October 22, 2007

I'm In LUV!

It's been a long, long couple of months here at The Pond.  Of course, there's the whole F1 thing, and work has been long hours on top of long hours, with some more long hours tacked onto the weekends to boot.  I've barely had time to watch any of the new anime season at all.

But there HAS been two shows I've watched so far... and I'm in love with both of them.

The first is called Minami-ke.  It's the story of three sisters: Chiaki, a too-smart gradeschooler, Kana, the hyperactive middleschooler, and Haruka, the high schooler.

Chiaki, Kana, Haruka.
So far, the show seems to be nothing more than a look into the life of three sisters.  Nothing exciting, but a lot of fun and some laughs.  It sort of feels like Azumanga Daioh, honestly: it doesn't have a plot except for life, but it's enjoyable to see the sisters go through life... and it's FUNNY without trying to be.  In two episodes, I've laughed out loud more than I did during the entire run of Lucky Star.  Scenes like this one:

      "Geez, not again..."                 "I believe I can fly..."           "Not the teapot..."
...just make you chuckle, or laugh, or smile.  It's just that sort of show, and I'd rather watch this than any number of Gundams or Shanas.  I'd happily recommend it to just about anybody.

But the show that's completely captured my heart isn't Minami-ke:

...it's Sketchbook ~Full Colors~.  Again, there's no visible plot.  It makes Kanon 2006 look like an action show.  But like World of Narue, it's innocent and sweet, and I feel like I've curled up in a warm blanket every time I watch it.

The main character is Sora, the girl in the middle.  She puts me in mind of a well-grounded Osaka from Azumanga: not spacy, just.. a little different.  She's quiet, shy, loves to draw, and looks at life in a reflective way.  Her friends in the art club are a mixed bag... the one on the right has two handpuppets that accompany her everywhere, for example, but they're nice, too. 

If I had to criticize the show at all, I'd say that the supporting cast, while fun, aren't particularly IMPORTANT.  I can't remember any of their names, for example.  Oh, there's puppet-girl, and gothy girl, and loud guy, and the wacky teacher (and her chicken), but two episodes in, it's simply Sora and the Others.

That all might be a drawback, if Sora wasn't so great.  If it continues on like this, Sketchbook might wind up as "the thinking anime fan's sleeper hit."  It won't be for everybody, that's for sure.  It's not flashy, but it does make you feel like you know this girl... and want to know her a lot better.

And every now and again, you get eye-candy like this:

...and you sigh, smile, restart the episode, and wonder when the fansubbers will get the next episode out.

It's just what this tired old duck needed.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:22 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Hey, another fan! I thought I was the only one into Sketchbook. I find it hard to explain why it is so great, other than the fact that it seems so happy and peaceful. The humor is great, if a little oddball and rather subdued. I love the music as well - it adds just the right touch. This one is a winner.

Posted by: astro at October 24, 2007 05:41 PM (RXNsB)

2 Maybe I'm just having a stupid-spell, but I'm not seeing Sketchbook at animesuki. Have they got it under another name?

Posted by: Will at October 29, 2007 11:22 PM (E3UGR)

3 Nope, and it's not being listed at 'Suki for some reason.  I'm not sure why that is.  I've been getting it over at Tokyo Toshokan, m'self.

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 29, 2007 11:48 PM (DcSb+)

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