Fragglepuss Anime Review 135: Mr. Osomatsu / Osomatsu-san (2015)

mrosomatsu01

Mr. Osomatsu / Osomatsu-san (2015)

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Parody, Sextuplets

First Aired: Fall 2015, 24 episodes

Summary: The Matsuno household has six naughty and mischievous sons (who are sextuplets), led by the eldest Osomatsu. They were grade schoolers back in the Shouwa period, but despite still living in the same old household, the street view as well as the life style of modern day society have changed drastically. The six brothers are constantly dealing with everyday problems that they make into a big deal, such as how to split the pastries or when they must plead their case to their mother for her financial support.

Mr. Osomatsu’s episodes are full-length but consist of several skits within each episode. There is not much of a story so you can start watching at almost any point. The six brothers are the focus of the series and even though they look similar (they are sextuplets after all) they all possess a unique personality. The voice actors did a good job of making the Osomatsu brothers sound different which helped in distinguishing each brother. The humor is hit or miss which is likely due to cultural differences. It reminded me of Hozuki no Reitetsu, where there are a lot of jokes based on the Japanese culture. The animation of Osomatsu is new and refreshing. The color palettes are something you don’t see in many anime.

You might enjoy this if: You are an otaku looking for a unique anime that does not take itself too seriously and parodies the tropes of other anime. You’ll probably enjoy Osomatsu if you’re a sucker for anime nostalgia.

You might not like it if: You are looking for a show with substance and plot. Osomatsu is all about the quick skits, kind of like an anime version of Saturday Night Live, but using the same characters repeatedly.

Note to the Viewer: Osomatsu-san is a new series based on Osomatsu-kun, a series that originally aired in the 1960s. The original 1960s manga was written by Fujio Akatsuka. The new series began airing in October 2015 to celebrate Akatsuka’s 80th birthday. Another note, the first episode of the series has been pulled from streaming sites due to containing too many parodies.

AMV – Na Na Na by Baka Senpai AMVs

mrosomatsu02

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fragglepuss Introduction to Anime Music Videos (AMVs)

The Fragglepuss Introduction to Anime Music Videos (AMVs)…as well as some of my favorites

By: John Fragglepuss Evans

DSC_0005

An AMV is an Anime Music Video. AMVs are fan-made music videos of one or more anime set to some sort of audio track. They are not official music videos released by musicians. AMVs are generally categorized by genre, with categories such as: Action, Drama, Theatric, Fun, Dance, Romance, Comedy, Parody, Local and Category X. AMVs are a big part of virtually every anime convention. From my experience they are one of the most popular features of any anime con. At Anime Expo they even have a dedicated room that plays AMVs through the entire convention with themed block, such as: All the Feels, Comedy on the Edge, Femmes with Firearms, Mortal Combat, We Got the Beat and AMV Crossovers.

 

The first AMV was created in 1982 by Jim Kaposztas when he hooked up two VCRs and edited the most violent scenes of Star Blazers to “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles. Kaposztas was inspired by MTV and the start of the music video era. Although anime is used as the visual for AMVs, their popularity lies with the United States and other Western fans.

 

The AMV Competition is a staple for most anime conventions in the United States. AMVs are submitted by a deadline before the convention and organizers choose the top videos to present. AMVs are categorized with awards being presented after judging occurs. Judging is based on many aspects of the video. For example, AMVs are based on edited material which means transitions, beat detection, special effects, lip-syncing and other technical qualities will be judged. The pairing of animation to music can be important, meaning how well the song fits the theme of the anime. A comedy AMV can be partially judged based on its use of humor. An AMV can be judged on how well it tells a story, particularly in the case of drama or romance. Action AMVs can be judged on an appropriate use of action combined with fitting music. AMV competitions generally award the winner of each category. Another award often presented is “Viewer’s Choice”, the result of the audience voting for their favorite AMV. The last and most prized award is “Best in Show”, which is self-explanatory.

DSC_0022

AMV Contest at Anime Banzai 2015

 

I enjoy AMVs for all sorts of reasons. They are a fun and quick way to find out more about an anime you’re interested in, kind of like watching a trailer. It’s also an easy way to discover new anime. If you are watching an AMV you may see an anime you’re not familiar with that piques your interest. That’s how I found out about Usagi Drop.

