This is review number one hundred and forty one. It’s part of the Spring 2011 lineup. The anime I’ll be reviewing is “Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko” or Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl. It’s a twelve episode anime about a girl who wraps herself in a futon because she thinks she is an alien. It’s really good. I urge everyone to try it. Let’s read on.
The story is mostly about the main character, Makoto Niwa, moving into a new town and living with his aunt. Expecting a simple life with his aunt, he soon discovered that her aunt actually has a daughter she hides from the rest of the family. Why? That’s because this girl wraps a futon around her and walk around town claiming to be an alien. Her aunt has decided to let her daughter have her way but it certainly bugged Makoto. He was determined to prove that the futon girl is not an alien. He has a lot of reasons but one of them maybe that his cousin, Erio Towa, is an absolute beauty.
Taking the Pants Off
I love this anime. I first saw it back when it was first airing, long before I was the pantless anime blogger. At first, I didn’t like it because I watch anime for the story yet this anime doesn’t have a clearly established one. The OP song also sounds like an out of tune amateur that made by blood boil. I re-watched it recently and it reminded me of how good the anime actually is. This anime certainly do not have a major story that tie the entire anime together but as a golden rule, if the story is weak then the characters carry the load. This anime is one of the best examples of how just the characters can easily carry the show. Even after a year gap of watching the anime, I still love the charming and eccentric personality of the characters of the anime. I must also admit that this is one of those anime that made me write anime reviews. Its absolute charm made me want to write about anime.
The anime lacks a definite story that builds per episode but there is two plot points presented by the anime. These are individual stories spread across the anime. The first plot point is the main premise of the anime. Erio Towa believes that she is an alien and Makoto is determined to help her recover from his delusions. It’s a simple plot and the anime uses the characters to further this story. Throughout various conversations with his aunt and her cousin, Makoto (and the viewers) soon realize exactly what is wrong with Erio. As the anime progress, Makoto slowly becomes closer with his new family and he decided to help them with the futon problem.
The second plot point is about Makoto and his journey towards adulthood. Basically, it’s about his relationships with various girls in the anime. The cousin is also included. There’s nothing much here. Makoto just talks with a girl or spend time with her where they bond and grow closer to each other. There is a smart progression in the anime though. As the anime progresses, each relationship does intensify and the girls do get a bit bolder with their interaction with Makoto. It was certainly very cute to see Makoto and one of the girls spend time together as it emits the rosy perfumy joy of youth. Other times, all the girls are together with Makoto and they spend time together. There is some cute jealousy arising here and there so it was certainly fun watching the characters interact.
There is also a light handed theme in the anime about faith. I actually had a hard time pinning it down but the conversations in the anime is often deep and more than just random words blurted out by the characters. There is the question of “Do you believe in aliens?” presented by the anime and various characters give their view s on the subject. It wasn’t a serious part of the anime and it was only brought up during conversations. There are characters that equating to religion where you don’t have to see to believe and then there are characters that wholeheartedly believe in aliens but their definition of aliens is more than just flying objects from space. It’s pretty deep and it intrigued me. This point was strengthened in the second half of the anime where the viewers are also posed the same question. Of course, the events leading to the question will make you wonder which was pretty smart on the part of the anime.
Like I said before, the characters are the main selling point of the anime. It’s also pretty easy to like them because almost everyone has an eccentric personality that makes them cute or very likeable. The main character is Makoto Niwa. He’s the typical kind of main character that has a tolerance for weird people and often goes along with their craziness. His main concern though is living the rest of his adolescent life in bliss and even made a point system to sum up his adolescent experience. Like most main character, he also attracts a lot of characters and they confide in him.
The girls in the anime all have their own charm. Erio Towa is the eccentric crazy person that stuff herself inside a futon and pretends to be an alien. The anime classified her as “crazy” but she is more like someone suffering from Eight Grade Syndrome. Yeah, seriously, thank you KyoAni. This girl believes she is an alien and tries to talk/act like one. It was hauntingly familiar which made a laugh a bit. The anime was able to flesh her out pretty impressively though. Towards the second half of the anime, she soon starts experiencing new things thanks to his cousin.
