Outbreak Company

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

The ultimate otaku-pandering fantasy.


Shinichi, our protagonist, is your stereotypical otaku, including all the nastier aspects (the lewd proclivities lurking behind the Nice Guy façade, the lolicon tastes, the tendacy to spout cliché quotes, the inability to have normal social interactions for more than a token amount of time…). One day, he finds an ad for an otaku-targeted job, including a 200-step otaku-culture quizz, and can’t believe his luck.

Mr Matoba, the interviewer, is all sugar but quite evasive about what the job actually is about. Well, at least until he drugs Shinichi’s coffee and has him transported to a high-fantasy world. Which the JSDF has found recently and is trying to establish good relations with. This includes setting up an otaku-culture export company, as apparently that’s what the locals are most interested in. Unfortunately, somehow previous attempts by government representatives have failed, which is where Shinichi comes in : he’s to be the new manager of this company.

Myusel, the half-elf maid, is one of the perks of the job. She fits just about every stereotype you’d expect : submissive, shy, a bit clumsy… Frankly, it’s all a bit awkward.

Koganuma is a deadpan JSDF soldier who’s there to make sure he doesn’t get into too much trouble, and provide some more exposition. (Include the fact she’s a F-cup.)

Eldant III, ruler of the kingdom, summons our protagonist the very next day, which is frankly a bit too early in his acclimatisation process. So of course he immediately perpetrates the blunder of calling her a “little girl” to her face. She’ll have you know she’s 16, for starters. (Also, there are hundreds of her knights in the room. Oops.)

Production Values

Perfectly okay. The character designs (as well as the setting as a whole) is more than a bit on the generic side, but then that’s the point.

Overall Impression

I’m conflicted about this one. On the one hand, it does have a good central joke at its center, and makes a good job of following through on it. It’s a very silly premise, but there’s certainly been some thought applied to make it work ; Matoba & Koganuma make it clear that this is a dangerous situation that could go wrong horribly quickly. They’re taking it very seriously, and humouring Shinichi’s quirks when they’re inoffensive enough. It’s relatively well-paced, and it’s got some good jokes.

On the other hand, this is still a massive bit of otaku-pandering, with a very annoying main character. (It could do without Myusel, too.) It kinda rubs me the wrong way, to be honest.

There’s a good chance I’ll give up on this very quickly.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2013 – Page 6.

Servant x Service

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Work-com about civil servants at the welfare office.

(Adapted from a manga by the creator of Working!!.)


Yamagami, our protagonist. She has just joined the welfare office for one purpose only : finding and exacting revenge on the person who authorized her parents to name her

Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae Mikiko Ichika […]

. For very understandable reasons, this is a bit of a berserk button for her, and she’s got a general grudge against public servants.

Hasebe, another new hire, is the epitome of everything she hates public servants : he’s lazy, takes every opportunity to slack off, and uses his job to try and pick up girls. He’s also surprisingly competent and reliable on the very rare occasions he takes his job seriously and helps the other newbies out.

Miyoshi, the third newbie, is very awkward, but absolutely loved by the customers. Maybe it’s because she looks like the ideal daughter.

Ichimiya, their supervisor, has eight years of experience… and absolutely no clue how to handle them. He seems to spend half his time running ragged trying to prevent Hasebe from slacking off.

Chihaya, Yamagami’s senior at her desk, is very efficient at her job but sounds terminally world-weary. Yeah, this job can do this to you after a while.

Production Values

Quite nice ; a lot of the jokes are sold by the attention given to body language in this. Also, I quite enjoyed the gimmick for the OP sequence (which is only slightly less catchy than “Someone! one! one!”).

Overall Impression

Even better than I expected. This is a very funny series, made all the more hilarious because all of it sounds so true. It strikes exactly the right balance between mocking and empathizing with its characters. It’s also quite well-paced, letting the mystery of why the heck Yamagami is always hesitating before omitting to say her given name when introducing herself build up nicely. And it’s got more than one joke, which is always welcome in a gag show.

Definitely a must-see for me this season.

via [In which I review] New anime, Summer 2013 – Page 2.


(10 12-minute episodes, 2006)

My previous exposure

None, beyond the notion that this is an early Studio SHAFT show, and I thought I should watch more of those.

(Also, I needed some counter-programming for Mushishi.)

What’s it about ?

A junior advertising worker drone starts housing a rookie voice-actress after her flat burns down. One thing leads to another, although their relationship is quite rocky indeed.

It doesn’t help that she then gets hired on his next project (not that he had any role in the decision), and she prefers to keep their relationship hidden so that the conflict of interests isn’t too obvious. Awkwardness ensues.

