This is a very odd food series, almost like a food review segment in a news broadcast than a real show, but it certainly has less baggage with it than “Toriko” or “Shokugeki no Soma”. “Wakakozake” (“Wakako Sake”) tells the very brief tale of Wakako, who goes around to eating establishments after work to try and find something to eat that is (a) tasty and (b) inexpensive that (c) goes well with beer or sake. Wherever it is she works, there are loads and loads of places to eat around, so she drops in to dine on one food, like deep-fried asparagus skewers or steamed clams or yakitori.
Now, she has never had a bad dish of anything, but there is a tinge of sadness as she always dines alone. She feasts well, as the food fills her physical and most emotional needs. Or perhaps I am reading too much into this. In any case, it does help explain a variety of Japanese foods and what really goes into them to make it more than a squat ‘n’ gobble kind of place. The artwork is off, as she is very cartoony, but everyone else is more or less normal.Continue reading
I seem to be running into late-season perversity, as I have encountered a huge amount of smut-smack shows. At the time I wrote this review, I had two others shrimps on the barbie that had not yet reached a conclusion, but were well within sniggering and jiggering territory. This offering, “My Wife is the Student Council President” (,”Okusama ga Seito Kaichō!”) is like them, save that it is a short pull. That means they have to pack in more perversity than in your normal show, as they are only given about eight minutes to set free their mayhem.
The plot is fairly standard: Hayato Izumi (specs) runs for student council president at his new high school, but loses to Ui Wakana (pink), a perky and charismatic girl who pledges to liberate love on campus. To emphasis this over more sober topics, like the cost of school lunches and/or better funding for the clubs, she flings condoms into the audience during her election speech. She wins by a landslide and he ends up becoming the vice-president on the student council. What a bummer of a day!Continue reading
When I say that “Orenchi no Furo Jijō” (“The Circumstances in My Home’s Bathtub“) is a real fish out of water show, I ain’t kidding!
It tells the story of Tatsumi, who is a high school boy living by himself. One day, something happened to him in the ocean and he went under, rescued by Wakasa, who pulled him to safety. Yup, he’s a merman (and one problem that I had; the incident just mentioned is alluded to in the credits, but no specifics). Tatsumi brought him home to recover in his bath tub and that was that. Wakasa is not moving out. To make things worse, some of Wakasa’s friends come a-calling and also sit a spell. They include Takasu, or Octopus Boy; Mikuni, the jelly fish; and Maki, a sea snail (Maki is much smaller than that; otherwise, you’d never see him).
The tales revolve around how Tatsumi puts up with all of these moochers (and, yes, they are a caliber of mooch), as he figures out what to do with them and his life. The problem I had is that the guys (with the exception of Mikuni) are really good looking. I mean REALLY good looking, with wispy eyes and strong jaw lines and that metrosexual ideal. The staff tried to make this a caliber of Yaoi, as they are all in firm shape and have devastatingly fabulous looks and are potentially hunkalicious. Continue reading
“Karen Senki” is a show that has a good story to tell, but perhaps the way it was done was not the best approach. You see, it’s all CG and there are still a few bugs in the system with regards to that. OK, on to the plot. Karen kills robots. It is the world of the future and robots have become sentient. They also decided that the Robot’s Three Rules were for sissies and they have decided to eliminate humans once and for all. But it’s just that they do it so badly.
I mean, you just march in and start killing everyone, right? Or maybe a well-coordinate air strike (there are flying robot craft). Well, no, as there are whole communities of humans, eking out a living, rarely under attack. Now, since Karen is a fugitive and Public Enemy Number One and a Justin Bieber fan, she MUST be eliminated! But the robot forces just can’t seem to do it. Between her enhanced powers and a pair of 45s she sports (hey, I’m talking about her pistols. What DID you think I was talking about?), she is formidable as she wipes out the enemy forces like an errant catsup stain from her cheek.
