It’s an odd couple but with lots more pain!
What’s up Moarpowah readers? Feeling lucky today? On today’s plate is a review the adaptation of Binbougami ga! a slapstick comedy manga by Yoshiaki Sukeno.
Ichiko Sakura is the most fortunate girl in the world. She has looks, smarts, and spoiled with wealth due to her great Fortune… Which she unconsciously drains from other people, leaving them miserable or ruining everyone who gets close to her. As a result the gods have acted and sent Momiji, a God of Misfortune to drain Ichiko’s stolen Fortune and return it to the world in a very painful way. Of course the spoiled and conceited Ichiko isn’t having any of this and the crass unladylike Momiji isn’t backing down. Along the way, other people get sucked into Ichiko’s lonely life and the chaos really begins.
For a comedy, I enjoy how in the episodic format, which suits for the original manga, Ichiko grows bit by bit as a person in her time trading blows with Momiji. Previous episodes are called upon and many characters from major arcs still play important roles even after their zany adventures like Keita and Ranmaru. Minor characters are also called upon for brief appearances or mentions, but some of them fall by the wayside and get as little as half an episode for their deal, like Kuroyuri or Ibuki. Ichiko really shows some kind of development and it builds, even though things get a little rushed in the middle or start off rather predictably. (Ichiko meets someone, Momiji has her scheme of the week to steal her Fortune, the someone gets wrapped up in Ichiko’s mayhem induced by Momiji, things get serious and Ichiko has to confront a problem of hers, problem is solved, things go back to normal, Ichiko makes a friend and grows a bit ) However, the ending really shows how far the characters have come, and I’d say it was a good note to end on.
Most of the scripted comedy comes from allusions and slapstick. Nary an episode goes by without the cast destroying something on a grand scale or kicking the crap out of each other. That said, if you’re not into the sheer unrealistic nature of the show, this can probably get old for you very quickly. But if you’re the type that enjoys old cartoon humor and the neurotic crudeness of the leading ladies, you’ll get a kick out of it. The allusions can hit home or fall flat, it really depends. On the bright side for the script, I like in-spite of the frequent boob comparison jokes between the lead females and the the dirty pair of dudes Momo and Bobby, the show isn’t a complete fanservice fest and is actually tamer than it looks by a smidgen. The boob joke is the most obvious and easiest joke to make and I suppose the writers already use it enough so there’s some conscious decision to not have the female cast frequently naked. All this to avoid beating dead horses which it is dangerously close to at times.
What I think really carries some of the gags is the voice acting. Kana Hanazawa and Yumi Uchiyama as Ichiko and Momiji respectively crank their performances up to eleven. Hanazawa busts out of her usual composed or demure roles and just cuts loose big time. Yelling screaming, laughing, and more it really brings out more of her with such a violent and volatile role. Uchiyama may not be uber prolific but she is royally good, showcasing her stuff from the uncouth nature of her role to the cutesy voices to even some other personalities that you’d have to see for yourself. The rest of the cast is nothing to sneeze at either but the leads stick out majorly. Honestly, that’s probably worth something in my final verdict.
Sunrise’s art and animation is very clean and modern style, I’ve got no real complaints here, and a good laugh-out-loud type of comedy should have various style changes for visual gags and the like. The animators seem to have had a lot of fun too. BGM is serviceable and the OP and ED are catchy, so these departments get a pass.
I’d say for a dry spell, Binbougami ga! was a fine time killer and lighthearted romp while the good stuff rolls out later on. I won’t say it’s amazing, but if you can get behind it, you’ll have fun. If you’re not big on plot and you just want a bunch of idiots kicking the tar out of each other with lots of allusions and boob jokes (without over-fanservice) it’s worth checking out if you have the time. It’s the sort of show to watch when you wanna turn off your head in a certain way after a long day of work. Join me next time when I will teach you how to look like you belong in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Fist of the North Star, and plenty of other classic shonen.
– Character development is pretty good
– Continuity in slight bits for an episodic show give consistency
– Voice acting is superb
– It’s been a while since we’ve seen this kind of comedy in anime in my opinion
– You’ll need to be slightly on board with the humor style
– Some jokes are rather repetitive
– Some characters and gags fall through the cracks
Director: Yoichi Fujita
Character design: Kenji Tanabe
Music: Masashi Hamauzu
Original creator: Yoshiaki Sukeno (manga)
Original run: July 4, 2012 – September 26, 2012
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