Welcome one and all to another instalment of Otaku Digest, we are currently taking a look at the winter season which has given us some of the best anime this watcher has ever seen but we are running short on first episodes to sink our teeth into. Leaving all that behind however up this week for a good deconstruction is The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls, Yoru no Yatterman and Yuri Kuma Arashi.
The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls
First up this week is The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls which first aired back on the 10th of January and is a comedy, music and slice of life anime. Given the name of the anime it is no surprise that there is a musical element to it, centering around the talent agency 346 Production of whom already have a whole host of well-established and long serving idols but something is missing. So, the company decide to start a new program for new idols, the Cinderella Project, where the agency will pluck girls who live ordinary, dare we say mundane lives but who can now become aspiring idols, a true Cinderella story. Let the magic begin.
We all know how I feel about slice of life anime, but I am always prepared to give any anime a chance, even if they are slice of life. Oh wow I could not even prepare to deal with the level of cute that this anime has, a usually trait with slice of life anime but this one throws music into the mix only adding to the level of cute it was putting across. The story is completely mundane and repetitive but the characters actually make up for it in the sense of they are so dedicated to what they do and yet be as dumb as dish water in some cases. The anime itself is completely innocent, no use of fan service or that kind of over use of sexuality to get ahead, the series is plainly cute and does have a nice message of always try to reach for your dreams and let nothing hold you back.
Will I Continue To Watch: No, another generic slice of life anime just with a nice message.
Yoru no Yatterman
Next up this week is action, drama, adventure and comedy anime Yoru no Yatterman that first aired on the 11th of January. This anime is a commemoration for the 40th anniversary of the Tatsunoko’s Time Bokan series. Based on a remote island in the kingdom known as the Yatter Kingdom said to be governed by the hero Yatterman, a girl named Leopard travels to seek the help of the Yatterman in order to cure her ailing mother but she is denied help and is removed from the kingdom where her mother succumbs to her ails and dies. Leopard is a descendant of the infamous Dorombo clan of thieves, mortal enemy of the Yatterman who have now become the corrupt villain instead of the good guys, Leopard decides to reconvene the clan with the help of more descendants to take on the corrupt Yatterman.
This anime had one of the most interesting first episodes I have seen in a while, it genuinely went into detail about our main character Leopard’s upbringing and how she truly believed in the Yatter Kingdom and even so did her mother, which makes Leopard’s shunning and removal from the Kingdom that more devastating. I guess the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I actually really enjoyed this episode since it was really well balanced in its drama and comedy (wee little piggy, you cannot go wrong) there is the imminent death of her mother and the crushing of her dream to live in the heavenly kingdom of Yatter but yet there are comic relief moments that balance that drama. The fact that really we only got a small glance at the Yatter Kingdom at all in this first episode was intriguing and we know as much as Leopard knows about it which is what she has read in her storybooks, an idealized world for dreams not reality.
Will I Continue To Watch:Yes, I am intrigued by the story and like the characters – also more of little piggy!
Yuri Kuma Arashi
Last up this week is the fantasy, drama, psychological anime Yuri Kuma Arashi that first aired way back on the 6th of January. Classed as an intellectual fantasy, the anime centers around the concept of man vs bear where humans have created a barrier against the invasion of bears after a meteor shower causes the bears to rise against the humans. Enter Kureha, a normal high school girl who goes unnoticed every day by her peeps but at night dreams of a storm until one of her classmates appears in her dream as a bear.
This has to be one of the weirdest concepts for an anime I have ever seen in my life and whats more how did I not click by even the name that this was a “Yuri” anime because by gosh did I know it after watching the opening theme – was there need for the toe sucking!? Bears changing into humans so they can eat humans is about the only concept of the anime that makes sense at times. Like most Yuri anime this is as cute as a button, even the oh so threatening bears are made out to be somewhat adorable with their wee bows and crowns, even if they hit a 10 on the creep scale at times. I have to say even as the anime went one it only got more confusing and, well, more Yuri-toned. If there is a broader story there then I think I was too distracted trying to figure the whole thing out to focus on it.
Will I Continue To Watch: Unlikely, lack of story and reliance on how much confusion can be crammed into one episode.
What are you guys watching? Any worth mentioning? Let me know in the comments.