For those of you that don’t know, every anime season we get shows that are between three to ten minutes long called shorts. These shorts are typically comedic, and probably play in between show slots in Japan. I normally don’t bother with reviewing these, but this season I figured I could use the old format of three shows per post for these first impressions. After all how much can you talk about a three to ten minute show? It was going to be four shows, but I decided one show wasn’t worth the blog space. If you’re wondering that show was “JK-MESHI!”, so do yourself a favor and don’t waste the three minutes on that poorly animated nonsense. With that unpleasantness behind us let’s jump into these three shorts of Fall 2015!
Komori-san Can’t Decline!
This short is pretty self explanatory. The protagonist (Komori Shuri) cannot say no to a request, and apparently the jerk-ass students and faculty at her school take full advantage of this. This is illustrated by teachers constantly asking her to answer questions, and girls asking her if they can use the toilet before her. Komori’s two friends (unnamed so far) advise her to try to disguise herself to not stand out so much, but no matter what she does the requests keep coming in. In the end Komori accepts her inclination to help people, and the three walk home together.
Komori-san’s first episode served to underline the core concept of the show, and introduce the small cast that we will be seeing this season. It’s worth a few chuckles, but doesn’t really have a grand overarching narrative. With a comedy short like this though, that’s to be expected most of the time. The animation is mediocre, but again because of the nature of the show it’s not a total deal breaker for me. I’m expecting a funny if somewhat forgettable short out of “Kotori-san Can’t Decline!”, and I’ll say what every pervert is thinking out there. There is going to be doujinshi of this in the future, solely off the title of the show.
Here was a short that grabbed my attention a little more. “Hakone-chan” begins in a hot springs town in the Hakone Yumoto prefecture, and we begin with a young man (Tohya) tending a well shrine. He prays to the shrine for help with a girl (Haruna), and accidentally drops a steam bun offering into the well. A girl appears from out of the well claiming to be Hakone the spirit guardian of that shrine! Tohya is incredulous, but somewhat changes his tune when she brings up his prayer for blackmail purposes. We then meet Haruna who is also unbelieving of Hakone, but praises her nonetheless. As a reward for being praised Hakone uses her powers to blow Tohya into Haruna, prompting the anime classic “accidental boob grab”.
I like that this short has a bit more of a story to it, though I doubt the Tohya/Haruna romantce situation will actually be resolved by the end. More likely it will be 11 short episodes of Hakone trying and failing to help people out with her powers, and possibly slowly regaining her powers. I’d say in terms of anime as a whole the animation was decent, but in terms of the three shorts reviewed in this post it is by far the best. The opening is entertaining, and it shows off a number of interesting side characters we will be meeting soon. Thus far this short has my attention, but I doubt it will stay that way once the season ends.
Hackadoll the Animation
Hackadoll might be the first anime I’ve ever seen that begins with narration in English. We are told (in English) that it is somewhere in the 2000’s (2xxx according to the short), and humanity can’t navigate the vast streams of information. Hackadolls are invented to help, however our three main hackadolls (#1, #2, #3) are fairly useless. They are told that they are to go to earth and help humanity advance, or face the scrap heap. Thus they are sent to the apartment of a girl who downloaded the Hackadoll app. Upon arrival they scan the girl and discern her likes, and recommend other things she might like in an attempt to “advance” her. The Hackadolls only end up annoying the girl, and the short ends with the Hackadolls desperate for the girl to advance in some way.
Compared to the previous two shorts, “Hackadoll” was twice as long at nearly eight minutes long. It had a full opening theme, and short CG ending theme that were both quite good. The show has a lot of silly off-the-wall moments that are sure to resonate with anime fans. There’s even a moment that is animated to look like a 70’s or 80’s era anime that adds to the ridiculous comedy of the show. In terms of shorts for the Fall 2015 season, “Hackadoll the Animation” is the one that I enjoyed the most as of the first episode. We’ll see st the end of the season if that’s still the case, so stay tuned to find out!
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!