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Back to school night

Perhaps because the previous viewing cycle had been excessively serious (mainly RahXephon and Hellsing), tokenfanboy decided to do three comedy series at Saturday's MinneTokyo: Azumanga Daioh, Abenobashi Magical Shopping District, and Please Teacher, which may be the only anime whose packaging makes it look & sound more hentai than it actually is.

Neither Melody nor Tae cared much for Azumanga Daioh, but the guys there thought it was hilarious - it's a comedy based on a four-panel comic strip, which accounts for the lack of flow, and it has some great characters. Very funny stuff. Abenobashi , on the other hand, was disappointing. I remember seeing the first episode on fansub at AI a couple years ago and thinking that I should probably buy it when it came out, but now I'm glad I didn't. It struck me as an anime version of Sliders, but with less sympathetic lead characters, and that's about as much plot summary as I'm going to waste on it.

Please Teacher is a series I don't think I would have been able to watch a couple of years ago. To quote danae, "There's just something about it that makes me cringe but glued to it. I think it's that awkward relationship between Kei and the teacher."
I think she hit the nail right on the head. Kei may be eighteen in calendar years, but in his head and his heart he's still only sixteen. Plus, the whole deal of being rushed into a (secret) marriage to Mizuho, a half-alien teacher, must be doing a real number on him, even if he is from a country where being engaged to somebody when you're little kids isn't considered all that unusual. Kei and Mizuho are both fumbling their way through this relationship with no clear idea what they're supposed to do, and meanwhile Koishi is crushing on Kei - who can't really explain to her why he's already taken. And their tenth-grade classmates aren't helping...especially the creepy, suspicious Ichigo.
It's a funny series, but the humor is very bittersweet - you can feel the pain Kei and Mizuho are experiencing when their other half does something dumb or thoughtless, whether it's staying out late getting wasted with the other teachers or going out on a movie date with an attractive classmate. I like this a lot better than Maison Ikkoku, which I started to watch a few years ago but had to drop because the number of cringes was way outpacing the laughs.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
revolutionaryjo
Aug. 30th, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)
Azumanga Daioh is a great series, really just funny and cute, and off the wall. It was a huge hit in MAS when we showed it. I heard absolutely no one complain about it at the time. And we had a plushie Chiyo-chan with removable pigtails. Long story, hehe.

In that same sort of a vein, we watched Abenobashi the summer before this too. Surprised to hear it was a bit of a disappointment! I really like it because it's a parody of all the anime you've seen before and I'm a sucker for meta commentary. If you aren't impressed right away, at least watch the episode later on that has all the American film references. I laughed so hard I must have broken something. I didn't have much sympathy for the characters, but I never tried to understand it as that sort of an anime so it never bothered me.
wombat_socho
Aug. 31st, 2004 04:55 am (UTC)
Yeah, the episode with Chiyo-chan and her removable pigtails was just a scream. ^^

I got that it was a parody - that was pretty obvious after the first couple of episodes - but even as such it just didn't rock my world like Excel Saga did.
tokenfanboy
Aug. 30th, 2004 08:36 pm (UTC)
Upcoming MinneTokyo Schedules
I think for next month's meeting we will watch disc 2 of Abenobashi and the last 8 episodes of Please Teacher. Then in October we'll watch disc 2 of Azumanga Diaoh and the last two discs of Abenobashi. In Novemeber we'll watch disc 3 of Azumanga Diaoh and start another series or two.
wombat_socho
Aug. 31st, 2004 04:56 am (UTC)
Re: Upcoming MinneTokyo Schedules
Only eight episodes of Please Teacher, huh? Damn.
jamestrainor
Aug. 31st, 2004 05:08 am (UTC)
Re: Upcoming MinneTokyo Schedules
The series gets sadder later :(
wombat_socho
Aug. 31st, 2004 06:58 am (UTC)
Re: Upcoming MinneTokyo Schedules
It's a Japanese romance. It's supposed to get sad.
tokenfanboy
Aug. 31st, 2004 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Upcoming MinneTokyo Schedules
It's only a 13 episode series and we've already watched 5. There's a sequel called Onegai Twins that isn't out in the U.S. yet but it will be either later this year or early next year. I forget what the release date is.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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