Random Curiosity

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Urara Meirochou – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「夢路らびりんす」 (Yumeji Labyrinth) by らびりんず (Labyrinth, feat. Harada Sayaka, Hondo Kaede, Kubo Yurika, Yoshimura Haruka)

「少女と占い、時々おなか」 (Shoujo to Uranai, Tokidoki Onaka)
“The Fortune-Teller Girl Sometimes Shows Her Stomach”

It’s all about the characters.

It’s an interesting contrast, blogging this right after Seiren. Where Seiren was hobbled by insufficient personality in its main character, Urara Meirochou has nothing but personality in every one of its characters. That’s the strength of slice-of-life—by limiting its use of plot, it only has character to stand on. That’s why the slice-of-life stories that make it to television invariably have clearly defined, vibrant characters. Without that, it would be nothing.

Take our white-haired wild girl, Chiya (Harada Sayaka). What does she want? She wants to find her mom. DONE. There’s no ambiguity there. Her character is extremely well-defined, from her clothing and mannerisms down to every action she takes. This too is the case with the other girls—Tatsumi Kon (Hondo Kaede) is serious and studious, Yukimi Koume (Kubo Yurika) likes Western things, and Natsume Nono (Yoshimura Haruka) is shy. The characters aren’t terribly complex, but we know absolutely who they are. I have to admire the craft.

And yet, clearly conveying the characters doesn’t matter if they’re not interesting, and on that, subjectivity is the rule. This is a cute-girls-doing-cute-things anime, and those cute things are fortune telling. If that’s not your bag, this series probably won’t convince you otherwise. It’s firmly rooted within its genre conventions, and definitely on the fluffier side. I like that kind of thing myself, personally, so I’ll probably use this as my winding-down-after-a-long-day anime, and will be grateful for it. To me, the characters are fine, and I like how Chiya instantly ingratiates herself with everyone. That girl has some serious charisma. Hopefully she never goes into politics. (Or maybe that’d be good?)

Basically, this seems like a serviceable cute-girls-doing-cute-things slice-of-life show, with a small chance of something deeper with Chiya’s search for her mother and/or the “trouble” premonition from this episode. But probably not. I’m thinking it’ll be along the lines of GochiUsa, and that’s fine with me. Whether that’s fine with you is up to, naturally, you.

Random thoughts:

  • It’s not called divination when you use mushrooms, Chiya. It’s called a trip. Those are psychedelics, you mountain hippie you.

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Why I never give characters temporary names, Conflicted feelings on the Electoral College, Voting Reform: Single Transferable Vote, and They didn’t feel heard. I don’t feel heard. This is a problem.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「go to Romance>>>>>」 by Luce Twinkle Wink☆

Preview

January 8, 2017 at 10:22 am
15 comments »
  • January 8, 2017 at 2:10 pmArche

    This show was giving me cuteness-induced heart attacks by the end of the opening… I’m in good hands :)

  • January 8, 2017 at 5:42 pmZhinvu

    Apologizing requires belly showing huh? Well that’s a new one on me. Anyways funny that you mentioned Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka Stilts since they also have a Chiya in that series, but nothing like the Chiya they got here. I really enjoyed this first episode.

    • January 8, 2017 at 8:07 pmStilts

      It’s an animal thing. Showing your belly is a sign of submission. Like when a dog rolls over to get a belly rub? The dog is putting itself beneath you by exposing its most vulnerable area, and also trying to score some sweet belly scratching, haha

      • January 8, 2017 at 9:14 pmZhinvu

        Considering where Chiya grew up, yeah that makes sense. Thanks, Stilts.

    • January 9, 2017 at 11:59 amKuro

      I first learned that from Jojo.

      When Jotaro was fighting the gorilla with the Strength stand, it tried to show its belly as a sign of submission and surrender. Of course, Jotaro had none of that and Ora-Ora him anyway.

  • January 8, 2017 at 9:01 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    And now my death to diabetes is guaranteed with this coupled with Demi-chan. Thanks a lot, Japan.

  • January 8, 2017 at 10:26 pmdaikama

    Pretty much what it says on the box/tin. Light, fluffy SOL comedy. Serviceable with perhaps a bit more potential in some form or fashion is fair way to put it IMO. Personally, what surprised me the most (had no expectations going in) was that I got a few laughs from the show particularly early on. Like comedy so that’s a plus. I didn’t find it as funny as the episode progressed (repeating the same joke doesn’t help here), but nice to see there’s some potential for a decent comedy (requisite comedy is highly subjective disclaimer).

    “…Urara Meirochou has nothing but personality in every one of its characters. That’s the strength of slice-of-life—by limiting its use of plot, it only has character to stand on.”

    For the first part – kind of. They definitely have distinct (if cliche’) personalities, but not complex by any means so far. But for this type of show, simple may work just fine. For me 3/4 of the characters work (sorry, but super shy girl does nothing for me. Don’t hate her, but wouldn’t miss her if she wasn’t in the story. Maybe that will change). Chiya IMO is the best so far in the “baka-adorable” role, though the other two work well enough.

    I do agree with you on characters. I’ve always thought that good, likeable characters can make up for a host of shortcomings in any story, but you really need some good other stuff to make up for bad, unlikable characters. For SOL, the focus on characters cuts both ways. If you characters are good enough, no problem, but if not there may be little else to potentially pick up the slack.

    Ultimately for this show, I expect whether I stick with it or not will be determined by how well the comedy aspect fares.

    • January 9, 2017 at 12:12 pmStilts

      I never said the characters were complex. They’re not. They’re just full of personality. They’re distinct, they’re vibrant, we know who they are. Who they are might not be unique (they’re not), but at least their personalities are evident. That’s all I was commenting on.

      • January 9, 2017 at 11:43 pmdaikama

        @Stilts: Wasn’t suggesting you said they were complex. My point was that you mentioned how SOL is more character reliant (e.g. “That’s the strength of slice-of-life—by limiting its use of plot, it only has character to stand on.“). To me that cuts both ways because as a result, it’s more important/critical to get the characters right than say more plot driven stories. Yes, the characters are not complex, and that may still work out just fine for the show. OTOH, “distinct” (“vibrant” & “full of personality” more subjective IMO) in and of itself may not be enough.

        To put it simply, based upon initial impressions, I’m not sure the characters here alone can carry the show. For that reason I think how well the comedy works (subjective as that is) will be a major factor. At least it will be for me. Along with the comedy factor, maybe there’s more to the plot as well.

  • January 9, 2017 at 3:54 amGinobi47

    http://randomc.net/image/Urara%20Meirochou/Urara%20Meirochou%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

    The Diabetes is strong in this show…. Time to go to the hospital again T.T

  • January 9, 2017 at 7:38 amMadarame

    This isn’t about sketchy historical TV dramas and teenage pregnancy…. it’s comedy, COMEDY I say! Muwahahaha…

  • January 10, 2017 at 3:14 amname required

    wanna lick chiya belly

  • January 10, 2017 at 4:08 amAmon

    Found my weekly dose of diabeetus. Thank god.

  • January 10, 2017 at 4:30 amVaans

    This and Demi-chan are gonna make my winter season a lot sweeter.

  • January 10, 2017 at 6:41 amJVision5

    I’m sick of these girls only shows.