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Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – 07, 08 »« Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – 05

Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou – 06

「もしかして」 (Moshikashite)
“Don’t Tell Me”

After all the laurels I’ve placed on this show, I now have to give a show more critique than earned praise. Granted, these are not critiques of the entire show itself, but when one bad egg starts to show from a group of perfectly good eggs, the entire perception of the package is affected as a whole.

First, a minor gripe about the animation dip. It’s a subtle quality dip, but it definitely is something getting harder to ignore. The most prominent flaw lies within the second-hand animation, where some of the characters look downright ugly, rushed, and should have never passed quality control given enough time. I get that these transition and background scenes are on a different level of standard, but there is a point where such non-quality starts to stand out rather than blend in. Next up would probably be the caricature scenes, where there is slight decrease in the quality of these animations–careful inspection will show certain proportions being ‘off’ or certain scenes lacking the visual pizzazz of the previous episodes. Some scenes came to the point where it looked more like cutting corners rather than purposefully adjusting the mood for comedy. The only real preservation of drawing quality here was the focus on Chinatsu-chan’s character, which the primary animators did a great job in preserving. I’ll be sad if this continues to be a declining trend though. One of the primary reasons why I love covering Kawaisou so much is the dazzling display of animation–if they take that away, a lot of the magic gets taken away.

In terms of the pacing of today’s episode in terms of jokes and plot, today’s episode seemed to plod along just barely, while rushing over many plot points that make this episode feel less purposeful in favor of a series of jokes that were less than laugh-out-loud material. One particular instance that got really glossed over was Chinatsu’s actual perception of Shiro and how that lead her to become interested in him. The show’s characters even wonder why Chinatsu sees so much in Shiro, but that point is ignored in favor of focusing more on Chinatsu’s sadist nature. I admit that her wit is pretty funny, yet the show perhaps focused too much on this fact while ignoring the real meat of developing both Chinatsu and Shirosaki. Maybe I’m just not into the sadist jokes that much, but the Shiro gag is perhaps the least funny recurring theme of the show, at least to me. I hope for at least some people, the jokes and laughs make up for the critique coming up next.

All those are minor concerns though–my main concern really relies on this point of fully self-aware characters and how this episode got a strikeout in this regard. Now oh yes, the other characters interacting with one another was completely normal–Ritsu is still very much self-aware of how her words affect Usa, Sayaka still is very much observant and so forth, but when most of these characters (minus Sayaka) observe Chinatsu’s situation, it takes them almost the entire episode to figure out what should’ve been obvious 10 minutes in (the especially observant in 7 and a half). Normally, the entire cast (minus Usa) is very observant in knowing “what’s up” in terms of the indirect, but this episode felt especially dense. Perhaps that’s why the pacing of the episode seemed so slow–the problem was already staring the audience in the face far longer than it should’ve. Add onto that fact that the resolution wasn’t anything too spectacular, and you’ve got a lukewarm episode. Now all along, I’ve emphasized how this show isn’t trying to do anything original, but it seemed like today’s episode was really trying to make a ‘twist’. However, when the show has built up this smart cast of characters, it seems almost an insult to both the characters and the audience for the cast to suddenly dumb down (minus Sayaka) for the sake of said ‘twist’. In the end, it just makes all the characters feel fake again, as more characters on a screen rather than characters in reality.

Perhaps this wasn’t my week (I am studying for finals after all), but overall this episode was just…okay. Not much was achieved in terms of character development, and what development we did get from Shirosaki was limited. We know that he’s a good guy already, so now we just know that he actually has quite the creative mind and caring heart. Good traits definitely, but not especially interesting. I hope things do pick up next episode, since we’ll be getting the force of two seniors instead of one!

 

Preview

May 11, 2014 at 1:06 am
24 comments »
  • May 11, 2014 at 1:41 amGuardian Enzo

    As, ahem, measured as you were, Zani, this post was way kinder than I would have been had I allowed myself to write about this ep…

  • May 11, 2014 at 2:31 amHatame

    What the hell

  • May 11, 2014 at 2:52 amJ-Luke

    I didn’t find it that bad.
    Sure, it was taking a sidestep from the Ritsu/Usa developments, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
    The cause of Chinatsu’s problems was perhaps a bit lame, but the drama was OK.

