Yes, we even blog the quirky stuff. Sometimes it even turns out to be worth it, as with the sweet comedy Noramimi (のらみみ), airing Wednesday nights at 25:45 JST on CBC.
Starting in 2003, the manga by Hara Kazuo has chalked up 5 volumes of the episodic stories about little Noramimi. Taking charge of its animated adaptation is director Koyama Yoshitaka, who’s been doing random episodes for a number of shows in the five years since his last proper work directing Miami Guns and Rune Soldier. The script’s written by Nakamura Makoto, perhaps familiar for the Air and Clannad movies. Don’t worry, I haven’t seen any of these either.
We get to observe the daily life of Noramimi, a specimen of the strange race of people called the “freeloader characters”, which appear to come in every shape, from animals to monsters to mythical beings. The freeloaders’ function in society is to keep children company until they graduate from elementary school, sharing their lives and growing up together, until the children have become adults and it’s time to say goodbye, upon which the freeloader will look for a new child, and the circle begins anew. Unfortunately for Noramimi, no one seems to want him, and now he’s hanging around at Freeloader Matching Agency #59, doing odd chores and wistfully watching applicants who successfully find new kids. I’m supposing this could be seen as the Japanese incarnation of what we call “imaginary friends” over here, except in this show’s world they’re quite real. If the first episode is to trusted, every episode will have two stand-alone stories about Noramimi and the gang at Agency #59 helping new customers as best they can.
For a show with a look this simple, it can be a bit hard to praise the animation, but nothing seems out of place and everything’s clean and colourful, giving pleasant vibes. All in all, nicely executed by TMS Entertainment, whose Detective Conan and Lupin III credits should impress. Nakagawa Kou‘s music is cheerful and helps build the mood, without taking your mind off the show. Quirky characters require quirky voices, and who better than Katou Nanae (Ahiru in Princess Tutu)? The rest working at the agency office are done quite well by actors no one’s ever heard of, like this Shiraishi Minoru fellow.
I was skeptical before watching Noramimi, since it looked too childish to be worthy of my mature and adult mind, but surprisingly I found it amusing and perhaps best described as “feel-good”. It’s not really something you eagerly look forward to every week, nor can it be marathoned with great excitement, but the format is perfect for random viewings whenever you have a spare half hour.