 

Here’s the AMV I first saw at an AMV competition. It caused me to immediately look up Usagi Drop and watch the series as soon as possible. I appreciate the way an entire story is told in only a few minutes. The music is also a fitting choice. The AMV is: Ivy Bridge by Shin

 

This AMV of Redline is another I was first exposed to at a convention and was intrigued by the bold animation. I also enjoy it because the song choice fits the video perfectly even though I probably wouldn’t listen to the song otherwise. The AMV is: Ride or Die by Kyssifur

 

Another anime I started watching due to an AMV was based on Fullmetal Alchemist. The AMV covers most of the series in an emotional way that left me with no choice but to start watching. Once again, I would not listen to the song otherwise, but it fits the tone of the AMV well. The AMV is: Al’s Time of Dying by Bronze Phoenix

 

The last one I’ll mention uses The Master of Killing Time as the anime. I thought the AMV was hilarious so I had to find out more about this silly show. The AMV is: My Neighbor Figaro-Kun by Nicolio1313

 

AMVs are great because you can search for them based on a song you like, your favorite group or one of your favorite anime. Chances are there is an AMV you’ll discover based on any of those searches. I really like Madoka Magica and found this fantastic video. The editing is spot on. The AMV is: The Nightmagi Cometh by Rozzok

 

To the Forest of Firefly Lights has a wonderful AMV that makes you relive the high amount of emotion felt while watching the film. Warning, this AMV is spoiler heavy, so proceed with caution if you have not seen the movie. I agree with the song choice and the lyrics fit the video. The AMV is: You Can Be King Again by youlazybum

 

It is also entertaining to watch an AMV that sets a different tone to an anime. For example, an AMV can be made about a horror anime that turns it into a comedy or vice versa. This Dragon Ball Z AMV uses “Sexy and I Know It” to put the anime in a new light. The AMV is: Sorry for being Hercule, Sincerely Mr. Satan by l33tmeatwad

 

Compilation AMVs are perhaps the best example of changing the tone of an anime. Compilation series like AMV Hell and AMV Salad are perfect for anyone with a short attention span looking to laugh. Comedy clips made by various editors, about 30 seconds in length, are pieced together into a presentation that lasts about an hour. The compilations are more suited for the Otaku (Anime Geek) than the anime newbie. Here’s AMV Hell 3 – The Motion Picture

 

My favorite AMV studio is Pixel Blended Studios (PBS). Editors in PBS made the Ivy Bridge AMV I linked above. Another AMV made by PBS is Ultra Fighting Bros by irriadin and Daramue. I love the way this AMV combines fighters from multiple anime, giving the appearance they’re all part of the same video game. It’s a creative idea carried out successfully.

 

Another way multiple anime are combined to look like they’re part of the same world is through Dance AMVs, which are impressive in the beat detection department. This genre is an absolute joy in the way they make it look like the characters from various anime are dancing along with the music. One of my favorites is: Mmm Mmm Yeah Yeah! By 某科学的cc君

 

Here’s another Dance AMV: Shake it off by snowdragon25

 

In case those two aren’t enough for you, here is a third Dance AMV: Uptown Funk by JessD AMVs

 

To finish it off here is a Full Metal Panic comedy AMV that gets me every time, [Classified] by drgngrltonbo

 

AMVs are a fun and exciting new way to experience anime. Individuals that make them are creative and skilled at what they do. I’m glad people take the time to create and edit AMVs because it allows me to not only discover new anime but also experience some of my favorite anime in a different way.

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime, Conventions, Panels | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 134: Sekko Boys

sekkoboys01

Sekko Boys

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Music, Idol, Stone

First Aired: Winter 2016, 12 short-form episodes

Summary: Miki Ishimoto is an art school graduate that took the road less traveled. Her college experience mainly consisted of drawing various sculptures, from basic shapes to full stone bodies. She grew to despise all forms of sculptures, resulting in multiple freak-outs in the middle of class. As a recent college graduate she lands her dream job of managing the latest idol group, the Sekko Boys. To Miki’s surprise, the Sekko Boys are four Greco-Roman stone busts! It is Miki’s responsibility to make this stone idol group the next big thing, requiring a delicate balance of their unique and quirky personalities.

