Monday, September 17, 2007

17-09-2007 Post 2: "Forward, GO!"

Today, 17 September 2007, I decided to write 3 posts. The events within these posts are not chronological. But if they're not chronological, what do you call it? Of course, if the events are completely in the opposite order, you call it reversed chronological order. But what if they are simply jiggled around? Do you call it inchronological or unchronological? Or perhaps chronoillogical (that makes sense)? Anyway, they're just random.

Yesterday, after doing some farming, err, I mean adventuring, in FFXII, I wanted to sit down and watch something nice. I wanted a light comedy that doesn't rely on slapstick or overboard weirdness humour. I decided to watch Manabi Straight! I hit the nail on the head.

Manabi Straight! (Japanese title: Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!) takes place in the near future (2035), where due to a severe drop in birth rate, very few people attend school, most of them taking a decision to become part of the basic (and essential) workforce of the nation. In this setting, Seioh (All Girls) High School has a one-member student board which doesn't really do anything, but has survived through time, mostly ignored by the students. Everything changes the day Amamiya Manami transfers to Seioh and decides to become Student Council President with the intentions of doing something "wonderful and exciting".

The anime has a warm atmosphere around it, implemented very well through animation, sound and music. Everything is a bit futuristic, but cosy in the same time. The characters, although in high-school, are drawn middle-school like (you'll see in teh wallpapers at the end of the post). The series is very well paced and makes you want to not let go of it till you finished watching (I realised that at 7 am this morning, when I finished it...).

The whole atmosphere is centered around 5 girls who make up the student council. And just to give you a taste of why it's so cool, I'll say some about each one of them:

Amamiya Manami, aka Manabi-chan (voice: Yui Horie) is the Student Council President. She is hyperactive and weird. "My brain doesn't work, if I sit in one place", she declares herself in the series. As energetic as Tomo-chan (Azumanga Daioh!) with a heart as big as Ai Tanabe (Planetes).

Inamori Mika, aka Mikan (voice: Ai Nonaka) is the original member of the student council and fills in the position of Secretary. When I watched the anime, I tried to think who she reminds me of, and Tokino Akiyama (Kujibiki Unbalance) came to mind. I was later surprised to find out that the seiyuu for the two characters is one and the same. She is timid and naive, also reminding of Akari Mizunashi (Aria the Animation).

Uehara Mutsuki, aka Mu-chi (voice: Marina Inoue) is the athlete of the team. She is very fit and fills in the role of Student Council Assistant. She highly reminds me of Kagura (Azuamga Daioh!), due to her athletic nature, interest in manly stuff, constant appetite, but also a kind and helping heart of gold.

Etoh Mei (voice: Aya Hirano) is an amalgam of characters. A composure like that of Sakaki-san (Azumanga Daioh!), an intellect like that of Chiyo-chan (Azumanga Daioh!) and determination (and "boss around"-iness) like that of Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya). She is the Student Council Treasurer and is many times involved in administratively taking lead of the group. I guarantee, she's a character you'll love.

Momoha Odori, aka Momo (voice: Saki Fujita) will probably be my brother's favourite character from the series. She is strange and absent-minded, talks very little, but is highly sarcastic and scheming on the inside. She mostly reminded me of Mamimi Samejima (FLCL).

Imagine what these girls can do together? I recommend this anime to anyone who liked Azumanga Daioh! and the sort. I just can't get enough of it, so here are some wallpapers.

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