Here’s a little tip for the folks at Tonari no Seki-kun – if you want to make people miss you, you have to stay away at least a little while.
Seriously – I guess I take back my series review post from last week, though the truth is I don’t really know what’s happening with this show. First it was two cours, then one, then 24 episodes with DVD bonuses, then 21 – and now the 14th ep airs on TV during the normal schedule. Thank heaven it’s as funny and entertaining as it is – but it is. I don’t really have a long-term digest dance partner for it this season yet, and it’s a pretty tough show to dedicate an entire post to. But I hate to let material this good just slip by.
First thing I notice this week is that the OP has changed, and Seki-kun is actually animating Yokoi now. In fact when she says “Yamete!” it’s synched up to his laptop. A sign that he’s caught on to her interest? Who knows, but this week was another hilarious example of how Yokoi may even be more lost in a fantasy world than Seki is.
Seriously now, octopus wieners in a schoolboy’s lunchbox is hardly unusual in Japan (even if the detail work is exquisite – this is Seki after all) – nor is the boy making a bit of a show of devouring them. No, it takes Yokoi to turn it into Shingeki no Seki-kun, with Seki-kun as the titan devouring the poor octobros. Worse yet, her friends get a first-hand look at Yokoi’s unusualness where Seki is concerned, as she’s rather hopeless at hiding what she’s thinking as she (adoringly?) watches him. How will she possible survive ringo-usagi?
Maijin Bone – 02
Maijin Bone continues to deliver a no-frills but enjoyable experience, retro in every way apart from the occasional bursts of CGI that accompany its action scenes. It’s an overused reference, but this series really does take me back to watching cartoons in the morning – except for me it’s the American imports of the anime that made up my early viewing experience of the medium.
That the plot is pretty cliched is a given, to the point where there’s even a self-referential quality to it. I think the aim here seems to be to take this well-worn formula for all-ages anime and have fun with it, and so far it’s working. Kenn get a lot of credit, and the three guys who make up his Greek chorus (for now) are all pretty darn good actors too – Yoshino Hiroyuki as the Brazilian acrobat (or juggler, or something) Antonio, Yasumoto Hiroki (Hoozuki-sama) as the oversized African Tyrone, and Tachibana Shinnosuke as the blue-haired tsuntsun Luke. It’s Yoshino who gets most of the payoff moments in the second episode, but my sense is that it’s Tachibana’s character that will prove the most important.
I’m not really sold on that formulaic plot, complete with aliens and a pseudo-tokusatsu transformation sequence powered by cards (which are of course also for sale), but watching Kenn’s Shougo deal awkwardly deal with it is fun, as is the interaction with his bossy older sister and the osananajimi who’s now moving into his house (hers is sort of destroyed). There’s always room in my calendar for these sorts of easy entertainments, and I’ll certainly continue watching Maijin Bone as long as it can deliver that at the level it’s doing right now.