Double-J Review

This is review number one hundred and five. I’ll be reviewing an anime part of the Summer 2011 lineup. It’s a four minute short anime though. I saw it in my list and I was surprised it was short. It’s a nice anime though and it’s the perfect anime to review with my busy schedule and all.

The anime I’ll be reviewing is Double J. It’s an eleven episode anime and it’s a comedy, I think. It did make me laugh but…yeah, I guess it is a comedy. Let’s read on.

Story

This anime is about the members of the “Cultural Preservation Club” where they discover lost traditional arts of Japan. They talk about the wonderful traditions forgotten by time. They also poke fun of each other and talk about random things. There’s always something fun happening in this club.

Taking the Pants Off

Double J is an eleven episode anime that is four minutes long. I’ve come across some of them after a hundred reviews and the general thing about them is that they are often really good. In the short amount of time, they are able to deliver some jokes and manage to actually make me laugh. Double J is the same. It hits pretty nice with its punch line. Like most anime though, the first half is often better than the second half.

The thing that stands out about this anime is that it was created by the dude who created Cromartie High School. The nonsensical conversations combined with some random funny moments makes Cromartie good and it’s the same combination found in this anime. I mean, as far as a four minute anime can go, this anime manages to create its own charm and an unusual style of comedy.

The anime is about a group of people in the “Cultural Preservation Club”. It’s a club where all the members do some traditional arts that are mostly rare and close to extinct. The anime is mostly about the characters poking fun of each other or talking about certain traditional arts with a semi-serious face. The thing I like about the anime is that it’s funny and educational. I’m not really into culture except maybe anime culture so it’s always a fun time to discover new things like the art of carving designs in glasses or training birds to deliver your fortune. It’s not a serious educational show and the characters often stray off topic so they can jab some jokes at us.

The jokes are pretty nice. In the first half, there were some random moments that really made me laugh and the execution of the jokes was pretty smart. The anime sadly became repetitive though as it enters episode six or so and it lost its structure afterwards. The jokes became dull because it’s the same thing over and over. Most of the jokes are about the bad mangaka skills of one of the characters. It got old pretty fast but the anime kept pushing it forward. Some of the jokes are also pretty flat but there are some pretty nice ones that stand out. Besides, it’s only four minutes long. There’s really no harm done here.

The characters are all pretty great. The fact that the anime is flash animated but the characters were very much alive is the greatest thing about this anime. They all have some pretty unique personalities to them. The way the characters blend is also a pretty nice thing in the anime. Some of the jokes and the way the characters delivers them is probably the best thing about this anime. Even the bad and flat jokes are forgivable because the characters present them pretty nicely.

Sight and Sound

The anime is made in flash so the characters don’t really move. It’s actually pretty hard to animate in flash considering your characters only move from left to right. The only thing the characters do is talk but the details in the animation is still spot on. The way the mouth moves, the eyes blink, the hand gestures are positioned are all very much accurate so the show can easily be enjoyed. Trying to get used to flash based animation takes some time but a bit of an open minded approach can go a long way.

This anime is actually directed by the guy who directed Thermae Romae and I’m surprised at how talented this guy is at directing in flash. Azuma Tani also directed the Nyaryo shorts before a regular anime was released. I’m a fan of all his work now mainly because I also play around with the flash program and I always dream of making my own short animations. It’s a hard thing to do but his style of a dialogue centered flash with some intricate hand drawn scenes really appeals to me.

The thing that really makes this anime special though is the voice acting. The characters don’t move that much and the mouth is mostly the thing that gets the most work out so it all relies on the acting to make them interesting. The voice acting is top notch because you’re easily absorbed by the conversations because each character delivers something unique to the table and it’s always a treat to see them talk amongst themselves.

The background scenes of the anime are all real life scenes. They’re mostly pictures, often altered or turned black and white, and the characters are placed infront. I would’ve loved a nicely detailed flash background though but I guess all the details in the small animations takes too much time…or maybe they just didn’t want to.

There are scenes like this though:

The anime has no OP song. It has an ED song titled “Wani to Shampoo” by Momoiro Clover Z. I love this song because it’s fast paced and the beat is catchy. The ED sequence is also pretty nice. It probably has the most animation of all because of the stylistic camera changes and the traditional animation. I’m not sure if it’s still flash based but if it is, it prolly took a lot of time. This should be enjoyed by everyone so I stuck the video below.

Overall Score

3/10 “It’s good with its limited animation. The show was able to entertain but it still had some negatives outweighing the positives.”

It’s a good show. If you have four minutes to spare then you won’t really lose much. The jokes are nice, the characters are pretty good and the flash based animation gives the show a unique touch.

Thoughts~

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