What They Say:
Shinobu Omiya is a 15-year old school girl. She may look like a classically Japanese girl with raven black hair and sweet eyes, but when she was a junior high school student, she actually went to stay with a host family in the UK. She misses her time abroad and one day a letter arrives for her by air mail.
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
It’s a new school year and everyone’s a little sparkling, I guess. Everyone but Aya, that is. She’s the one to realize that they could be split up into different classes, and when you’re an anime like this, that’s the worst possible thing that can happen. Of course, that’s exactly what happens. Yoko and Alice are split from Karen, Shinobu, and Aya. Alice and Aya are out of sorts and, throughout the first segment, they’re very listless. I think they might have missed out on an opportunity here to have Alice and Aya, the two listless characters, put into the same class. The interactions there could have been interesting and delved into their insecurities a little more than the episode allowed.
The credits strangely started to roll at about the nine minute mark. I’m not sure why they did this, because the next segment was just another regular segment. Karen comes to school with an eyepatch over her left eye, which is the source of her power. Rather, it is the source of power of the manga character she’s obsessed with after reading one volume of the manga. This part really exemplifies the series, because the conversation eventually meanders to a fantasy story that Shinobu was going to use as a bedtime story for Alice. I mean, we’ve all been hanging out with our friends and we’re talking about Magic the Gathering when we eventually get on the topic of a dude’s dad who just bought a tommy gun. (This actually happened to me this weekend! The tommy gun is aesthetic only, of course.)
The fantasy is hilariously a musical that incorporates all the main characters, including Karen’s two friends from her first year class, Isami, and Karasuma-sensei. Karen plays the pirate captain antagonist (alongside aforementioned classmates), Isami plays the witch that grants wishes, Shinobu’s the protagonist, Yoko’s the cool character that shows up basically to be cool—the Han Solo, if you will—and Alice is the other princess from a different nation. The story is rather vague, and doesn’t even give that Princess Alice is from a different nation, just that they are both princess. The story itself was entertaining and worked as an uplifting fairy tale, but not much more. It definitely doesn’t have the depth that the best of Grimm’s tales do.
I don’t know why they didn’t run this segment first and put the new class thing at the end. I guess because this segment was meant to serve as an allegory to Shinobu and Alice now being in different classes. Still, the ending of the series was very much at that eight minute mark when the credits rolled and this was more like a bonus OAV or something. I liked it, but as I’ve said before, I unequivocally love musicals.
This is a strange feeling, because this is the first series I reviewed for the Fandom Post, and it’s only alright. It’s one of those that I had fun with it while I was watching it, but I’ll probably never touch again. It’s nice to watch an episode week to week, or marathon four or five on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But the series overall lacked in too many places for it to be truly great. In this season, I’m preferring Love Lab for your girls-doing-cute-things shows.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Equipment: Radeon 7850, 24 in. Vizio 1080p HDTV, Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II