This is review number eighty six. I’m still in the Summer 2012 lineup while I’m trying to muster up some courage to watch the rest of the Spring 2012 lineup. I’m not that enthusiastic about the remaining anime in that line up. Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing today is Binbougami Ga! It’s a thirteen episode anime about a very lucky girl and the god of poverty trying to take her luck. It’s a Comedy and Parody anime which is pretty nice. Let’s read on.
Binbougami Ga is about Ichiko Sakura who has a huge amount of fortune or happiness energy that causes an imbalance in the world. She is also slowly draining the fortune energy of people close to her. A god of poverty named Momiji Binboda was tasked to collect the massive amount of energy from Ichiko and distribute it to the rest of the world. Ichiko doesn’t want that because she has lived a pretty perfect life with her amazing fortune. She is rich, she has good grades, she is popular at school, all the boys like her and she has some massive boobs that will make any girl envy. She has no plan of giving up that awesome life just so others can have a smidge of what she has now. Momiji is persistent though and will even take the fortune off Ichiko by force if needed. Will she able to take Ichiko’s fortune and fix the imbalance in the world?
Taking the Pants Off
I’m not that fond of the Comedy genre. I have my reasons but I often just don’t see myself laughing along with the anime. The Comedy genre is supposed to make you laugh though. I like a story in my anime and the Comedy is just as worse as the Ecchi genre in obliterating the story for a couple of non-sense and cheap laughs. I’ve come to terms with the Ecchi genre offering nothing but boobs and fan service because I can tell if it’s good. The Comedy genre is a bit hard to gauge because it strives on laughter using puns or jokes or over the top nonsense. Binbougami Ga does the same. It has all the elements of a comedy anime and it’s only good if it can make you laugh. I didn’t laugh but I honestly feel that the anime is good so I’m now in a weird place where I’m doing a review about an anime I know is good but something I didn’t enjoy. I suppose this is a good challenge for me but the problem with me and the genre is that I have raked through a lot of anime with highly intellectual plots and overly serious social commentaries that leaves a huge impression on me. I can’t, for all honestly, just go “bwahaha” at over the top comedy I feel that is a bit overdone or clichéd. I’m not a fan of the slapstick and I may never be. Screw it, let’s just get this over with.
The premise of the show is actually pretty good. Ichiko is living the high life and she has everything she needs in the world. Her fortune makes her a very lucky girl. Momiji is a persistent girl who prepares this giant syringe to take Ichiko’s fortune. The anime soon turns into a cat and mouse chase where Momiji would fail at every attempt because of Ichiko’s incredible luck. Ichiko is not as happy as she appears to be though. I like the anime because it was able to make you laugh with over the top cartoonish comedy but it still has room for some serious talking.
Ichiko doesn’t have anyone she can call a friend except for her butler. Ichiko drains people’s fortune though and she gradually took her butler’s fortune endangering his life. The perfect girl with the massive boobs is actually a vulnerable girl looking for some affection. Momiji tells her though that happiness is to be shared with others. So Ichiko gave away her fortune to save the butler. There’s a great deal of honestly between all the goofy moments of the anime that reminds me of the great balance in Gintama. Judging by the first episode, I pegged Binbougami Ga as another Gintama anime which is a great thing. It’s a back to basics comedy anime with some laugh out moments, a simple plot with no complicated elements and some pretty remarkable characters. The first impression of the anime is really strong and you’ll end up watching the rest of the episodes. Unfortunately, first impressions don’t last.
The first half of the anime captures the anime’s charm. It introduces some more characters to add to the hilarity of the anime. I love that great balance in the first half of the anime. It has time for the cat and mouse chase, poking fun at the character’s bust sizes and the two characters to just hurt each other but it also has time to get serious and deal with Ichiko’s personal problems. They’re problems that are very easy to relate to. I admire the anime for balancing the seriousness and the comedy while still maintaining a decent story. The misadventures of Ichiko and Momiji are fun to watch. Seeing Ichiko having a slow character development is pretty sweet as well.
The charm of the first half slowly disintegrates though as the anime enters the second half. Here’s my problem with the anime, if you’re still introducing characters on episode eight then you’re basically telling me that you can’t improve the anime with the current characters. I don’t mind one shot characters but a regular cast being introduced in the second half and having the anime revolve around them is not really great. I wanted to see the great balance of comedy and seriousness that the first half established but it somehow turned into an ordinary over the top anime with a cast of idiots.
The characters aren’t even that great. They’re one note with the exception of the two main. There are characters that only appear to make you laugh. The first half did have one note characters to help explore Ichiko’s vulnerable side which was fine because it helps bulk up the story but to see the same characters appear on the second half to just be comic relief kinda ruin the anime’s balance. I’m fine with the comedy aspects of the anime. In fact, the second half of the anime had a pretty strong comedy appeal because the characters was able to support each other and deliver some impressive over the top comedy. Seeing the perverted priest and the masochistic dog pair up in the second half of the anime is really inspired. Mixing the cast to produce some more comedy is appreciated but they sacrificed the story to do so.
