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Midori no Hibi

a.k.a. Midori’s Days

midorihibi-1
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Company: Studio Pierrot/Bandai Visual/TOHO
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4/3/2004 to 6/26/2004

Sawamura Seiji is a high school delinquent who has never had a girlfriend. The day he’s rejected by his twentieth girl, Seiji ends up with some good and bad news. Good news: Kasugano Midori, a girl who has been admiring Seiji from afar, confesses her feelings to him. Bad news: due to some unexplainable phenomenon, Midori has become Seiji’s right hand!

summary by Ender

 

Reviewed: 12/18/2004 by
Grade: 84% av-Ender

Highs: Unique premise; doesn’t overstay its visit; likable characters

Lows: Could have been more

Sometimes, when you’re a little fish in a big pond, you’ve got to find a way to make yourself different than the rest. However, no matter how different you are, you still have to face that unknown span of blue all around you. Midori no Hibi makes that daring swim, and despite a few cuts and scrapes, this anime becomes a very entertaining, and very different, series.

The main selling point is the plot: girl likes boy, boy looks for a girlfriend, girl becomes boy’s right hand. Now there’s an idea you don’t see too often! It makes this series all the more of a gem. Now, this could be played for maximum perversion and low-brow laughter, but instead this series uses this idea to provide a sense of sweetness between the main characters. And there are a lot of good humorous moments, too. Having your two protagonists joined together makes for some nice character development. The other characters also get their time to shine. What’s good is that this series keeps its supporting cast small but memorable. They provide enough entertainment and help strengthen the main characters but never hog the spotlight like most supporting casts in this kind of anime.

Now, as I’ve said before, this is a small series, so there is not a lot of time to really pull out all the stops. It’s the same quirk in Irresponsible Captain Tylor; here’s a series that could take the ball and run with it but chooses to stay within perimeters. Kind of a shame, really, because a show with a premise like this is not one that should be contained. Still, it’s a double-edged sword; even though I would have wanted more from this show with more of the zaniness and more of the characters, I don’t think more would have been beneficial. One of the problems with romantic comedies is that they begin to run out of steam after a certain amount of episodes. With 13 episodes, Midori does not endanger itself to intolerability.

This is a very nice series to get into if you’re a bit skeptical about the whole romance genre. It has enough romance without being gushy and enough comedy without going crazy. And for fans of this kind of anime, it may not be the next Maison Ikkoku but it’s enough for all those Chobits and Love Hina fans out there. Either way, give it a gander… preferably with someone at your side.

 

Reviewed: 04/16/2006 by
Grade: 78% av-Eek

Highs: Truly gut-busting moments; characters that capture your heart

Lows: Balled up ending; jumpy animation quality

We’ve all seen plenty of harem romantic comedies that don’t know when to stop (Ai Yori Aoshi: Enishi, anyone?), which is why Midori no Hibi is a breath of fresh air. With such an off the wall but original concept, it alone wins enough points to be good despite some mucking up in the finale.

From the beginning, the girl-who-loves-me-is-also-my-right-hand (and no, not Palmela) approach to romantic comedy is a welcome one for this tired genre; as you can imagine, this makes for some bizarre, yet hilarious, high jinks. The best parts are when metaphors are animated for situations to illustrate what Seiji thinks about a turn of events, such as displaying him getting a strike in bowling to show that he thinks he truly won. Yet, there are equal parts ROFL-ing comedy and touching drama, the latter which fleshes out most of the characters. It’s surprising to see an anime morph itself from comedy to drama all in the same setting, but Midori no Hibi does so without feeling forced. As a result, we’re given hard looks at characters from multiple perspectives, and I find it difficult to not fall in love with them. From Seiji to Shiori, the cast begs for your sympathy and will eventually get it.

However, this anime doesn’t wrap up as well as it should. Without spoiling it, Seiji and Midori bring their part of the story together quite well (even with a bit of melodrama), but everyone else is left in the dust; every side character that spent so much time on screen just seemed to get pushed into the garbage in the end. On a different note, the animation takes a dip in later episodes. Where people and objects were once animated fluidly often turned into a haphazard attempt to cobble together a scene properly, almost like the production staff rushed to complete some episodes.

Midori no Hibi initially caught my eye with its concept, but it didn’t live up to all of my expectations. Nevertheless, it’s a fun and enjoyable ride for those who want to watch a romantic comedy without worrying about a stereotypical love struck loner surrounded by a gaggle of cute girls who all live together.

 

Midori no Hibi can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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