200+ reaction faces by Episode 2 and over 3500+ Reaction faces towards the final episode. (This includes groups, background characters & teachers.) I excluded previews for the next episodes along with flashbacks. 38 seconds is the longest time a character spent holding a reaction face. The title of most reaction faces and time spent making time is... Hikari, or “Pikari.” With all that nerdy stuff out the way, let’s get to my review.
Perhaps one of the most underrated shows this season, Amanchu is a chill slice of life anime. The story focuses mainly on character Hikari and Futaba’s high school life, and their love of diving. Hikari the lovely, energetic, frog faced angel has a love, hobby rather of diving. At some point in the beginning of the story Hikari and Teko are introduced. Hikari then initiates a conversation with Futaba at school. It’s their first “real” interaction until Hikari encourages Teko to join the diving club… and well you know the rest.
Narratives, transitions, character introductions, were fine. The settings where certain events took place were great however, when it came to backstories and proper explanations the story falls flat. It took 9 episodes to finally get some information about Futabas’ past. Futaba being the main character, or the character that the story focuses on the most, you would expect the writer to go into more details about her. This simply was not the case for a long duration of the story. The lack of any proper backstories made me feel like important information was missing or that perhaps the writer had been planning to wait until the last moment to drop an important & dramatic scene. It’s like there was always a sense of some sort of build up that never seemed to be released.
The pacing of the story is slow. This is a good thing because it lets viewers absorb little details, and really take in the beauty of the settings that the characters are in. Not only that, because Amanchu has an awful lot of dialogue, this keeps things fresh, and allows viewers to understand the characters current situation better. If I had to say what my biggest concerns with the story were, the lack of any major developments in the plot and the story. The plot… it’s iffy. Sometimes there is a plot for an episode for example the writer was like “The plot for this episode… well I think I’ll have an entire episode focus on Teko and why she can’t delete pictures on her phone.”
Sometimes a majority of the plots for certain episodes came off as uninteresting. Understanding that the manga is roughly 50+ chapters it’s sort of understandable that the story lacks a bigger goal for the characters. I believe that maybe if the was an ultimate goal for the characters, for example, Hikari and Futaba want to become professional divers and win some sort of trophy for their schools’ team. Then I would love to stick around and see the resolution. The plot itself is so simple, that’s why I mentioned earlier that there were no major developments, and honestly it makes the show, feel almost incomplete. All of these, and I want to be nice and say “minor” but all of the problems are what ultimately led me to give the overall story a lower score.
The show is very well animated, good quality and details all around. The opening animation was beautiful although I did have one problem. There is a scene where they’re all on the boat right. They jump off the boat wearing the diving gear and then the next scene they’re all in bathing suits. After that, towards the ending of the song, Hikari and Futaba are shown wearing their diving gear again. I’m sitting down thinking to myself “bruh, is this a joke?” I don’t know if this was done intentionally or if that was planned out. Either way that scene sort of ruins the moment a little. I mean I understand if they were doing it for fan-service bu- Oh! look at me, I’m rambling.
I honestly love the anime’s character designs and background settings. The character designs, the school uniforms were certainly unique. One of my personal favorite things in school anime is seeing unique uniforms. This ranges from colors, designs, etc. I like that with the girls school uniform shows the shape and figures of their bodies. It leaves a lot to the imagination so to speak. The appearances of the ladies were pretty interesting. To me, the girls look like re-mastered 90’s anime girls. The eyes and hairstyle kind of make me think this way. The backgrounds like the beach, the ocean, clouds and pools. All of the background settings were amazing. Albeit they weren’t as great as I thought they would be.
I’ll be honest, in time I would love to see a more romantic relationship between Pikari and Teko develop. However, at the moment I am fine with them simply being best friends. I mean Hikari is so energetic and Futaba has such a calm personality. I believe that opposites who attract make better partners.The two are obviously my most favorite characters in the series because they have the most welcoming personalities. It’s fun to see them interact with their classmates and teachers. It makes me feel like I’m involved in some way. A majority of the characters with the series are inherently funny, friendly and likeable. However, I don’t think they are on the same level as Pik & Tek. Character development in Amanchu isn’t the shows strongest point. Although character growth does happen and personal changes through the story do occur. It does in fact take some time for the characters to realize their changes and accept it. It’s almost like a moral of the story feeling. I personally enjoyed seeing characters absorb new knowledge and make changes to their lives. The characters were great and I have very little complaints about any of them.
The opening song was pretty good, it was catchy sweet and mellow. The ending song was nothing special, it was catchy but not as special. I think that catchy songs tend to work better with slow-paced slice of life anime.. the voice actors were pretty good. I think that the female cast did an amazing job bringing their characters to life. I would’ve liked to have heard less “Gyops” and “Upyo’s” however; I did think it was kind of cute. The background songs were light-hearted, well composed, and did an excellent job setting the mood for certain exchange of dialogue.
Enjoyment/Overall score 8/10
As I may have mentioned earlier, the show is pretty chill. It’s full of dialogue which makes for very interesting conversations between characters. The art style, maybe the atmosphere makes it even more of a relaxing title. Now what do I mean when I say relaxing? To put it simply, Amanchu is a title that if you need to take a break from watching a bunch of action and fantasy titles. You could put it on and admire the beauty & quality that it has to offer. The only downside is that it has an awful lot of dialogue so if you’re transitioning from a title with lots of action and violence then you may want to skip this title. Now, when it came to my enjoyment with the show I’d have to say that the characters are what made this show fun. Overall I enjoyed the title very much and would probably recommend it to anyone who likes to take things slow.