Honto ni Atta! Reibai Sensei Review

This is review one hundred and forty nine. By the anime gods, I am close to two hundred reviews. That feels pretty awesome. The anime I’ll be reviewing is a short one. It’s a five minute anime called “Honto ni Atta! Reibai Sensei” or Really Existed! Spirit Medium Teacher. It’s a twenty two episode comedy anime about a teacher who has ties with the occult. It has really bad animation though. Let’s read on.

Story

The anime is about the second year class and their eccentric teacher, Juri Kibayashi. The anime is mostly about the class being caught in some form of supernatural trouble because of their teacher whose hobby is conjuring up spirits and befriending the occult. The class has never seen a normal school day because of their teacher but they all have fun in the process so it’s all good.

Taking the Pants Off

arabai4

Flash animated anime has a bad rep in the fandom. They often look cheap and it’s easy to make fun of them. They are certainly hard to watch at first because of the limited animation but some of them will really surprise you. Some of them are good but their charm doesn’t really hit you hard. You often need to be patient until the anime hits its stride. That’s basically the problem with this anime. Of all the flash based anime I’ve seen so far, this one is the most poorly made one of all. I’ll rant in the “sight and sound” section but damn, I felt embraced by a dark abyss while watching this anime. It has a really nice premise and some decent characters but the animation will certainly challenge you. I often deem flash based anime as a test of how open minded and impartial a viewer is. This one will definitely test you.

I really liked the premise of the anime. The idea of a teacher causing trouble because of her fascination for the occult really has potential to be a good anime. In the span of five minutes, there is actually a decent story told and the characters were able to bust out their individual charm. This anime takes a bit of getting used to though because it is so atrociously made. There are scenes that’ll really make you facepalm, like this:

The anime is divided into two stories. These are independent stories but they all involve the teacher, Juri. The first story is the class encountering occult stuff. There is some simple charm in this story because the comedy and the supernatural aspects of the anime blend well here. The anime take a supernatural being or event and then work the episode around it. There are stories about the Zashiki Warashi, ghosts and even sleep paralysis. There is nothing serious here though because the anime is Comedy.

The second story is some random episodes about an ugly black cat and some alien cats trying to rule the world. I am not kidding, that is part of the anime. They seem to think Juri is the king of cats so that’s the thing that ties it to the anime. The black cat seems to face discrimination because of being black. He’ll often hear people calling him ugly because of his black fur and he’ll feel depressed about it.

There are also some stories about alien cats. The joke is that Juri seems to dream about them but she calls it a prophetic dream but it seems to branch off into an individual subplot of the anime. These three cats travel into space in a spaceship that’ll make Ed Wood smile in his grave. Seriously, the cinematography is so divine that I can’t comprehend it. This:

Is f*cking horrible. Anyways, the alien cats are either talking with a gundam robot or they are slowly succumbing to the laid back lifestyle of earth and soon faces a crossroad of continuing with their domination or living on Earth.

The first time I watched this anime, I really hated it. It’s so goddamn cheap that I can’t take it seriously. After a while though, the characters become more heavily involved in various skits and they were able to save the show. The class Juri teaches has a lot of interesting characters that intrigues me. They are generic but their interaction with one another is pretty nice. Some of the students certainly stand out like the poor girl who uses newspapers for underwear, the blonde girl who is into portable video games, the loud idiot hyper active girl, the level headed characters and there was even a character possessed by Oda Nobunaga’s spirit. They all had good points to them that keep me tuned in. The anime was also able to bring out their charm through various interactions which is pretty nice despite the limited animation.

There is also a nice interaction between Juri and this teacher that doesn’t believe in the occult and has strong faith in science. It’s pretty nice after you get used to the rhythm of the anime and I admittedly enjoyed some episodes of the anime. The random cat episodes were a bit hard to swallow though because they often appear randomly and it often puzzles me why the anime keep going back to them. They aren’t even cute cats. They’re disproportional nightmares, for godsakes.

The Comedy in the anime is a bit of a miss for me. They’re typical Comedy jokes with a setup, a punch line and a reaction from a character. I’ll point out one more time though that Comedy is fickle so decide for yourself if the comedy hits it for you. The anime surprisingly has a nice setup and a decent pace to it so you can easily follow the story despite not being done in by the comedy.

The anime is pretty good. I hate to admit it but there is a lot done in five minutes that makes the anime pretty great. It was able to showcase its character, execute a well-paced story and cram some jokes in despite the short time. If you can get used to the animation then you’ll see just how nice the anime is. That is a big IF though because my god, the visuals is crap.

