Another weekend without Jack and Jill means another anime review from me… but worry not, the new season of Jack and Jill will be ready next weekend. Be sure to stay tuned!
As you can see from the title, today we get into the A’s of the list, starting with A-Channel, a show stemming from the 4-koma manga by Kuroda bb; supposedly it’s seinen, but personally when I think of seinen I think of darker and more violent series such as Gantz or Battle Royale; A-Channel just seems like another one of those shows following the fad featuring cute girls doing nothing in particular. In any case, without further ado, let’s dig in, Itadakimasu~
When I mentioned cute girls doing nothing in particular, I really meant they did nothing in particular. There is no plot whatsoever for A-Channel. It wasn’t even as if they were striving towards a goal and just getting sidetrack; A-Channel is a slice of life in every meaning of the phrase. That being said, this isn’t the worst development that can happen. An anime with a weak plot can make it up with good character development and execution, unfortunately neither of which A-Channel had.
Let’s start out with the main characters, shall we? We have our main character, Ichii Tooru, a very petite first-year high school who is both overprotective and smitten by her upperclassman/childhood friend named Momoki Run. Tooru is smart and quiet while Run is dense and ditsy. There are also Run’s friends from her class, Nishi Yuuko, the classic beauty who is easy to tease, and Tennouji Nagisa, token glasses chick with a bland personality. Each of these characters stay true to their stereotypes.
There are also some minor side characters, the teachers and Tooru’s fans, but their importance in the anime is utterly minimal and almost entirely independent of the main cast’s actions. As for the execution, the anime simply follows the girls’ everyday lives, during school and during summer vacation. They do homework, go to fast food joints, go to the beach, the whole drill.
The only thing I guess is somewhat unique to this show is the strangely large amount of shoujo-ai elements. Tooru will try to keep boys from interacting with Run by shooing them off with a baseball bat, before Tooru becomes friends with Yuuko and Nagisa she is extremely jealous of their closeness to Run, and of course, there are those scenes where Tooru catches Run flashing by accident. There are also other awkward moments not involving Tooru, of course, but I’d say her feelings towards Run are a little stronger than simply of admiration towards an upperclassman. I suppose I found it rather amusing that Run doesn’t ever notice it.
The shoujo-ai in here was actually pretty comical and light-hearted, so it worked well for the show and added a bit of spice to its otherwise mediocre everything. Another thing that worked well, I’m surprised to say, is the sound. Both the OP and the ED were cheery and catchy, which the normal bgm was decent even standalone. Also the voice acting was pretty good, especially for Yuuko, whose Kansai dialect, in my uneducated opinion, added some quirk to her otherwise run-of-the-mill character. Not to mention, two of my favorite seiyuu were part of the cast, Ono Daisuke and Miyuki Sawashiro (although they voiced supporting roles only).
Oddly enough, today we wrap up with art and animation, both of which, unfortunately again, were pretty standard. The animation was standard for any anime, since this series doesn’t have any particularly high demands when it comes to complex movements or highly decorative backgrounds. As for the art style, it was definitely aiming for the moe appeal, with the large eyes/head small body thing going on, almost as if the girls were partially drawn as chibis.
One qualm I had with the art was that the characters weren’t actually all that originally designed. The style and quality difference of the manga art offsets what I’m about to mention, so these are specifically aimed at the anime. Yuuko’s long black hair, supple body and personality are almost a carbon copy of that of Akiyama Mio, from K-ON!. Tooru just looks like a little boy, and Nagisa definitely looks like Mari Illustrious Makinami from Evangelion. Run is the most unique of them all, if anything because she ties up her bangs so you get an eyeful of her forehead.
From plot to characters to art, this series was pretty darned mediocre. The only aspect that stood out to me was, strangely, sound. But this isn’t to say that the show was bad; it was fairly entertaining while it lasted, but if your cup of tea isn’t moe slice of life, maybe you should consider ordering some other grub. Other that that, we’re done for the day.
Over and out, gochisousama deshita!
Studio: Studio Gokumi
Director: Manabu Ono
Character design: Masakatsu Sasaki
Music: Satoru Kousaki
Original creator: bb Kuroda (manga)
Original run: April 8, 2011 – June 24, 2011