Sekko Boys is as bizarre as it sounds, proving that anime can still surprise you after all this time. After watching the first episode I shook my head and exclaimed, “Anime, you’ve done it again”. The short-form nature of the episodes fits the style of the series, with a short story being told in seven minutes. That being said, the stories are entertaining to watch, whether you are getting acquainted with one of the idols or they are having a problem as a group. Getting to know the boys is fun, as you quickly learn the difference in their personalities. They may all be stone idols, but their diverse personalities complement each other well. The animation budget must have been minuscule for Sekko Boys, considering four of the main characters are made of stone and don’t move.

You might enjoy this if: You are ready for a new type of idol.

You might not like it if: You’re expecting a “normal” anime.

Note to the Viewer: Don’t expect a lot of singing from the Sekko Boys, even though they’re an idol group.

Sekkou Boys Ending Credits

(I just love this ending so much)

sekkoboys03

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 133: Pokémon: Indigo League (The Original Pokémon Series)

pokemonindigoleague01

Pokémon: Indigo League (The Original Pokémon Series)

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Pocket Monsters

First Aired: Fall 1998, 82 episodes

Summary: It’s Ash Ketchum’s 10th birthday which means he is finally able to receive his first pokémon from Professor Oak and begin his journey as a pokémon trainer! Things get off to a rough start as he sleeps in and misses his opportunity to choose a starter pokémon. When Ash arrives late to Professor Oak’s, the three usual starter pokémon have already been chosen by other trainers and Ash is left with a defiant Pikachu. Be that as it may, Ash is ready to start his journey to become a Pokémon Master by catching pokémon and defeating gym trainers!

The recent Pokémon GO craze gave me a renewed interest to watch the original Pokémon series for the first time in years. I’m glad I did because I had forgotten how clever and hilarious the show can be. Believe it or not I had also forgot about the pokérap!

pokemonjigglypuff02

Jigglypuff has to be the best pokémon out there, with the adorable round puff that hides its devious tendencies. It’s hilarious when Jiggly scribbles on everyone’s faces when they don’t stay awake for its song, or when Jiggly becomes infuriated with the Clefairies that stole its marker. Vulpix is also pretty great.

The animation may not be the best and part of the reason I enjoy it might be due to nostalgic purposes, but Pokémon is still a fun anime to watch. It is geared toward a younger audience but can be enjoyed by one and all.

You might enjoy this if: You want to take a vacation to Nostalgia Nation. It is also a perfect series to watch with your kids, introducing the latest generation to anime and the wonderful world of Pokémon!

You might not like it if: Pokémon GO has driven you to the point of insanity. You see people playing it and it drives you mad because you don’t know why they love it so much and you don’t care. You have nightmares of Snorlax crushing you in your sleep.

Note to the Viewer: The creator of Pokemon, Satoshi Tajiri, sought to create something that embodied his childhood hobby, insect collecting.

The Original Pokérap

pokemonjigglypuff01

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 132: Dagashi Kashi

dagashikashi01

Dagashi Kashi

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Restaurant, Junk Food

First Aired: Winter 2016, 12 episodes

Summary: Shikada Kokonotsu is the heir to the family business, a sweet shop that has been in the family for nine generations! The plan is for Kokonotsu to take over the rural sweet shop one day, but he plans on becoming a mangaka (manga author) instead, which would make Shikada Dagashi have to close its doors for good. Everything is about to change when the quirky Shidare Hotaru appears at the sweet shop. Apparently, Kokonotsu’s father is famous and she wants him to join her family’s big business candy company. However, he will only agree if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over the family business.

