Monday, March 21, 2016

Anime Shorts: Wakakozake and This Boy Is A Professional Wizard

It's been so long since I covered anime shorts that most folks probably don't remember I even do! Considering that these are so, well, brief, I like to lump two or more shows together and not make a review that takes longer to read than one episode. Sound good? (and with this I've reviewed my first 2016 anime, I don't feel so behind now!)

Clocking in at only two minutes an episode, including a small opener, this is a really short short and I'm impressed that it accomplishes what it does. We get a good feeling for Wakako's personality and the show made me interested in quite a few dishes which I had absolutely no intention of trying before, like sea urchin! I haven't tried out the drama yet but since that is also streaming on Crunchyroll I do plan to at some point.

This Boy Is A Professional Wizard 

I haven't seen any of Soubi Yamamoto's other series (the other three "This Boy" titles or Meganebu) and while this series didn't make me want to watch her older works, I am interested in what she keeps doing! She's quite young for a director and it's clear that this project didn't have a lot of resources behind it, the production levels often reminded me of a college student's graduation work. The animation is super limited (which is saying something considering anime is already rather limited), mouth flaps roughly but never exactly match, and the series puts a greater focus on still backgrounds and the like to help deflect the audience's attention. But it's when the art gets the most limited (with sequences that draw heavily on computer graphics and affects) that it seems to be it's most comfortable and creative. I can easily see it putting some folks off but again, if you like seeing the little animators that college seniors produce to complete their portfolios then it won't bother you! (and I swear the noses are less obviously pointy when in motion) Plus, we have a gay couple where the conflict isn't "but I don't like men!" but "he doesn't like me for me, I just can't believe it" and while it is a bit melodramatic the resolution is actually rather thoughtful. I think the concept had enough for a few more episodes, or simply full length instead of half length episodes, but it pulls off the tight time constraints well so I can't really complain!