Home > Episode Review, Kami-sama no Memo-chou > Kami-sama no Memo-chou 01: Character Impressions

Kami-sama no Memo-chou 01: Character Impressions

Drama CD art. Because it's pretty.

I decided to break my initial post into 2 because it was really getting rather long.

Besides, it sorta makes more sense to make a complete character impressions post rather than have a really long digression in the middle of the episode review.

Fujishima Narumi, 16-year old high schooler.

One of my gripes with so many male protagonists is that they are incredibly self-absorbed.

So many male protagonists are highschoolers/have the mental maturity of a highschooler and therefore spend much of their time brooding, spouting voiceovers about how misunderstood they are, how annoying/oppressive the rest of the world is, how they just want to be left alone, so on ad nauseum.

Which is understandable and realistic, since I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and occasionally I still do that.

Therefore it is extremely gratifying that Narumi moves out of this phase pretty fast, and while he still retains part of his moodiness by episode’s end, his ability to come up with vastly annoying internal monologues involving a pixel metaphor has been largely replaced with the slightly less annoying ability to appreciate pretty skies and fluffy clouds. Although he still goes on about the pixels.

Shinozaki Ayaka, Narumi's classmate.

I feel rather bad for Ayaka for a few reasons.

1) She’s very obviously written in as a plot device to introduce Narumi to the rest of the cast. Because there’s no way a self-absorbed antisocial highschool boy would have gotten involved in the story otherwise.

2) She doesn’t have any defining character traits or abilities, other than being a genki girl (she comes off as a poor imitation of Suzumiya Haruhi with that armband and her Gardening Club woes) and working at a ramen shop.

3) Combination of 1) and 2), after she introduced Narumi to Min-san at the ramen shop I started paying attention only to Min-san (I’ll get to her shortly).

4) She is mostly likely going to continue serving as a plot device to introduce any new case that would not have otherwise been worthy of notice.

5) Related to 4). Ayaka is probably never going to enjoy any character development and she was never in the running to be a possible romantic interest.

So yes. I feel rather bad for Ayaka.

Huang Minli, Ramen shop owner

I’ve always had a thing for confident, somewhat aggressive women. Most recent example would be TWGOK2’s Nikaidō Yuri.

Min-san happens to be not only confident and aggressive, but she’s also a ramen chef. That’s a trifecta. (In case it’s not obvious by now, I love ramen.)

She’s well-endowed, wears a tanktop, and sports a ponytail. That’s another trifecta.

And she’s witty too. Her shop’s called ‘Hanamaru’ which I imagine to be a pun on Hinomaru. Or maybe I’m just overthinking things.

Anyway, Min-san apparently doesn’t wear a bra but binds her chest instead. Since binding the chest is traditionally done to hide/reduce the size of a bosom, and since she’s still obviously well-endowed, the inference can be made that she’s not just well-endowed, but that she’s well-endowed.

This would also be a trifecta if I could find something that goes with it. Did I mention how much I like that word? And how I’ve probably been misusing it?

From left: Kuwabara Hiroaki, Hitoshi Mukai, Ichinomiya Tetsuo

These three are probably always going to be a group ala The Three Musketeers in both screentime and action, so I’m putting them together for now.

Hiroaki is the smooth talker – great with girls and has plenty of connections. I thought he was a host before he happily showed off his NEET business card. Owns a car, or at least is the designated driver.

Mukai is the tech specialist – he makes and plants surveillance equipment. He’s still in university, but doesn’t intend to graduate. Is a military otaku and is known as The Major. I’m not too sure if the gun he runs around with is real, but it’s more than likely an airsoft/BB gun, although there is a thriving underground arms trade in Japan.

Tetsuo is… I’m not too sure. The brawn, possibly. The OP shows him running almost parkour style – he probably couldn’t get a ride in Hiroaki’s car. And he has ‘connections’ with the police, which could mean that he’s an ex-small time crook that ended up making pals over the course of multiple arrests. Although I’m looking at it rather negatively. Dropped out of high school and loves gambling.

Out of the three of them, in another life Hiroaki could probably have been the most successful in the retail industry, followed by Mukai in tech. Tetsuo just might strike it big at the races.

Hinamura "Yondaime" Sōichirō, Yakuza boss

I expected Yondaime to be awesome and I wasn’t disappointed.

