a new leaf due to his newfound love of senryuu. Despite his menacing looks, Eiji gets along well with Nanako as a fellow member of the Literature Club.
Even though Nanako is mute, the adorable pair have no problem communicating with each other. Senryuu Shoujo is a light and relaxing story of two teenagers' daily lives.
Spring is usually my favorite season every year. It usually consists of heavy hitters of popular franchises as well as new adaptations that generates a great deal of hype. This year though, we have an unusual amount of short series that runs half the length. Unfortunately, most of these shorts fell flat and limited themselves with low expectations. However, there are two shows this season that managed to break that limit. One of them is this curious little thing called Senryuu Shoujo.
I love the manga. It recently reached its 100th chapter milestone and being a short length show actually helps make the story flow better.
The story premise itself is simple that stars Yukishiro Nanako as the main female protagonist. An easy trait to notice about Nanako is that she doesn’t communicate verbally with others. Instead, she expresses her language in the form of haikyu, a form of poem.
What it comes down to it, Senryuu Shoujo manages to captivate me with its charming cast of characters. Nanako’s personality is that of a friendly girl who is very open minded and willing to accept anyone as a friend, including ex-delinquent Eiji. Throughout the series, Eiji is portrayed as a misunderstood person by others because of his intimidating appearance. As members of the Literature Club, we get an inside look at their relationship. There’s many running gags between the two but at the end of the day, it’s shown that they greatly care about each other. Or perhaps it’s more than what it seems. Someone as dense as Eiji doesn’t realize Nanako’s feelings for him. As a slice a life comedy, this anime is filled humorous moments. It never ceases opportunities to poke fun of their relationship. At its very best, we can see their true personalities behind their outer shell.
Meanwhile, we do have other characters such as Literature Club president Amane Katagari. A running gag in the show is how she tries to get Eiji and Nanako together for alone time. Similarly, Eiji’s childhood Koto Ootsuki loves to tease the duo whenever she gets the chance. It makes time to always sell humor so the audience remains entertained. This also extends to fortune teller Tao Hankai who is well known for her bizarre personality. I think by the time we are introduced to the majority of the cast, there’s always someone to keep an eye on. The only character I felt underwhelmed would be Kino, another girl who communicates non-verbally. Unlike Nanako, she is too timid and lacks presence. Even when an episode focuses more on her than others, it feels like she’s invisible. I personally think Kino is a poor’s man version of Nanako for being unable to develop character chemistry with the other cast. It’s a shame.
At its core, Senryuu Shoujo is an easy going slice of life anime that relies a lot on its character chemistry than storytelling. It doesn’t and shouldn’t take anyone to think about what this anime means with each episode. Come to think of it, the comedy itself often feels very direct with even more characters getting their own moments of fame. This includes Nanako’s father with his own misunderstood fantasies or Eiji’s denseness. There will definitely be an audience who will find this type of humor to be childish and poorly executed. But hey, that’s the ball in your court.
This is actually Connect’s first TV short if you don’t count their previous net anime projects. The overall colorful visuals delivers a great look to the series’ themes. I was cautiously optimistic at first after seeing the preview videos but as more episodes aired, the show proved itself to be visual fest. Studio Connect managed to capture the school life setting with a feeling of serenity. In the meantime, character designs are carefully made with care to match the look of the manga. The most noticeable characters are Nanako and Eiji for their very contrasting designs but anyone who lay eyes on them the first time should easily see how well they match their personalities. Character expressions is also an important feature that manages to communicate characters’ feelings. And for any fans who wants to be serviced, there’s moments of that too including the unavoidable swimsuit episode. There’s something here for anyone who is a fan of slice of life.
I admit that shorts aren’t really my favorite type of anime. Most often, they suffer from story development based on the amount of content. However, Senryu Shoujo never relies on storytelling to be special. Instead, it has these creative circle of characters that’s here to steal the spotlight. I recommend giving the manga a chance for first time viewers as the anime doesn’t adapt chronically with its flow. But once you start to get into the flow, you’ll want more and more.
As we know pretty well by now, real life and current affairs can really get you down. For many of us, anime is the antidote and escapism we need from daily life. However, with so many series coming out each season to choose from, it can be hard to know which one will leave your spirits high. It doesn’t have to be something amazing or ground-breaking, it can be something rather simple that cheers you up and leaves you with a smile after each episode.
Senryuu Shoujo is based on a 4-koma manga, it’s half-length, and much of the communication is done in 5-7-5 microbursts.