Dagashi Kashi is an easy show to watch, providing a healthy balance of comedy and candy. Each episode is centered around a couple of real-life Japanese candy treats. Hotaru is the authority on sweets, giving detailed explanations of the goodies, including the best conditions to consume them. One episode even has them turning up the heat in the middle of summer in order to provide the best possible candy consumption for one of their favorite treats. The candy promotion seemed a bit much at times, almost like they were straight up advertising it, but whatever. The animation is not the best out there, but it’s a show about candy so what do you expect? Hotaru’s eyes are pretty cool though. I should mention there’s a fair amount of fan service in the series. I mean it’s a show about eating candy, you can imagine the inadvertent trouble they get themselves into.

You might enjoy this if: You are a candy connoisseur, especially in the realm of Ramune. If your passion is Pocky, you’ll be delighted by Dagashi Kashi!

You might not like it if: You are looking for a full meal instead of filling up on snacks. While there is an overarching storyline, it takes a back seat to the episodic focus on candy.

Note to the Viewer: Dagashi Kashi means “cheap sweets candy”. It’s a fitting title if you ask me.

AMV – Lucky Strike by Anime Music

dagashikashi05

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 131: Dimension W

dimensionw01

Dimension W

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Futuristic Energy

First Aired: Winter 2016, 12 episodes

Summary: The existence of a fourth dimensional axis beyond X, Y, and Z, Dimension W, was proved in the year 2036. Inter-dimensional electromagnetic induction devices known as coils were developed to draw out the seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy that exists in Dimension W. Giant towers built in sixty locations around the world stabilize the energy from Dimension W and now supply power to the entire world. The system built by New Tesla Energy and governments around the world is called the “world system” and has changed civilized society from its very core.

Fast-forward to the year 2072 and the world is full of powerful illegal coils. Kyoma is a Collector whose job is to find and retrieve these illegal coils. All is fine in Kyoma’s life until he encounters the unique coil android Mira. They are quite the unusual pair with Kyoma hating coil technology in all its forms, and Mira being a lovable humanoid-like android based on coil technology.

Dimension W is full of questions regarding a future with a questionable energy source. Is it really an inexhaustible energy without consequences? How does the energy work? Why does Kyoma loathe the technology? The futuristic world is intriguing enough to watch at least a few episodes. By that point you’ll probably be curious about the back story of Kyoma and Mira, as well as the history of coils, so it’s worth finishing the season.

You might enjoy this if: You dream of futuristic dystopias. Dimension W reminds me of Psycho-Pass in the way that society seems fine at first glance but below the surface is a frenzy of activity.

You might not like it if: You want your sci-fi to be off the wall and full of laughs.

Note to the Viewer: Watch for the flashbacks to occur. Some of them come out of nowhere, including at the beginning of an episode. If you’re not paying attention you will get really confused as to what’s going on.

Dimension W Opening

dimensionw04

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 130: Pom Poko / Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko

pompoko02

Pom Poko / Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Adventure, Supernatural, Raccoon Dogs, Tanuki, Studio Ghibli

First Released: June 1994, 111 minute film

Summary: Japan’s prosperity in the early 1960s is causing suburban expansion into the forest. Faced with the destruction of their habitat due to the growth of Tokyo, a group of tanuki (raccoon dogs) decide they must stop the expansion to prevent their home from being enveloped by the humans. They decide to develop their transforming talents in an attempt to hold back the development of New Tama. When they put their mind to it and band together, the tanuki are able to disrupt construction sites by causing accidents and haunting the sites. However, the tanuki are highly sociable creatures, which results in them throwing constant parties and losing focus of the goal at hand. The other problem is how the humans are very persistent, forcing the tanuki to use more and more extreme measures to save their home.

Pom Poko is directed by Isao Takahata, the director of Grave of the Fireflies. The film’s message on environmentalism is prominent, with a result that is depressing because of how real it is. Takahata seems to have a way of ending films in that realistic, yet depressing, manner (See Grave of the Fireflies and The Tale of Princess Kaguya).

The music in Pom Poko is unique in the amount of songs the tanuki sing. They are always singing, whether in celebration or in mourning. This seems consistent with the Japanese folklore of tanuki, which depicts them as sociable and mischievous, while being too fun-loving to be a real threat. The film is worth watching in Japanese to be able to listen to the songs in their original language. It just seems like there is always a disconnect in translating song lyrics, regardless of the film.

