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Short-Form Roundup: Teekyu / Poyopoyo / Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life / Encouragement of Climb / Mangirl / Senyu PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 15 April 2013 21:44
Reviews for short-form anime tend to be, well, short. So rather than post a lot of one-paragraph reviews for the recent batch of short shows, here's the Winter roundup. With added Poyopoyo.


First meeetingPoyo

If ever there were a show than never gave you time to think, Teekyu is it. Following the antics of a group of high-school girls (natch) with a fondness for tennis, it crams so much into its short running time - mainlybyspeakingsodamnquickyouhavetostopandthinktorealisewherethewordsarebreakingupandwhatsgoingon - that all you can really take in is that stuff happens, it's insane, and somehow you're enjoying yourself. As well as the expected tennis-based episodes, there's bathhouse trips, part-time jobs, and summer festivals, all portrayed at breakneck speed. If you can make sense of any of it, you're doing better than me, but the sheer insanity of it is infections and I found I didn't really care that I couldn't follow what was going on, I was just smiling along. Which is really the point. Word is this is getting a second season later in the year - can't wait.

Rating - ***

Poyopoyo (Episodes 27-52)

The best cat in anime rolls around (sorry) for another batch of episodes - you can read about the first half of the season here, and be assured that nothing much has changed this time around - Poyo is still fat, still lovable, and still trying hard to fight off the amorous approaches of next-door cat Kuro. This is easily the best short-form show I've seen, and while a lot of that probably comes from owning a fat orange furball of my own - Poyopoyo is funny because it's largely true - there's still appeal here for non-cat people. One of those shows where you wish it didn't have to end. But sadly, it has.

Rating - *****

Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life

Lovely, but with a dark heart. So goes the official description of the show's titular nondescript critter with an penchant for high-school girls. Backed with a decidely 8-bit feel (taking hints from Yo Gabba Gabba?) from its Mario Bros knock-off OP and on, this is a show that falls decidedly into the 'guilty pleasure' episode, and I'd wish for the episodes to be longer were it not that it probably would work so well if they were. I suspect there are aspects of Wooser in any anime fan, and that's what makes it so much fun.

Rating - ****

Encouragement of Climb

Aoi prefers indoor hobbies and is afraid of heights, but her childhood friend Hinata loves to show off her passion for mountain climbing. The "cute girls doing cute things" genre has done just about everything else, so why not "cute girls climbing small mountains"? It was only a matter of time... Fortunately, Encouragement of Climb works out well - rather than the frantic feel that most short shows go for, this is far more laid back, the 'slice' in 'slice of life' as Hinata and Aoi go about their mountain climbing (in the most adorable way, usually), and make friends along the way. It's hard to avoid going "D'awwwww". Episode length is just about right for what it's trying to do, but I would've happily taken a lot more episodes of it.

Rating - ****


Take a bunch of cute young women, give them a manga anthology to run, and sit back and see what happens. This'll be catnip for fans of the likes of Animation Runner Kuromi, as it has the same behind-the-scenes look at the manga industry, combined with fast-paced comedy. Works for me. Over the course of the series, Hana and her small but select staff get their publication from its initial launch, through publicity tours and mangaka signing session, via hot-spring holidays to the inevitable anime adaptation, and have a lot of fun with each other along the way - which in turn makes it fun to watch. Again, too short a series.

Rating - ****


Giving Maoyu a run in the 'cutest demon king ever' stakes, meet Rchi-tan, and the heroes who just can't bring themselves to kill her. After promising to save anime with Fractale (err, #fail), Yamakan returns with this little ditty, which takes the world of generic fantasy RGP storylines and pokes a little fun. It's not going to save anime, but it does manage to raise a few sniggers along its way. Suffers, though, from having no real conclusion - expect a second season - and for somehow managing to drag things out too long. I never though that was possible in episodes this short.

Rating - ***

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