Sep 25, 2015
Lancehot (All reviews)
Spin-off! Is there any word more thrilling to the human soul? Hi I'm Lancehot. You might remember me from reviewing such made up spin-offs as Kiniro Mandem & The AniManiactrix. I'm here today with the actual spinoff to Teekyu, Takamiya Nasuno Desu! (TND), a show that can join the esteemed ranks of Joey, Christmas Vacation 2 & Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure as a spin-off that didn't need to exist & doesn't need to be watched.

Quite why it flops as a spin-off, however, is perhaps more difficult to explain, because it doesn't really do much different from it's parent show. The comedy is still abstract, random & delivered at a million miles a minute. Takamiya is still Takamiya, only now she has centre stage like every rich girl wants. The art & animation hasn't changed, indeed almost nothing has changed. So what's up?

Well that's part of the problem. TND to all intents & purposes is Teekyu with three of the four main characters missing. It doesn't try anything different or do anything new with what one might consider this new found freedom, which begs the question: what was the point? Spin-offs that work: Frasier (Cheers), Daria (Beavis & Butthead), The Cleveland Show (Family Guy), often take an ensemble character & give them the starring role in a show that is noticeably different from the one they started in. TND instead just goes through the same motions as Teekyu with less characters to contribute to the wackiness, resulting in an experience that is too similar not to be compared to its parent show & found lacking.

That's the thing with spin-offs. Done right, they can take a relatively minor & one dimensional character who worked as part of an ensemble & flesh them out in ways that the original show couldn't allow for, as well as explore themes & adopt a tone that would otherwise feel out of place. The only "new" thing TND brings with it is giving Youta, Yuri from Teekyu's younger brother, the role of foil to Takamiya's foolishness. He fits in about as well as a square peg in a round hole, a more conventional & boring anime foil than his sister who suffers for being shoehorned into the show to begin with (he's her butler for :reasons:), only to be pushed out of the way of Takamiya's shenanigans in a way that Yuri isn't in Teekyu.

The absence of the other characters in Teekyu's ensemble is notable from the outset. Instead of having different shades of absurdity coming from three different nutjobs, each episode consists almost entirely of rich girl stupidity from one character. As can be the case in spin-offs, taking a character whose quirks worked as part of an ensemble & giving them centre stage in what is otherwise the same show just gets wearing. Ten minutes of Joey in an episode of Friends was fine. Forty minutes of Joey on his own was not. The same is true here. Takimiya works as part of Teekyu's ensemble but on her own her shtick is dulled by repetition. Indeed, it's only when the other Teekyu characters show up in the last couple of episodes that it gets some of that spark back, which just further shows how redundant this spinoff is.