Double-J – 01
「伝統・オア・アライブ」 (Dentou oa Araibu)
“Tradition or Alive”
Having read the chapter that this first four-minute episode covered, I have to say a lot of the humor was lost in the fast-lipped dialogue. We’re quickly told how Usami Hajime (Oohashi Ayumu) and Arima Sayo (Katou Emiri) stumble upon the Traditional Arts & Crafts Preservation Club in some introductory preamble too, which didn’t really help ease the viewer into the premise. I can’t say that’s all that unexpected for one of DLE’s Flash-based anime shorts, though I will say that the style of this type of adaptation doesn’t look all that bad. The characters are still hand-drawn, so the other things that really distinguish it from a “traditional” anime are the photographic backdrops and stiffer character movements. Style-wise, it does look (and sound) like an anime.
Surprisingly, also lost in the brevity of the format was a sense of the cast involved, which includes the likes of Omigawa Chiaki, Taketatsu Ayana, and Hayami Nobuyuki as toothpick maker Sassa Maria, rain gutter maker Houjou Ema, and club president Toba Ichirou respectively, all of whom made appearances in this first episode. (Less notable is Satou Kanami as vice-president Chousokabe Aya.) I figured I would’ve picked out their voices almost immediately, but I didn’t catch on until much later in the skit. That was almost entirely due to the fact that I so focused on what was being said at a mile a minute rather than who was saying it.
Based on this first showing, I’ll probably check back for a couple of more episodes, but I don’t intend to continue watching if the humor keeps missing a beat because of the short format. If you watch this episode and don’t find it all that funny, I recommend giving the manga a peek just to see how different it is. Until DLE gets the go ahead to use Flash-based animation in full twenty-minute episodes (which I don’t see happening anytime soon), the most their adaptations will probably strive for is some random laughs. That’s worth keeping in mind when watching their Yuruani “loose anime” shorts.
ED: 「ワニとシャンプー」 (Wani to Shampoo) by ももいろクローバーZ (Momoiro Clover Z)