「ふしぎの国の」 (Fushigi no Kuni no)
Megaton levels of cute. Toxic levels of cute. This was one big stream of adorable from beginning to end, spliced with a fuwa fuwa atmosphere that made it all go down super smooth. And it’s funny too!
Not to toot my own horn, but I so called it – cuteness reigns supreme in Kinmosa, and atmosphere is number two. First of all, let’s talk about the cute. It’s at dangerous levels, people! I don’t know how to actually explain it other than link a bunch of pictures and let them do all the work, but it definitely has something to do with the characters. Alice Cartelet (Tanaka Manami) is weapons-grade adorable, but ditzy, genki, and silly Oomiya Shinobu (Nishi Asuka) does a great job at playing the natural boke in the most adorable of ways. Plus it’s hard not to get swept up in her own enthusiasm for all things cute (and Alice!).
Next, atmosphere. As expected, Studio Gokumi has done wonders using their A-Channel magic to give this a light and fluffy atmosphere that gently swept me away. I’ll admit, I’m predisposed to like this kind of show – this is the kind of thing that will relax me, and then send me skittering around squealing about the adorable characters and laughing heartily at every single joke – but I think this one was done especially well. Put it down to good source material and a good studio – this really was a natural fit.
Flashback to England
The pleasant surprise for me (since I’ve read some of the manga) was that they started off with an extended flashback to Shinobu’s home-stay in England. First of all, I was impressed by how good the English we heard was. Oohara Sayaka (playing Alice’s mother) was especially good, but Alice’s Manami Tanaka did a respectable job as well. I appreciate that they took the time to find seiyuu who could do speak good English, because it undoubtedly contributed to the “foreign” feel that a Japanese viewer would get from this, and just wasn’t completely laughable for those of us who are fluent in that particular tongue. Touyama Nao (playing Karen Kujou) could use some work though. Ah well, two out of three isn’t bad.
Anyway, I liked that they went back and thoroughly cemented how the friendship between these two girls began…and it didn’t hurt that it was, once again, completely and utterly adorable! Special mention goes to the fact that neither of them really had a clue of what the other was saying the entire time, to the point where they were yelling “Hello!” and “Konnichiwa!” at each other when Shinobu was leaving. How cute is that? *dies*
Bonus points go to Studio Gokumi for using the black bars to show when we were in flashback-ville, which were then taken away when we went back to the story’s present. It truly is the little details that count.
A Blonde Girl in Japan
Of course, this all leads up to Alice arriving in Glorious Nippon. Surprise! Having read this part of the manga, these were all gags I had seen before, but let me just say that they truly were enhanced by being on the screen. Not only Alice and Shinobu, but Komichi Aya (Taneda Risa) and Inokuma Youko (Uchiyama Yumi, i.e. the woman in every major Studio Gokumi anime…I’m starting to think she lives there) were greatly enhanced by both the animation and the seiyuu backing them.
Of all the slice-of-life shows I have introduced to you this season – which is approximately all of them – this is the one I enjoyed the most. Personal preference definitely plays a part there, but if this is your kind of thing then it’s a very good example of the form. I don’t plan on covering this weekly (sorry, even good slice-of-life shows are hard to talk about week after week), but I will be watching it avidly, so follow me on twitter if you’d like to chat. Until then, thanks for reading!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Adorable, adorable, so fricken adorable!! Plus the atmosphere was spot on & the animation was fuwa fuwa amazing. Loved it! #kinmosa
- “The time will very.” Ohhh, so close!
- You all knew I would have to get a picture of the English people drinking beer, out of what looks more like a stange glass – suitable for a local Cologne Kölsch – rather than a proper English imperial pint. But what do I know, its been a while since I was drinking beer in England, and was sober enough to remember it.
- This scene reminded me of the time I made cookies in the shape of my nieces’ and nephew’s names, from scratch and without cookie cutters. TOOK FOREVER! (The A’s and the R’s were the hardest.) I say this mostly so you’ll all know that I’m the best uncle in the world, and also a total masochist. But we all knew that already.
- “I don’t taste very good.” False. That’s a lie and you know it. You taste delicious.
- I still don’t get the weird fascination Shinobu has with foreigners. Okay, actually I do – Japan is a fairly homogeneous island, so foreigners are pretty rare. It’s just really weird to my American point of view. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I want to go to Japan. A week or two of my 6’7″ blond ass running around the place and they’ll get used to foreigners! Or not. I don’t really care, I just want to go!!
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.
Full-length images: 33.
OP: 「Jumping!!」 by Rhodanthe*
ED: 「Your Voice」 by Rhodanthe*