OP: 「アイコトバ Password」 (Aikotoba) by Garnidelia
「ミノア、アニメルーキー！」 (Minoa, Anime Ruukii!)
“Minoa, Anime Rookie!”
The first episode of Animegataris is about to begin, and it’s got somewhat of a promising start. If the ending of Gamers! left a void in your heart of shows with a plucky cast of lovable geeks, Animegataris has got you covered. Admittedly, I’m in the very small minority of people who dropped Gamers! at the first sight of misunderstandings, but this series is looking to focus outside of the cast’s love life, so this could be exciting for those who were discouraged by the love pentagram. We’re not out of the woods yet though, since the emerging threat of sci-fi action and fantasy looks to interfere with our slice-of-life antics. Will our heroines’ quest to watch all the anime under the sun be threatened by the appearance of a talking cat and a mystic beret?
What I found to be Animegataris‘ strongest attribute in this first episode is how in introduces its cast. Minoa (Hondo Kaede) is relatively inexperienced in her anime watching habits, but is dedicated to finding out what on earth was that one anime she watched as a kid. The memory of that one anime keeps showing up in her dreams, but the name wasn’t registering; just the lingering imagery it brought. I had a similar experience too, but with the song “Most Girls” by P!nk when she started out in R&B. It played at malls and movie theaters, but was merely a childhood memory that kept lingering until it showed up on Sirius radio during my undergrad years. That aside, Minoa comes off as an easy character to cheer for and relate to because she is still open-minded about watching other anime, and is enthused at the possibility of forming an anime club so that she can both learn about anime and cure that nagging feeling she has about that one anime she remembers watching as a kid. They also gave her some humorous reactions to the weirdness around her, so that’s always appreciated.
It was funny when her older sister Maaya (Minase Iori) didn’t wake her up for her first day of school, but took the time to tease her for what kind of things she was saying while she was sleeping. That and the OP made me optimistic that Animegataris will commit itself to giving the supporting cast good roles within the series. Miko (Tojo Hisako) looks like a fun character to have in the club considering how much she liked reading the To Aru novel throughout the episode, so I’m anticipating how she reacts to the news of the anime club re-emerging.
I absolutely loved Arisu (Senbongi Sayaka), the aristocratic rich girl who happens to be a massive anime fan. To see her face light up so much as she was trying to figure out what type of anime Minoa enjoys watching was the cutest thing in this show so far. The anime references so far are topical enough to exemplify the show’s dedication to capturing the spirit of the hardcore anime fandom, but it was absolutely relatable to see Arisu get so hyped up going from genre to genre to guess which anime would be Minoa’s type. I think it was the “Which shows are you watching this season?” question Arisu proposed that hit close to home in a good way, where picking apart and examining what trends are happening season-to-season have become rituals every season. Her butler didn’t have as much to do, but seeing him get as teary eyed as Arisu did about one of the anime shows she remembers was priceless. If there are more moments like Arisu revealing how high her power level is, I can definitely say Animegataris will be amazing to follow up with.
There is one thing I’m skeptical with; the talking cat. The cat is very cute, but I feel like the show would’ve been just fine if it didn’t have a talking cat, or some mysterious bond that Minoa has with a mystical beret. Blend-S didn’t need to have a talking animal to make the wheels of the plot move, nor did Konohana Kitan rely on a talking mop bucket to maintain its level of charm. I might just be curmudgeonly shaking my fists into the clouds, but I’m uncertain of whether the show needed to have a supernatural element to it when I enjoyed the interactions between Minoa and Arisu just fine, and am looking forward to how the other characters in the credits join the anime club. It makes me unsure of how well it’ll pull off the fantasy elements, but the cat did tell me not to drop it after the first episode, so I have to respect the cat’s wishes.
ED: 「Good Luck Lilac」 by GATALIS