This week is the turn of the slice of life comedy and a personal favorite And Yet the Town Moves, also known as Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru or SoreMachi for short.
Disclaimer: This is part of a series of reviews of Anime which I think people should be more aware of. For that purpose I'm using the tag Ani-NOW, meaning Anime No One Watched, I'm tweaking the review format a little to adjust to the objective of the review series: Try to make people interested in watching the show without spoiling too much.
Summary: Hotori Arashiyama loves mysteries, but there's one she just can't solve: why does the solution to one problem inevitably seem to lead to another? Like how when Hotori has to start working at the Seaside Maid Cafe after school to pay off a debt and her friend Toshiko fortunately knows exactly how a Maid Cafe should be run. Which is fortunate since Hotori has no clue. Except that, unfortunately, Toshiko has no interest in working at the cafe—until she discovers that Hotori's childhood friend Hiroyuki is a regular. Which SEEMS fortunate. Except that Hotori doesn't know that, while Toshiko likes Hiroyuki, Hiroyuki secretly likes Hotori, while Hotori secretly has a crush on... No, no more spoilers!
But if that's not enough drama, there's work, angst with a certain math teacher, table tennis between her classmates, her younger brother versus the school's bad girl... And yet, even though everything seems like it's going to crash at any moment, somehow Hotori's life keeps going hilariously forward. (Source: The Sentai Filmworks DVD release)
- Character interaction is everything in this show, and despite the often implausible events that occur in the series, the characters never feel implausible. Hotori and Toshiko as the funny/straight man combo is never boring. Sanada is very interesting and he could have been very well the star of his own show, Uki's dry wits, Hotori's lovely little brother, the clumsy owner of the antique shop etc., even Kon normality plays so well, chemistry is everywhere But there's nothing like the war of ideals between Hotori and her humorless Math teacher. Pure comedy gold in there.
- Hotori's Voice Actress. She was born to voice that character. A nasal and whiney tone of voice that people will find annoying and make some people complain, but it is supposed to cause exactly that reaction. It fits to a tee. Also the rest of the staff is superb, which really helps a lot for this style of comedy.
- It takes risks, something not so common in this kind of shows when usually, after finding a "modus operandi" and assigning each character a role they stick with it. This series is constantly exploring new ways of delivering a joke. Banter between its main characters for short sharp gags, situational comedy, surreal comedy, sight gags, puns, this show has it all, they even have a somewhat tearjerker episode between all that!. It manages to both impress you and make you laugh at the same time.
- I don't have much here, but here we go. The first half may be boring and slow paced for some, and this was one of the reasons people dropped the series, or didn't give it a second glance. Also Hotori may sound grating for some, and since some of the side-characters tend to have more personality than her, she's somewhat overshadowed.
- Some Japanes puns just don't translate that well to English, so there's some comedy lost in there, making the jokes to fell flat more often than not giving the comedy an uneven feeling, but nothing to fret about.
In short: Being Tsundere is a sign of intelligence. Nah just kidding. One of the best slice of life in recent memory and a heartfelt comedy that can even make you cry. It may start a little slow, but if you it can past the first impressions you will not regret watching this to the end. Also both the OP and ED songs are really good
- A lot of Anime/Manga references in this one, Yu Yu Hakusho homage in the ED, Hotori Mascot name is Josephine Joestar a homage to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Metantei Yukiko is also a reference to a Detective Conan character.
- I don't even know to tell you what this is right? right?
- It seems that Star Trek's Vulcan Salute was a Maid salute all this time, and for some reason Toshiko can't do it. Weird.