Friday, February 5, 2016

Joukamachi no Dandelion review

This is a what I think one of the hidden gem of this season. The style makes you think that this is probably your average ecchi slice of life anime at first glance, yet by no mean it's not. While the show itself is not a masterpiece, it is actually a really decent and enjoyable anime to watch.

 The Sakurada family is a pretty ordinary family of eleven people living in a solitary house. Except that their father is the king, and each of the children has special powers. Also, to ensure their safety and to help citizens decide the next king, the town is observed by more than 2000 security cameras. (Source: Wikipedia)

The main theme in this anime are actually about family. Royal family. With superpowers. Despite having a rather complex setting, the story itself was rather simple and straightforward, with plentiful character development. It is generally a slice of life anime, with each episodes focusing the life of each of the family members of Sakurada family as they follow the path of living like a normal citizen would. The anime consists of many smaller parts and most of the episodes are divided into two, sometimes even three short stories instead of a single one spanning the entire episode. At time, the whole story itself feels like a celebrity reality program. The concept of having a voting, democracy system to determine the next ruler is really amusing, as each sibling regardless of their ages try their hardest to win the heart of citizen. As such, there are lots of hidden messages that can be learned from the characters, from familial loves, finding one true purpose to taking good care of other people regardless of your status. The comedy are very nice and not overly exaggerated, making each scene really enjoyable to watch. The plot are well written, for an anime that features  the ending are very, very satisfying.

The main highlight of the show is the cast of colourful characters. They have their own personality each with Strength and Weaknesses. The characters are relatable as they have shown their inner strength, not their obvious supernatural powers as a main focus. They've shown their weaknesses when they are in troubled with life,yet they've always helped each other to overcome it. Even though their archetypes might be common as seen in most anime, further sense of duty and responsibility further shines upon their character keeping them refreshing to watch. This anime have one of the most siblings in an anime, 9 of them in total; the oldest being Aoi, followed by Shuu, Kanade, Akane, Misaki, Haruka, Hikari, Teru and the youngest Shiori. Each character are different from the rest, there is never a character who are boring to watch for. There are lack of antagonist, but it is understandable since its a mainly slice of life anime, with a tinge of superpowers. The best thing about the characters however, is their development. Each episodes showed several different scene that focuses on each of the characters, as they progress and left none unchecked of. As such, the characters grows, overcoming their troubles, and their relationship between family members and people around them grows. For a 12 episodes anime with variety of different characters, I would say this is a great success.

Art and animation are above average, as expected of most anime nowadays. The character design are simple but lovely in their own way. The art is consistent and bright fit with the theme of the anime and it is pleasant to look at. The animation is smooth and clean. It is not overly exaggerated, keeping it mostly simple. The sound fits really well with the anime. The OP and ED are really cheerul and catchy, pleasant to the ears. As for the OST, it fits the mood; they can be fun yet calming at time. While the overall art and music direction does not stand too much, the story makes up for them.

Overall, I really enjoyed this anime and consider it a hidden gem that not much people talk about. The story is well written, with great character development and satisfying ending. Although it is not an outstanding anime with masterfully crafted story, it is simple and fun in its own way. It manages to stand out a bit from your typical slice of life comedy. If nothing else, there is nothing straight-up bad to say about it, which is more than I can say for most anime. Do watch it if you had the time to do so.

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