Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Chi's Sweet Home and Other Short Shorts

Chi is not pleased that I left him out of my first impression posts...

Chi's Sweet Home was actually the first first episode I watched of the Spring season but that was back home when I was still busy freaking out packing to come all the way here and my then stressed anime starved mind needed that 3 minutes of fuzziness that only a show about a kitten could bring. I kind of forgot about it once I arrived here in Osaka though, but after sifting through so many series this season, I think it's about time I watch more of Chi and his fuzzy 'adventures'. It's the perfect way to chill out after a long day of seemingly endless lessons -_-" Seriously, you must be an extreme cat hater to not feel you day brighten up at least a little bit after watching Chi :P He's like a smaller snarkier version of the incredibly adorable Grey from Sketchbook (Another must watch for cat-lovers. Personally, I don't have a preference between cats or dogs. Or kappas =P).

But if cats aren't your thing (or penguins) and and you have like 5 minutes to burn without anything to do or watch, here's a couple of 'short short' titles you could consider:

Kappa no Kaikata or How to Raise a Water Imp is a short short in that each episode is only 4 episodes long but there's 26 of them so you could technically finish the series in under 2 hours of you wanted to. It's about a guy who decides to get a water imp (kappa) as a pet, which may sound bizzare to us since these duck-billed turtle-shelled creatures (remember Pani Poni Dash?) don't actually exist (or do they...?). But in the realm of the show, which is your otherwise average modern-day Japan, they're the new hottest pets since... whatever the last hottest pet in Japan was. Basically it's 26 episodes of 'Watashi's (so ANN refers to him. The main human character doesn't have a name) forays into taking care of his new pet Kaatan, who turns out to be quite a handful (feeding kappas horseradish seems to be a very bad idea...). Other recurring characters include various other kappa owners and their kappas who do pet-owner-like stuff like dress up their kappas in human clothes, take them out for walks/swims, use them as replacement family members, etc.

The show kind of ends on a "uh-oh, this may turn serious" note, but it turns out to be a "eh? that's it?" ending. Still as a whole, Kappa no Kaikata is a fairly entertaining light hearted watch. The stories are fairly episodic save for a few 'story arcs' like the one about the humanoid kappa 'Hercules' who can glare the sh*t out of anyone (lol). And yes, before you ask about the pic, all of the human characters in the show are literally faceless - possibly to put the focus on the kappas instead of their owners. It's an... interesting gimmick to say the least (about as mildly disturbing as blackened out faces in Minami-ke: Okawari), and at any rate a cost saving one (which is probably why it's been employed it in Itazura na Kiss -_-").

Also at 4 minutes per episode (but only 16 of them) is the over the top and slightly NSFW Ippatsu Kiki Musume. The show is about a China musume Kunyan who has a penchant for getting herself into ridiculous life-threatening situations and the absurdly unpractical (though they try to cast it as perfectly feasible) methods that she is forced to employ to escape out of them. Oh, and she is often naked/becomes naked in said situations. For instance the episode where she slips in her bath tub and her hair gets sucked into the drainhole such that her head is stuck underwater and she almost drowns. Or when a conveniently parked truck traps her in a phone booth on a hot sunny day and she is forced to strip to stay alive in the oven-like cramped space. Unorthodox and not really recommended methods of averting disasters from the show include making a tissue paper rope ladder to escape out of a tall building and using a condom water balloon to put out a fire (no joke, there's actually a 'live action' portion in the episode where they demonstrate how to make one, lol).

Of course the show's not meant to be taken seriously at all, and is really quite hilarious in a warped kind of way (the narrator often tries to put real life physics into the equation whenever Kunyan assesses the situation, wtf). The art is crud of course and I'm not sure why they wanted to waste their budget on a blah OP sequence at all, but if you're looking for someone to laugh at/pity for a good hour or so, Kunyan may be a 'safe' bet (warning for partial frontal nudity).

Even in peril out at sea, Misato-bunny (bottom right, voiced by Mitsuishi Kotono) still looks good XD

Now if you have a little more time to spare, like say 12 minutes, there's always Zenryoku Usagi (which I can't believe I'm still pimping out XD). Okay, so it's probably the kiddiest show of the lot ignoring Chi's Sweet Home, but it's still a pretty lulz show with good clean humour (with a slight tendency towards violence XD)... But if you're too busy laughing at bouncy boobies and fox girls (or MAID GUYS. GAR!!) then nevermind...


The last title I'd recommend is probably the only actual 'short short'. At only 6 minutes and the one 'episode', Ame to Shoujo to Watashi no Tegami is actually a worthwhile freelance work by an independent CG artist about an aspiring writer who writes a love letter and... Well, saying anymore would spoil things, lol. The art may not be BONES or Madhouse or KyotoAnimation, but for a one person job it looks pretty good and rather funky in a good way, and the story may be short, but still cleverly amusing in its own way. A feel good way to spend 6 minutes if anything =P

Well, that's it for short shorts that I can think of off the top of my head for now. Save for Ippatsu Kiki Musume (which is mostly mindless humour XD), they're all good examples of how a show's entertainment value isn't always in proportion to its running length, and they all make the most of the short time span per episode, which is always preferable to dawdling about for a god part of 24 minutes without getting anywhere (I'm thinking of you... err... can't remember the last show I dropped for being too filler-ish).


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Nagato said...

Chi is a girl, I believe. P:

issa-sa said...

Eh? Was it made explicit later on in the show (only at ep 4). I was wondering about Chi's gender while typing the post - according to ANN Chi's a he, while Wikipedia says she's a she... *confused* And it sounds horrible to call Chi 'it'.

Nagato said...

Hmm. Well, according to the people who've read the manga, Chi is a 'she'. That's why I've been referring to her as such in my episodic entries.

Caitlin said...

If I translated that Japanese wikipedia page right, the animal hospital determines Chi is a 2-3 month old female kitten. Could be wrong though.

Shiki Tohno said...

Guy, girl, doesn't matter.


issa-sa said...

I was wondering when that cat is fine too comment would pop up :P