Beginning Review: Chibi Devi

So the premise of this anime is that a sad, lonely, picked-on 14 year old girl is sad and lonely.  Then she wakes up with a baby in her bed. She is flustered and OMG-ing, but then she puts the baby in a Godzilla-esque ADORABLE costume, goes out and then he lays some vengeful smack down on the pair of bitches that were picking on her.

End ep. 1. I know, right? So it’s a comedy, kinda gag filled and silly.  You know, lighthearted and foolish.  I think it’s pretty funny.  The episodes are really short, 5 minutes each, including the short and hilariously non-verbose opening theme song.  You meet more characters and wacky fire-breathing baby adventures ensue. Personally, I think it’s pretty funny.  The pace is fast fast, which is good for a comedy, and it has to be with such a short episode.

Fair warning – There is a lot of this kind of shot in this show.

The art is SO VERY reminiscent of Daa! Daa! Daa! that I don’t know what to do with myself (other than watch that old ass fun alien baby show again). Overall, the art and animation are not good, but they’re not pull-your-hair-out bad either.  There are definitely moments of *twitching* for me though. Just don’t expect much.  It’s a silly comedy.

Overall, I am enjoying this show as a fun fluffy comedy.  It’s a quick laugh or two and it’s worth the five minutes each episode.  Is it brilliant?  No.  Is it amazing? No.  Will it go down in history? I dunno yet.  But it’s fun and that’s what entertainment is for, yes? Being entertained.

That said, there is something really creeping me out about shy lonely girl’s problems being solved by having a baby.  In real life, having a baby to solve sadness and loneliness is a very bad thing to do, and it is not healthy for babies, but people do it a lot.  Granted, I doubt they’re 14-year-olds, but I have met people who have done this and I have seen a lot of media depictions of this idea and it bothers me.  No good at all, please erase it from the collective culture. Or at least show that it’s actually really bad, and that postpartum depression kills. Being depressed pre-partum is bad too.  But we’ll see how this show plays out, and hope for the best.

Also, If you’re desirous of more baby-antic entertainment, you should watch Beelzebub.  This is also about a demonic baby that shows up and causes antics, but is so very, very shounen (whereas chibi devi is shoujo).  It’s fun to compare and contrast, and Beelzebub is hilarious! I love it.

And check out the classic and wonderful Daa! Daa! Daa! This is a shoujo comedy from forever ago about an alien baby.  So premises similar, so far the antics are kinda similar, and Daa! Daa! Daa! is nostalgic good times for me. Plus, there is a truck load of both shows (30+ Beelzebub and nearly 80 Daa!).

Review: Ouran Koukou Host Club

Ouran Koukou Host Club is a great example of a really popular show that’s all about the moe, but isn’t by Akamatsu Ken and isn’t even made for males. All the main cast are bishi, all of the male bishi have many slashable moments (most prominently the twincest done purposefully by the manipulative twins), and they even acquire a character meant to create or highlight any stray moe moments that might happen. It’s also one of the best examples of a “beautiful people’s club” in anime, and I can’t in good faith start reviewing that tag of anime without pointing this one out as the big contender.

The premise is that the protagonist, Haruhi, stumbles into a Host Club at her extravagant illustrious school for the rich (which she has gotten in via hard work and talent, because she is actually poor).  She ends up forced to work there thanks to an accident, and due to her appearance is mistaken for a boy at first, and spends most of the show dressed as one anyway.  They really rush the premise establishing, but I enjoyed the first episode anyway.

Tamaki chooses you!

The show is in great part driven by the antics of Tamaki, the “King” of the host club.  He’s got a huge personality, and a foolish streak a mile wide, but he really manages to drive the fun of the show well.  He really is the thread holding the characters together, which becomes more and more apparent as the show goes on.  Kaoru even starts making overtures about how he must be brilliant to manage to come up with a setting to get them to live happily ever after (and then later bemoans his foolishness for thinking it was anything other that idiocy and luck). The show, by the way, is entirely character-driven.  If you don’t like the cast or watching them fool around then you’re not going to like the show. All of the episodes plots are about the antics of the club, backstory about the characters, or developing relationships between Haruhi and one of the other bishi, including the ending.  Which was a nice ending, overall. It had a really good build up, climax and message.  There is a element of sadness and of happiness and of maintaining the status quo.  Also, I adored Kyoya’s role in it, and how he really whipped out his badassery, and learning gradually about it as the show progressed.  AWESOME! … As you can tell, he ended up being my favorite character, though honestly, I liked them all quite a lot.

The character designs are stylized and simple, and unfortunately I think they occasionally they stick out against the often extravagant and detailed backgrounds. But the movement and overall animation is smooth and well done, though I don’t really understand the decision making process of their opening and ending’s animation. They don’t really exemplify the show at all, and seem almost the cheapest made thing for the first several episodes. Later on when the quality drops a bit they stick out less, but I was never a fan of more than the opening song. From time to time there is some unusual directing, such as the blinking arrows, which I like and find lighthearted and interesting, but again, nothing mind-blowing or amazing.  It occasionally sinks to being cartoon-ish, even adding excessive sound effects and having monkeys and banana peels show up out of nowhere to trip up the cast. Some of it is in good silliness fun and some of it is just low-brow and bleh to me.

Overall, the show is really good at what it does, which admittedly isn’t much.  If you’re looking for complexity, or A’s across the board, this isn’t the show.  But it is an incredibly entertaining watch if you want some light-hearted fluffy shoujo fun, a little eye-rolling, blatant moe , and some well-done characters. From beginning to end the show has a great feel, delivers fun and foolish antics, silly costumes, unlikely situations, and of course, sparkling bishi. It’s a must-see for the genre, but not really for everyone overall.