Sparrow’s Hotel Review

This is review number two hundred and twenty four AND a half. This is the other half of the number and it’s another short anime from the Spring 2013 lineup. Aiura was an awesome experience. This show was just bad. It’s Sparrow’s Hotel. It’s a twelve episode anime that runs for three minutes about a girl with big boobs and um….something about hotels, I guess. Let’s just read on already.

Story

This anime is about the workers of a hotel called Sparrow’s Hotel in a downtown area. The show is mostly about their unusual everyday life in this hotel because one of their best workers is actually a trained assassin. Sayuri Satou is considered as the body guard of this hotel because of her less than normal abilities that happily helps the hotel gain business. If only she could control her killing instincts and stop hiding kunais under her skirt then the rest of the workers can work in peace.

Taking the Pants Off

Here we have another anime that runs for less than five minutes. Much like the rest of its kind, these kinds of anime are usually after thoughts of a season. I’m just an annoying completionist so I always want to finish every anime in a lineup. Yes, this includes short anime like this one. Once in a while, you’ll actually hit gold with these kinds of shows. I was utterly surprised when I saw the other short of this particular lineup called Aiura. It was awesome. I called it a rarity and there is good reason for that. Majority of short anime that runs for less than five minutes is actually pretty bad. They have a fun premise, to be honest, but the presentation is often sloppy and pretty embarrassing to watch. Sparrow’s Hotel belongs in this category. After all, there’s not a lot to be done in three minutes and getting a thought across is a huge accomplishment for such a restrictive time.

The premise of the anime is actually pretty good. It’s sort of like a gag comedy in a hotel and it’s about the eccentric people working there. The obvious stand out is this girl with a beautiful frame and huge boobs that also doubles as a strong body guard for the hotel. You see, Sayuri Satou has a shady past and it looks like she is a trained assassin from way back when. She now works in a hotel but her training usually kicks in when she’s on duty and thus, making the normal days of the hotel livelier and entertaining. The anime revolves around this assassin girl and her co-workers as they try to run this hotel. It’s a really good premise, to be honest. It’s the over the top kind of gag comedy that does have a refreshing approach to it that I find interesting. Three minutes would be a challenge though for a premise like this.

The Comedy of the anime is honestly pretty weak. The setup/punchline approach of the show was a bit skewered in its presentation. The anime had such a short time so the pacing is obviously compromised. There are usually three or five skits in one episode so the anime just goes on overdrive asking the viewers to catch up. The show often delivers a punchline with little effect because I myself wasn’t sure when I should laugh. I’m pretty open minded so I’d force myself to laugh if I know it’s decent but the pacing was just too fast that I often find myself challenged by the show instead of being entertained.

The pacing does fix itself after a few episodes. The jokes are still pretty flat though. The material is usually about Sayuri being freakishly strong, her assassin reflexes kicking in, or beating up some people obstructing business outside of her hotel. It’s honestly pretty decent but the jokes are really sloppily presented. If the show was set in a normal twenty two minute show then I can see the appeal of the gags. In three minutes, they don’t really do much. Yeah, some one liner from the characters would get me to smile but it’s honestly not enough. It gets predictable way too early and so it’s hard to like the show as you keep watching it.

The limited time is easily the culprit in this case. The premise sounds really good and I think if they may be reached for five minutes or more instead of three minutes then I’m sure the material would’ve meant a lot more. It’s a shame because there is potential for this show and it was doomed to never realize it since the first episode because of the crippling time. Of course, there are also big problem with the animation which I would love to talk about now but I have a full section of it down below. One thing that I did enjoy in this anime is the characters. They aren’t really that impressive but they carried the show for what it’s worth and I commend them for that.

The second half does get better though. This is where the anime truly shined, in my opinion. The pacing was fixed tremendously and the setup/punchline had a much better effect. The show considered this its second season for some odd reason. It was broken into segments with a clear signal of the segments ending with a commercial sprawled across the screen. The show got slightly better and I was able to enjoy the gag of the anime. There were still some questionable progressions in the second half but the improvement did help a lot.

The characters are all horribly one dimensional but they really made the show special. The main character is Sayuri and she doesn’t really do much. Most of the time she’ll do something unexpected and I do love that about her. The only thing she had going for her, though, are her boobs and her freakish strength. This doesn’t come off as strongly as they should because of the production value though so our little air headed girl was stuck in obscurity from the beginning. The side characters are decent. They had one role and they stuck to it well. There is the manager who is short but very calculative. She often leaves the dirty work for Sayuri and just manages the front desk. Her shifty demeanor does stand out nicely and her big brother’s siscon also makes her stand out at some episodes. The other side character is Misono. In a normal anime, he would’ve been the level headed main character that gets stuck with an uncontrollable girl to handle. He is the normal guy that works the night shift. In the show though, the anime just kept poking at the fact that he has no friends repeatedly. He doesn’t do anything else other than occupy space which is a shame because the elements for a successful anime are all here. It’s a shame the source material was turned into a forgettable three minute anime.

