Winter Anime Impressions – Asu no Yoichi

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Asu no Yoichi was on my list of shows to watch but I didn’t really have high hopes for it because it looked liked it was a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy show with a heaping helping of fan service thrown in. But after Akikan, I was just hoping to see something at least passable. So did Asu no Yoichi join Akikan at the bottom or did it fare better?

Rating: 6/12 B-

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The four sisters

Well, the first episode was definitely better then Akikan by a long shot but it still has a journey before it’s considered good.

Asu no Yoichi is about a young master swordsman and what happens when his father decides it would be a good idea for the son to leave their secluded mountain home and learn about the modern world. While in the city, the high school aged boy will live at a dojo run by relatives and because this is a romantic comedy, it’s four sisters that run the dojo.

In the show’s defense, it didn’t really do anything really wrong. Our young swordsman seems like a capable, nice guy and someone that we could get to like in the future. The four sisters still need more character development before they’re more then just a character type but none of them annoyed me. The premise seems absurd – I don’t think there’s anywhere in Japan that you could raise a kid in total isolation of the outside world – but I’ve gone along with weirder ones before.

What particularly helped my enjoy this episode was three of the female seiyuus. The oldest sister is played by Rina Satou, who has done a very good job in a very similar role for one of my favorites, Minami-Ke. The second youngest sister is played by Yukari Tamura, who sounds a lot like her role as Nagisa Kurihara – the bug liking one – from Sketchbook. The youngest sister is played by Kana Hanazawa, who I really got to like after playing two roles both named Sora in Sketchbook and Somedays Dreamer’s Season 2.

In conclusion, the show was just good enough that I’ll watch a few more episodes but soon it’ll need to be more then a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy show with a heaping helping of fan service if I’m to continue watching it.

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He meets three of the sisters without realizing who they are and leaves them with very different opinions about him.

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When Yoichi says he’ll help the youngest sister by looking for the eldest, guess what she says is her older sister’s most distinguishing feature?
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6 thoughts on “Winter Anime Impressions – Asu no Yoichi”

  1. I find what the loli told Yoichi to recognize her sister by was her breasts instead of her incredibly long purple hair or giant white ribbon. Especially since there were other girls there with big breasts apparently (lolz).

    But this anime was more entertaining than I expected (I expect it to be Akikan…) so I’m at least going to keep watching until a couple of characters show up later (because I want to hear the seiyuu).

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  2. @FuyuMaiden, thanks for the comment.

    I also thought it was more entertaining than expected but I would like it if people acted more like they would in real life. The sister’s long purple hair and large white bow would definitely be the way to distinguish her in a crowd, especially in animeland where every woman is either very big or flat.

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  3. There you go ago, introducing this king called “reality” into anime ; )

    The development and plot, while rather simplistic and smooth, worked. The only inconsistency issue that happened was when the anime changed the plot on the villains. They were setting it up that way throughout the show, so it wasn’t too glaringly obvious that this was something form factored in, but I could detect it. The ending episode wasn’t nearly as good an experience for me as the previous ones. (in fact I totally skipped Ep 4 by mistake and had just caught it today)

    (Going to start talking about the ending episode now for those that haven’t watched it.)*****

    ***

    Yoichi didn’t seem like the kind of person who would leave his duty and let the main villain, who he knew to be the villain, take charge of those he cares about. Total character break. That was the most glaringly obvious issue to me.

    It made sense, once I read the manga, what was the original plot. It focused a lot more on the duty/obligation/love relationship between the sisters and Yoichi. Which mirrored in the two villains’ sister/brother relationship.

    I never got why Yoichi could spout some stuff and the villain would simply collapse. Doesn’t work like that. The antagonist role is to challenge the protagonist. And if it’s a challenge you can simply use words to get through, it wouldn’t be such a challenge. You might as well have resolved the issue without ending the plot in that longish fashion.