  • May 11, 2014 at 3:55 amP Ko

    • May 11, 2014 at 3:56 amP Ko

      Oops, wrong picture. I meant the one next to it LOL.

  • May 11, 2014 at 6:04 amwhemleh

    It’s not just the character animation; the backgrounds and scenery all felt like they had an awful lot less effort put into them this week. Which I think is a real shame because I’ve generally been of mind that the visuals were the best thing about this series.

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:04 amMgMaster

    More focus on Ritsu,the nature of introverts & the developments between her & Usa pls. We’re 6 episodes in and there’s been little progress on either the romance and/or friendship between the two. Well,I did say I might drop this if I sense that it’s not going anymore so I’ll probably give it 1-2 more eps to be sure. The other characters,and thus everything involving them,are neither interesting nor very amusing for me. Doesn’t help if the visuals take a backseat either…

  • May 11, 2014 at 9:55 amAnon. Zanibas Fan

    We all have our rainy days. Some rainy days last ridiculously longer than others. My exams are starting roughly tomorrow, and drag on for a solid 2 months. After that, I have 3 straight months in which I can enjoy every aspect of life ranging from anime to gaming that I’ve been missing due to exams and revision, which is when I suspect the rainy days will end for me. I hope the same can be said for you after your exams finish too, so until then, please don’t lose sight of what lies ahead. You have people going for you like the other writers on RandomC, and your dedicated following, even if they do seem unhappy with what you’re doing at times. I confess I don’t watch Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou, but read your articles because it’s you who’s writing them :D

    (P.S. Sorry if I sound condescending, but I hope this cheers you up, even if only by a bit)

    • May 12, 2014 at 2:20 pmZanibas

      Thanks for the support Anon! :D

  • May 11, 2014 at 10:57 amAuvaire

    Certainly, it wasn’t the best episode of this series (to say the least)… but, we could hope it’s just that: an isolated case, and not the beginning of something unpleasant. In that sense, don’t let it affect you, Zani-kun… it’s true that you have(had?) high hopes for this show, but don’t let this one episode crush everything (yourself included). For now, give it more chances (or focus in your finals to avoid thinking about it…).
    P.S.: By the way, good luck with your finals!

    • May 11, 2014 at 1:43 pmZanibas

      Nah, it’s okay. As I said in the first paragraph, it’s a critique of the episode and not of the show itself. I still feel pretty good about the show overall :)

  • May 11, 2014 at 11:12 amCrook

    I actually enjoyed the episode. It certainly makes for a breather with how awkward Usa can be.

  • May 11, 2014 at 3:03 pmNoZaku

    More forced moe.

  • May 11, 2014 at 5:20 pmGinobi47

    Sadistic Lolis…. Japan…. I cant tell if your awesome or crazy

  • May 11, 2014 at 8:14 pmBloodshotdaze

    I dunno, I really enjoyed this episode; I guess I wasn’t looking too into the animation because I barely noticed anything. I mean, this show is generally fun to watch; while this episode was kind of an odd one, it was one that made me smile quite a few times. I’m just glad you’re not the kind of poster who would pretty much tear the episode apart simply for featuring a grade schooler as a main point of focus. At the very least they did that part tastefully, I think what this episode showed most of all is that Shiro is a pretty good guy, just really creepy.
    I dunno, I get the feeling that many other anime blogging sites would have had a field day with this episode because they feel that loli characters shouldn’t exist, at the very least this site seems to actually analyze details that actually matter.

  • May 12, 2014 at 6:31 amSAM

    i actually liked the episode >> yeah animation felt a bit down in characters physique buildup but except that i didn’t found much problem with this episode.

    those thinking about dropping the series >> keep an eye on episode 07-08-09 they will surely make you excite as well as happy.

    this is an episodic manga series hence situations change per episode and this episode came with good life lessons again and good words from MS. KAWAI RITSU CHAN .

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:41 amCorey Lucas

    This show is hilarious! More Mayumi please! I can’t get enough of her!