The anime is about Momoji trying to suck out the fortune from Ichiko while slowly realizing what makes Ichiko not so perfect. There are moments of hilariousness but there is also time to explore the meaning of happiness which is deep for a comedy anime. The second half couldn’t hold on to it. Instead, it featured a large cast of characters doing a bunch of nonsense. I do love the story of Ichiko gaining friends but the brilliance doesn’t last and it just became an over the top comedy. The story was sacrificed like a meek little lamb just so the comedy can shine through and I personally didn’t like it. Ichiko finally had friends. Why can’t the anime keep pushing out more serious scenes while maintaining the comedy? The comedy of the anime was also affected by the story being pushed in the sidelines. If you strip the anime of its story then it actually becomes a cliché and generic comedy anime. I’ve seen a lot of generic comedies from Hayate the Combat Butler to Seto no Hanayome that couldn’t stick that well because it lacks a steady story. Now I understand that a lot of people enjoy these kinds of anime and good for them but a brilliantly balanced anime like Binbougami Ga could’ve been much better than the generic comedy it sadly fell into.
This anime is also a Parody anime. I actually love the parody element of this anime. Most Parody anime would alienate non-japanese viewers with its references but this anime did a great job delivering its gags. I may have missed some of the non-obvious ones but some of the parodies in this show are anime related. Shows like Lupin the Third, Doraemon and Dragon Ball are among the parodies of the anime. I was even laughing out loud at the Death Note parody in the later parts of the anime. They are mostly random gags thrown in between the scenes so it doesn’t throw you off. Even if you didn’t get the parody, the pacing of the anime is never compromised. The parody gags are just there to help bring forth the comedy which is really nice. It was nicely executed and it didn’t alienate the viewers with super parodies only Japanese viewers can relate to.
This anime is also very self-aware which is also pretty nice. There was one scene where a student wondered why there are so many transfer students in their class and the teacher responded, “Well, it’s because this is the main character’s classroom.” The complete randomness of dialogues like that really makes the comedy aspect of the anime really great. It also didn’t need a long dialogue. They are often just one liners in the anime instead of a big conversation between characters.
The anime did end of a sweet note so that’s a great plus. They anime decided to explore the relationship of the two main characters in the end and it actually showed the progress of Ichiko from a b*tchy lucky girl to a girl who wants happiness. I’m more of a story over anything else kind of guy but I do admit that this anime achieved what it set out to do. Genre wise, the anime was strong because the cast of idiots, the puchlines and the parodies were all great elements to being forth the comedy. You’ll enjoy watching this anime and I think it won’t be hard to laugh at the gags this anime has to offer.
Sight and Sound
The animation in the anime is pretty plain. In terms of character design, nothing really stands out. I do enjoy the fan service in the anime because it wasn’t the main focus of the anime but the show was smart enough to add some to make some scenes much better. The character isn’t bad but it’s not that great as well. It’s like watching Beelzebub. It has a Shounen flare to it that feels familiar and nice to look at. The outfit of the characters is pretty nice. I love Momiji’s attire because it’s weird. I don’t get the reference but I love it. I also love Rindou’s attire. The blue school uniform brings out her bodies sexiness and tomboyish personality really effectively.
There were some pretty brilliant fight scenes in the anime. I personally love the one in the later parts of the anime where the characters were fighting in a highway on top of cars. Sunrise made this anime so don’t expect a cheap animated anime from the guys who makes the Gundam series. The over the top comedy in the anime is nicely done as well like when a character flies out the window and crashes to the concrete floor. Heck, even the masochistic scenes in the anime is pretty nice to watch.
The anime had a nice little segment in the end before the preview where a minor character with no relative role in the anime shows us where she was in the anime. It’s mostly in the crowd or somewhere unimportant but I was honestly searching for her after episode four. It’s a fun challenge and it was a running gag in the anime. She teases her appearance in the anime but they’re mostly unimportant scenes. I was honestly waiting for her to get a dialogue in the anime though.
The soundtrack of the anime is one of its stronger elements. The opening song, “Make My Day!” by Piko, is really great. The song is catchy and it’s appealing to listen to even for someone like me who isn’t that fond of music. Piko’s voice is really outstanding following the hard beat of the drums as the song rolls along. The opening sequence is also great. It summarizes the scenes of the anime and captured the anime’s appeal. The relationship of Momoji and Ichiko was nicely featured. It had some mild spoilers though introducing some characters that appeared very late in the anime.
The ending song is also great. Seriously, I’m in love with the ending theme. It’s “Koi Boudou” by HAPPY BIRTHDAY. It also reflects the relationship of the two main characters which is a bit tsun tsun and dere dere. It’s a bit Shoujo though and I love that nice touch in the song. The ending theme featured the two main characters in various costumes that complement the Shoujo appeal of the ending theme.
6/10 “It’s a nice comedy with some pretty funny moments.”
I also didn’t like the first season of Ika Musume and was raging the second season. I have a big problem with the Comedy genre but I’m sure I can fix it. Baby steps for me. I would love a second season of this anime. I would also appreciate it more if they release another season. If you love the slapstick kind of comedy with some funny characters then this anime is just for you. The comedy is really strong and the parodies are inspired. I recommend it.