Jul 18, 2020
Kyuukyoku Choujin R is a 1991 OVA adapted from the manga with the same name written by Yuuki Masami (the author of Tetsuwan Birdy, Patlabor). The manga ran from 1985 till 1987, this anime only adapts a mini story arc which happens in the latter part of the manga, courtesy of animation studio Coa.
The tags tell it all, the anime is a SF comedy about a group of high schoolers (boys and girls and a robot) who are in the Photography Club, they have fun like any others their age, the SF element comes from the robot who is named R, he's a high schooler
too for some reason, he has a quirky, weird and funny personality, but it's fun to watch, who knows what troubles can he create.
The potential viewer should not feel discouraged in watching this, it's true that this only adapts a small fraction of the manga but the story works. We are immediately presented all the 9 main characters that will take a train journey, no long introductions, it's just like your first day of high school, you don't know anyone but you still go to a group in order to talk to someone, even try to make friends. The first "introduction" scene was like that. I got accustomed to it after 10 minutes or so, the anime is chill and laid back, you don't even need to know all the inside jokes or even the names of the characters, just sit back and have fun.
The appeal of it is the comedy, it's not that crazy or explosive, it's more gentle if I could say, sure, we have a robot who pulls weird stuff from his abdomen, a mad scientist who chases after the gang, shooting lasers but we also have funny situations like people forgetting something important, people losing their way in the forest, boys arguing about trivial stuff. It may not sound that impressive but this is one of the reasons why I liked it so much, the buddy talk, the friendship, the group bonding, it was something which reminded me of my summer holidays spent with my friends, just going places and having fun.
What I enjoyed the best was the atmosphere that the show provided, basically the whole anime happens in the daytime and traveling by different trains, we get to see beautiful landscapes like bridges, green forests, beaches, train stations, uncharted roads. And the animation and art style really provides, the backgrounds are superbly drawn, it's 1 hour and 13 minutes with many different backgrounds, like I said, we're traveling, we're not sitting forever in one place. The gang also camps outside that one time, it looked fun.
The watcher is also bombarded with summer noises like cicada sounds, train rails sounds, gentle breezes, this really enriches the overall experience.
As for the characters, there are two that seem to be the most fun to watch:
- Tosaka Akira, the leader sorta, has a weird habit of showing his middle finger, he already graduated from high school but he's an important figure to the gang (voiced by the one and only Kamiya Akira, the watcher should expect crazy and funny situations, he is perfect for the role)
- Tanaka R Ichirou, the weird robot who pulls weird stuff from time to time, he's kinda dumb but not that annoying, he has a big heart and cares for his friends, expect funny things from him too.
The others are ok but not much to say though.
I liked that the characters were drawn to look pretty different from each other (which is a plus in my book), you see those little touches and design changes, some girl has big cartoonish eyes and a small stature whereas another girl is tall and has realistic looking eyes, I could go on but you get my drift.
If you like trips and train travels with friends, I see no problems in enjoying this anime, it's very simple and forward, there is a plot going on, it's explained in the first minutes, they must complete the trip till 06.00 PM by changing different trains and following the best routes, and they'll do anything to succeed. The ending is crazy and it has my favorite scene in the anime. Does this show has cliches? Yes, of course, but it didn't bother me and I think the characters put their own mark to it, so even if this looks like a copy, it has the "Choujin R style".
What did you think of this review?