There is also Ryuuko Mifune. She’s a classmate of Makoto. She wears a helmet when riding her bike and she is particularly fond of Makoto. I personally love her character because she is the loud type but she is also has some weird things going on that is really fun to watch. I also enjoy how she can’t hide her emotions and often displays her jealousy when Erio or other girls are too close to Makoto. The other girl in the anime is Maekawa. Her real name wasn’t really revealed. She’s the tall girl who has a confident bravado when she’s around Makoto. She’s rather blunt and she has no shame. Seriously, this girl is comfortable in her own skin because she often walk around in weird costumes as if it was nothing. She calls it cosplaying but most of the time, she’s in a mascot costume. These two girls have a nice relationship with Makoto and it gradually builds in the second half. It was really fun watching the characters talk and interact that I didn’t even notice the lack of an overall story.
The rest of the cast has the same set up. They’re eccentric people who Makoto meets and eventually befriends. Majority of the anime is really just about the characters talking and being cute together. In the second half, things got a bit heavier though as the anime was fleshing out some of the characters. It’s still about conversations at that point though. The anime also introduces new characters on the second half and build some episodes around them.
I really enjoyed watching this anime. It just goes to show that you don’t often need a story if you can properly execute the other elements of the anime. The strong character interactions and the lovely bond the characters form while they spend their time together is ten times better than what any other anime with a strong story can come up with.
Sight and Sound
The character design is one of the strongest aspects of the anime. There was a strong detail in each character that makes them really pretty to look at. The nice combination of cuteness and bold sexiness in the character design really makes them stand out. The ways the lips are drawn are also pretty noticeable. It curves with their smile and it looks unnatural at first but as you keep staring at it you realize that it makes the characters more attractive. Every character stands out beautifully but the one that will grab you attention is Erio. She has light blue hair and a very seductive yet innocent look to her. The anime also love adding blatant effects to make her more charming like doing slow mo or making her brighter than the rest of the anime. The way the one of her strap fall over her shoulder and her stuttering nervous act also add tons of charm in the character. It was really amazing how much they want the viewers to fall in love with Erio and I’m guarantee that it is effective.
I’m a huge fan of Ryuuko though. Her short hair and her child-like nature are very pretty to look at. The way she put on her helmet and the way she doesn’t even try to look attractive is very appealing. She has big bright eyes and I particularly love how the anime often focuses on her face. It’s a pretty face and one that I don’t mind staring at for hours. Maekawa also has a nice look on her. Her long legs and tall figure really stands out. I particularly enjoy her look when she is in cosplay. It’s a rather suggestive look on her but the anime isn’t really trying to be Ecchi. Her rather mature look and fierce style is also a nice combination. Then there is Makoto’s aunt that is like a big version of Erio but with darker hair. Even side characters have a unique look to them. I only pointed out the main ones because they were presented heavily in the anime.
The animation is pretty good. There’s not a lot stand out scenes though but the way the characters fidget around and run all over the place was pretty impressive. The animation is pretty smooth and the movement is fluid. I would like to point out certain scenes though where the anime deliberately move only the mouth of the character so the viewers can enjoy the pretty faces of the anime. I notice it a lot on Erio, especially during the first half, where only her mouth moves and her eyes are deliberately steady.
The anime’s OP is “Os-Uchuujin” by Erio wo Kamatte-chan (Asuka Oogame). Erio sang the OP and if you ever heard her voice in the anime, it’s pretty bad. Asuka Oogame has a cute voice but she often overdo the cuteness to the point where it becomes annoying. It’s just like how Mikuru from Haruhi Suzumiya sounds. My first impression of the song is bad. It’s a bit out of tone and it sounds like Asuka was running of breath BUT the novelty of having Erio sing is pretty nice. I appreciate it and as I progress to the anime, the song does grow on me. It’s a bad song but as you fall in love with Erio, you will love the song. It’s like a curse. The anime OP is about a CG room with random stuff and Erio weirding out Makoto. It’s a random OP which strengthens the “crazy” aspect of the anime. It’s OK, not really something that truly captures the anime but it’s gimmicky along with the song.
The ED song is “Ruru” by Etsuko Yakushimaru. This song is ten times better than the OP, I promise. I remember Etsuko singing the OP from Arukawa Under the Bridge. She certainly has a great voice and I love how calm her voice sounds in this song. She also has a rather hush voice in the song that really sounds awesome. The Ed sequence features Erio standing in a field with UFOs flying in the background. The song is about dreams so the sequence features random things like Erio swimming in air or walking with a colorful background. The ED also has random shots of her body and even some panty shots to the observant ones. It finishes with Erio giving a big smile to the viewers. It’s awesome.
7/10 “Strong characters that really carried the show”
This is really great show and the fact that the characters pretty much gave us the whole anime experience is pretty amazing. If you enjoy watching good looking characters and a lot of talking then you’ll love this anime. I highly recommend it.