Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Midori Days

Considering i own the first manga volume of Midori Days, watching the series was always an ambition of mine. The result was like i expected: cute, but not too bright. given its Seinen origins this wasn't too much of a surprise, but it's not too much a bad thing, considering if it was deeper it would have failed miserably.

It's cute.....i guess....

The story starts off by telling us of a teenage delinquent named Sawamura Seiji who desperately wants a girlfriend but has struck out with the ladies 20 times. his infamous "demon right hand" has earned him a tough guy reputation, scaring off any potential tail, leaving him with only his right hand. literally. it turns into a girl named Kasugano Midori. his right hand is a girl. you can laugh now.

the joke here is so obvious i'm not even gonna say it.

The series continues with their now crazy day-to-day life, attempting to hide their secret from the people in Seiji's life while maintaining some sense of normalcy and making sure Midori doesn't get in the way. The word "burden" is tossed around a lot, and Seiji often gets frustrated with Midori's presence despite all she does for him (i swear, i think the guy epitomizes the idea of a bachelor). He tries his best to ignore her sometimes and live his regular life. This includes looking at porn and going on dates. The tender moments they share, however, give the series the little bit of seriousness it needs to keep itself from tipping over the edge to oblivion.

See, it's ridiculous no matter whose hand it is.

Considering the ridiculous premise and light, fluffy nature of the series, it would seem impossible for the series to be anything BUT a comedy. Seinen manga, aimed at men 17-30's, is usually ripe with fanservice, and while Midori Days is not as touched with it as other Seinen series are, it doesn't say no to bath scenes or boobs. Not helping the series is that it was made shortly before the end of the manga's run, meaning the pace can feel both sluggish and rushed at times. the conclusion is unsatisfying, ending with just a short montage of what the characters are doing once the series wraps up (set to the opening theme, no less), and some of the episodes are out of order with the manga, lending a rather confusing air to it for those who've both read and watched.


With that in mind, though, it's not a BAD series by any means, as i had moments where i laughed and where i "awww"'d. however, if this series was trying to be more than a comedy in terms of the love story, it mostly fell flat, with nothing real happening until the last few episodes. the rest is filler, mostly of the "he doesn't have a girlfriend" kind or the "what zany situation can we put them in this week" kind. the cast of characters outside of our main two is alright, and some of them will continue to stick in my mind (notably the noble-yet-disturbing Shuichi).

It's not that he CAN'T get a girl, it's that he doesn't WANT to. not that he could.

The soundtrack is a confusing prospect; the opening didn't wow me much but i liked the ending enough to get it on my ipod. the interlude music was both gratingly annoying and genuinely nice. to elaborate further, there is a music box tune that was annoyingly loud and sharp that they played any (and i mean ANY) chance they got at the beginning of the series. however, towards the end there was a cozy cello piece that i'm going to track down the whole soundtrack just to get. further adding to the audio confusion is the dubbed voiceover, which has some of the most squeaky, ear-shredding performances i have ever heard. Seiji's voiceactor is really nice, and the other parts are played effectively (Takako having the assertive-yet-girlish tone, Rin having the "i-could-care-fucking-less-what-you-think-of-me" attitude, Shuichi having the stereotypical creepy nerd voice), but damn are some of those voices squeaky. goddamn.


Overall, Midori Days was interesting but not really satisfying in the plot department. the art style still has a couple holdovers from the 90's era (GIANT eyes on girls compared to normal-sized eyes on boys), but is cute, and suits the series well given its nature. however, the moments of fanservice and ridiculous set-ups (i can only suspend my belief so much, and you used up quite a bit when you turned "Rosie Palms" into A REAL FUCKING GIRL) made me facepalm quite a bit, but i was laughing a little when i did. don't show this series to kids. or close-minded grownups. or most wiseasses. or people who can't deal with seeing boobs on screen. DO watch this with people looking to detox their brains after a particularly heavy series (such as Neon Genesis Evangelion or Mahou Shojo Madoka Magica; these would make good pallet-cleansers after those). maybe, like Ai Yori Aoshi, the manga will be better.