“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…)

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…)

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 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…)

Short Pull Series XVII – “Cat” Got Your Tongue?

May 25th, 2018 in Anime, General Reviews by

I sometimes wonder why some shows get made at all, especially ones of this nature. I mean, not only is it four episodes (and a brief OVA), they don’t run that long anyway, so this is a Double-Double (Short Pull and Short Run). “She and Her Cat” (“Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko”, subtitled “Their Standing Points”) is about a girl (Kanojo) and her cat (Kuroneko) and how they interact with their time together. The biggest problem I had with this show is that I knew how it was going to end by the first episode, so I was just along for the ride. (more…)

“Working” Out the Details

March 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized by

Technically not a fourth season, but an extended movie, “Working”  (“Wagnaria!!”) tries to wrap it all up and give people that dramatic push they need to move ahead with their lives. I mean, you can’t work as the wait staff in a family restaurant for the rest of your life, right? It’s just that it tries so hard to make it right, you can see the mechanics operating and everyone gets to sing their aria.

It is a rather capacious cast and each have their own imbroglios that cross over into other people’s lives to the point you wonder what is the quality of food here. We have the two chefs (far left) who spend more time sniping at each other, the store manager (guy in regular tie) who spends all his time trying to find his runaway wife and our ‘hero’ (for wont of a better term) who tries to be a regular Joe, but ends up a punching bag of sorts, both physically and emotionally. (more…)

“Dandelion” Wine

July 24th, 2017 in Anime by

This is a real change of pace royalty show. Most of the time, those of noble lineage and descent are overweening, preening prats who feel that the commoners aren’t much better than the animals that they tend and can be (and are) easily dismissed or fed to the royal animals.  However, “Castle Town Dandelion (“Jōkamachi no Danderaion”, “Dandelion of Jolamachi”) approaches this differently and has the regal family living as commoners…..more or less.

The story revolves around the Sakurada family, a family of nine super-powered siblings whose father is the king. The actions of the siblings are constantly being recorded and broadcast on TV, allowing the citizens to choose which one to elect as the next king. Yup, everything they do, and that is EVERYTHING they do, is open to public scrutiny. There are monitors all over the city, initially placed to offer protection to the Royal Family, but now, the citizenry can watch what goes on with all of them, as things are run not much differently than a mayoral election or even “Big Brother”. (more…)

Short Pull Series XI – Junior “Miss”

July 12th, 2017 in Short Pull Series by

The second season of “Miss Monochrome” has come and gone, and since they are brief episodes, it can get past you really quickly. However, the cohesion in this series got better for the next go-around. Originally Miss Monochrome (and she is a robot or android of some ilk) wanted to be an idol singer, trying to supplant Kikuko as Japan’s top idol, but since she doesn’t tour and doesn’t have an album, it’s really hard, when all her efforts are to get her seen and heard and adored, but they are not working and she is just another face at the local Kwik-E-Mart. The arrival of Yayoi Konno helps things along. She is a record promoter for a small label, but wants to help Monochrome succeed. They work towards the album and the big tour, even getting her idol back-up dancers, Caramel (that’s them up there rehearsing).

Now, all of these people still haven’t got a clue as to what the record industry is like and Yayoi is too over-zealous in getting things for Monochrome (she is just as ditzy as the other), but events and actions slowly come to fruition and as we close out the season, the concert in on the horizon….to be addressed in season three. I sometimes wish (more…)