A Yakuza boss who’s a complete hardass but unquestionably obeys and takes Alice’s commands and comments just as his men obey his.

Admittedly, the Yakuza in this anime are polite, well-mannered, gungho, hilariously inept with technology and in all aspects nothing like their real-life counterparts, but that’s to be expected.

I suppose the butterfly clan insignia is a reference to Yondaime’s ability to fix Alice’s teddy bears, although there might be something about how it’s the traditional Japanese symbol of reincarnation.

Or it could be just a self-deprecating pretty motif to echo his non-masculine sewing skills. Either way, it just makes him all the more badass. Yondaime can dent concrete, after all. Butterflies are the new pink.

Shionji Yūko alias Alice, NEET Detective

Finally, we have Alice.

Intelligent, snarky, cute, but still a little girl on the inside. I love her, I adore her, and I wish I had a real life friend like her.

She loves spring onions. Which is awesome. She drinks only Dr Pepper. Which I can’t quite understand, since I hate the drink, but it’s still kind of awesome. Realistically she’d be stricken with diabetes by now, with a diet that’s primarily ramen soup stock and soft drinks, but willing suspension of disbelief presides here.

There’s probably something to be said about her tech setup, with the multiple monitors and her preference for Apple, but I’m not especially knowledgeable, so I’ll skip that. But I do think it’ll be eventually explained how she affords all this stuff. More likely among the lines of external benefactor since I don’t think Alice works for fees.

That and I suspect her past is going to be a traumatic one. There’s the matter of missing parents, and she wouldn’t be holed up in a room otherwise.

There’s not much else I’d say apart from another few repetitions of ‘squee I love her squee’. And once said traumatic past is revealed, ‘squee I want to hug her and comfort her squee’.

I am very happy with the cast. Everyone is in their proper place.

I greatly look forward to what this story will become.

  1. tomphile
    July 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Never thought that deeply into all of these aspects, especially in regards to Alice. It had a lighthearted first episode so I assume that that’s the direction this show’s going to take for now. I just hope they can make the transition to more serious matters.

    • JohnnyYandere
      July 5, 2011 at 12:34 am

      I actually felt that the first episode was more tragic and sombre and that the lighthearted bits were there to balance it out.

      Maybe I simply spent too much time dwelling on the ending. Hmm. I think I may have to revise my opinion on spoilers. This self-inflicted gag order is annoying.

  2. musicalcroc
    July 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I have not seen the episode myself. From your reviews, the series certainly looks intriguing.

    Alice reminds me of Enma Ai in Hell Girl, which means she has the potential to scare the hell out of me some time in the future.

    • JohnnyYandere
      July 5, 2011 at 12:44 am

      The unemotional manner in which Alice presents her conclusions can be rather chilling with the windchime-y music going on in the background. But sooner or later she’ll revert to being a childish little girl again. Not scary at all.

      You should give it a shot, if only to experience the direction and the synergy (can’t believe I’m using that word) of the cast. The team works together very nicely, although Narumi’s kind of sticking out. But I’m predicting that he’ll eventually fulfill Alice’s need for a confidant.

      • musicalcroc
        July 8, 2011 at 4:30 am

        Just watched the first episode. My first impression of Alice is that she is the personification of Google😛 And Narumi reminds me of Kyon. Also do the trio (Alice too) count as NEET when they do have jobs, although of unusual type?

        On a more serious note, the episode certainly looks good. The staffs seem to be ambitious. I’m interested to see how it plays out. One thing I think can jeopadize the show is the mood whiplash between sombreness and comedy.

      • JohnnyYandere
        July 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

        A moe anthropomorphism, perhaps. But Google doesn’t do investigative work, thank goodness for that. I think Narumi is a lesser Kyon at the moment – Kyon possesses far more self-motivation. But he’ll shape up. Hopefully. I was going to cover the NEET bit in one of the posts… must have slipped my mind.

        Technically The Major isn’t a NEET since he’s still in university, and he’d probably be self-employed if he decides to run an online shop dealing in electronics. Hiroaki might be a host. Just might. But Tetsuo’s a NEET for sure. Alice, on the other hand, might not be a NEET if she takes up paying clients. Then she’d just be a detective who does extreme amounts of pro bono work.

        Ikr. They just had to screw the ending. J.C. Staff is trolling.

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