A lot of love for one, and not so much for two:
- 0 dango – average and forgettable.
- 1 dango – very good in its category.
- 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
- 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.
I can now add Kabukibu! to the collection of anime worthy of recommendation featuring Japanese traditional arts, along with Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and Chihayafuru. What started out as concern about the tone and direction of the show quickly became pleasure in the respect paid to kabuki. They not only seemed to accurately describe its history, but also carefully thought out ways to bring kabuki into the future while still maintaining the art’s spirit and style.
Like with any art form, kabuki evolves with its performers and audience, reflecting the times. Kurusu and his club mates take people like me into account, people who have an idea of what kabuki is, but little understanding of the details or knowledge of the stories. I never really considered attending a performance–the art seemed too stiff, too unreachable. But after watching the club’s attempts to modernize it, I’m now interested in experiencing kabuki for myself. Even if the performers I someday watch don’t take the measures tried in the anime, I can still read up on the chosen play beforehand to enter the actual thing with a prepared and relaxed mind.
Since this show is only twelve episodes, we don’t go far beyond the Kabuki Club’s school performances. The biggest obstacle introduced from the very beginning is Ebihara Jin’s character, a young professional struggling to gain skill and recognition. Using him in the final arc of the anime perfectly brings the story to a complete circle, and I’m able to walk away satisfied to have been given the opportunity to witness a rare story like this. I think it’s too much to hope for a sequel, since I didn’t see many others talking about this show and have no idea how sales have gone. I will gladly welcome a continuation if we are so lucky to receive one. Please let me know here or in my other post on the anime what you thought of Kabukibu!
Rating: 2 dango
Love Kome -We Love Rice-
Let me just say this straight out: I would not recommend this show to anyone but the most die hard of food lovers or pun-ridden idol comedies. Love Kome is a short, with episodes only running four minutes each. The bulk of each episode follows our group of boys at school dreaming about their futures as idols. The twist? The boys are anthropomorphized grains of rice fighting against Japan’s decreased interest in the grain in favor of bread. Maybe if they become popular, their country’s love for rice may return! Each week ends with a quick recipe, like omelette rice, rice balls, and rice burgers. These recipes were the sole driving force for my interest in the show, since I’m always trying to think of ways to use up leftover rice. The main story itself is not of much interest of me since I feel no connection to the characters. And while I usually like clever puns, their liberal use of them regarding rice came across as just lame.
Rating: 0 dango
Oh, Hinako Note, how you bored me with your assembly line characters and story elements, how you alienated me with your odd sexualization of girls more fit for a tittering tea party. I should have done us both a favor and dropped you after the first episode, but I clung on in the aimless hope that you would prove the naysayers wrong. Now I feel guilty for hating on you despite all the warnings; we just weren’t meant for each other.
Right from the start, Hinako Note tries too hard to please. The cast includes characters of the usual archetypes: shy, sweet, innocent, hungry, and bashful. Everything from the setting to the activities are primed to entertain me. I’ve always dreamed of owning my own bookstore cafe–add on a bed and breakfast and I’m even happier! The acting element can be hit or miss, but I tend to like shows featuring performing arts of this nature. The character designs are cute and unique from one another. Yet, at every juncture, these aspects failed my expectations.
Despite Hinako’s acting goal, very little of the show focuses on the art both in school and home. They mention it here and there and put on a few performances, but we don’t sit in on many rehearsals or much discussion of the craft after the first show. Acting takes a back seat to the cute-sy antics of the girls’ everyday lives, peppered throughout with Hinako’s stage fright. Her entire scarecrow situation annoys me like nothing else in this series. The image is too bizarre, too stupid to find endearing.
The other characters follow their own outlines to the letter. Ku loves books to their literal death in her stomach. Every time I saw the results of her “love,” I wanted to scream and shake her. Bratty Yua leans too much into the tsun and should’ve been folded into another character, like Mayu, since two sweet girls are one too many here.
Do yourself a favor and skip Hinako Note in favor of others who do the genre better, like Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka? and Hidamari Sketch.
Rating: 0 dango