Sunday, December 2, 2012

Acchi Kocchi

Acchi Kocchi caught my eye on the Spring 2012 list of new anime, though the picture did little to showcase what the series had to offer. what i got exceeded my expectations enormously, giving me one of the most adorable series i have seen to date. the series' opening ("Acchi Kocchi", "Here and There" or "Place to Place") and ending ("Te o Gyu Shite ne", "Squeeze My Hand Tight") provide a very accurate glimpse of what the series is: the former shows off the sheer comedy chaos that the series was and is (the yonkoma manga is still running), and the latter shows off the squee-inducing fluff of the budding romance of the story.


The first episode gives an accurate rendition of how the show runs: cute, random comedy broken into a pair of 15-minute segments per episode. with this, there isn't much plot, but a story like this isn't supposed to have a lot of plot. it would honestly be quite weird if there were a multi-episode arc, given that one episode is actually 2 (and these are segmented further by the scene changes). after all, this was based off a yonkoma (4-panel) manga, which are known for being basically pure gag comedy. for it to be anything other than silly would require a major story overhaul.

Santa Claws.

It is expected then that the anime adaptation is likely faithful to the manga, with quick jokes, slapstick humour and out-of-left-field quips. despite yonkoma being a very japanese comic format, however, most of the jokes translate easily into english, meaning that someone with no knowledge of japanese culture wouldn't have much trouble at all understanding what is going on.
Some people shouldn't be allowed to cook.
given that each episode is standalone, watching this slowly or out of order doesn't really create many problems (and in fact, i've been showing it to my anime club at a rate of half an episode per week). it's light and breezy, meaning it can appeal to a very broad audience. young or old, casual viewer or hardcore otaku, japanophile or culture noob, all can enjoy this series, since at the heart of it all, we can all relate to what the characters do and go through. She likes him but can't admit it. He's clueless. They like to make fun of them. it's easy to get.
My one beef with Acchi Kocchi is that the ending was sort of unsatisfying. that's likely due to the manga still going, but all the same, i really wish that things had been resolved a bit more. maybe i was just being a bit too fanatical with it, or maybe this points to a second season (after all, it only finished its run in june of this past year). i suppose it reminds me a tad of Ai Yori Aoshi in that there was a loose end that had yet to be tied, but if i divorce my feelings from it a bit, i suppose the ending wasn't all that bad. like the rest of the series, it was rather cute.

In retrospect, though it didn't wrap things up, it was a good ending.
those looking for a more meaty story (or those who are sick to death of cute, fluffy anime) will not enjoy this story. not one bit. but for the vast majority of us who are willing to open our hearts for one more adorable romp, this is gold. the simple plot also makes this an easy watch for those new to anime, and the clean jokes make it suitable to show to anyone, so for those looking to introduce someone to the anime market, this is the type of series you could easily show your 3-year-old cousin or 75-year-old grandmother. i can (and do, and will) recommend this to anyone, especially if that person needs a heartwarming watch or good laugh.

You can't help but root for them.

Acchi Kocchi is available through Deadfish Encodes, FFFansubs, Evetaku Subs, Hadena Subs, Commie Subs, Sakura Circle Subs, Sugoi Subs, and Tsumiki Subs. (Be warned; just because the last one shares the same name as the main character doesn't ensure quality. i downloaded a batch from them and i still had to do some light patching.)

A guest appearance by Pedobear. RUN, HIME, RUUUUUN


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