Jun 22, 2013

Anime Reviews: Mangirl!, Yurumates 3D, Encouragement of Climb, Cosplay Complex

A quadruple batch of mini-reviews of odds and ends.

mangirl1Mangirl! maintains a frenzied pace and is mostly silly and cartoony but still amusing. There’s a lot of focus on the manga biz, which ends up being rather curious and interesting at times. Unfortunately, being three-minute episodes this means that the fast and short delivery leaves little time to develop any sort of memorable characters. All but the tsukkomi and boke main pair of bespectacled Aki and editor-in-chief Hana fade into obscurity and even then they aren't much to remember. Still, animation is more than capable and the colorful, silly delivery, while using all of the common tricks, makes for a somewhat amusing brief adventure into the world of manga publishing. If it were any longer it would certainly drag. The final episode was actually semi-clever, too.

yurumates1Yurumates 3D (and the immediate follow-up sequel, Yurumates 3D Plus) is cute and mildly amusing. That’s really the most that can be said about it. It has a strange super-deformed style despite its main cast being in their twenties (a refreshing change from the myriad high school settings, I suppose). But it mainly concerns itself with the random and mundane lives of its cast, all of whom live in an old apartment building and are in various stages of trying to get into college or kill time between trips to work and the store. It’s often amusing and kinda cute, like I said, but in two seasons it never really manages to excel at anything or develop anything meaningful plot/character-wise. Still, you could do far worse, and I certainly had a few good laughs and chuckles out of it. Like all of the shows I’m reviewing today, you can burn through this one in a single sitting most likely.

encouragement1Encouragement of Climb, aside from being clumsily named, is a slice-of-life series mixed with amateur mountaineering 101 lessons. It’s cute and surprisingly well animated, with some really nice vistas, detailed backgrounds, and very competent animation. It tends towards the overly cutesy side on the characters, they skewing quite young and all. It’s so short it’s over before you know it, disappointingly right when things start to get rolling. Oh well. Still, cute and eye-pleasing and generally feel-good. It could certainly benefit from a continuation season. (Considering it just recently aired, maybe that will happen?)

cosplaycomplex1As a bit of a walk down memory lane (for me, anyway), I was surprised to see Cosplay Complex offered by Crunchyroll. I saw this one years and years ago but never got to see the last episode. It’s a three-part OVA from the early aughts and it shows… boy does it show its age. I sometimes forget just how amazingly better even ho-hum anime looks these days. Still, the show, while kinda budget-limited in design, has a lot of fun moments and spends most of it pandering to otaku. Expect lots and lots of references to other anime via outfits and so on, plus a large helping of fanservice and ecchi humor. It also features an early Rie Kugimiya role, though an absolutely terrible one. She normally has a fairly baby-ish voice already but this time she seems have turned it up to 10, added even more of a lisp, and is too often using weird alien nonsense words (because she plays a strange miniature action-figure-sized person from space I guess? An explanation is never even hinted at.)

The real star of the show, for me, is the bald club president dude, whose over-the-top antics and dramatic deliveries please me to no end. He’s worth the price of entry to put up with the brainless cleavage shots, limp slapstick, and trite-as-all-hell romance subplot. If you’ve got nothing better to do, I can’t say this one is really awful. The humor is there, but be aware of what you’re getting in to and remind yourself of how long ago this one was made.

As of this writing, you can watch Mangirl!, Yurumates 3D, Encouragement of Climb, and Cosplay Complex for free on Crunchyroll.

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