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Minami-ke Okaeri – 13 (END) »« Minami-ke Okaeri – 11

Minami-ke Okaeri – 12

Mouse over screenshots for captions

Part 1: Dealing with a Diva
Chiaki’s nap is interrupted by a trio of laughing schoolgirls, bantering about how interesting their life is. Frankly I’m surprised by how much napping is done in this show, given the high-pressure lifestyle in Japan. But hey, it’s anime – if people can sleep all day and still get paid on Planet Aqua, who’s to say they can’t do it in Japan. Anyways, Chiaki gets annoyed and tells them to stfu, which kinda doesn’t make sense considering she has a room, and a bed, and all the other amenities involved with sleeping. Ever try sleeping on a hard surface? It sucks… dunno how some people do it. Maybe cuz they’ve never slept in a real bed before.

Kana sends her preliminary negotiator Uchida to deal with the crisis, and a scared shitless Uchida is KO’d in seconds, rendering her a pile of spastic mess that I’d like to do all kinds of things to on the floor. Maki is next, and is dispatched even quicker. Time for the varsity – Kana uses some deft reverse psychology maneuvering and even more impressive MMA moves to a hard-won victory.
Part 2: Beauty Sleep
Maki comes in with an interesting proposition: she wants Kana to watch her sleep. Some time ago during a school camping trip, a bunch of her roomies laughed at her while she was sleeping, so maybe she was making funny faces? Uchida starts getting insecure too, and wants to try it out too. Only one way to find out…

So flash to the next scene where we got quite a nice view of Maki and Uchida (incidentally, my two fav girls in this show) snoozing away. Kana sees opportunity, and does some artwork on their faces with one of those fatty permanent markers. Well, that is some pretty funny shit, so they start bustin up laughing, which more or less confirms Maki’s suspicions.
Part 3: Natsuki, you lucky bastard…
Chiaki is fixing buttons on some shirts, when Kana notices Haruka’s uniform on the ground. This conjures up all sorts of images, like what Haruka is currently wearing (or not wearing), and that scene from Haruhi where Kyon is picking up Mikuru’s underwear and he mentions that they’re still warm from body heat. Anyways, the skirt somehow ends up on the table, and it somehow gets cut right down the middle of the front side. After a quick struggle where SUPREME QUALITY in animation is attained, Chiaki institutes a quick fix, and life goes on.

The next week at school, after some uninspired Hosaka sightings (seemingly for the sake of just having Hosaka make an appearance in the episode), Maki notices a little thread hanging off of Haruka’s skirt. Like every curious kitten, she gives it a little tug, and whoop, there goes the whole skirt. Lucky bastard Natsuki just happened to be standing right in front…
Part 4: Kana Fights Back
After a quick passing comment of bakayarou, Kana flips – she’s had enough of Chiaki’s shit! Chiaki tries to cover by saying that calling bakayarou is a compliment – like you’re a genius and all that nice stuff – a quick fistfight ensues which sends Kana to the safety of the bathroom.

Kana schemes her next attack, which seems to be the “be a great big sister to Chiaki” plan, including the “here, have my croquette” and the “lemme wash your back” and finally, the “come to bed so I can read you a bedtime story” attack. Quite effective, as Chiaki is completely defeated….

Well, that was quite an interesting episode, to say the least, and very little of it had to do with the actual stories. It’s pretty obvious even from the screenshots above that the first part of the episode (screens 1-18) was done by a different, and vastly superior studio to the second part (19-33). This happens quite frequently in anime between different episodes, as we’ve seen in Gurren Lagann, Naruto, etc, but to see a change in one episode? And to see such a massive disparity was, well, so tragic it was hilarious.

Such has been the sentiment for this entire season, a sort of throwaway experience for me that had me trying to focus on the humor, but constantly distracted by just how freakin’ badly it was drawn. As I mentioned in the previous episode’s comments, the advantages of an anime over the manga is that it adds movement and voices, but if the art can’t be nailed, we might as well be listening to a drama CD while reading the manga. I know I’m picky and I know many of you are able to overlook the glaring deficiencies and just enjoy it for what it is – and I envy you – but ah man, Okaeri was just such a tragedy for me.

At the same time, productions such as this really shine a bright light on those shows that do nail all the necessary aspects of an anime, and really add something extra to the original source material, whether it be manga, game, light novel, live action drama, Shakespearean romance, etc. After all, that’s why we love anime, right?

