Fall 2011 Slice-of-Life Roundup 01: Tamayura: Hitotose, Kimi to Boku, Chihayafuru
Right. For this season I intend to provide some form of coverage for the slice-of-life series (that’s plural, I checked~).
This is partly penance for not covering Usagi Drop last season, but also partly because I love slice-of-life and I’d like to give it whatever attention I can spare.
I.e. I want to write about slice-of-life but I’m too lazy a bastard to write 3 separate full length posts.
Ahem. On with the review.
Tamayura ~hitotose~ is the tale of Sawatari Fu, hereafter known as Potte-tan, and her camera.
Initially I could only think of her as Kirino/Azusa after hearing Ayachi’s voice, but neither Kirino or Azusa were this sweet/open/innocent/purehearted.
After finishing the episode, I’m thinking that Ayachi should stop voicing tsundere characters and go the vanilla route all the way. Sweet/open/innocent/purehearted Ayachi is the voice of angels.
Every so often, Potte-tan takes a picture with a ‘Tamayura” in it. Apparently viewing a Tamayura in a photo brings happiness.
I… don’t know where this is going. It’s a distinctly unrealistic attribute of an otherwise entirely realistic story. But I’m willing to internalize my doubts and roll with it because:
1) It gives the anime this Ghibli-esque feeling
2) Tamayuras are cute.
I must say that I didn’t exactly like watching the flashback sequence, and most of it is due to Chihiro, Potte-tan’s best friend.
She’s a nice girl. And, accusations of sexism aside, I think girls are more prone to crying than boys.
But by Clow did she cry enough for me to get annoyed at her. I hate to say it, but I was happy that Potte-tan moved away from her old town because it meant less Chihiro screentime. I am a horrible person.
Fortunately, it seems that Potte-tan still keeps in touch with Chihiro, and they’re still best friends.
And Potte-tan’s made new friends too, friends who support her photography hobby.
I love the art, and the colouring style. I know some would find this to be stale, or boring, but to me it’s really relaxing. Kind of like looking at greenery after using the computer so much, except that real life greenery hurts my eyes more than Tamayura ~hitotose~’s background art.
Nothing much actually happened in this episode, apart from fleshing out the characters and providing the backstory, but I’m not complaining. This sort of slow paced slice-of-life is just the thing I need to unwind, or just to calm my mind.
The best part? I may be looking forward to the next episode, but I can wait for it. That’s how calming this show is.
Kimi to Boku
Kimi to Boku is about 4 (later 5) guys in high school. They go through lessons, eat lunch, and talk.
I’m not going to sugercoat it. This is like K-On! if you genderswapped it, took out the musical instruments, much of the irrationality, and the spontaneity.
By all accounts this show should be a pain to endure, much less watch. Yet it it has its own unique appeal.
That appeal seems to be drawn from its connection to the audience. With K-On!, I couldn’t empathize with playing instruments, or being in a band, or having a beach vacation in a rich friend’s seaside villa.
But with Kimi to Boku, I can empathize with Kaname having a crush (but not as early as the horny kid), or with the guys just hanging around in school and making fun of each other.
Although I can’t empathize with Yuki’s basketball/impressing girls skills.
I’m still trying to figure out how to tell the twins apart. Logic dictates that Yuki will be the sporty guy, but I’m inclined to believe that Yuta’s hiding athletic abilities of his own.
If nothing else though, Kimi to Boku has cats. A heck load of cats.
Apparently girls like cats in their transition scenes. I quote,
“they know how to appeal to females at least, show pictures of cats to depict mood xD angry wet cat transition ftw”
Kimi to Boku can be described as being greater than the sum of its parts. I can’t really find anything about it to really promote, and half the time I wish someone would shave Shun’s hair, but I like it. And I’m going to keep watching it.
Chihaya is awesome.
See the next screencap for elaboration.
I swear, I fell for her at this very moment.
Pretty, elegant, ladylike waif on the outside, but unrestrained, unashamed tomboy on the inside. I love her.
It’s just too bad that her romantic interest (or maybe not) doesn’t seem to love her.
But there is a better choice! Think back, Chihaya, think back to the days of your youth!
That kid Arata will be a man amongst men. A legend among legends.
He looks like Clow Reed. His mental recall might approximate that of L Lawliet’s.
And he plays Karuta like Akagi plays mahjong.
Okay, so I still can’t see Chihayafuru as a romance/drama series, and I can’t seem to think of Chihaya as a romantic either. Her sadness at Taichi getting attached seemed less of losing a romantic interest than of losing a friend to hang out with.
Yet of the 3 slice-of-life anime, Chihayafuru is my favourite for this season. It’s early, to be sure, but the fact that Chihaya has ambitions helps provide Chihayafuru with the drive that Tamayura ~hitotose~ and Kimi to Boku lack at the moment.
All the same, I’m immensely pleased that I now have 3 slice-of-life anime to enjoy for the next 3 months. Between the 3 of them, I’m sure I’ll more than satisfy my slice-of-life fix.