    Also it made more sense to me that Yoichi and the younger sisters didn’t know Ikaruga had lost her memories. That’s why they were acting mean or what not. But for them to act such when they knew about it, became too inconsistent at times.

    A comedy, ecchi, production that also explores emotional relationships in depth, is very good, for the themes it chose to specialize in. The ending episode to the anime, attempted to branch out a little beyond the genkai and didn’t quite make it. It needed more polishing to be able to carry out the action finale, but you don’t get a lot of time or money to “practice” in an anime season. That’s why it costs less to go with the author’s version of events and why it also takes less time. To create an original work, requires creating an original work. I’ve never liked it when people, regardless of how talented they are, attempt to attach their own creations to some other author’s original work and try to make both of them work in the same plot and universe. It just doesn’t work out all that well.

    On the other hand, consider Sora o kakeru Shoujo. Episode…. 9 or something had an original production and story line that was amazingly deep and entertaining, even though it had Zero % to do with the story line of the series itself. The symbology and iconography used were exceptional. I kept thinking “this is a one episode joke filler, so why do I find it so captivating”.

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  4. @ymarsakar: Thanks for the comment. 🙂

    I’m starting to get a little fuzzy with asu no yoichi but from what I’m remembering it seems you’re taking a harder line with the final then I remember doing back then. How will an anime end when there’s more source material to cover is one of those thorny problems that almost never seemed done right. Since I normally don’t read the manga an anime is based on until well after I’m sure no more adapting will be done, I generally prefer if the animators give some sort of concluding feeling to a show, even if it’s not the smoothest.

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  5. It just felt fake to me. But I’m known for being very detail orientated when analyzing certain things.

    (Must have picked it up while studying military strategy and tactics. Those guys will hit you with so many hidden stuff that if you don’t notice, you’ll get blown out of the water wondering “what got us” while pieces of you fall over the entire Pacific)

    I wasn’t looking for a grand conclusive end to a comedy series that was half comedy, half grand emotion. One didn’t need a plot cliffhanger or suspense to be true to the comedy or dramatic content. What it looks like is somebody, who wasn’t the author, tried to continue the story of the original author. It’s much akin to plagiarism or textual analysis which I think mentioned here before. Remember that old wise King trick about being able to tell who is lying when two people both say the book was written by them?

    Continue the Story

    An adaptation is two soldiers saying a (.50 caliber sniper) rifle belongs to them. Trick: What is the serial number on your rifle? Even if both of them don’t know it by perfect recall. The one that owns the rifle will have the “memory recall” look on their face, while the other person will express tension/stress (lying indications) and start to glance at the rifle’s serial number and maybe then stop himself from doing so.

    For Asu no Yoichi, the effort they put in was satisfactory. For the average, much as a magician’s illusion trick suffices. But it doesn’t suffice for magicians that also know their “trick”. To create an illusion even an expert illusionist cannot penetrate by logic or experimentation, is a true sign of genius.

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  6. I see a way to provide a conclusion, using the source material, but without making the modifications they did to it. I would make different modifications.

    Some of their changes, such as shifting Chihaya’s two different chapters into one continuity, makes sense. They were, fundamentally, stumped by not having a series antagonist. That assumption, that they need an antagonist, requires that they have an antagonist of the same mold as the previous ones in the series. They tried, but it would have been easier to ask the manga author to brainstorm one up for them. But that doesn’t seem to happen often, for some reason.

    So they are going to have to either brainstorm up a good antagonist, in the time they had. Or they eliminate the antagonist role entirely and play it up a different way.

    Two things I would have told them to focus on.

    1. The code of honor that demands recompense for services and favors received as a guest of honor.

    2. Playing up the fact that Yoichi is a freeloader and hasn’t done anything for the main heroine of the story juxtaposed against the main heroine’s problems and psychic troubles.

    The whole samurai code of honor thing with Yoichi looks like a joke at first, but it’s actually real. Meaning, he has real integrity, and it is tested by temptations in the story. They just need to make this final test something more personal, and a lot harder.

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