Hello, Kaushik here back for another look at anime. This time I’ll be covering a currently-airing show, Minami-ke Tadaima. In true Minami-ke style, it has been handed off to another studio to produce, making this the 3rd studio in 4 seasons to handle this show. Minami-ke Tadaima started airing January 6, 2013, and is projected to be about 13 episodes, like all of the other seasons. As I mentioned in my Minami-ke review, the art style and subsequent quality of this series has been quite variable over the seasons, but so far Tadaima has been quite good!
Minami-ke is, as Chiaki states in the beginning of every episode, “… a simple illustration of the three Minami sisters and the ordinary life they lead. Please don’t expect too much from it.” It’s just a simple slice-of-life series featuring 3 main characters. Minami Haruka, Minami Kana, and Minami Chiaki. That’s about as deep as the premise of this show gets, really. As with a lot of anime these days, their parents are nowhere to be seen. Instead, they have an apartment in some unnamed city in pleasantville, Japan where there’s nice neighborhoods, a bustling city, and wonderful nature all a stone’s throw away from the beach. What a nice place, isn’t it? The show is mostly some basic slice-of-life with a strong emphasis on comedy, but sometimes some fantastical situations take place. For example, the most recent episode of Tadaima (as of today, episode 8) involved a hypnotic broadcast show that hypnotized all the characters into being obsessed with eating vegetables. It was actually somewhat creepy, but clearly it was for comedy.
Minami-ke Tadaima has a very diverse cast list, and surprisingly most (if not all) of them pop up in most episodes. The show is presented in several shorts, usually. This means it can change settings and characters several times per episode, allowing for a lot of different situations. For a show like this, it works quite well since the diverse character list allows for a lot of different kinds of humors and keeps the show from getting too stale. That being said, the main characters are almost always the main focus of each and every episode.
The main characters of Minami-ke are the 3 Minami siblings, Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki. They also each represent a different age group, and have their own groups of friends. Haruka is in high school, and is generally the motherly figure of the trio. She’s kind and caring and all-around gracious. Everyone likes Minami Haruka. In contrast, Kana is in middle school, and a total goofball. She’s the kind of character that will get the jokes rolling, because every cast needs an idiot to work with. She’s also one of my favorite characters in the show. Chiaki, the last and youngest Minami, generally plays the straight man to Kana’s idiocy. However, she’s only in elementary school, so sometimes she gets caught up with Kana’s stories and follows Kana around. Besides the main three, there’s a whole host of friends and minor characters and associated plot lines in Minami-ke.
While there are 4 seasons of this show so far, and while the subsequent seasons are something of sequels, you don’t really have to watch them in order. There are, however, several running jokes continuing in this season that a new viewer may not immediately understand. For example, the reason a character called Makoto crossdresses as “Mako-chan” is never explained outside of the first season, to my memory. So while you may not get how a certain joke started, it’s not particularly important. As long as you just accept that it’s a joke in the series, you can easily appreciate the subsequent humor. If you’re interested, you can then watch the other seasons of the show, which are quite good (with a strong exception for season 2).
Most of the seasons of Minami-ke are very solid slice-of-life/comedy series with a diverse cast of characters that doesn’t get too boring. It has a lot to appreciate, and the latest season of Minami-ke, Tadaima, really exemplifies that fact. While only 8 episodes of the season is out so far, it has been exceptionally good so far and has an easy shot of becoming my favorite Minami-ke season to date (finally knocking down the first season from its number one spot?). If ever there was a time to get into Minami-ke and expect some quality episodes and humor, now would be that time.
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