Even though the only characters you get to know are tanuki, the film does a wonderful job of making them unique and interesting. There are times they all look like plain raccoons, but for most of the film they have their own appearance and personality.

Since Pom Poko is a Studio Ghibli film, it is worth mentioning the English dub of the film. Poko differs from some of the more popular Ghibli films with the actors used for the dub. For instance, Howl’s Moving Castle uses actors like Christian Bale and Billy Crystal in its dub, while Pom Poko uses prominent voice actors like Maurice LaMarche, Tress Macneille, Jess Harnell, and John DiMaggio. If you are unfamiliar with the work of these voice actors, look them up and I can almost guarantee you have heard them in all sorts of shows. One example is how Maurice LaMarche is the Brain from Pinky & the Brain. He narrates the film, so just imagine the Brain narrating a film about tanuki. It’s pretty great. As an extra nugget of information, Jonathan Taylor Thomas provides the voice for Shoukichi.

You might enjoy this if: You want to learn more about tanuki folklore while being reminded about the negative impact humans have on the environment. Also, be warned that Pom Poko is different than some of the more popular Ghibli films, like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. I really enjoyed the film and its message, but it focuses more on folklore, rather than the typical Ghibli fantasy.

You might not like it if: You demand humans play the main characters in a film.

Note to the Viewer: In the English sub and dub, the tanuki are incorrectly referred to as just “raccoons”. The correct translation for tanuki is “raccoon dog”. Another note, as testicles are an integral part of tanuki folklore, they are referenced throughout the film.

Pom Poko Official Trailer

pompoko01

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 129: Prison School / Kangoku Gakuen

prisonschool01

Prison School / Kangoku Gakuen

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, School, Romance, Prison

First Aired: Summer 2015, 12 episodes.

Summary: Hachimitsu Private Academy is located in the outskirts of Tokyo. The traditionally all-girls boarding school with strict discipline and an excellent track record of college prep has elected to allow boys into its program for the first time. In its inaugural year of allowing males, only five make it in, resulting in a 200 to 1 ratio of girls to guys! Sounds like it is going to be an excellent three years for the boys right? Not if the Underground Student Council (USC) has any say in the manner! The USC does not agree with the idea of letting males into their prestigious academy. They are determined to make the boys’ lives a living hell and ultimately get them expelled. Luckily for the USC there is a prison on school grounds to send the boys to for any sort of disciplinary action.

Prison School is a crazy show from the first episode on. Everything from the story to the characters is mature in nature and it never holds back from a dirty joke. Almost the entirety of the season is set with the boys in prison and their interaction with the USC, which includes beatings and a variety of punishments.

Now that I have scared off anyone that would be offended by Prison School, here’s what I think about it. The animation is extreme in many ways. Facial expressions are often given extra detail for added effect. Body parts are also pushed to the extreme in many ways, such as one of the boys that has a giant head but a tiny face. I went back and forth about the story. There were times I thought it was going in a decent direction, but other times I was left shaking my head. In the end it was clear the focus of the anime was on the mature content and not necessarily a seamless story.

You might enjoy this if: You are ready for a free-for-all of punishment and sexual innuendo. If you weren’t offended by Shimoneta (A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist), you will probably be alright with Prison School.

You might not like it if: You are offended by mature content. The fan service is through the roof in all sorts of ways. Even though the classic “black bars” and convenient “anime light streaks” censor most of the inappropriate content, it’s no secret as to what is happening…

Note to the Viewer: Somehow, there’s a live-action adaptation of Prison School. I’m not sure how they can get away with showing that kind of content, but apparently they’re doing it…

Prison School – Official Opening – Ai no Prison

prisonschool04prisonschool03

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Anime Review 128: Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro / Cagliostro no Shiro

lupinIIIcastleofcagliostro01

Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro / Cagliostro no Shiro

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Capers, Thievery, Miyazaki

First Released: December 1979, 100-minute film

Summary: Lupin III and his partner Jigen have just completed their biggest heist yet, filling their entire car with money from a casino! Unfortunately for the thieves, the money is all counterfeit. Their search for the source of the counterfeiter leads them to the Castle of Cagliostro, which begins their adventure.

