Bookcover Scratchpad #2 Winter 2013: 2GD2GT Edition

This season it feels like there are a ton of short anime. It feels…kind of like this.


Last time I mentioned I’m putting gdgd on the to-do list. Now it’s off the to-do list: somehow I managed to watch all of season 1 and caught up to season 2 during that time span. It’s not super hard, given it’s 13 minutes or so each episode and a quarter of it I was watching with my eyes closed (blame food coma). I think however I managed to get the gist of at least why there are some pretty loud fans of it. Well, the ultimate reason why comes down to the fact that it is not really anime, right? And by that I mean anyone who would watch this via some categorical basis would’ve dropped it on contact of its Red vs. Blue (season 1) visuals? The jokes (as good as they are) are totally besides the point why it would be in this discussion.

I’m not the first or last person to talk about anime as a way to deliver the laughs. I love comedy in my anime, but it’s also an often ignored sort of thing. It’s hard to talk about. It’s also hard to watch, I guess, because comedy in anime this season means 3 minutes long and probably full of in-jokes. I think this might be why I will look forward to Kotoura-san every week (plus, it’s got potential to be darkly humorous, which is quite rare). I guess it will have to do. In some sense, the past few years have been pretty solid for comedy anime, it’s just that what’s good has been hard to find. You’ll have to look all over the place to find something. It means looking at things like gdgd. Or Infernal Cop. Or whatever.

So, consider this sort of an attempt to talk about comedy and point out what you might (not) be missing. I’ll list one good point and one bad point for each show. Most of them have at least one of each.

Osaka Okan – Asumi and Shiraishi make an okay combo, but Asumisu carries the show as per her usual routine. Yuka Iguchi does a funny job being the third wheel when the occasion calls for it. Good: It is a moe. Bad: All the jokes are the equivalent of “you might be a redneck.”

gdgd fairies – If you loved season 1, you should watch season 2. If you didn’t watch season 1, don’t bother with season 2 until you finish season 1. But the one thing special about gdgd is that it is more radio show than normal anime and it’s stronger than ever in that front. Good: Random. Bad: Too long.

Ishida & Asakura – Even sketch comedy play by build-up, character development, and viewer investment rules. But this one… Good: It reminds me of Cromartie. Bad: It’s way, way, way worse than Cromartie.

Mangirl – It’s about manga and education. It also makes you wish it was actually about girls who are men. Good: It’s educational. Bad: Punchlines are optional.

Ai-Mai-Mi – Possibly Teekyuu’s spiritual successor. Also no Strawberry Eggs. Good: It makes sense. Bad: Much worse than Teekyuu.

Senyu – Condensed gamer humor by trope inversion. Good: Creative (for people who don’t read nerd webcomics). Bad: Whiny.

Puchim@s – 4koma comedy comic but is serial. It’s kinda simulcasted on Youtube, which might be the first time we see a daily simulcast for any anime ever. Good: Daily. Bad: Low new content per episode.


Encouragement of Climb – If you overcame the adversity of its Engrish titling, you will not find a sketch comedy within. Good: It’s just an ishashi-kei anime, so it’s kind of experimental and new in this form factor. Bad: It’s not a sketch comedy.

Infernal Cop – Web-only indie animation from Imaishi, published via Comix Wave. I haven’t seen anything like this since the last time I saw Bevis & Butthead. Good: Very good direction. Bad: It’s got not much else going for it.

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