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
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
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
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.
Uhh is that what he looked like?
#5 Poor use of Hosaka
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
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
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.
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
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 (Left) and Puni Puni Poemi (right)
#10 Too lazy even to properly do creepy-ass background characters
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.