You’d think something as simple as syllables would be an easy concept, but nothing is really simple when trying to translate Japanese concepts into English ones. What they call syllables are actually "On", and while in English syllables are as close as we can get to the idea, they aren’t the same thing. The subject of Senryuu Shoujo is, fittingly, senryuu—the first such anime I’m aware of. Senryuu is similar to haiku in using a 17 "On" format but tends to be a little earthier. Haiku might be about frogs, the Buddha or true love, while senryuu tend to be humorous or more everyday-centric. Specifically, this show focuses on two people—Yukishiro Nanako and Busujima Eiji. Both are first-year high schoolers—she an awkward airhead who uses senryuu to address her inability to speak in public, he to find solace from the world which treats him as a terrifying yankee.
It’s cute without being a CGDCT series—there’s actual substance to the premise. In point of fact, folks with speech impediments are often able to communicate verbally by other means (like singing) without a problem, and it would have been even more interesting if Nanako had been able to speak but only in senryuu, rather than just write them, but it’s still a clever conceit. And Eiji’s story is actually pretty relatable—a gentle soul trapped in a body the world sees as threatening and scary. These two are at the subject of romantic subtext. Through each episode, the bonds our duo protagonists form slowly blossoms into love. Their relationship is what makes this a cute little show, very heart-warming, and brings a few good laughs in the process—which mainly comes from the supporting cast, who cheer on Nanako and Eiji, pushing (the good kind) them together. The Literature Club president Amane Katagiri is the main person responsible for this and she is always coming up with plans to have our duo partaking in activities that bring them closer together.
The other characters fit really well and are very likable. All have some quirkiness to them like I really enjoy Kino Yakobe’s character. She too doesn’t speak like Nanako but instead of writing senryuu, she draws pictures to communicate through. She is one hell of an artist, the way she draws her facial expressions when reacting to things, and holds the drawing over her face is quite hilarious. Koto Ootsuki plays the big sis role to Eiji but she secretly likes him but knows that Nanako is a good match for him. Tao Hanakai is mysterious and she has two sides to her, which matches her fringe that constantly switches sides. It is the right kind of chemistry here, and in addition, the main protagonists’ families play an actual role, which is always welcomed. Additionally, Nanako is just the sweetest girl whose smile is infectious. She’s the type that doesn’t have a bad bone in her body, she’s very appreciative of everything and treasures those close to her dearly.
Her backstory is pretty heartbreaking which shows how and why she is, the way she is. There’s a vein of sadness running through it, but feel-good series don’t have to be relentlessly positive, they just need to make you see the world in a better light. And her light is Eiji and this will show why she is so fond of him. And it was one of my favorite parts in the show, it was poetry in motion and Studio Comet did an excellent job of making that moment emotional—she had dark times but she found her light at the end of the tunnel. Visually, this show looks pretty. It is bright, soft, vibrant and fluffy with its art style and color palette. The animation has a gentle touch, and for a TV-short like this, it is quite smooth as well. Both the soundtrack and voice acting are superb—Hana Kanazawa (Nanako) and Tasuku Hatanaka (Eiji) are excellent as leads and nailed their given character. OP "Kotonoha no" by Sonoko Inoue, and ED "ORDINARY LOVE" by Rikako Aida, are beautiful song choices and very fitting for the themes of this series.
This is one of the better short series if you’re looking for something simple, relaxing, and something to unwind and have a breather from other series you may be following, especially if they have a more serious tone or if it’s a battle shounen. I like to think of this Senryuu Shoujo as a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, it warms and soothes your soul. It’s a bit lightweight, but that’s fine—it’s cute and heartfelt, and some of the humor is rather effective. Surprisingly, the writing is really good and shows some creativity. This is definitely an enjoyable candidate to be this spring’s "healing" show of choice.
What is senryuu? Broadly speaking senryuu can also be interpreted as "haiku" or rather modern poetry more or less like that.
Tells about the life of a cute, cheerful girl named Nanako Yukishiro. He has flaws in communication, but he has one hobby, which is writing Senryuu, poetry to convey his feelings. Together with his naughty friend named Eiji Busujima, they enjoy a pleasant school life with just a few words. Storytelling goes well and is suitable for accompanying your boring daily life. The comedy and romance elements in this anime are very much felt especially when they spend time together
I'm sure you will be laughed at by their behavior.
Art is not so extraordinary that it can be interpreted as a standard with no special impression. Character design is pretty good especially in Mitsuki Koto's part, Thank you for creating a waifuable character. The background is also good, the effects of fireworks are no less good, and for the last to think of the opening theme animation is a difficult thing but here they are good enough in making animation the opening theme fits perfectly with the song that is carried and the whole animation is also not feels stiff.
