Ebiten: Kouritsu Ebisugawa Koukou Tenmonbu Review

This is review number one hundred and thirty eight. This anime is part of the Summer 2012 lineup and it’s the last one I’ll be reviewing in that lineup. The rest are season 2 of shows I need to see but it’s pretty much closed. The anime I’ll be reviewing is Ebiten. It’s a ten episode anime about some people in a club doing some funny stuff. Not really original but this anime will surprise you. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about the members of the astrology club. They’re a bunch of weird and energetic people spending their normal lives in the club doing crazy stuff like undressing each other, playing around and doing some parodies when they have the time.

Taking the Pants Off

Ebiten is a Comedy and Parody anime. These are two of the most fickle genre in anime. For Comedy, the things I find funny may not be funny to some. For Parody, you’ll be missing out on a lot of references if you’re not familiar with what they’re parodying. Ebiten draws strength from two of the most inconstant genre in the entire anime lexicon. How did they fair though? I personally believe that the anime was pretty spot on with what they featured and I did enjoy the experience. I still think that there were a couple of weak areas that really affected the overall charm of the anime.

The anime is about the members of the “ass”trology club. It has the same setup as any other club themed anime. The main focus is the normal everyday activities of the members inside the club. They poke fun of each other, play around with each other and they go on misadventures from time to time. Like most club themed anime as well, this anime lacks a good solid story. It’s pretty fair because there really isn’t much to tell from a group of people being weird and doing crazy stuff. It did annoy me at first because the first thing I look for in an anime is the overall story that ties the anime together and there wasn’t one in this anime. It’s just crazy fun activities with generic characters doing a premise we’ve seen done in other anime before it. This kind of anime is more character centered so it does take a while to adjust to the rhythm of the anime.

My sour experience gradually changed though because the anime was able to bring forth something very entertaining. It’s very heavy handed in parodies. The parody in the anime is pretty easy to appreciate because it references a lot of popular anime like Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. It also references some Tokusatsu shows which I don’t recognize. It’s pretty fun though to see these characters in a crazy setting go wild with the parodies and the references. I also like the fact that most of the stuff the anime parodies is pretty old and retro. Seasoned anime fans can easily spot the references and they can easily laugh out loud with the parody. It was a pretty smart way to brighten up the anime.

It still lacked a good story though. The anime does have some bits and pieces of individual stories among the different characters. In the second half, there was one single story the anime focused on. I have to admit that there was indeed some build up to some of these stories but the loose storytelling of the anime made it a bit hard to appreciate the buildup. It is still character centered so the stories are mostly about circumstances involving a character and its strength is seeing those specific characters handle the situation. There are no brilliant talks about astronomy, no gripping conflict to intensify the story and it shifts focus in an inconsistent way. I’ve gotten used to the lack of story though of the anime though because it does have some pretty impressive characters.

The characters are the main selling point of the anime. They’re generic and a bit annoying but as you progress to the anime, they do grow on you. The way they interact with each other is also pretty fun to watch. Each character has a unique personality to set them apart from the rest of the group. Whether it’s the hyper active with the chuunibyou syndrome or the girl who gets stripped almost all the time or the teacher who stalks her lover, there is no shortage of crazy characters to give us a pretty good time.

Amidst the Comedy and the craziness of the anime, it also has its sweet moments. Like I said before, the bits of the story of the anime is about the relationships of the characters. There is often this cute little story about two characters the anime features. They’re pretty nice stories about the bond the two characters have formed. It’s often a flashback or just a really good solemn moment with a very serious mood that is so brilliantly executed by the anime. I like the fact the anime was able to give us something this honest along with the craziness of the characters.

Finally, the comedy aspects of the anime are a bit of a hit and miss for me. I love the parodies but I often don’t find some scenes of the anime funny. It’s mostly the generic-ness of the anime that dragged it down a bit. Seeing a girl get abused and stripped naked is pretty funny but it’s been overdone that it loses a bit of its charm. The lack of a story also made me wane interest a bit at some of the funny scenes of the anime. I often just go “ah, I get it….meh” at something the anime set you up to be pretty comedic. There are some scenes that do hit my funny bone though. The story often jumps around that some development of the anime happens at random. The random nature of the anime was smart because it can deliver something completely out of left field. Like in one scene, the story suddenly shifted to a cat telling other cats to attack this girl and it was funny. I laughed hard at those scenes and there are a good amount of them to balance with the rest of the anime.

When I first started doing my 1000 goal, the comedy genre is one of the things I didn’t want to try. I learned to appreciate them though after pursuing my goal and they are pretty good. The strength of the genre is that it doesn’t feel strong but as time passes, its jokes and parodies do stand the test of time. Ebiten doesn’t look like much but there is enough in this anime to appreciate its charm. It lacks a good story (I’m just very critical with stories, forgive me) but the positives outweigh the negatives for sure.

Sight and Sound

The character design is mega generic. It’s the typical loli type of characters with the big bug eyes and the child like appeal. It’s not the strongest aspect of the anime but it still holds a lot of significance. These characters have a nice look despite being generic and the character design also has room for fan service. The uniforms look cute and the hair design at some of the characters are pretty nice. The looks do compliment their personality so that’s a big plus.

There is some fan service in the anime. It’s part of the craziness of the anime where one of the characters gets stripped or imagines something dirty. It’s pretty blatant though and some scenes don’t really call for it. I also find it as a cheap way to make one of the characters look more interesting despite having bland personality. Anyways, the panty shots are pretty nice and the loli aspect of the characters is brought out pretty nicely during these scenes. There is some certain fan service that I really admired even though it’s out of place and a bit forced.

I also want to give a nod on the parodies. Some scenes are really blatant references and parodies that look really well done. The way the anime captures the spirit of the things they parody is really admirable. I particularly love the OP scene of the anime. It’s just the title of the anime referencing another show. It captures the retro look of the things in references and it also matches its old school appeal. The way the title looks like the design of the other show is also nicely done. Sometimes, it does more than that and even does a parody of its intermissions. There was an episode where they parodied the intermission of Sailormoon complete with the familiar music and it was pretty funny because of how close it looks to the original.

ebiten8

The anime has no OP. It’s ED song is “Mirai-iro no Yakusoku” by Hoshi no Shoujo-tai☆ (Iori Nomizu, Asuka Nishi, Risako Murai, Midori Tsukimiya). It’s a live action music video featuring the voice actresses in cosplay. They wear the uniform of the characters and they meet in the basement room where the astrology club is located. They then dance which is pretty nice but also a bit weird. The dance is cute if it was performed by the anime characters, I’m just saying. The live action was pretty nice though and not a lot of anime does that. The song is pretty nice. It’s a charming song with the voices of the Vas nicely featured. The theme of friendship was also nicely featured. It’s a bit generic though like the rest of the anime.

Overall Score

4/10 “Despite the lack of a story, the parody and comedy did save the show.”

It’s a strong show and it’s pretty easy to appreciate. If you’re a fan of comedy with easy to relate parodies then you’ll enjoy Ebiten. It takes a little getting used to because the first episode is a bit weak but the rest of the anime is pretty nice. I recommend it.

Thoughts~

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