Randomness! What better way to waste some time than with a mindless show with a whale floating in the sky and a girl that randomly generates plush dolls? Well, maybe I can think of a few better ways, sure...nevertheless, on the contrary to what I initially thought, watching this little flick was actually quite interesting. It gripes me that it was so very, very short, though; the initial setup calls for a more fleshed-out storyline, but with twelve episodes spanning five minutes each, it never even really manages to take off. But would this idea ever be taken to a more fully fledged anime, I'd be certain to have a look at it.
As said, the initial setup is promising. A guy ends up at an academy for some reason, meets up with a bunch of odd characters (mainly girls), and random stuff occurs. Usually I write a coherent little summary under this headline, but it's rather hard to do it this time around without spoiling the entire...um, "storyline", because of it being so short. But that's the gist of it, kinda.
And...that's really it. A few characters are introduced in the first few episodes, but they're given such scarce airtime that you hardly get any time to bond with any of them. Massive plot points are left out: It's never explained how the main character ends up at that strange academy, and he also seems to have the hots for his little sister who wakes him up in the morning - this is also just left as-is. In the beginning, he's startled over the fact that a large blue whale floats high up in the sky, watching over them, but a few episodes in he's adjusted remarkably well to all random facts. And sure, there are a few episodes that link together, such as the trip to the beach, but many episodes seem torn and jumbled together from totally different storylines, and because of the length of the episodes they barely manage to make any sense, much less make an impact. So story-wise, there's very little to gather from this show, unfortunately; the show makes several nice plot directions, but they are simply never used.
Save for Yun-Yun's caricature appearance (a character that simply magically appears in the fifth episode without any trace of introduction), I have no complaints about this. The art and animation is in a style and quality you could expect from any anime show, with delicate lines and soft coloring. A few small details seem created with CGI, but they blend into the animation harmony nicely without sticking out like sore thumbs (as I've experienced some CGI effects to do).
The voice acting - wavering between "decent" and "quite good really". The music - beautiful, matching nicely with the mood of the show. It lacks an intro song, but with such short episodes it's to be expected I suppose. And the ending sequence is good, so it makes up for it somewhat.
Even though they're never quite delved into, I really can't rack down on the actual character designs - they all have their funny quirks, differing them from one another. I couldn't really say that any of the characters are uninteresting, save for the main character...I think that's how it's supposed to be, though, that the main character starts out as a slightly more blank slate than the others, and then gains his/her personality by interaction with the characters he/she meets.
In this case, it's not entirely possible, though, since...
...yeah, I've said that the anime is short quite a few times now, so I suppose you get the gist. I'm sorry. :p
Despite everything said and done, I enjoyed looking at this. Not for the storyline, but for the humor and situations embedded in the show. Every so often, it brought me to a laugh (randomness is a perfectly valid source of humor), and sometimes it delved into drama. Not so intense, not for so long, but still enjoyable. Naturally, the lack of a story robs the enjoyment of some points, as well as the fact that there's a lot of "dead time" in the show - drawn-out pauses, or scenes that are much longer than actually needed to put an impression through. Had they cut some of those pauses, they could've fit more substantial stuff into the show.
Overall? A nice little pause from reality. Never mind the storyline - it was nice to look at, it was nice to listen to, and it was nice to chuckle at every now and then. And even though I doubt it will ever happen, I intensely wish for a more complete Saishuu Shiken Kujira to be released some time in the future, where the story has more time to develop and root in our minds. But until then, do try this one out - it could be more entertaining than what first meets the eye, if you'd give it the chance to be.
And now, to check out the OVA! :)