Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Impressions: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Plot Synopsis:The story revolves around a highschool boy named Niwa Makoto. He lives with his aunt’s family since his parents are away on business. It is there where he meets his mysterious cousin of the same age Touwa Erio — who happens to tie a futon mattress around her upper body and is a self-proclaimed alien. Her staple food is pizza. Erio had been missing for half a year and was found floating in the sea. She doesn't remember anything about what happened during that period of time, but she began to think that it was the act of an alien and wanders the neighbourhood wrapped in the futon.
(Source: AniDB)

Before viewing: Shaft is hit or miss with me. Some of their shows are among the funniest series I've ever seen (Zetsubo Sensei, Arakawa); some of them are among the most wretched (He is my Master, Mahoromatic). I rarely end up in the middle on their series, because they always stand out and do things in outrageous ways. It's kinda their schtick. I am expecting the same for this series, even if the plot summary is generic and bland, and seems to set up a pseudo-incest generic romantic comedy.

After viewing: Oh god, that opening. What the hell is up with all of these helium sucking singers? Is that supposed to be cute? When will anime escape their clutches?

This anime could go one of two ways. It could either end up being a sci fi series about aliens, or it could be a slice of life series about a girl who believes that she is an alien. Personally, I am hoping for the latter, as that would be much more interesting to me, and Shaft has shown before that you can create a very surreal series without one hint of science fiction or magical elements, so it's not new territory for them.

The main character, Niwa Makoto, is a fairly typical no nonsense, practical kind of main character, not uncommon for a genre like this. However, it is obvious that he's not meant to be the star of the show. It's his cousin, Erio, a very pretty girl who believes she's an alien. She is obviously meant to be adorable, but honestly, she's really a pitiful character. She walks around wrapped in a futon, and her mother literally ignores her. When Makoto asks about her, she only tells him to pretend she's not there. It's really sad, and I get the feeling that there's a dark story lurking underneath the surface of a somewhat odd slice of life series. It is possibly the calmest series I've ever seen Shaft work on, and I hope that mood continues, but I do hope that there's an interesting story behind Erio's actions. In other words, I'm interested in seeing the rest.

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