Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Alien girl? Well, not really.

I would write the entire review in Denpanese, but I used up my esper mana for speaking an alien language.

The word "denpa" (lit. "electromagnetic waves") is used to refer to people with overly-active imaginations who appear to live in their own world. In other words, delusional psychopaths.
The word "seishun" (lit. "blue spring") means "adolescent" or "puberty". However, the term often implies the joys and challenges of overcoming immaturity, and youthful romance, as per usage in "seishun points".

Art is very beautiful, seriously.
'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko'(loosely translated to "Psychopathic Girl and Adolescent Boy") begins with the the protagonist Niwa Makoto moving into a new city, known as the "the City Watched Over by Aliens". He's in his aunt Meme's care, whose daughter Erio is a denpa hikikomori wrapped in futon.
If you think this is just a standard harem anime, you are wrong.
The story begins with Makoto getting to know Erio. She's got a serious case of denpa, believing herself to be an alien who came to Earth to investigate the mankind. Being a nice guy that he is, Makoto takes her out to prove she's a human being and can't fly like E.T. After that, the focus is transferred to the remaining cast, Mifune "Ryuushi-san" Ryuuko, Maekawa-san, and Hoshimiya Yashiro.
Many viewers must have felt betrayed when Erio turned from a jargon-spitting enigmatic girl in a futon to an ordinary shy girl, but ironically, Makoto and Erio are surrounded by denpa and therefore has plenty of material for comedy and accumulation of Seishun Points.

Every major characters have their roles in the show, and the character headcount is very low to ensure every character gets their own spotlight. There were some pacing problems in the middle as one non-linear episode mixed in and extremely slow story development, but there are incredibly inspiring and touching moments of youth in every episode as a treat. There are also plenty of references to other manga and anime, sometimes even real life events to keep us entertained.

They look like sisters, right?
'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko' has many classic, almost cliché seishun elements, such as screaming out corny lines in public, running towards the sun (its variation biking towards the moon was used), awkward silences between the opposite sex, working hard on sports... However, it's the execution that makes all the difference, and it really shows in this series. The main message of keeping our minds open and appreciate every moment of our lives, it really reached my heart. 'Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko' is a story full of dreams and depicts an ordinary guy in a crazy city, trying living his life to the fullest. It's brilliant, and exactly what a true seishun series is all about.

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