Minami-Ke Okawari Is Not Awesome

7 02 2008

As the title suggest, I am really not digging the second version of Minami-Ke. I had a very high opinion of the first season, so it is particuarly painful seeing the same characters and setting treated so many degrees worse than the previous series. Going in I was a bit skeptical, not only because a second adaption being aired in the season directly after the first adaption was aired is totally unheard of, but also because the new studio Asread seemed to have unnecessarily altered the character designs which is always a surefire way to win over fans. The biggest overall problems with the show are that it looks and feels cheap, and that it’s not funny which is a bit of an issue for a comedy show. For some reason I get the feeling that the studio just doesn’t seem to really want to be making this show.

Here is a list of 10 reasons why Minami-Ke Okawari is not awesome.

#1 The Opening

Trapped in terrible OP, send help.Trapped in terrible OP, send help.Trapped in terrible OP, send help.

From the very thing you see in the show is this horribly generic opening. Let’s compare the new one to the original one for a sec. Notice how the Okawari one has a song that doesn’t really fit in with the tone of the show at all? It has terrible walk cycles for the three sisters at the beginning, it has the section with the creepy eyes, but by far the worst crime though is that they couldn’t even be bothered to animate Hosaka.

#2 Cheap animation

I hope you don’t like animation in your anime

It’s amazing how little animation there is in this show sometimes.  Even in the opening five minutes of the first episode, there’s almost none. What typically happens with anime is that they blow their budget making the first episode look amazing, often much better than the rest of the show ends up being. This definitely happened in the first version, and if you don’t believe me watch the sequence where Kana is chasing Chiaki around the apartment again. This show however seems to be having budget problems from the get-go. For example, whenever Chiaki chucks the bear at Kana, it’s accomplished using only one or two frames of animation.

#3 Too cheap for mouth movements

I call this the Rob Liefeld clause

Following on from the previous point, they really go out of their way to avoid showing people speaking. They will often show a shot of the person a character is talking to rather than the character who is talking. If they don’t do that, then somehow obscure the characters mouths. It reminds me a of parody of a cheap episode that the Kujibiki Unbalance OAV did, which had a 2 minute scene that was entirely montionless apart from people’s mouths moving. This is cheaper than a parody of cheapness.

#4 Fujioka?

Original show on left, Okawari on right.

Uhh is that what he looked like?

#5 Poor use of Hosaka

Hosaka, cliff-notes version

Hosaka is appearing in more of the episodes, but he only seems to get about one scene per episode. Part of the humour of the original series Hosaka episodes was watching him come up with these elaborate plans to woo Haruka, get bogged down with the details, and never actually get anywhere with it. In Okawari he just appears and says ‘So Minami Haruka likes Rabbits.’, has a brief fantasy and unbuttons his shirt. It’s like they made some bullet points of his original plots, and just wrote from those without really understanding what they were doing.

#6 Haruka is a right bitch now

They’ve totally nailed her character.

In the original Haruka was a kindly parental figure for the other sisters, who is mistaken for being a hard-as-nails gang leader despite her best efforts to convince people otherwise. In Okawari she is a to-be-feared authority figure for the sisters, and actually goes as far as not cooking dinner for them as punishment for a situation that she couldn’t be bothered to listen to the explanation of. Thanks for making her unlikable, Asread, or should I say… obvious joke based on studio name.

#7 No Sensei and Ninomiya-kun

He’s a samurai, I guess

Yes, I know that they were invented by the writers of the first adaption and were not present in the the original manga, but I don’t care. Their show was brilliant, and one of the funiest things in the first adaption. I guess what we have to put up with as a replacement  here are these terrible and barely animated sequences with that bear thing.

#8 That Fucking Neighbour.

FUCK OFF

This stuttering cretin moved in next door, and won’t stop showing up in each and every episode. He is possibly the least likable character I’ve seen in anime since Renge from Air Master. Look at him, he looks like Harry Potter, only somehow much more pathetic. His gimmick is that he’s a whimpering little shit who can’t turn down any request even if it means he ends up wading through raw sewage to help someone move a rusty bicycle.

#9 Creepy-ass background characters

Fetch the holy water

Comically cheap looking background character have been an anime staple since the original Di Gi Charat where minor characters were drawn as anthropomorphic thumbs. The same idea has also been used in other comedy shows like Puni Puni Poemi where the background characters were black outlines filled in white. In Okawari, the design team have for some reason decided to colour the skin of only some background in character completely black, but not the mouth or the hair. These character even have spoken dialogue. The effect is creepy, real creepy.

Di Gi Charat characters (left), Puni Puni Poemi characters (Right)
Di Gi Charat (Left) and Puni Puni Poemi (right)

#10 Too lazy even to properly do creepy-ass background characters

You lazy bastards

This is what happens when you combine cheap animation with creepy design. Though it does reveal that they draw the characters properly, then cover them up, which is even more confusing.

 Here’s one last screenshot I took and couldn’t fit in anywhere.

Kana is off model

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2 responses

4 03 2008
Stedman75

T_T i cant think of anything else to say apart from….true true…….

I mean I dont mind when animie studios put outlined low detail white people in the back ground, like in Azumanga Daioh, in Pani Poni Dash all the unimportant characters in the classes are clones of each other, animals or scarecrows, I could get over that because the show itself is very strange and completely silly, but in minami-ke its hard to ignor SOLID BLACK sihlouettes with properly drawn hair and clothes. But the way Asread have done Okawari new season is I argee very creepy and not nearly as much fun as the first season.

not even nearly…

18 09 2008
Anon

Here’s something to consider…
Regarding the “creepy opening”: Yes, it is creepy. But do you consider yourself creepy for watching the show? The idea of those eyes through mirrors, doors, windows, etc, are voyeuristic; which is exactly what we, as viewers, are doing. i.e. taking a glimpse into the private life of three sisters. People watch shows about fictional characters’ private lives all the time, and we empathize/sympathize with them, but no one ever says, “watching this show makes me feel like a weirdo.” We’re all voyeurs. ; )

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