What did I think of it ?

I only noticed it too late : Shinbo didn’t direct this. So, none of his usual quirks are present, and this is a bog-standard romantic comedy with no creativity whatsoever in the photography. Oops.

Still, does it work on that level ? Well, just barely. The plot doesn’t go anywhere interesting in the very short running length, the characters don’t have much maturity or personality, and the supporting cast remain caricatures. There’s a semi-interesting plotline about the female lead’s career that feels more genuine than most depictions of the voice-acting business, but nothing to go out of your way for.

It doesn’t help that the format actively works against the story. The 12-minute length is a brutal mistress, and it’s obvious the story has been arbitrarily cut in pieces to fit it. (The first episode doesn’t even manage to establish the premise !) Also annoying are the random scene transitions every three minutes or so that are so jarring they took me out of the show.

I won’t say it was painful to watch, but there’s very little to recommend here.

via [LTTP/WIW] Various anime from the 00s and beyond – Page 9.

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi – World’s Greatest First Love

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Yaoi romance comedy in a shoujo manga publishing house. Oh, the irony !


Onodera, who fled the Onodera publishing house because his co-workers suspected him of only getting his job out of nepotism. He’s trying a new job elsewhere to get acknowledged on his own merits. He thought he’d be working as a literature editor, but somehow ended up assigned to the shoujo manga department. He’s a bitter and cynical narrator who’s bemused by the bizarre quirks of his new co-workers… but at the core he’s still a hard worker who loves books.

Takano, his new boss. He’s quite rough and brutal indeed (sexual harassment on the first day for the new guy !), but also a genius who revitalized the shoujo department since he got the job.

Neither of them really recognize each other, but they had a hot and steamy fling, way back in high school. It’s been 10 years since…

Oh, and we briefly see the three other (male) editors in the department, but they don’t show too much personality yet.

Production Values

Barely adequate. Ah, Deen…

Overall Impression

You know, I was all set to hate this : yaoi doesn’t tickle my fancy, and the prequel OAV really rubbed me the wrong way (it’s 20 minutes of really cliché high school yaoi romance). But this actually ain’t half bad… at least as far as the office comedy is concerned.

I have my reservations about the yaoi romance subplot, but as long as it stays in the background it doesn’t bother me too much. When it takes center stage, though, I’m out.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 6.

Hanasaku Iroha

(26 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Slice of life in a country hot springs inn. Don’t expect any fanservice, though.


Ohana, our main character. A high school girl who gets dumped by her mother and goes to live with her grandmother… with the provision that she has to work and earn her keep. Ohana is of course completely clueless about this new environment, which leads her to make tons of blunders. Her personality doesn’t help : she tends to run her mouth and be a bit too earnest while meddling with others’ life.

Satsuki, her mother. She barely gets four minutes of screentime, and she’s already a leading competitor for the Gendo Ikari Parent Of The Year award. Not only is she a slob who had Ohana do everything around the house, but when faced with debt she runs away with her boyfriend, abandoning her own daughter (despite the fact that Iroha’s the kind of girl who’d have run away with them in a heartbeat). No wonder then that she’s the black sheep of the family, and it explain why Ohana gets no breaks whatsoever.

The grandmother herself is a complete hardass, running the inn with an iron fist in an iron glove. The kind who slaps employees backstage for having inconvenienced customers.

Minko, Ohana’s new roommate. Hardworking, a girl of few words… and she absolutely hates Ohana’s guts, as the newcomer is unwittingly making her life hell through her careless meddling, on at least three separate instances. (Also, I’m curious on how Minko gets to live there too. Hmmm…)

There’s quite a lot of other staff to keep the inn running ; the maids also include Tomoe, the sempai who thrives on gossip, and Nako, who’s so shy she can barely string two words along. (There’s a fifth one who’s nondescript so far.) Plus the cooks, etc.

Back in Tokyo, Ohana had a Nice Guy called Kou around ; he doesn’t take her departure very well. (But then, Ohana has trouble understanding stuff when you’re not as direct as her ; she never noticed he liked her…)

Production Values

Very nice realistic style (no out-of-place fanservice here !). Lots of detail and subtle body language.

Overall Impression

A very strong first episode, neatly introducing the plot and most of the main characters. This will obviously be a story of Ohana growing up through the power of Hard Work ™, and I’m not entirely sure there’s 26 episodes of material in this, but so far it’s caught my attention. Ohana is an interesting protagonist despite her brattiness, and all those characters feel like real people.

Definitely a show I’ll be watching.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011 – Page 2.