Thursday, January 19, 2012

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Some anime are gems. Some of them are just a bit strange. Some of them are random, but also you can make sense of them. Denpa Onna to Sieshun Otoko is mostly all of the above, for its wit, beautiful art, and inspiring story. It randomness will take you on a journey to outer space like you've never experienced it before.

The story follows Niwa Makoto, a young boy who is to move in with his aunt, Upon arriving at his aunts house, he finds that their a strange thing in the entrance of the house: a young girl wrapped up in a futon. She then claims to be an alien, though really she is his cousin, Touwa Erio. As the story progresses, you start to find out that there is something more to her, and Makoto's journey growing up.

For a start, I will admit, the first thing that drew me to this anime was the fact that it had SHAFT studio written all over it. As any anime fan would know, SHAFT has a unique way of telling the story:they use pictures and word on the screen to reference what they are talking about. Wanting that effect, I picked up this anime. Although they didn't do it in traditional SHAFT style, due to the fact that it was a collaboration between SHAFT and Starchild Records, it still felt like an all around SHAFT production, it still felt like something unique.

The story in the anime is actually pretty alright. Niwa Makoto comes to live with his aunt, and it's basically his adventures from there. However, I wish they would touch more on one important thing: Why does Erio think she's an alien? We do know that she went missing for a while and she came back thinking she was an alien, but I want to know why. Also, the interactiong between Makoto and the other girls in the cast in my mind subtracts from Erio's story, and even the other girls are not too well developed.

The characters in the story were alright as story goes. Our male lead, Makoto was kind of bland; he looks just like every other harem male lead, even though this is not technically a harem, and even though he is trying to Erio, he is just, flat. Next we have Mifune Ryuuko, though everyone calls her Ryuushi due to the way he name is spelled; she is the hyper active one, and in my mind, the anime could have easily gone on with out her, or at least give her less screen time. In other words, everything about her character annoyed me to some extent. Also, we have Touwa Meme, Makoto's aunt, who is very eccentric her self, just lounging around and doing what ever she pleases. She looks like shes in high school, acts like she is in high school, but she's actually forty. Next in our little "harem" is Maekawa, who just calls Makoto "Transfer Student" due the fact she cannot remember his real name. She also wears bizarre outfits, such as a fish outfit, and thus make her one of the most interesting characters in the cast. Last, but certainly not least, we have Towa Erio, self proclaimed alien, and is often wrapped in a futon. She has lost all her memories in an accident, and is often alienated from the rest of the cast due to her eccentric-ness.

SHAFT did an excellent job on the art work. It was fluid, eye-catching, mezmorizing, and yet had a ting of something special to it. If you have seen anything produced by SHAFT, then you know that they will use creative imagery to convey meanings, and that the color pallette is unique, using bold colors. The way that everything is drawn is also unique in a way that I cannot describe with out it loosing meaning. True, in this production, it had a bit of a shuojo like feel to it, for example the sparkles in Erio's hari blowing in the wind, and the girls being way prettier than the men, but over all, still a very shaft like production.

In my mind, this anime is a very good watch if you want a slice of life with a bit of the super natural. Erio can provide some cute parts, and the rest of the cast is enjoyable. I say learn the language and launch your self into outer space, and if you can do that: at least attempt to fly with a bicycle, and pick up this anime. It's worth all twelve episodes, and then some due to the fact I am praying for a second season.

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