Sight and Sound

The anime was made in the program flash. You can literally make this anime if you are dedicated enough because the visuals are pure crap. It’s like an amateur made it. I’m a forgiving guy and I’ll let the fact that only the mouth moves, the eyes blink and the characters move from left to right. The lack of refinement in the way the characters are made is pretty hard to get used to. I get it, its low budget but that doesn’t mean you have to sloppily make the characters and half-ass the background. Most characters have simple facial structure and they lack details. The design simply stops at the face and the hair with no details on the outfits, the accessories of various characters or their stance. They just look like poorly drawn cut outs hurriedly made in the flash program. The heavy outline also pisses me off. You often see the outlines sloppily made and some lines are there to cover the space between the lines. You see, you can’t color an arm, for example, if the lines making up the arm aren’t connected fully. If you’re in a rush then you just draw a massive line to cover that space and the anime mostly do that. It’s shameful god awful animation that lacks refinement. If the characters aren’t speaking Japanese then the anime feels like those youtube videos made in flash.

The use of basic colors also pisses me off. Whoever created this clearly rushed the anime because they used basic primary colors for the characters and background. It’s like they aren’t even trying which feels sad. I’m a huge fan of animation and stuff like this gives good flash based anime like Teekyu and Thermae Romae a bad name. You will laugh at the sloppy presentation and you will ridicule it afterwards. You’ll hate it next then you will either drop this anime or, like me, push on forward for the heck of it. It has a good story and decent characters but god damn, flash based anime needs to push its charm and convince viewers that it’s worth watching. The visuals will not convince you at all.

I’ll give props to the voice acting though because the limited animation is certainly hard to watch but the voices are very much alive. They’re flexible and they provide the needed emotion for the various characters. The voice actors were able to give a decent personality to the characters that the visuals can’t provide and that’s pretty impressive.

The anime has no OP song. It does have three ED songs. The first one is “Pair*” by Meaw. It’s a nice playful song about enjoying everyday life. It has a catchy tune and Meaw’s voice is pretty decent. The ED sequence features a basica walk cycle of Juri and the black cat. It’s atrocious though because the walk cycle is bad, the face of Juri out of proportion, the torso doesn’t sway with the rest of the body and the cat is out of proportion. They walk along a drawn background and then the scene ends with what appears to be the normal look of the manga. It’s a simple picture of Juri and some supernatural stuff.

The second ED is “Owakare Hayashi” by Meaw. It’s a short song about supernatural things, I guess. The ED sequence is pretty nice though because it has a lot of action in it. It has Juri and the cat made in basic shapes running along a loop while the background has stars swaying, various characters shown in neon colors and other cool looking stuff while the foreground features shadow images of a cemetery and other occult things with various ghosts and monsters doing simple loop animation.

The third one is “Neko Chronicle” by Meaw. This is a mellow song with a really charming pace to it. The song talk about cat chronicle which I think translates to friendship. The ED sequence is probably the best of them all. It features the cat and Juri in a floatie at the sea. The cat is doing a 360 with fluid animation that looks like it’s frame by frame. Juri is in a stable motion though as the sea rocks back and forth. The water looks like CG made because it has various colors to it with different shades. In the background, there is an alien ship abducting a guy and a boat full of passengers. It’s pretty awesome.

Overall Score

2/10 “The animation ruined the anime’s potential but a good anime is able to push out its charms despite the lack of refinement and this anime has done so very splendidly.”

I want to thank the subbers who dedicated their time to subbing this anime. There’s a lot of anime like this that often go unnoticed but I’m glad someone out there is putting effort in giving these shows some needed attention. Thank you. The animation is certainly a hurdle that even I, who am pretty easy to please, feel repulsed by it. The director of this anime directed Double J and Thermae Romae though so his skills certainly had progression. It’s a rough diamond but it’s still pretty good.

6 thoughts on “Honto ni Atta! Reibai Sensei Review

  1. Wow, I don’t think I’d have the patience to watch bad animation. I got pissed just at the style switch during a FLCL episode. Are there other digital approaches apart from Flash that have better results?

        • flash is the most convenient but there are anime that is like a picture book. a narrator tells the story and just still images are shown. no movement whatsoever.

          the standard today is digital animation. you do it all via computer even the drawings sometimes. you can outsource your work but making an anime is generally expensive costing thousand of dollars. flash is free and requires little effort.

Thoughts~

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