And with the conclusion of Okaeri, I do wonder if there was even a plan to bring it back for another season. I think they’ve milked the franchise for all it’s worth, and from the standpoint of a fan, while I still cherish the series and its characters, I think it’s probably better that they shelve this and just move on. As Chiaki put it in the first season – “don’t expect too much from this” – perhaps she was talking about Okaeri?


edit: Wow, it’s not over yet?! Couldn’t wait for this show to be over, but I guess there’s one more episode. See you next week…

March 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm
  • March 24, 2009 at 1:57 pmasdf

    Hosaka walk pass by. End.

    What an empty episode….

  • March 24, 2009 at 2:06 pmescaru

    I’m actually fairly certain that there’s one more episode left, if the preview is any indication.

  • March 24, 2009 at 2:21 pmjaalin

    there was a preview?! wasn’t in the raw….. crapppp

    post edited

  • March 24, 2009 at 2:35 pmescaru

    Well, the preview itself seemed to consist entirely of Kana and Chiaki sitting on a bench talking about drinks, and given the craziness with the art lately, we may be in stor for some sort of unholy still-image spectacular.

  • March 24, 2009 at 2:35 pmshuffleair


  • March 24, 2009 at 4:44 pmThose3Words


  • March 24, 2009 at 4:49 pmVexx

    I’ve spent the entire season feeling like I was watching “throwaway” moments and a bit of “the production team no longer cares”. Yeah, the milk-well seems quite dry here.

  • March 24, 2009 at 5:26 pmithekro

    There is an OVA coming out in I believe July.

  • March 24, 2009 at 5:57 pmjakul

    my feeling was that, it feels like they hired people from Deviant Art to animate it.

  • March 24, 2009 at 6:10 pmmutio

    It is still a funny show and that’s for what I watch it. Come on people, they laugh bout crap like that Hauruhi Chan but Minami-ke isn’t enough? What’s wrong with the fans these days..

  • March 24, 2009 at 7:26 pmAnin

    “and from the standpoint of a fan, while I still cherish the series and its characters, I think it’s probably better that they shelve this and just move on.”

    You aren’t a fan.

  • March 24, 2009 at 7:48 pmNellie

    Fans can’t be critical of something they love and wish for the series to end before it gets worse? Hmmm, guess I need to alter my definition of a fan.

  • March 24, 2009 at 9:18 pmJoez

    Well, for all it’s worth, I still love this show… and will still be watching if there’s another season.

  • March 24, 2009 at 10:49 pmLight

    Ffss.. This show is mediocre at best, Hosaka should be the main character.

  • March 24, 2009 at 11:16 pmKablack

    Funny thing is I consider myself a fan too, and I really think they should end this series before it becomes even more mediocre and insulting to the first season.

  • March 25, 2009 at 3:18 amSadifn

    this is kinda contradictory, but when I watch the anime, I focused on the subtitles more LOL, rarely notices the animation…overall, its not that bad of a series

  • March 25, 2009 at 11:52 amBarOks

    Haruka’s skirt falling in front of Natsuki = PRICELESS!!!

  • March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pmOn my way to your house now


    LOL the way their faces were drawn reminded me of Kimikiss faces with the far apart eyes O____O

  • March 25, 2009 at 11:31 pmjho

    I still like this series. But where 1st season was a 10/10 in my eyes, S2&S3 just can’t compare.

  • March 26, 2009 at 11:00 amraphy

    still funny in my opinion just not as funny as the first season

  • March 26, 2009 at 1:56 pmRawr

    What are the chances that everything will be redrawn in the dvds? :D

    I’ll rewtach it if that were the case to see if the animation really did deter me from enjoying the series to its fullest.

    I suggest you try watching the dvds once they’re out too, maybe, give us a heads up on whether or not they make a significant/drastic difference, and whether the quality has been substantially changed.

  • March 27, 2009 at 12:34 amKarisu

    This is the first time I will ever say this, but holy crap the animation was incredibly bad through this entire episode. Particularly in the first segment.

    Whichever studio worked on this episode, clearly doesn’t do so normally, and hopefully never will again.

  • March 27, 2009 at 6:05 pmkadian1364

    I tend to ignore animation quality unless it’s the focus (like big budget CG mech battles) or if it noticeably detracts from the experience, like in this series. Wow, is it bad. And the humor’s been stale for quite some time too.

  • March 31, 2009 at 11:12 pmProto

    You know… this is not a comedy series. It is not expected to make you laugh, at least not explicitly, if only incidentally.