OP: “Nisemono” 「ニセモノ」 by Friends: Kobayashi Yuu (小林 ゆう), Shimoda Asami (下田 麻美), MAKO, Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美),
Honda Youko (本多 陽子), Asumi Kana (阿澄 佳奈)
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ED: “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~” 「secret base ～君がくれたもの～」 by Friends: Kobayashi Yuu (小林 ゆう), Shimoda Asami (下田 麻美), MAKO,
Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美), Honda Youko (本多 陽子), Asumi Kana (阿澄 佳奈)
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「グラグラ、スーパーボール、ノリノリ、アメフリ」 (Guruguru, Suupaa Booru, Norinori, Ame Furi)
“Loose, Super Ball, In High Spirits, Rainy Weather”
If you’ve been looking for a chapter-based slice of life comedy to fill the void Azumanga Daioh left a long time ago, Kyou no 5 no 2 (Today in Class 5-2) might just fit the bill. Being a huge fan of the Azumanga, I really like the seemingly irrelevant short skits in this series whether they be about pulling loose teeth, having a “super ball” bouncing contest, slacking off during cleaning duty to play air (broom) guitar, or sharing umbrellas in the rain. The whole idea of super laid-back slice of life comedy is prevalent throughout, which I absolutely love, except this time it focuses on a bunch of fifth graders instead. This actually puts a pretty interesting perspective on things, as even the most trivial stuff in a fifth grader’s life can turn out to be really amusing when they put the right spin on it.
Despite some earlier concerns about production quality compared to the OVA that came before it, I have to say that Xebec‘s done a pretty good job, so I don’t have any major complaints there. While the characters look relatively plain in accordance to their designs, the animation is clean and sharp overall, which is more than enough for a series of this genre. Under a new director as well, it’ll be interesting to see where Nagasawa Tsuyoshi takes this series, but it’s reassuring to see Kouno Takamitsu onboard in charge of screenplay. With Takamitsu having worked on Comic Party Revolution and Minami-ke season one (which I felt was funnier), I’m hoping he’ll have a bunch of laughs in store of us here. Judging from the first episode though, things seem to be well on their track for an enjoyable season.
For this television series remake, a completely new cast has been used, which on initial inspection seemed like a drastic downgrade from the OVA’s. Having lost the likes of Kuwashima Houko, Kadowaki Mai, Takahashi Mikako, Noto Mamiko, Ueda Kana, Asakawa Yuu, and Chihara Minori, I was left screaming, “Why oh why!?”, since it’s not everyday you see seven of your favorite seiyuus dropped from a series. As they aren’t easy names to replace, I was even more shocked to find out that they’ve opted to do so with a relatively “green” cast. Leading the way as Satou Ryouta is a more experienced seiyuu though, Kobayashi Yuu, whose roles as male characters I’m not a big fan of, but actually does an awesome job here much to my surprise. Aside from the addition of Asumi Kana (Yuno in Hidamari no Sketch), Takagaki Ayahi (Isurugi Noe in true tears), and Hadzuki Erino (Mizunashi Akari in ARIA), the rest of the new cast is out of my usual “seiyuu radar”. Seeing as Erino has been barely cast in anything outside of ARIA, I was actually quite happy to see her use her Akari voice here. Kana on the other hand is another good addition, since she has the kind of voice that just fits a fifth grader. As for the rest of the newcomers, I actually don’t have any complaints, but I’d really like to hear how the original cast sounded, so I’ll probably be watching the OVA soon just to get a taste.
Long seiyuu rant short, the series shows a lot of promise under the new studio and cast, so I’m quite looking forward to this series. It’s not something that requires a lot of attention to enjoy, so I’d recommend it if you need soemthing to sit back and enjoy opposite of your Gundam 00 on Sundays, or if you’re simply a fan of Azumanga Daioh, in which case it’d be hard to ignore this one. These slice of life series are never something I wait eagerly for every week, but when I’m watching them, time just seems to fly by really quickly. Music-wise, the opening and ending theme are performed by six of the female cast members, both of which actually sound really good for seiyuu songs. As such, I’m finding it hard to decide which I like better out of the two, but I think the ending theme “secret base ~Kimi ga Kureta Mono~” comes out on top, being one of the few good slow-paced songs I’ve heard this season.
Chapter-based slice of life comedy with a bunch cute, loud, silly fifth-graders. What more can you ask for?
– Satou Ryouta (佐藤 リョータ) : Kobayashi Yuu (小林 ゆう)
– Koizumi Chika (小泉 チカ) : Shimoda Asami (下田 麻美)
– Asano Yuuki (浅野 ユウキ) : Akesaka Satomi (明坂 聡美)
– Aihara Kazumi (相原 カズミ) : MAKO
– Hirakawa Natsumi (平川 ナツミ) : Asumi Kana (阿澄 佳奈)
– Hidaka Megumi (日高 メグミ) : Honda Youko (本多 陽子)
– Imai Kouji (今井 コウジ) : Yamato Megumi (山戸 恵)
– Kawai Tsubasa (河合 ツバサ) : Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
– Tanaka Haruka (田中 ハルカ) : Hadzuki Erino (葉月 絵理乃)
– Tamura-sensei (田村先生) : Hiyama Nobuyuki (檜山 修之)