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Azusa Will Help!

a.k.a. Azusa, Otetsudai Shimasu!

azusa-1
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
Format: 1 OVA
Dates: 2004

Many years from now, sports have changed and baseball teams are allowed to use special robots in place of human players. Karugamo High School’s baseball team can’t seem to win a game and decide it’s time they buy their own sports robots to compete with the best. However, with limited funding, the only robot that the team can afford is Azusa, designed to work as a maid. It seems as though Karugamo is in worse shape than ever unless Azusa can learn to be a pitcher and lead the team to victory.

summary by Keitaro

 

Reviewed: 01/17/2005 by
Grade: 55% av-Keitaro

Highs: Occasionally funny; does not ask much of the viewer

Lows: Does not ask enough of the viewer; stereotypical in every way; extremely predictable; forgettable characters

To begin, I’d like to commend this anime for pulling off a difficult task. Even with a total running time under 45 minutes, Azusa Will Help! manages to fit in virtually every anime stereotype that exists, and not in a satirical way a la Excel Saga. On second thought, perhaps “commend” is not quite the word I was looking for.

Then again, it’s not as though this anime tries to be an epic drama. It seems quite satisfied instead being a waste of time. There are no deep, fleshed-out characters; each member of the baseball team has an interesting quirk to give them each a hint of personality. There are no plot major twists or unexpected turn of events; the story follows a very straightforward plot, complete with a fairy tale ending. I’d challenge any viewer to imagine the most obvious course of events at any point during the show, and chances are that’s exactly what will happen.

Not only is the story cheesy and predictable, it is also sorely lacking any kind of background. I would have at very least liked to know more about this high school baseball team that I am supposed to be cheering for. I can sum up the overall art and animation quality with the word “mediocre.” The character designs, Azusa’s in particular, are just plain dull. Nevertheless, I must admit that I did catch myself chuckling at the show’s jokes once or twice, but 1 or 2 chuckles just barely begins to save this anime.

Given the large number of flaws with so few plus points in return, I can hardly recommend that anyone watch this anime, even considering the short running time. If you are looking for a fun action show to kill an hour, Azusa will be of no help… sorry, bad joke.

 

Azusa Will Help! can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

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