My Ordinary Life (Nichijou)

(26-ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

High school slice-of-life surreal comedy.

Characters

Mio, the blue-haired “central” character. A bit of a straight man to everyone else.

Yuuko, our Tomo clone. Loud, obnoxious and clumsy.

Mai, the quiet glasses girl, who gets to do outrageous things as punchlines.

Hakase, whom we only ever see at home with her long-suffering robot servant Nano. You can tell Nano is a robot thanks to the huge winding key sticking out of her back. (Not that it serves any actual practical purpose – Hakase put it there because she’s a jerk.)

A couple other girls and teachers show up, but I’ve already forgotten about them.

Production Values

Very disappointing for a KyoAni series. “Minimalistic” would be the charitable way to put it.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear. A comedy series that is barely funny at all.

Now, I did laugh a bit to Mai’s hijinks and most of the Nino/Hakase scenes. But there’s a lot here that I just didn’t care for.

(If I really wanted to be mean, I’d say that this is KyoAni trying their hand at the surreal SHAFT-ish comedy… and completely failing. But that’d probably be a bit unfair.)

I’ll probably try one or two more episodes to see if it gels together, but I’m not optimistic (and this is a busy season anyway). I’ve watched the OVA, and it’s basically more of the same.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011.

Hare + Guu (Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu)

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Hare is a normal boy living in a quirky jungle community… and then an albino girl called Guu crashes into his life. Cue SAN loss.

Characters

Hare, our 10-year-old protagonist. He’s got a tendency to ramble endlessly at times… but considering the constant assault on his sanity in this episode, that’s a normal reaction.

Weda, his single mother. (And my, doesn’t she look a bit young to have a 10-year-old kid ? Oh dear…) Routinely comes back drunk from village parties, and overall ascribes to the “tough love” school of child-raising.

Guu, the albino girl Weda came back with one night (“she’s got no parents”, which should have raised some warning flags). At first she looks diabetes-inducingly cute… but from the next morning on she drops the fa├žade in front of Hare. But she’s not merely sarcastic : her shtick involves eating stuff whole (including Hare himself twice). Her stomach is a bizarre fantasy land with tons of weird stuff… including two perfectly normal high school students who don’t bat an eyelid about being there.

Of the rest of the jungle community, we only see the one neighbour yet. This is obviously the present day with modern technology (Hare plays videogames in an hilarious RPG spoof sequence), but on the other hand there are some very weird local fauna and flora. Also, “shopping” apparently involves picking bananas directly from trees, and Weda’s “work” seems to be hunting.

Production Values

While the budget’s not through the roof, it makes some nice use of it, with appropriately psychedelic visuals. The background music’s a bit MIDI-ish, but surprisingly effective (there’s some awesome comedic timing there).

The OP is a thing to behold, with a very catchy tune and even the vegetation dancing to it.

There’s a weird prologue sequence, as a pregnant Weda melodramatically leaves a mansion under the rain. It’s a complete mood clash with everything else (especially the OP just after).

Overall Impression

Well, that’s certainly different. The sheer weirdness of it all is overpowering and makes it a compelling watch. (It helps that I share some of its sense of humour.)

I’ll be honest : I’ve already seen the whole series and the first set of OVAs (I need to track down the second set at some point). While it never really goes anywhere (the more serious turn it takes with the eventual disclosure of Weda’s background doesn’t feel like much of a climax), it’s still a pretty good gag series that understands perfectly well that it should never explain Guu.

Oh, it's just a pokute.
Oh, it’s just a pokute.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2001 – Page 3.