OP: 「Wonder Wars」 by Fujiwara Yuka feat. Area 11
「敵は女子高生にお任せあれ！」 (Teki wa Mesukousei ni o Makase Are!)
“High School Girl Fights the Enemy!”
Suddenly, one of the webcomics I read has a 5-episode anime short series. Surprise!
To me, Wonder Momo is a webcomic on ShiftyLook, a subsidiary of Namco Bandai I became aware of when The Adventures of Dr. McNinja creator Christopher Hastings began working on Galga for them. While I was primarily there for Hastings’ writing – seriously, if you don’t read Dr. McNinja you’re doing yourself a disservice, it’s amazing and hilarious to the first degree! – something about Wonder Momo caught my eye. The art, I think – Omar Dogan is a pretty talented guy, and it shows in both the comic and the anime. I read a lot of webcomics, and I fantasize about some of them being turned into anime – seriously, the day Dr. McNinja or Order of the Stick became animated is the day I lose my friggin’ mind – so imagine my surprise when one did!
Wonder Momo follows the story of Kanda Momoko (Fujiwara Yuka), a slightly ditzy high school girl who wants to become an idol. The daughter of the original Wonder Momo, she is one day given the Wonder Momo power orb by alien freedom fighter Glooder (Imaruoka Atsushi) and transforms into the superhero idol Wonder Momo in time to fight the invading Waru.
The anime suffers from a simplification of the characters and plot. In the original webcomic Momoko was clumsy, yes, but she never felt this ditzy – she’d trip or screw up, but she didn’t seem as silly and vapid as anime-Momoko does. The plot is also put on the fast track, likely because they want to get some plot and character introductions in despite only having five 5-minute episodes to work with. That’s to be expected, but there were also pacing problems – some of what I said in the previous section wasn’t mentioned in the episode, such as anything about Glooder, and only comes from my knowledge of the source. All well and good, you don’t have to explain everything up front, but this smacked of “We’re not going to bother explaining” rather than “We’ll get to the alien dude in a minute, there’s a fight happening!”. Not particularly adroit storytelling, in other works. The seiyuu are all newbies too, which is fine except for how flat and uninspired Fujiwara Yuka’s performance as Momoko is. The animation is pretty decent though.
It was a pleasant little surprise to see this animated, if only because the idea of one of the webcomics I read getting animated is so novel. In the end, the anime does leave something to be desired – they captured the art style of the comic without taking the essential spirit of its writing that made it interesting to read – but at five minutes and episode and only five episodes long, it’s not like it’s a large time commitment if you see something you like. So far I would suggest the webcomic over the anime shorts though. As is often the case, the source is a lot better.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go reread 8-bit Theater while I wait for new Misfile, Sinfest, and Order of the Stick strips to be released. Oh, and No Need For Bushido, and Manly Guys Doing Manly Things, and…
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Wait, the webcomic I’ve been reading is suddenly getting five anime shorts? Mind blown! #wondermomo
- Just kidding. I’ll go blog Mikakunin de Shinkoukei now. Onwards!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Unexpected directions, The market has spoken, I can quit anytime, so I don’t have to, and Admiration & those who try. My current combo counter: 26 days long.
ED: 「Picogram」 by Fujiwara Yuka & Komatsu Misaki feat. Tommy Pedrini