Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Anime Reviews: April 2011

It’s time for April’s selection of anime reviews. At this point, I’d like to let you know that I am running out of highly rated series to watch. ^^'

*** Obligatory Possible Spoiler Warning ***

Seto no Hanayome (My Bride Is a Mermaid)

Introduced as a love comedy, Seto no Hanayome is almost pure hilarity. There is nothing in the story that is completely serious, which is really something special that you have to witness in order to understand. It tells the story of a boy (Nagasumi) who is saved by a mermaid (Sun), and underwater laws dictate that he must marry Sun otherwise one of them will be killed to protect the secret existence of mermen. Except all merfolk are apparently hardcore gangsters, particularly Sun’s father, who would much rather have Nagasumi drop dead over giving away his precious daughter. But don’t worry kids, everyone in this universe is made up of rainbow coloured dream juice instead of actual blood. Despite being stuffed full of parodies and fast-paced comedy that comes completely out of nowhere, the storyline still holds together surprisingly well. Interestingly, the art style in this series often shifts in accordance with mood, and you will probably never see anything like it. Here are some varying screenshots of Nagasumi as an example.

Warning:  May contain inappropriate use/treatment of cats, which can cause distress to some viewers.

What will I gain from this?
1. Young boys should never be kissed by men.
2. What is love? It’s not to hesitate.

Aishiteru ze Baby

Features an interesting plot revolving around the abandonment of a young child. A teenage boy (Kippei) is assigned to looking after the young girl (Yuzuyu) after her mother has a mental breakdown. If nothing else, this series will make you believe that preschoolers have a lot of issues to deal with. Bullies, abusive parents, abandonment issues, jealousy, kidnapping, prejudice… you name it! Oh, and while Kippei is looking after Yuzuyu, he somehow manages to net himself a girlfriend that is far too good for him. Although, nothing much really happens between them with Kippei spending all his waking moments with a little girl and all. That aside, this series manages to turn the daily life of a preschool girl into something worth watching, which is quite an accomplishment. The main thing that annoyed me by the end is that Yuzuyu cries. A lot. And I know that she is a mentally scarred preschool girl, but after the first few times I just couldn’t stand hearing that crying noise without shuddering. And no, the mother doesn’t actually take Yuzuyu back by the end of the series.

What will I gain from this?
It is impossible to fit anything else into your life while you are caring for an abandoned preschooler. Also, corm.

Eyeshield 21

Let’s play American Footb-… Come back here. When I first saw the first two episodes of Eyeshield 21 by chance back in 2005, I pledged that I would get my hands on the entire series as soon as conceivably possible. I could rerun the first chunk of this series and watch it every year for the rest of my retirement. I know you think that there is no way you could possibly find American football interesting, especially if you are a girl. (Unless you want to see topless football players in hot tubs.) But Eyeshield 21 manages to pull it off by introducing many characters who seem to not be particularly good at anything. Midgets, delinquents, a balding guy and a morbidly obese guy all come together despite their differences for one purpose: to win at American football. You will follow their arduous journey as they discover their personal talents, such as running, catching, twirling, and… being obscure. 

The two main attractions that hold it all together in this series are 1) the main character, Sena and 2) Hiruma. Sena is a rather shy and meek guy who is tiny but runs faster than the speed of light, thus making him the star of the team. In contrast, Hiruma is the devil, who seems to know everything about both football and every single person on earth. He also carries around an entire armoury of automatic machine guns everywhere he goes for the purpose of threatening people. Although sometimes he just fires weapons off when he gets miffed, which is frequently. 

The only real problem with this series is that it drags on too long, and there are only so many football matches you can fabricate without repeating similar events. I think it could have been something really special if they only used more screen time to develop the characters, instead of forever freaking out about other football teams. I still don’t know if the Eyeshield 21 anime has been completed yet. On an unrelated note, Seijuro Shin bears a striking resemblance to Katsumi Shiba from Tokimeki Memorial: 2nd Season. See below for screenshots. 


What will I gain from this?
American football success = Hand push a truck across America.


A very ordinary schoolgirl (Yurie) casually declares one day that she is a god. And she really is one. There is no explanation or background on it, this just sort of happens. After this she is able to see other strange looking gods around her town. This series reminded me of Spirited Away, except… bland. Unfortunately, as far as being an unaware god goes, Haruhi Suzumiya got it right while Yurie triggered narcolepsy. I had trouble staying awake through the first 3 episodes, mainly because the characters were extremely boring and nothing exciting happened. Out of curiosity I skipped through the final episode to see if it would improve, but it seems to consistently be the same degree of dullness all the way through. After struggling through the first few episodes of Kamichu! I had to sleep through the entire next day as penance. Perhaps one day I’ll try to run through it again when I have more patience.

What will I gain from this?
Acute boredom, followed by narcolepsy.

Seitokai no Ichizon (The Student Council’s Discretion)

This is a series made up by patching together anime and game parodies, even somehow creating a parody of itself. It revolves almost entirely around just the five members of a student council sitting around and chatting. There is a small amount of character background, but a lot of the screen time is taken up by the only male council member babbling about a harem fantasy. This would be frowned upon, except it actually comes across as refreshing considering that this is the only series in the genre to blatantly admit to an obvious harem intention. The student council president also manages to spoil the ending of Toradora, which is just how oddly specific the references can get.

What will I gain from this?
Love simulation games are suitable for all ages.

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