28 Dec 2010

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (Anime) Review

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (2010)
Format: TV Series, 12 X 24 minutes
Studio: Shaft
Score: 3 stars
Summary: Make no mistake, this is no Bakemonogatari or even Arakawa. But this is still a pretty damn good attempt at slice-of-life for Shaft.

Soredemo is kinda weird and lame. But that is what you would expect from Shaft and Akiyuki Shinbo right? What sets Soredemo apart from all other Shaft works would be its ability to tell a slice-of-life story really well, especially in the second half of the series. Episode 5 (Takeru's girlfriend) and 7 (Hotori and Hiroyuki's trip, and Takeru's midnight adventure) are really some of the best slice-of-life I've seen in quite a while, especially episode 7 where Hotori brings her younger brother Takeru out to walk around town in the middle of the night. These scenes don't bring about a lot of laughs, but they really make you smile.

It helps that the entire cast is lovable, except maybe for those who hate Omigawa Chiaki's voice (she plays Arashiyama Hotori, the main character). Personally, I quite like her unique voice, but it was better suited for Maka (Soul Eater), P-ko (Arakawa), and, to a certain extent, Mitsuba (Seitokai Yakuindomo). On the other hand, Futaba Kon, voiced by first-time voice actress Yazawa Rieka, easily steals every scene she is in. Looking forward to seeing her in more roles!

Shaft - you either love them or hate them. I loved them for their creativity, but eventually I started seeing it as repetitive and unfunny. The best example would be Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. The show is incredibly smart and funny, but it gets old after 10 episodes or so. And then they go on to make 3 whole seasons of that. I could go on and on about Shaft and Director Akiyuki Shinbo, but the bottom line is that they have a certain style and they tend to stick to that. It doesn't help that Shinbo seems to be "directing" several series at a time without much rest. Almost seems like they are just sticking his name there because he is quite famous?

Alright, enough about Shaft. Soredemo, despite being bogged down by Shaft's never-changing style, is a hidden gem. It works really well as a slice-of-life, and the comedy DOES work sometimes.

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