This is review number two hundred and fifty three AND a half. This show shares a number with Yami Shibai. This anime is part of the Summer 2013 lineup. Apologies if I haven’t done a review in over a week. Being super busy is really an understatement. I plan on moving forward though once things settle down and it’s not that far along. Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is Recorder to Randoseru Mi. This is the third season of a less than five minute anime I personally enjoy watching. The first season was my 25th review and the second season was my 44th review. The third season is now my 253rd review so I think that’s pretty special. Let’s read on.
The anime is about two unusual siblings. The big sister is in high school but she is short and she looks like an elementary student. The younger brother is in elementary but he is tall and he looks like a grown man. The show focuses on the ordinary everyday lives of the not so ordinary siblings. The third season introduces new characters though and focused on the crazy love settings established all throughout the show.
Taking the Pants Off
Can you believe we got another season of this show? I remember the first two seasons being nothing but mediocre yet simple clean fun. It wasn’t remarkable enough to truly get another season though. If the pattern persists, we might get more of this show but I think this is the last one. If you can trust the way a narrator pops up and announces that the story is over then I think this is the last we’ll see of the big sister that looks like an elementary student and the younger brother that looks like he belongs in an otome game. I have to tell you though that these less than five minute anime about four panel adaptations has a soft spot in my heart. They always do the job of winding me down during a rough seasonal lineup. Recorder to Randoseru has been there for me twice so I secretly wanted to watch this show. You should know though that the appeal of the third season only works for those who saw the first two seasons. It’s a no brainer but the third season was also different animation wise so it’s really for people who wasted their time on Recorder to Randoseru Do and Re. These less than five minute anime has a simple setup. They revolve around one simple premise and the show constantly pokes fun of it. In this show’s case, it’s the story of the ordinary life of two not so ordinary siblings. We have a big sister that looks like she’s a child and a younger brother that looks like he’s a full grown man. The appeal isn’t that great but the show does have its high points. Surprisingly though, the third season completely overhauled the entire series.
There’s not a lot to present in three minutes but that didn’t stop the show from trying. I came in this show expecting the same tired and, to be completely honest, very loveable scenarios we’ve seen from the first two seasons. The younger brother would freak everyone out by being around kids his age. He’d chase after his crush but then the police would drag him away thinking he’s a pedophile. He does look like one and the whole scenario is one of the fun parts of the show. I was also expecting a few more stories of the overly innocent kid freaking out his homeroom teacher who is afraid of men. It’s these kinds of stupid things that makes up a good three minute anime and you can’t really ask for more. I don’t go into Shiba Inuko-san expecting something intellectually deep. The same goes for this show. Like I said though, this wasn’t the case this time around. I think the show was really pushing everything out because the simple structure of a three minute anime is taken to the top. In the third season of the anime, new characters are introduced and a new premise involving the familiar characters slowly take shape.
I guess I can sum it up to two words: young love. Yeah, that was the theme of this season. A lot of characters start to have feelings for each other and new scenarios starts popping up. One good example that the first two seasons established was between Atsumi’s friend having a crush on her younger brother that looks old enough to be legal. The show was really just teasing the possibility of the two characters and the punch line is that Atsushi is just too young and innocent to ever see the friend as more than just his sister’s close friend yet it doesn’t stop the friend from fantasizing. In the third season, the usual gags stops after the third episode and the focus is more about the relationship of various characters. Atsumi’s friend’s little crush was among the highlights. She feels serious about her loving an elementary kid and I think she really want to jump him. She can’t because Atsushi has a girl he really likes and there was this weird love triangle between the three. The friend would just look on as she sees Atsushi holding hands with his crush and I think the whole thing is whimsy in its own special way.
The thing that completely flipped the third season though is the inclusion of new characters that destroyed the laidback balance the first two seasons has established. First we have a character that loves young girls. I am not kidding with this one. A super popular guy in Atsumi’s school really has this weird obsession with young girls and he claims to love the idea of them being illegal. However, he gravitates towards Atsumi because she looks like a young girl but she is legal. I cannot believe the show went there. The initial premise was really always about things that don’t seem right but the inclusion of this new character just gives the show an off putting personality. It does keep things refreshing though and there are new skits that are created with just this new character alone. The simple fact that his obsession runs wild when he sees Atsumi is pretty intriguing by itself even if the show has abandoned its laidback comedy. The show is now focused on the various characters interacting. The pedo lover and his short friend mingling with Atsumi, Atsumi’s friend and Atsushi spending time together and the two intial premise crossing paths basically makes up the third season of this anime.
It’s bitter sweet for me because I was accustomed to the show’s light hearted take on a screwy premise. Despite all the craziness, the simple-ness of the first two seasons is pretty delightful in its own right. The ordinary lives of two not so ordinary people were a really fun thing to watch and I was hoping to see more of it in the third season. It’s fun going back to things you’re accustomed to and I’m a bit sad that wasn’t the case for this show. With that being said, I love this new premise. The various characters establishing a relationship among each other was a nice take on the show and I can’t believe they didn’t pull it out on the second season or something. A pedo lover lusting over Atsumi, a complicated love triangle, two short people gaining mutual understanding and the simple story of young people falling in love is a damn good enough premise to fill out more than just three minutes. This is the kind of thing that I personally would want to watch on a regular formatted anime. I’ve seen a four panel anime succeed in the same format and I think Recorder to Randoseru had enough intriguing elements to pull it off. It’s a shame it was only slated for three minutes….and the new and exciting premise appeared on the last season of the show.