I remember Hotline (the studio). They’re the evil corporation that gave us Shiba Inuko-san. It’s a bit perplexing that they seemed to have taken a step backwards regarding this show. Shiba Inuko had decent production values and even a catchy song to come along with it. Sparrow’s Hotel felt like a show on a tight budget that was aborted early on and just duct taped to finish the whole thing. Sparrow’s Hotel is interesting for a three minute show but it really doesn’t leave a strong impression. It’s mediocre and unremarkable. I honestly think that it could be more than that but I’ve seen way too many promising anime given the “less than five minute” treatment and it does break my heart sometimes.

Sight and Sound

Animation is atrocious. The movements are limited and the characters usually just slide side to side. Their eyes don’t blink and they rarely move. Usually, only the mouth moves and it just looks like a big sloppy mess. Sparrow’s Hotel relies on a lot of visuals because the comedy usually requires Sayuri doing some over the top movements. Sayuri would beat a bunch of people, break a pole with a bucket, dash through a hallway undetected or carry a bed with one hand. These actions require a lot of precise animation and the studio didn’t do that. All they did was draw the scene, color it then have the mouth all by itself. It’s hard to watch sometimes since, deep down, my otaku gut is telling me this could’ve been improved. For some odd reason, the dreadful animation does give me nostalgia. The animation looks all hand animated in the laziest way possible and it reminds me of the quality of animation back in the late 80s and early 90s. Oh god, they all came rushing back because this 2013 anime had the standards of a f*cking 90s anime. I think the studio is stuck in that era. The movements are awkward, the color palette is overly bright and the flow of the scenes is just too primitive.

I think Hotline realized that too. So when they announced the DVD release of the show, they decided to give the anime a huge overhaul presentation wise. The show was no longer stuck in the early 90s. It was updated. It’s now stuck in the late 2000s. Why? Because moe. They took the rough design of the first half of the show then made it more softer. The result was this:

Now the anime all had a more relaxing color palette to it and the characters was given a shot of cuteness. Did it improve the show? Yeah, to a slight degree. The animation was still sloppy and lazy though but the detail work was pretty impressive. The movements are slightly better, majority of the scenes have some body movements now and the animation got a lot more consistent with the design throughout the anime. It does still have some problems though. It’d be polished at one scene and then sloppy in the next. Details are nicely presented up close then turns into a huge hot mess when the characters are far away. It was a decent save for the anime but I can only wonder if it really turned the show around. It really didn’t made a big difference overall. It’s still the same show, to be honest.

Character design is sloppy as well. In the first half, the characters have the typical anime eyes that cover more than half the face. The nose is the pointed kind and the face was long. There is no sign of moe. It’s really like watching an OVA from the 90s. The colors are single toned bright ones that attack your eyes at first but eventually adapts to it later on. Sayuri looks awkward and the rest of the characters look like uninspired cut outs. In the second half, they did improve a bit. There were details given to the characters. Sayuri was given a cute look and a more timid design. The color got softer and pleasing to the eyes. The hair had small details that I do appreciate and the outfits were better. As I said though, it did not improve the overall product though. It was a decent effort but still really not enough.

sparrpwh6

The anime’s OP and ED is “Welcome to Sparrow’s Hotel” by Minori Chihara and Haruka Magashima. It’s sung by Sayuri and the small manager. It’s a decent song but not really something that stands out. It has a nice energy though that nicely compliments the show. The OP sequence is presented in the first half with the 90s style animation. It was decent as it presented all the characters and some goofy moments concerning Sayuri. It ends with Sayuri holding a cannon that launches some confetti. It looks awful but the effort was good, I guess. The ED appeared in the second half and it’s simply a panning scene with Sayuri sleeping in her room naked with her body covered in a blanket. Some bra and stuff are all over the room. It’s simple but fun.

Overall Score

2/10 “It’s entertaining to a slight degree but the short time and the lazy production values makes this particular show mediocre and embarrassingly bad.”  

It’s best not to try this show. I notice the potential the show had but that just adds to the depressing fact that this anime was absolutely awful. If you love watching bad shows for fun then this might appeal to you, you sick asturd. It’s best to just stay away though.

2 thoughts on “Sparrow’s Hotel Review

  1. I agree with everything you said. But I was more entertained by this then with aiura. I don’t know, am I the ONLY one who was quite disappointed that they went with that 2009-ish style from episode 7 onwards. The older art-style worked for me better. I would rather watch yuyushiki though.

    • I’m w/ you on preferring the first half’s animation. moe + cheap animation just looks bad. the commercial shots are pretty cool on the second half though.
      I’m not w/ you on this being better than Aiura. We all have different preferences so it’s all good but I guess the Slice of Life genre just snuggly fits with the less than five minute time frame. plus, it has steve jobs with crabs so…XD

Thoughts~

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