“Listless” Days

October 11th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

On the flip side of Sakamoto, we have this guy. Everything Sakamoto is, he isn’t. “Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge” (“Tanaka-kun is Always Listless”) relates the tales of Tanaka. Now, I can’t tell for certain if he is lazy, anemic, bored or uncaring, but he desperately has to rely on the good-will of his friend, Oota, to physically truck him from place to place. He can (and does) sleep everywhere and it is a wonder how he is able to dress himself in the morning. If the food would just crawl into his mouth, he’d be as happy as they get.

Oota thinks he is missing out on a lot life has to offer, but Tanaka is content with things as they are. Even when classmate Miyano wants to be his apprentice, as she admires the complete inertness Tanaka exudes, he declines the offer, as that seems like too much work for him (and, after you see him in action, or inaction, you understand why). He also appears to be grandly clueless, as he stumbles upon a secret that fellow student Shiraishi has. Or maybe it’s that it doesn’t mean a great deal to him. This is both the core charm and the overall frustration with the series. You just can’t tell the difference.

Is he a slacker? Is he a passive-aggressive? Is he a sponge? Is he a deep thinker? You are never really sure, but to see the huge amount of effort placed onto him to be more than just a rolled-up carpet, lugged from place to place, is astounding. I just wonder what it will be like when he has to get a job.

There is also a series of OVAs, done in chibi style, of varying lengths, but nothing over a minute. They are not much more then set-up and gag, but it does help to explain things a bit better. It’s that for a single joke, there really was no logical way to insert it into the series without it coming off as more strangeness. Some may feel that this is a caliber of ‘nothing’ show, but something does happen; it just unrolls very slowly and maybe that’s what we want to say. Then again, maybe not.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           7 (Eyes seem too big)
Plot                  8 (Expressed surprisingly well)
Pacing              8 (Good, despite a potential lethargic nature)
Effectiveness   8 (Tells itself well)
Conclusion       6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)

Overall            8 (Oddly compelling)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Just let me sleep.

“Haven’t You Heard” the News?

October 4th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

There are a lot of strange shows about school life, whether we speak of “Ouran High School Host Club” or “School Rumble” or even “Medaka Box”, but the offering before us, “Sakamoto desu ga?” (“Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto” or “I’m Sakamoto, You Know?”) certainly ranks as one of the strangest. We follow the aforementioned First-Year Sakamoto (nope, we don’t know his first name AT ALL) the incredibly cool and popular genius who is well liked by both girls and boys. Despite the strange situations he may be in, Sakamoto always manages to fix the problem in absolute perfection while still being over the top. (more…)

Short Pull Series XIX – A Flash in the “Pan”

September 27th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. Wait a tick…..why does this opening sound so familiar? Because this show, “Pan de Peace” (“Pan de Pīsu”,Peace through Bread!”), is honestly no different than “Usakame”, save that instead of tennis, it’s bread. (more…)

Short Pull Series XX – “Tennis”, Anyone?

September 20th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Run Series by

OK, lest I sound like a sour old man (“Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!”), there is nothing wrong with all-girl animes…..to a point. It’s just that you need to have something more than moe girls or full-figured femmes or luscious ladies cluttering up the screen. I do like (wait for it)…plot. We actually started off with “Teekyu”, which began as a sports comedy manga (and the title is a pun on the Japanese word for ‘tennis’. Things like that are lost on me). They then had a spinoff, “Usakame”, which is named for the high school these four ladies attend and they belong to the tennis club. (more…)

Don’t Worry, Be “Happy”

August 17th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Every once in a while, you come across a show with a concept so odd, that you have to look into things a bit more deeply. Such is the case of “Anne-Happy”, (Anhapi♪), also known as “Unhappy Go Lucky!” or “Unhappy”. The plot is surprisingly thin:

Tennomifune Academy is an elite school where students train in various subjects such as arts and sports. The school, in a sense, chooses you, not the opposite (much like a wand from Ollivander’s). That is, except for the students of Class 1-7, a.k.a. the “Happiness Class”, who have been deemed “unfortunate” and must try to overcome their own misfortune and achieve happiness. The series follows a core group of five students, who each have their own problems, as they try to find their own elation. (more…)

The “Ultimate” Goal

July 26th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

Now, I like a goofy show as much as the next person, but it bothers me when they break in into a ‘half-and-half’, so the first grouping of episodes are an exhilarating ride and when the ‘serious’ ones make their appearance, it gets somber and introspective, losing some of the charm that got you here in the first place. Such is the case with “Ultimate Otaku Teacher” (“Denpa Kyōshi” or “Electromagnetic-wave Teacher”, subtitled “He Is an Ultimate Teacher”). We have Jun’ichirō Kagami, 24, who is a genuine genius. He published a paper at 17, talking about a teleportation device. Despite that majestic early splash, he would rather spend his time playing video games and being a real NEET (but not necessarily a hihikimori). His sister, Suzune, feels that his talents are being wasted on his anime blog (What?!!? Wasting time with an anime blog? Is she nuts?) and he needs to get a job. No, let me rephrase that. GET A JOB OR I’LL BEAT YOUR BRAIN IN! (She is batting .545 with an on-base plus average nearing 1.000). (more…)

Hyper “Active”

July 5th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

“Mecha” has always been a sore point for me, especially when I wasted far too much time on “Gundam Seed Destiny”. My son used to watch the Gundam shows and, yes, I will admit there is something kind of cool about a giant fighting robot, but when it is an endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing against another endless supply of giant fighting robots doing the exact same thing, episode to episode and series to series, the luster wears off pretty quick. How many times can you curse and scream and shriek at your enemy, who will also curse and scream and shriek at you? *sigh* But what about if it is a bio-enhanced suit? (more…)

Short Pull Series XVI – Please, “Please Tell Me” Now!

June 14th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

In my many years of reviewing anime, I have come across a crop of shows that I refer to as ‘nothing’ shows. There is a huge amount of talking, but nothing really happens. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as some of them are character and plot driven and tell a fascinating story. But it can run hot and cold.

Our latest offering, “Oshiete! Galko-chan” (“Please Tell Me! Galko-chan”) is also a short-pull series, in that the episodes only run for about eight minutes. But they pack a lot into these shows. Our cast includes (right to left), the aforementioned Galko, Ojou and Otako. Yes, they are very iconic, as they are, respectively, a gyaru, an airhead and an otaku. But they go beyond those limitations and tell some interesting tales. This came off for me as closer allied to “Daily Lives of High School Boys”, another ‘nothing’ show, but with a definite edge to it. (more…)

Short Pull Series XVIII – Help! It’s the “Police”!

June 7th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews, Short Pull Series by

Every once in a while, you come across a show that you like, but others detest. I catch my shows on one site that rates the popularity of any particular offering and this one scored low (in the 60s), although I do not know what they were looking for. “Sushi Police” tells the tale of, fortunately enough, the Sushi Police, although it could be the Motorcycle Squad, as they are, left to right, Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki. They are on a mission: to make sure all sushi served in the world is authentic sushi and not some kind of terrible rip-off. To this end, they will go anywhere and everywhere to protect the good name of sushi, doing anything and everything in that just and noble pursuit. (more…)

Short Run Series XIX – The “Marshmallow” Man

May 31st, 2018 in Anime, Short Run Series by

A fetish is an unnatural desire towards a want or need, whether it be black underwear or leather straps or Hello Kitty. I bring this up, as “Ojisan to Marshmallow” (Ojisan to Mashumaro”) is a caliber of fetish show, except our hero, Habahiro Hige, is drawn to marshmallows, and it is more than drawn, it is a compulsion. (more…)