Sunday, April 11, 2010

Anime — Miracle Train : Welcome to the Oedo Line

Japan's love of anthropomorphization strikes again -- at the start of 2009 it was soft drink cans, this time it's train stations, in a man-service anime for girls.

I picked this one up as something for Karen to counter the girl-heavy bias of the normal selection of shows, but quite enjoyed it. It is slight -- most of the episodes are of the form "Girl boards train; girl discovers it's occupied by half a dozen suave young men in uniform; girl freaks a bit, but eventually is coaxed into telling about her problems; the guys then let her talk the problem out, with a little bit of slapstick and sight-seeing in their vicinity; everyone happy." -- but never gets embarrassingly bad or stupid. The worst it gets are in the three episodes outside the usual problem-solving where it tries for a bit of profundity while doing the "Secret Origins of the Miracle Train" and never quite seems sure of the mood or genre it's aiming for. And along the way you'll learn more trainspotter trivia for one of the newer lines in the Tokyo underground.

Overall -- Surprisingly good for Japanese light comedy.

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