Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – Episode 1: First Impressions are Everything [First Impression]

Chris’ First Impression:

 Fumihiko Shimo wrote the script for Mikakunin de Shinkoukei. Fumihiko Shimo, screenplay writer for Clannad After Story, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Kanon (2006). Fumihiko Shimo, series composer of Golden Time, Air and Infinite Stratos. Yeah, Fumihiko Shimo is a pretty accomplished screenwriter, and here she is, writing the script for some slice-of-life comedy show, centered around Kobeni Yonomori, who on her 16th birthday meets Hakuya Mitsumine, her fiancé, and his sister Mashiro. Is it any good? Seeing Yoshiyuki Fujiwara as director (his only work really being GJ Club), I didn’t exactly have high hopes for this show – hell, I only signed onto it because “Why not?”. But I was pleasantly surprised. Whilst in no way being a comedy sensation to die for, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei presents the viewer with (somewhat) interesting characters and a premise that doesn’t totally suck. It was funny; it wasn’t ridiculous; the plot seems expandable; and dem’s girl be fine overall it was actually quite good.

The first thing I want to talk about is the character designs. Either their hair is made from stainless steel or it’s just really greasy. That is all. I joke, I joke – I actually quite like the character designs – but the character designs and the artwork in general is just…well, it’s pretty darn bright. This isn’t so much a complaint as it is a simple observation, but after being submerged in a slew of dark and gritty anime series only to be greeted with…this…well, it was just a bit disconcerting is all. On a more objective basis, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has actually been drawn and animated better than I thought it would be, but when compared to shows of the genre like Nichijou, it feels weaker. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, don’t get me wrong, in fact at points I would find myself thinking “whoa”, but there are better examples in the genre of it being done. Blame Dogakobo, not Mikakunin de Shinkoukei. That is all.

The characters in the show were, I thought, one of it’s best features. I went into the show expecting superficial cliches, embellished with loli’s and adorned with well-endowed breasts…turns out there’s a bit more to the show than meets the eye…but not much more. Before we delve to deeply into the topic, let’s first take a look at out main characters. We’re first introduced to Kobeni Yonomori, our ‘normal’, somewhat down-to-earth type, sleeping in her bed and dreaming about a boy (it was Hakuya, right? Right?!). Then we’re introduced to Benio, her older sister, over-achiever, and melodramatic, fetish-y type. Kuroko Hakuya Mitsumine was introduced soon afterwards, he being out deep-voiced plank of wood. And then finally Mashiro: that child who you see in anime with intelligence un-befitting a child of her age (WHAT THE FUCK! SHE’S THEIR AGE?) (nope, don’t worry, she’s just an over-empowered rich kid)whilst still retaining at least some childish qualities. All of them are interesting in their own right, but it is the relationship between Benio and Kobeni that we saw delve beneath the surface, even if it was only just for a moment. Kobeni’s normalcy is her own worst enemy. She’s not as charismatic as her older sister, and she’s not as popular, and it’s not that she minds, it’s just…sometimes she just feels a bit inferior, you know? It’s this relatable aspect of her personality that makes her more than just a 2-D bit-o’-fan service on the screen. It’s slightly cliche, don’t get me wrong, but it’s nice to see them try and develop their characters. That, and Mashiro is just really cute…drink that milk, Mashiro! You gulp down that milk!

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei incorporates slapstick humor alongside general wit and foolhardiness to make the show more enjoyable. They play on each characters tropes, Kobeni, for example, erupting into life-threatening nosebleeds because her sister thanks her for making her a birthday cake… Whilst it’s enjoyable to an extent, I’m interested to see how far they can take it before the same old cliches become stale and the show becomes stagnant. The fiancee ordeal, for example, was the focal point of this episode, being used to make Kobeni blush and swoon as her cool-headed ‘child-hood friend’ pulls out all of the sexy one liners. But at what point does it become ‘too much’? Will the fiancee ordeal remain a point of comedic silliness for the entirety of the show, or will it be developed? That for me will be the deciding factor on whether or not I go past the three episode mark, it being the main theme of the show and it being one of the shows more alluring features. Who knows? Maybe they’ll fall in love and kiss by the final episode (I highly doubt it).

On a final note, I thought (in some parts) the OST was actually pretty decent, and I’m interested to see if it’ll stay that way or waver into the same old generic spiel that we’ve seen so many times before. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei is intersting, that’s for sure, and whilst I can’t tell for sure yet if it’s good or not, I’m certainly hopeful. For the sake of the genre, give me strength.

P.S, Is that you Manami? Get back in Oreimo!

Possibility of Blogging: Sure (giving it three episodes)

Possibility of Watching: Probable (dependent on plot development in the future)

Eva’s First Impression:

This is going to be a short and sweet!

I have to say Mikakunin de Shinkoukei wasn’t even on my radar despite the fact I typically try out most of the new titles. I think it’s biggest charm is the fact the humour isn’t over the top. There is also the air of simplicity with the plot instead of the slapstick comedy with repetitive gags. All the characters were very charming. They each have their own individual quirk that doesn’t overshadow other characters sharing the same scene. I find there’s a lot of humor/gag comedies that are very loud and this one is relatively quiet so far (and it’d be nice if it continues that way). Speaking of which, this is one of the reasons why I adore Kobeni character. A lot of heroines would take a fit, be loud about it and so on. She handles the matter maturely and quietly instead of being a bitch about it.
I like Hakuya’s character. He lacks presence and doesn’t talk about, but he’s a real sweetheart. <3 I look forward to seeing their relationship develop, it’s going to be a real cute one!

The character designs are easy on the eyes, though it may seem bright to Chris, I am especially fond of vibrant colors as oppose to washed out/pale shades. The animation is crisp and very high quality (and shiny ahaha).

This is probably one of the hidden gems of the season. X3

Possibility of Blogging: Moderate (Might, only if nobody picks it up – ultimately depends if there’s enough for me to talk about. Covering these types of shows are usually more difficult for me)
Possibility of Watching: Guranteed

Chris

I'm just a normal guy, chillin' on the internet in search of a place that I can call my sacred hang. What more can I say?

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3 Responses

  1. KF says:

    I got to say, I’m watching this.

    • Chris says:

      I agree, it was much better than I thought it would be. Hopefully the quality is consistent.

  2. Noc says:

    Likewise, I was randomly watching new releases while waiting for my usual weekend pileup of anime and was pleasantly surprised to find that this was actually pretty enjoyable. It’s not mind-blowing, but I hope it’ll turn out to be a nice feel-good show to keep me happy during the week. Some parts of the animation were especially impressive for what the show is, like the swishing of Kobeni’s pigtails here and there. I really love fluid hair animation.

    Story-wise, I especially liked the inclusion of a fiancee. I feel like this kind of plotline hasn’t been invoked enough in recent years. Or just having a male character in a SoL series for that matter, ha. Kobeni hits a nice balance with her character, keeping away from being too bland but not straying into the bitchy zone with her frustrations. Hakuya is incredibly monotone, but I ended up liking this factor since it sets him apart from many of the other male love interests in recent history.

    So I’m looking forward to next week. The manga-style preview was also charming!

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