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Ebichu the Housekeeping Hamster

a.k.a. Ebichu Minds the House

a.k.a. Oruchuban Ebichu

ebichu-2
Genre: Comedy
Company: Gainax
Format: 24 episodes
Dates: 8/1/1999 to 10/1/1999

Ebichu is a female hamster (price: 1,050 Yen, tax included) in charge of housekeeping for her owner while she’s away. Her master, a 25-year-old office lady, is desperate to get married… and as soon as possible. However, Ebichu isn’t very happy with her choice of boyfriend: Kaishonashi, a drunk, gambler, compulsive cheater and premature ejaculator. Ebichu will stop at nothing to change Kashonashi’s ways… or get rid of him all together!

summary by Griveton

 

Reviewed: 06/20/2005 by
Grade: 81% av-Mugs

Highs: Hilarious; not afraid to push the boundaries for a laugh

Lows: Repeated gags; no story; no character development

One wonders where to begin when reviewing a show like Ebichu, so I suppose it’s best to just put it bluntly: this is, without a doubt, one of the strangest, deceiving, lacking-in-any-semblance-of-subtlety, repetitive and yet hilarious shows that I have ever seen. Unabashedly explicit, it makes fun of modern relationships through the eyes of a childlike hamster, someone who doesn’t really understand what’s going on and yet perceives certain realities clearer than the adults at times.

With its episodes running at roughly seven minutes each, the entire show clocks in at just under three hours. Within that period there is actually quite a bit of repetition of the gags. Whether it be the sexual savior Ebichuman, the intensely disturbed Maa-kun fawning over a hamster, office lady being cheated on yet again or the ubiquitous Ebichu flying across the room and landing in pool of her own blood… you see the same things again ad infinitum. While the material is really funny and there is a bit of originality in each episode, by the end of the series the repeated bits have lost their edge and just end up being time filler.

The animation is standard, and the artwork itself is, for the most part, normal fare but mixes in scenes that would’ve felt comfortable in Ping Pong Club or Di Gi Charat with strange close-ups and nondescript extra characters. The music really doesn’t exist outside of the opening and closing themes, with neither being memorable; the creators didn’t seem to be trying for anything else but a cute, strange song to fit the theme of the show.

Whether you end up liking this show will really boil down to the raunchy brand of humor being your style, as well as how many miles you get out of running gags. Have a high tolerance for both and I think you’ll enjoy it, and a low tolerance for either, you might not make it through the series.

 

Reviewed: 02/14/2006 by
Grade: 81% av-Kain

Highs: Pulls no punches when it comes to sophomoric humor; seiyuu play off each other well

Lows: Some skits miss the mark; not enough Maa-kun and Ebichuman

When I heard eccentric seiyuu Mitsuishi Kotono and eccentric director Anno Hideaki had paired up once again, I knew the result would be an anime that followed its own compass. Ebichu the Housekeeping Hamster lives up to that expectation through the use of shockingly sexual humor ironically coupled with childish artwork and characters. As strange as that combination may seem, there really is no other way the original manga could’ve been made into an anime and had the same effect.

Mitsuishi Kotono is at her best as Ebichu, the lovably naive hamster. She never lets up off of the throttle, always finding the right, maniacal tone and mating it to the speech patterns of a Japanese toddler (ending sentences with –dechu instead of the proper suffix –desu). Tomizawa Michie as Ebichu’s owner offers the perfect counterbalance as the more adult-sounding, exacerbated foil to Ebichu’s plans for worldwide Camembert cheese domination, although both master and pet display childlike qualities that only make the sexual comedy appear that much more stark in contrast.

And speaking of which, had the artwork been more realistic rather than just simple sketches, this anime would’ve certainly went straight to the dark corner of the video store where the hentai anime are kept under lock and key. Being graphic in nature, the jokes rely on shock value and toilet humor, the kind that made me chortle with great mirth back in elementary school… and still do to this day. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but this anime is aimed very much at the young adult demographic, so it was fortunate that I did laugh again and again. Unfortunately, the best parts included the bestiality-inspired Maa-kun and sexual savior Ebichuman, though neither get the ample screentime they so richly deserve.

It is certainly easy to see why many people would find this anime offensive, which is good since that’s what it set out to be. And even though after completing the short series I came away with little in terms of a coherent story or inspirational revelation, I do occasionally rediscover several episodes every time I need a quick chuckle. You can’t ask for much more than that.

 

Ebichu the Housekeeping Hamster can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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