  • May 12, 2014 at 10:57 amJ_the_Man

    I feel quite ashamed of having had any doubts about this show. This is Nanana done right. By that, I’m just pointing out that both shows are using overused tropes in a very refreshing way. Kawaisou, though, is doing it in a very enjoyable way.

    That being said, I don’t get any of the gripes with this episode. I had too much fun watching the it to have a care in the world for the animation. It seems most of your complaints occurred during cartoony-exaggerations, where I could hardly pinpoint anything wrong with it. Even on closer looks, I really don’t care. I must be one of those people who don’t really have gripes about animation, unless it’s blatantly bad like Sidonia or Magi:LOM. Especially, when a show is more character driven, I guess I don’t really go in it for the animation.

    Story-wise, still not understanding any gripes. Chinatsu, as far as our main cast is concerned, is some random grade-schooler who started showing up when Shiro found her wallet. Children are highly complex and it’s hard to understand them and their behavior unless you see what’s going. Asking someone to figure out a little girl who just recently started hanging around Kawaisou is a little unfair, no? It could have been something as complex as using Shiro as an alternate to her friends she got in a feud with… Or it could have been something as simple as Chinatsu crushing on her onii-chan that found her missing wallet.

    The cast is most certainly aware of each other and themselves, but it is quite difficult to be aware of a stranger you don’t know much about.

    This was a nice little filler episode that gave Shiro a bit of the spotlight. While I don’t find his running gag hilarious, I think that’s the point of his character (given Usa’s reactions, at least I get that impression). We still got a bit of Kawai development (Loner-senpai!).

    Frankly, I did not expect any negativity out of a review of this episode.

    • May 12, 2014 at 2:16 pmZanibas

      Thanks for your opinion and I can see where you’re coming from. ^^

      For animation, that’s an irreconcilable issue that’s purely a matter of subjectivity. I just happen to have an eye for when corners are cut at times and I don’t feel ashamed to point them out when they start becoming visible enough. If that’s not much of a concern for you, power to you!

      Story-wise, I suppose I come from a perspective that I expected a little more from the rest of the cast considering how well they utilize their ‘older perspective’ so well in these settings. Four characters of the cast have been through and spaced away from the schooling experience to know what’s going on. These four were immediately able to read Usa’s own thought processes in a comparatively short amount of time, so I hoped we would be able to see some of that here too, where at least some flags about Chinatsu’s loneliness would be triggered earlier.

      Again, despite what I said earlier, this is an ‘okay’ episode despite my critiques. Some stuff was good, some stuff was meh. Just compared to the other episodes, this one was a bit lacking, in my OWN opinion.

      I’m glad to see the other side though, since it does make me reflect on the episode in a new light :)

      • May 13, 2014 at 9:21 amJ_the_Man

        There’s a difference between Usa and Chinatsu, as I see it at least. Usa has been with the gang for a lot longer than Chinatsu. therefore It’s easier to get a read on a person you’ve been with for a little while than a little kid who’s been hanging out with you for a couple of days.

  • May 12, 2014 at 6:53 pmpetitorenji

    I love how when people don’t have friends constantly around them in anime, they instantly become a little coo-koo.

  • May 13, 2014 at 7:17 amtumblr anon

    Does anyone from rc have a tumblr?

  • May 13, 2014 at 4:35 pmbolton

    I’m a little peeved. I really liked this episode. I can understand the gripes about animation, but everything else about this episode was great, it even reminded me of Yahari. But even then, while Yahari was good, I also remember it for all the pandering it had for edgy loners, and appreciate Kawaisou for being a really nice and refreshing slice of life that does everything without that.

    Adults almost always disregard the feelings of children simply because they’re children. I hate it when people tell kids to just deal with it; even if their baggage is trivial, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help them and kick them to the curb. Mayumi being unable to comprehend Chinatsu simply because she was a kid and stooping down to her level was totally within her character, I even liked how they showed that Ritsu wasn’t above making comebacks too.

    All the characters put on a really strong display this episode, and I’m pretty shocked to see this episode be met with such resistance.

  • May 14, 2014 at 4:51 ammagoiichi

    This was the best episode for me because it wasn’t focused on Usa the stalker.