Poyopoyo (2012)

poyopoyo

I’m back again with more winter anime for human beings. Poyopoyo is about a nearly perfectly spherical cat. It ran the entirety of 2012 for 52 episodes. Each episode is a smidgen under 3 minutes. So, if my arithmetic is correct it’ll take you 2 hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds to watch them all.

It was director Akitaro Daichi’s second cat anime following the superior Kuruneko. The bad news is, you can’t watch Kuruneko in English. As second choices go though, Poyopoyo runs it close for quality, if not realism. The cat is generally cat like, but there are also just as many jokes about his unusual size and shape.

Rie Ooshima returns as animation director from Kuruneko bringing the visual charm she brought there, but with a wider colour palette. Plus, it’s got the quality page to screen gag conversion that we’ve come to expect from Daichi’s comedy shows.

It also has a number of voice actors who almost feel like a troupe nowadays given how regularly Daichi uses and reuses them. Suzuko Mimori, Akira Kamiya and Hidekazu Ichinose play the family who own Poyo. They since have appeared together, or alone in a number of other Daichi projects. These include in DD Fist of the North Star, Kamisama Kiss, and the post-Poyopoyo live action Edo Cafe.

Plus, it has top cartoon animal voice provider Ikue Otani (Pikachu, Chopper) as the voice of the titutlar cat.

Unfortunately we’ve not been delivered a second season, so the introduction of Poyo’s mother, sister and similarly spherical nephews remain tantalising out of reach.

You can see all the circular cat’s adventures at Crunchyroll.

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Sekko Boys (2016)

sekko boys

A lot of good anime aired in 2016, more than I am used to. In comparison, it feels like 2017’s new launches are underwhelming. However, when I go back 12 months, there’s only one show that started in January 2016 that I’d recommend to another human being, and that is Sekko Boys.

Sekko Boys presents the viewer with a pop group whose members are made up of the replica busts of four famous statues. These are the sort of busts that you frequently find in Japanese art schools. This is no mere whim, for the show is sponsored by Holbien, the art materials company.

These busts possess the personalities of the subjects of the original statues. Namely, St George, Mars the god of war, Hermes, and Giuliano de’ Medici. The group is managed by an art student who had hoped to escape her former life. Instead, she finds herself having to physically haul four pieces of still life around the light entertainment circuit.

It is an incredibly strange show. The strangeness is undercut by the matter of fact way all of this is treated by the people (and statues) in it. It is not interested in explaining the strange state of affairs, singing statues exist and everyone is fine with it.

Prolific screenwriter Michiko Yokote was especially prolific last year, but this is one of the strongest and strangest of her projects. If you’ve enjoyed her work on Mr. Osomatsu or The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. of late, then don’t over look this.

And if you’re a voice actor fan, it has Tomokazu Sugita, Daisuke Ono and Jun Fukuyama as three of the statues. Shinnosuke Tachibana rounds things out as cheeky young Medici.

With each episode running 10 minutes long, you can get this wrapped up in a couple of hours over at Crunchyroll.

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