If you think of this anime from the title, then you imagine "surely the voice actor doesn't appear often". Eitsss, don't think like that the proof is why they brought Kana Hanazawa? Nanako does not speak, but every time Nanako writes a word on the board, the voice actor will read what Nanako wrote (although in a quiet voice). The opening theme sung by Sonoko Inoue was very good and I like it, while the closing theme sung by Rikako Aida was equally good.
Of all types of characters here have everything from Kuudere, Dandere, Defenders, to Tsundere but here there is no such thing as Yandere (because this is not a psychopathic anime so it might not be there). The main characters who have a tendency to talk to boys who look like hoodlums are all mixed together as a result, the combination creates a distinctive characteristic.
The screening schedule was right on Saturday so I really enjoyed this program properly because after a busy day I was able to let go of fatigue after watching this anime. Not only were they jokes, sometimes I also got carried away and laughed to myself, especially when I was in the cave scene (I didn't explain in detail because I was afraid the readers would be spoiled later).
Overall it was good but the thing that stuck on my mind was why main Heroine couldn't talk (I already knew if the age of speech was not the title, I don't think that this is my joke).
What you need to know about this series is:
A rom-com story,
About haiku and school love,
Plus comedy too!
In the season of shorts becoming predominantly variable in time to come, this series is the Cream of the Crop for the season's contending SOTS (Short of the Season). But before that,
What is a haiku?
In what context is it used,
And how is it used?
Taking words off fellow reviewer @Krunchyman, haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, characterized by three un-rhymed lines of 5-7-5 syllables. In Japan, they utilize sound units known as “on” or morae, in which when translating into other languages, inconsistencies can lead to a number of
problems, leading translators to claim that as a whole, varied words in the sentence of certain syllables in English equate to the duration of 17 Japanese “on.” Nevertheless, the intent is to capture the essence of a moment in time with a short, poetic composition. Thanks for this valuable teaching information and your contribution.
In this case, characterization plays the major plotline, of which the main female MC Nanako Yukishiro (voiced by HanaKana) anchors her dialogues which are then written on Tanzaku (yes, those ones used for Japanese festivals), instead of expressing through verbal communication. Together with the Literature Club with 3rd-wheel comedic Prez Amane Katagiri, she develops a crush on the looking-scary ex-delinquent boy by the name of Eiji Busujima (who joins the club before her), and love hijinks ensue. Even down the line as more characters come to fill in their roles in the club:
The shy Kino Yakobe who can only draw to verbalize her facial expressions,
The fearsome and bold Koto Ootsuki, being Eiji's childhood friend and a teaser for the couple, while doting on him a lot,
and the devilish Tao Hanakai who is pretty much reminiscent of the fortune teller look with her magic 8-ball,
There has to be a way to get these affections through...right?
Too many people,
But that's no problem for them,
They are the 3rd-wheel (for Prez Amane who always gets in the way of the duo-couple)!
Honestly, if there is anything going for this, it would be both Eiji and Nanako's interactions (which sometimes are lost in translation if not done right, especially to the Haikus), their subtle feelings for one another, though with Eiji's naiveness, denseness and "incompatibility" with Nanako (in terms of speech and obvious feelings) can sometimes be a chore to watch them get "hooked". Nonetheless, it makes up for a ton lot of sweet, enamoring moments, and I've gotta say, it was 12 whole mins of goodness.
Likewise, both the art/animation and sound departments carry that good "Love is in the Air" feels all around.
Connect, the studio subsidary of Silver Link, actually has a small line of projects under their belt (most of them co-produced together), but nonetheless has some true talents under their belt, as further evidenced by the gorgeous art and buttery-smooth animation. I believe that shorts like this do not have a huge budget to work with, but the production staff working this series pulled it off nonchalantly, and that is a good thing.
The same thing can be said about the short OP and ED. While they sound a tad off from the usual 90 seconds to work with (60 seconds to be exact), it still fits within the confines of the show, and both songs sound melancholic with that sweet fragance of "Ordinary Love". Overall, a great job.
So what do you think?
Is this your SOTS (Short of the Season)?
Whatever it is...
It's a fun watch if you get the whole "haiku" cultured thing. Otherwise, there's not really much substance, and sure as the people say: "Quality over quantity", and if that is the production team's goal, they have succeeded.
For me, it is good, but not to the calibres of greatness.