The Castle of Cagliostro is the theatrical directorial debut of acclaimed Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki. He directed Cagliostro years before he co-founded Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki’s style can be seen in the film, from the beautiful depiction of the scenery to the realistic portrayal of the characters.

The story is enjoyable and the adventure does not seem to drag on. Several characters are introduced, each with their own unique identity and purpose. Some are lovable while others are the type you love to hate. One of the best aspects of the characters is that they possess the classic Miyazaki characteristic of understanding why they act the way they do. The heroes are imperfect and the villains are evil, but somewhat able to justify their evil deeds.

Several aspects of the film are reminiscent of the earlier days of anime, such as the animation and the sound effects. The classic laser-like sound effects are heard a few times and the animation shows signs that it was released in the late 70s. I enjoy the Cagliostro animation a great deal, especially with it being Miyazaki’s style, but it is interesting to see how much animation has changed in the past few decades.

Cagliostro does a great job at being a stand-alone film for Lupin III, especially since it is the second Lupin film and has an anime as its predecessor as well. There were a few times though that I wondered if I had missed something because of the familiarity Lupin had with a few characters. Turns out I had not missed anything in Cagliostro because most of the Lupin characters had been introduced in earlier features.

You might enjoy this if: You are ready for a fun adventure. If you like Indiana Jones or James Bond, Lupin is right for you. If you want to see Hayao Miyazaki’s roots, The Castle of Cagliostro is the place to start.

You might not like it if: You cannot handle older animation. The film is wonderful, but if you cannot look past the older animation style, you will probably have a difficult time with Cagliostro.

Note to the Viewer: Several versions of Cagliostro have been released over the years. The original theatrical release in Japan came with an original set of subtitles. The film was released in the U.S. in 1992 with a new set of subtitles and a dub that did not follow the original Japanese very well. For example, Lupin is referred to as “the Wolf”. In 2000 a re-release of the film in the U.S. issued a new dub that followed the original Japanese better than the 1992 version. It was also accompanied by some new subtitles. In 2015 the film was once again re-released, this time with an additional option of a “family friendly” dub with reduced profanity. It also includes a “commentary with Reed Nelson” audio option. I personally prefer the 2000 version if you are going to watch it dubbed.

The Castle of Cagliostro Official Trailer

(The trailer is so cheesy but I love it!)

lupinIIIcastleofcagliostro03

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fragglepuss Manga Review: Neko Ramen

nekoramen05

Neko Ramen (Manga)

Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans

Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life, Food, Cooking, Ramen Cat

First Published: 2006 – 2012, 5 manga volumes

Summary: Neko Ramen is a Japanese four-panel comic strip manga. The focus of the comic strip is a cat named Taisho, the owner/chef of the Neko Ramen shop in Japan. Taisho leads an interesting life at the ramen shop, whether he is competing with a new shop across the street or introducing new ramen varieties.

Tanaka, a business man, is the only regular customer at Neko Ramen, even though he does not care for the food. He plays an important role by listening to Taisho and giving suggestions on who to hire on as part-time help at the shop.

Neko Ramen is a wonderful light read. The four-panel strips provide a quick and easy read, even if you only have a minute. There is some variance in the volumes however, with longer stories that provide background and depth to Taisho’s character. The animation is simple, but fitting for the nature of the series. The characters are a fun part of the manga. Taisho and Tanaka are lovable main characters, while several others show up every so often.

You might enjoy this if: You have always wondered how a cat would run a ramen shop. Taisho is great because he will be showcasing his human-like traits, but the cat-side of him almost always comes out in the end. If you want more Neko Ramen, check out the 2007 short-form anime.

You might not like it if: You want a manga with complex and overarching story lines.

Note to the Reader: Neko Ramen makes me think of a Japanese version of Garfield.

nekoramen04

Here’s my review of the 2007 Neko Ramen anime.

FragglepussAnimeReviewsLogo01

Fragglepuss.com

Posted in Anime, Manga | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment