This is review number two hundred and fifty nine AND a half. This anime is part of the Winter 2013 lineup. I’m sorry if reviews have slowed down significantly. I once tried to catch up with my regular pace back in Summer 2013 but I know now I can’t with the way my schedule works. It keeps shifting from busy to super busy to a lot of free time with nothing to do at all and it’s driving me nuts. Right now, I’m in super busy mode with the school year approaching its close. Everyone is pushing their work on me and I just have to do it. Also, I’ve been addicted to Phoenix Wright for the entire February. It’s crazy. I want more. But anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is this show called Ai Mai Mi. It’s a three minute anime about three girls and their spare time in their manga club. It’s a thirteen episode anime about a whole lot of nothing. Let’s read on.
This is a representation of Choboraunyopomi’s manga. The same person who, back when he was in school was riding his bike next to a golf course and fell over from hiccups as he lay on the grass, was reported to the police by a pedestrian as a drunk basking in the sun.
-Narrator, episode 7
Taking the Pants Off
I was supposed to do a review of the other “less than five minute” anime of the Fall 2013 season. This show called Tesagure Bakatsumono was supposed to be the other .5 paired with Miss Mononchrome. Unfortunately, I can’t find the entire episode of the anime and I think a bunch of fansubbers just went ahead and said “f*ck this sh*t”. I can’t review a show I haven’t completed so I’d have to go with plan B. That’s mainly looking for a short anime I overlooked in my rush pace to catch up with the lineups. I’ll be reviewing this show called Ai Mai Mi. I remember this show came out last Winter with another manga related show called Mangirl. Some people claimed Ai Mai Mi is better and, whenever I’m build up to like something, I usually just stay away. Still, I can’t leave a number fractioned so here we are now. For the people that claimed Ai Mai Mi is better than Mangirl, I think some of them are truly calling the unintentionally transgendered title crap. I think majority of them though are a whole bunch of trolls and ass hats. Gawd, I watched this anime in one sitting and I recommend you do not do the same. This is one of those shows that is just dumb with little redeeming value and comedic content that goes beyond regular anime standards. It’s one of those “WTF” shows and you can trust me on this one when I call something weird. I’ve seen some of the weirdest things Japan can dish out and I can give it an even handed review. Ai Mai Mi though is just one big pile of random stupid stuff. I guess there is something to like about the show but I am mostly just amazed at how off rails the show is. You know what, a bunch of screenshots from the show is needed to truly justify how random and stupid this show is. Have some of this:
I’ve clearly ventured in the wrong side of the dark scary abyss and I can’t get out from it. I’m sure you’re looking at the pictures and wondering what the hell is going on with the show. I guess that’s the show’s appeal. It thrives on “what the f*ck is going on here?” and it does it in a pretty splendid manner.
This show is about three girls named Ai, Mai and Mi. They are in a manga club and they’re making a doujinshi in this club. The plot twist is that the characters do not do any sort of club related activity in the show. One girl pens a manuscript for two seconds and that’s basically it. The rest of the episodes are about the girls in their spare time doing absolutely random stuff. It’s not like any other slice of life anime where the girls talk about random things while still being bubbly cute girls even if the conversation heads south. As you can see from the pictures, the show takes it another level and just goes batsh*t crazy. A show would open with a character rubbing mayonnaise on another character and the anime would mostly be about that. It’s hard to describe the show and I’m honestly trying to forget most of the things I saw from the anime. If it’s not mayonnaise then there’d be some other weird crap like dogs with human heads and a trans-dimensional pot. I feel like I’m high while I write this review but I think the creators are mostly on acid when they created this show. There are two aspects of the show I’d like to point out so I can hopefully keep this review structured.
The first one is about the random jokes. The comedy of the show is more of an American slapstick kind of comedy with the nonsensical Japanese mindset. It leans more on the cartoonish with characters hurting each other and the laws of physics constantly poked at. All it’s missing is a painted wall the road runner can run into. The premise of the show is mostly about childish stuff that appears juvenile but also has a very adult element to it. It’d have some violence with a very unpleasant acid trip to complete the package. It has disturbing images and a lot of adult types of gags that looks fairly childish but actually pretty over the top mature. The plot isn’t important as long as the characters can do some random stuff with some disturbing elements to go along with it. If you like some acid induced experiences then I think you’d like this show. If you’re not convinced then have some more weird pictures like this:
Okay, that’s it. I’ve running out of screenshots. I think the images might be more helpful that the actual review at this point, huh? If only we can have reviews with nothing but screenshots. Anyways, the second thing I’d like to point out is the hidden gags of the show. I think this is the one of those times where the cultural barrier has stumped me. The show has a lot of nods towards parodies and Japanese references too local for me to understand. Considering the show has no structure, the references really just add to the randomness. Some of them are manga references though. I can gather that much. Certain manga styles are adapted by the show like an artist’s distinct character design or familiar panels from a popular manga. I’m an anime guy though so I can’t understand the parodies in this one. They look pretty cool though. You can spot the nod at some popular manga fairly easily. It’s really a nice aspect of the show. However, it has a lot of parodies that are not manga as well. From the 8 bit ED sequence to the various situational parodies of the show, it adds to the nonsense of the anime. “What the hell is going on?” is reinforced by the parodies that go way over your head. I mostly just don’t bother with it since understanding the jokes might not improve my stand on the show. It’s still random stupid crap and I think that’s as far as I’ll go to liking this particular show.
The best parts of the anime, for me, though would have to be the opening skits of each episode. In the first episode, a girl threw a cucumber to a kappa and he died. It’s weird and random. It shares the same sentiment as the rest of the anime but I think I like this part more than anything else in the show simply because it’s short and straight to the point. I can form a solid opinion of the show just from watching the first skits of each show. From a girl watering flowers with her piss to the main characters seeing a forest creature towed away, these opening skits were something I can really enjoy. It’s not as trippy as the rest of the show and it takes less effort to like unlike the rest of the show.
The characters are all one dimensional. The setup is that there is a straight laced serious girl actually trying to write a doujinshi while there is another girl that is super energetic that she does a lot of stupid stuff that doesn’t really mean anything. She’s just a wild and goofy character. Normally, these two personalities would cancel each other out but the show had one more girl that would play along with the hyper energetic girl making her stupid outburst into a playful get along. It’s really the holy trinity when it comes to club themed shows where the appeal is on the character’s doing stupid stuff. The characters don’t have much personality beyond the setup. You actually don’t need much at all since the show enters a wormhole of nothingness the moment the show starts. Along the lines of club themed characters though, the girls are engaging enough to draw you in with their nonsense but I am certain you’d regret that after you realize how trippy the show is. There is a fourth girl in the show but she doesn’t do much. She brings in her own kind of weirdness because she always carries a pot with her and the girls are often stuffed into it. It’s supposed to be funny but I seriously don’t get it. She has a gentle personality starting out though that skewer much like the rest of the show.
This is some weird sh*t. To be fair, I thought all less than five minute anime would be like this. Since there is limited time, I thought the best I’d get would be some girls doing stupid things that make no sense. I’m wrong. Instead, I get shows like a dog in a school uniform, a loli high school girl with a pedophile gawking at her, a bunch of slice of life shows and some crappy flash based anime that often scares me sh*tless. I think the potential of these kinds of anime is bountiful but damn, it takes just one to really take it to another level. Ai Mai Mi is like something crazy people would like. It’s just so out there and I can’t really expound on what I saw. I hope the pictures are enough because it’s a tough show to critique. This show was done by studio Seven. They made the Recorder to Randoseru series and I noticed the third season had the same low quality presentation as this show. Did the studio needed money that badly? Or are they slowly entering an inescapable black hole like the shows they are making? I think animation quality would’ve been enough to tolerate this show but I guess it’s too much to ask. The premise sounded good but I think Seven dealt a lot of damage to this show. I’m scared of the shows they’re putting out now.
Sight and Sound
Character design is pretty decent. It leans on the moe side with the big head and bug eyes but I really like the way the girls look. They have really pretty hair design that matches their personality. You have proper pig tailed one for the straight laced girl, frilly and a bit dark for the hyper one and fluffy with cute buns to the side for the girl that plays along with the hyper one. The look is decent because the eyes add more appeal to the characters. Again, these match the appropriate style for each character. This is then completed by the cute uniform. It has a plain ribbon and then just a white loose uniform with red colors on the cuffs and the sides. This design doesn’t last though because the show often turns the girls chibi or ultra-moe or absolutely cartoonish that they lose the details they have on. I think the animation tried to short cut everything so it just tried to keep the girls as cartoonish as it can while jumping back to the moe design when needed.
Animation is a bit awful. I think it wants to capture the whackiness of the manga by turning the girls cartoonish but I can’t be sure. I can’t dig up the four panel anywhere but assuming it was reaching the insanity of the story, then I think it just added to the repulsion it was casting off. The animation is cheap. There is little movement and most scenes have girls with fixed expressions or body reactions. The anime goes fast though so I guess the animation barely kept up with it. I appreciate the nod to the references of the show. I like that since it was pretty cool to watch. The background looks cheaper though since you can tell nothing special was done to it. Most of it is recycled and some are just stock photos they stapled to the show. I’ve seen what they did to the third season of Recorder Randoseru and I think they did much worse on Ai Mai Mi. The former looks like a weird high quality flash based animation while the latter feels more like an amateur fiddling with a story board and then coloring it then animating it. I like the color palette though. It was bright enough to capture the cuteness of the characters. It keeps you tuned in the show as it goes bat sh*t crazy as it progresses.
The anime has no OP. The ED is “Giri Giri Saikyou Ai Mai Mi!” by Ai (CV Yuka Ootsubo), Mai (CV Aya Uchida), Mii (CV Maaya Uchida). This is a really crazy and energetic song. It features the three girls singing a really fast song that is both catchy and a bit irritating to listen to. I love the rhythm though and the voices are pretty pleasant to listen to. The ED sequence is just a weird as the show. I seriously spent a lot of time staring at it and coming up with nothing to react to it. It features the girls in 8bit running around various 8bit parodied game but with them in it. I recognize some FF but that’s all I got from it. I was born in the PS1 are and never really worked my way back. It’s crazy and a bit funny. I love how the sequence just makes no sense and the characters just die as the sequence reaches its end. It’s as hyper and crazy as the anime and the song it goes along with.
2/10 “It’s weird. Girls spinning while doing a handstand and watering plants with her pee kind of weird.”
I guess three minutes isn’t that much of a waste of time but I’d have to tell you that those are three precious minutes you are never going to get back. They’re gone now. Flushed and thrown away in the wormhole of nothingness so look at one episode and decided then if you want to keep moving forward. I tell you, it’s not worth it. It has its upside. I mean, some people like nonsensical comedies like this with an acid trip kind of progression and this anime is for you. If you like shows that makes you go “what the f*ck” then you’ll like this show as well. This is also one of those shows you’d want to recommend to people to make them hate anime. I’d suggest just leaving this one alone. I do not recommend it.