She has been asked by a shadow group, Eleven, to join in their cause, as they feel rather than having individual rogue elements, as a cohesive whole, they can do things better to stop the menace.Continue reading
“Miss Monochrome” is another short-pull series. At four minutes, it’s short enough, but one of those minutes is taken up with the ending credits, so it runs even shorter than that.
Miss Monochrome is a caliber of robot, her best friend being that Roomba. She somehow was worth 19.2 Billion yen, but her rapacious private secretary took everything and left her destitute. She has a dream of being the best pop idol in Japan, but has no method or manner to do this. She gets a manager, who happens to be the shift manager at the convenience store she works at, to try and get her all kinds of gigs and public meetings to get her face and talent out there. A manager is a manager, right? Get the gigs.
But she is an absolute klutz when it comes to things and the episodes end where they started: with her no closer to her dream of being a pop idol.Continue reading
“Super Seishun Brothers” is a series about two sets of twins and their amusing life together.
This is a short-pull series, as the episodes run about five minutes each, and it details the lives of (left to right):
Chika and Chiko Shinmoto
Mako and Mao Saito
We are going to assume the guys and girls are the same age, as the boys are second-year high school students and the girls are second year college students (except Mako does not go to college, but it helps with the reference).
We see their lives together as they fuddle through things. The episodes are pretty close to blackout sketches or run on one theme (the middle episodes contend themselves with adventures at the big Japanese anime/manga event), but are almost too brief to really build characters. They seem more like figures to say dialogue and hang stories from than any real people, and the problems are not really problems, more like observations on how a particular set of lives run.Continue reading
“Yami Shibai: Japanese Ghost Stories” (also known as “Theater of Darkness”) is a short-pull series, as none of the episodes go over five minutes. For those who remember, this is more like “Night Gallery”, in which a short tale is told and there is some kind of ironic twist at the end, but something bad happens to the person in question.
This is a show with not only limited animation, but it is a caliber of stop-motion. This approach may be off-putting to some, as it really is an ‘economical’ approach to animation that may or may not work. The stories themselves may also be too brief to generate any real scares, not much different than tales around the campfire, done so I can make you drop your marshmallow into the flames.
It opens with a bunch of kids at a playground, but they are not playing. They are waiting. But waiting for whom? The ice cream man? The Octopus Ball woman? The friendly neighborhood dope peddler? Nope, it’s this guy on his bike, lugging his little shrine. The kids cluster around him and he tells another tale of terror and torment.Continue reading
You have read my comments on short-run shows (series that have 11 or less episodes), but I am running into short pull episodes. Now, “Hetalia” is the King of this, with over 100 episodes, but not one of them gets to the six-minute mark.
As of late, I have seen a huge uptick in the amount of short-pull shows.
One is “Chitose Get You” (pictured above). Chitose Sakuraba is the elementary school gal in the middle who has a terrible crush on Hiroshi Kashiwabara, who gets a bit paranoid about her coming around and hanging about. However, thwarting her plans is the evil, evil, evil homeroom teacher Asako Fuji, who ALSO has a crush on Hiroshi. Which of these two will marry him first? Rounding out this troupe is Misaki (the cheerful one to the left) and Hinako Hiiragi (far left; don’t let her poise fool you; she is one weird bird).
The episodes are usually one event or tale and they don’t last more than four minutes a pop.
Other short pull shows out there include:
“Gokicha! – Cockroach Girls”. An anthropomorphized cockroach girl who wishes to become friends with humans, but is often treated with the appropriate response. This one ran about 10 minutes and with another girl in the offing (Chaba), more is to be expected.
“Wooser No Sono Higurashi” (“Wooser’s Hand-To-Mouth Life”). Wooser is a yellow blob. Is he a rabbit? Not certain. He lives with twin sisters Rin and Ren, but don’t let that cutesy animation fool you. He is one mean character, and there is a caliber of cruelty akin to “Happy Tree Friends and Friends”, but without the pointless violence. Even with all that, the stories are really lacking. Again, nothing over four minutes.Continue reading