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Animal Yokocho (Episode 1) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Tuesday, 22 November 2005 00:00
Animal Yokocho - Title CardFor some reason the whole "trapdoor in the floor" thing makes me think of a certain other TV series - something entirely different but no less weird.  At least Ami-chan doesn't have to deal with "him upstairs" - although the animals from Animal Yokocho can wreak their own form of havoc with absolutely no problems at all...

1a - Heart-Pounding Chapter of New Friends
5-year-old Ami-chan has a strange door in the middle of her bedroom.  It leads to Animal Yokocho (that's Animal Lane in English), and strange animals keep coming through the door to play with her.  There's Issa the panda, Iyo the rabbit and Kenta the bear to start with, and while they try their best to be helpful to Ami-chan, chaos never seems to be far away...

Animal Yokocho - Kenta, Issa and IyoAnimal Yokocho - Mind the door!

1b - Heart-Pounding Chapter of Door Opening
Ami-chan returns from her first day at her new school to find Issa, Iyo and Kenta playing baseball in her room.  Why can't they just play ball in AniYoko?!  Ami-chan's curious about what AniYoko's like, but the animals don't seem to keen on letting her take a look for herself - it seems no-one from the human side of the door has ever opened it themselves.  When Ami tries to open the door, it sticks - are the animals stuck in her house forever?  Nah - they've just put the door on the wrong way around...

Animal Yokocho - Popping back to lifeAnimal Yokocho - Don't you open that trapdoor...

And the award for the most insanely catchy OP theme of this season goes to Animal Yokocho.  I can't get the dang thing (along with a clip of Ami and the animals doing ballet - you need to see it to know why) out of my head.  Argh!

This is once sickeningly cute and light-hearted series.  It's definitely a kids show at heart, but there's also a little bit of the insane cuteness of Bottle Fairy mixed with the insane humour of Hale+Guu in there.  All good comparisons to have - but for some reason it didn't quite click with me, and I couldn't honestly give you a reason why.

If you like cute and cheerful, give this a look, but for me it's a "pass".