Characters are pretty much the same. I was distracted by a lot of things so I barely notice the personality of the characters. They’re generic as you can get and I think it’s enough for a three minute anime. The show’s job is to help you unwind and present you something simple so having complicated characters won’t help. You also have characters that are basically cardboard cut outs so you can’t expect much from these characters. I’m not kidding about this too. The animation is pretty bad. I’ll get into that later on. The familiarity that you’ve established with the characters from the past two seasons is basically the thing that helps you identify with them. The new characters are pretty simple and they’re defined by one outstanding trait. Like I said, they did make the show unique as far as one dimensional personalities go. I love the characters though. They’re very endearing in a way. It’s kind of hard to explain but I watched this show to see the characters and I can’t really explain why.
Seven (the studio) is basically known for making “less than five minute” shows. I think this is what they think they know best and they stick to it. Besides Recorder to Randoseru, I think Morita-san is also another great stuff from this studio. They don’t really plan on changing that anytime soon. I mean, if you count the Hentai anime they recently released then I guess Seven is starting to grow but you can’t really be proud of a Hentai anime. I’ll admit that I like their first Hentai anime. It’s pretentious story-wise but it does have a good sex scene. Yeah, you can’t be proud of that. I do hope to see more Recorder to Randoseru though. It’s wishful thinking for me but I think the studio did a good job with this series and I see no reason to stop.
Sight and Sound
This was the biggest change that happened in this anime. To be fair, the first two season’s animation isn’t that great as well. It was dull. The color palette was boring and the animation was pretty basic. It captured the appeal of the premise though. Despite the subpar animation, the older sister still looked very cute and the younger brother still possessed the features of a hunk. The laidback appeal of the show was encapsulated in the animation despite its obvious dullness. I wasn’t really expecting something magical in terms of animation and I guess the subpar animation soon became an identity of the show. That’s why I cried “what the hell happened?” when I saw the third season. The animation this time was pretty cheap. It’s like it was done in flash animation or something. I can’t be sure because the movements are still pretty detailed compared to regular flash animation. I guess the animators just got massively lazy with the last season. Only the mouth moves this time and characters already assume a position that should’ve match what they were saying. So a scene would have characters in weird poses with only their mouth moving. It’s very off putting. It wasn’t the animation I’m used to. What bugs me is that certain scenes like Atsushi running or the pedophile going crazy stalking a child still had very detailed frame by frame animation. It still captured the appeal of the character but normal scenes don’t have the same detailed presentation. I’m not sure if different people did the animation this time around or the director just wants to shake things up. To be fair, there are some distinct upsides. One of the things I personally like is the color palette this time around. It’s bright and vibrant certainly giving off more energy than the damp appeal of the first two seasons. It’s easier to appreciate the characters with a stronger color palette used on them.
The background is even lazier. They used stock photos on the show. They often used real photographs in a lot of scenes and painted over some of them. It adds to the cheap looking presentation of the show. It just feels very alien from the first two seasons and I just don’t understand why they would alienate the only group of people that would watch this third season. I hate photo backgrounds. Flash animated shows can do it but regular animated shows should have the consistency in its animation all throughout. This tells me that they either don’t have the budget or the director just doesn’t care. There is a certain charm-ness to overly bright and realistic backgrounds but the characters look like cardboard cut outs when placed in them. It looks cheap and cheap is a bad thing even for a three minute anime.
The anime has no OP. The ED song is “One Two Hello” sung by different characters throughout the show. The original was sung by a vocaloid named IA. I love her voice and I really love this song. It’s super catchy. As I’m writing this review, I have the song on loop. The lyrics are pretty cute. It talks about having a carefree day and not fussing over things that would only make you frown. These wonderful lyrics are accompanied by a really lovely rhythm arrangement. The combination of a simple drum beat and an acoustic guitar in the background drowned by a more aggressive guitar sound is really fun to listen to. The pacing starts out slow then goes a downhill cuteness towards the chorus. I seriously can’t stop listening to it. The various singers did a good job capturing the appeal of the song but I think IA’s version was my favorite simply because of the later parts of the chorus but each singer has their own degree of cuteness added to the song.
5/10 “It’s different from the first two seasons but still as enjoyable despite the drastic changes.”
While the appeal of the first two seasons is gone in this show, I think the new premise it worked with was pretty great. I still liked the dull animation of the previous seasons though compared to the third season’s cheap presentation. It’s all good. If you enjoy less than five minute anime then you should check this show out. If you like some decent comedy then you can try this show out. It possesses the limitations of a three minute anime but it’s still pretty entertaining in its own right.