OP Sequence

OP: 「Shining Sky」 by every♥ing!

「 大家さんは女の子!」 (Ooya-san wa Onnanoko!)
“The Landlord Is a Little Girl!”

Ooya-san wa Shisunki! is a short. Very short. At only a round two minutes of length, including the OP, there’s only so much one can expect from each episode. For example, take this pilot titled The Landlord is a Little Girl!

There is a landlord (Kubo Yurika).

She is a little girl.

Aaaand that’s a wrap. Two minutes of anime is literally just establishing the premise and introducing one or two extra characters. Actually, I should actually be impressed about how much they got done. When a couple of establishing shots can eat a quarter of your airtime, there is a real need to budget your episode. While a full-length feature may have time to dally about, maybe show of its settings and designs, maybe philosophise a bit, a short really needs to get the essence of their show, work out what makes it entertaining, serve that up, then say goodbye.

Which begs the question: what’s the essence of this short? We have, from what I can tell, been seeing a steady increase in short-form anime in recent years, and there must be something to this format besides ease of production. Judging from all the anime that are stuck with only one cour when they really want three and have to rush their pacing, one would 2 minutes per episode would be simply anathema. But then again, there’s no particular requirement for grand narrative. What else is there in the fundamental anime experience? Tried a Japanese desert recently? Cute and sweet. Japan’s great loves. And Ooya-san packs its two minutes with it. Look at the titular landlord. Don’t you dare turn your eyes away! Look at this thing! Big eyes, long sleeves—she’s had the moe settings cranked all the way up. She does her cute whatever. We d’aww. And, ta da, we have anime!

Such is the charm of a short like Ooya-san, beyond just brief sketch comedy. It’s a brief shot of positive feelings, just a tiny dose so that we can savour. We’ll watch this young girl managing this property, building a rapport with a fellow tenant (‘don’t try anything foolish just because she’s cute’), and be won over by her earnestness. And that may be enough for us to feel that tiny tinge of empathy (or alternatively, schadenfreude), which brightens the day. And that will be it. Mission accomplished. Was anything else ever needed? It’s only two minutes, after all.


    1. No laws prevents minors from owning property, someone could object that is underage work, but since she is managing her own property and it’s part time there should be no legal problem.

  1. Yeah I’ll be watching this show. Girl is cute but responsible and doing basically a grown-up’s job. Otherwise she seems pretty normal so far but I’ll look forward to seeing what this show has to offer.

    Actually the running time of this show is less than 2 minutes, only about 1:50, and considering that, it’s very impressive what they managed to fit into that tiny amount of time. In that tiny timeframe we have a basic idea about the personalities of our characters, at least on the surface, and a hint at their possible circumstances. There are some full length shows that can’t do that in their first episode, so props to this show for that.

    1. Many writers have noted over the ages that the strength of your work is determined by what you take out. Sometimes, having as much time as you need is as much of a poison as having too little—you bury yourself in unnecessary details.

      Still, managing to do so much with so little time is damn impressive.

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