Anime of Tomorrow
Tag Archives: kawaii
Initial impression – fuel for the moe inferno
Spring 2012 (12 episodes) (English synonym – All Over the Place, title literal translation – Here and There) (more info)
If Lucky Star can be thought of as moe crack, then Acchi Kocchi is probably closer to moe sugar. It’s such a sweet anime that I’m sure most people are going to get a sour taste in their mouths unless they’ve properly conditioned themselves for this kind of style (as I have =P). I like how the two main characters Tsumiki and Io clearly care for each other with a slight, awkward honesty. While they are not in a serious relationship, unlike most anime romances they aren’t vehemently denying their love; instead going for a sort of soft consensus with their mutual feelings. It’s not an atypical friendship between hero and heroine and that simple novelty is more than enough to give this series a nice flair of originality. Integrating males into a moe series is also a rarity and when it is done it often isn’t done very well with focus always going to the girls and leaving the guys to the sidelines. But Acchi Kocchi gives both genders fairly equal measures of presence, which is inspiringly daring. It’s a kind of delightfulness that has gotten my moe passion burning brightly and I’m salivating at the thought of what the future holds.
Initial impression – a good formula
Autumn 2011 (12 episodes) (more info)
It seems that every anime season has to have its own moe anime and C3 fills the mold for autumn 2011 (accompanied by another moe anime, Working!! 2). The first episode is encouraging, with Fear, the tsundere heroine, being voiced by Yukari Tamura—famous for her role as Nanoha in the magic girl series by the same name. This is bolstered by the fact that she has some experience portraying tsundere characters as Togame in Katanagatari. But unlike last season’s moe anime Yuru Yuri, C3 is showing signs of a plot rather than a collection of random events. The characters also seem less rooted to single traits that they just orbit around in perpetuity and actually have depth and relatability. It does have some ecchi, but that’s offset by some good, physical slapstick humor, the likes of which I’ve not seen in a while. So we’ve got moe, tsundere, good character development, comedy and a little ecchi. Sounds like a satisfying combo to me.
Final impression – Not what I was expecting, but pleasantly satisfying (7/10)
Summer 2011 (title literal translation – Crossroads of a Foreign Labyrinth)
In the late 1800s, Yune, a young Japanese girl, stays in the sign shop of Claude Claudel as something of a housekeeper. Claude’s worldly grandfather brought her to Paris to expand her experience of the world. At first, Claude is unaccepting of this quiet little girl with strange clothes and an incomprehensible personality. But as time passes, he begins to open up to Yune when he realizes she’s much more perceptive of the world than he had initially given her credit. Additionally, he must also protect her from getting too close to the bourgeois Alice, who is obsessed with all things Japanese.
To start, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée led me to believe it was going to be a slice of life comedy and focus on the cultural differences between the west and Japan. But little by little it turned into a simple slice of life story with an unlikely premise. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, I do feel a little betrayed by the clever lead in that I was given during the first few episodes. Even with this change in pace as the story unfolds, Yune continues to be innocent and adorably naïve to western customs and ways of thinking through the whole anime, which are accented by some nice character development with her two main foils, Claude and Alice. In all, they learn to accept and at times adopt each other’s cultures.