The Best Damn Show of the Season. Period.

yume-iro-patissiere-ichigoSomeone got that reference, right?

Which is to say – anime bloggers and their readers aren’t completely one-dimensional in their interests, right?

Anyway, I have arrived at the decision that the best show of the season is… Yume-iro Pattissiere.

No, really.

Yume-iro Pattissiere is one of very few magical girl-type shows in recent years that is actually intended for young girls, not older men. Superficially, it seems to share some traits with one of the other few of these shows, Shugo Chara, although unlike that show, this will probably not devolve into filler hell since it is only slated for a scant thirteen episodes. And, in actuality, it honestly has more in common with a show such as Ouran High or Hana Yori Dango in that the focus is on school-life and all the little dramas associated with such a thing. Which is to say – yes, there be magical little helpers, but that is essentially the extent of magical involvement in the show… and, honestly, these little magical helpers could just as easily have been replaced with supportive friends, since they don’t really lend any magical aid.

The lack of lending magical aid actually plays into one of the strong points of the show, which is just that – the dessert fairies (known here as ‘Sweets Spirits’)? They don’t wave their little wands to make things magically better. Ichigo, our heroine, is actually disappointed when she realizes that Vanilla, her Sweet Spirit, has no intention of using magic to improve her abilities. Vanilla instead scolds her, and informs her that she can only get better if she works and practices. Good going, Vanilla! Its an approach that is extremely refreshing in a field where a magical element automatically means that our leading lady is suddenly going to be imbued with amazing powers, a la La Cordo d’Oro.

Given the previously described nature of the Sweets Spirits, they actually come off in a more delightful manner than magical aides usually do, in that they really come across as imaginary friends-ish in nature instead of as magical guides to help with the quest. Because of that, I get this sweet feeling of vague nostalgia when watching Yume-iro Pattissiere – I had imaginary friends! And they were awesome! (Ok, full disclosure: I had imaginary… armadillos.) They cheered me up when I was feeling a bit down, they kept me company when I felt lonely. [1] And this seems to be the real purpose of the Sweets Spirits – they bolster our protagonists when they’re feeling discouraged. Unlike the magical guide in shows such as CardCaptor Sakura or Pretty Cure, the purpose of these guides are solely to encourage their human counterparts in succeeding at their own, non-magical goals. [2]

Anyway, I’ll admit that Yume-iro Pattissiere isn’t exactly high art. In fact, it gets quite silly at points. But it is extremely enjoyable when taken on the merits of its genre, and Ichigo has a much more positive attitude than do many other shoujo heroines (her moping is mercifully confined primarily to the second episode at this point). Yeah, the reverse harem element is kind of dumb (I was amused by Ichigo’s realization that one of them is a bit of a narcissist, though), and a lot of the tropes have been done before, but the execution is quite fun. I wish they made more shows like this these days. (I also wish I had a Sweet Spirit, but that’s another matter entirely…)

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[1] Curiously enough, I think I’ve carried over my habit of imaginary friends into my adulthood in a different form, in that I have the habit of addressing myself to the departed people I know (don’t worry, they’ve never responded – so I’m not crazy!). Granted, instead of this being a respite for boredom or loneliness, it is generally me telling them about things going on in my life or something of that sort. I’m not sure how crazy this comes across as being, but to quote my favorite football coach: it is what it is.

[2] There is a sub-plot that the Sweet Spirits have to collect these recipe cards (basically, they take a magical picture of the dessert that someone made and send it to their queen) in order to become pattissiere themselves, but this is very much in the background – Vanilla explains it once, and the only time it appears thereafter is when she sends the magical recipe cards in. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, the quest for the Sweet Spirits isn’t even remotely the focus of the show – the maturation of the heroine is of far greater importance.

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8 Responses to The Best Damn Show of the Season. Period.

  1. I didn’t feel much from this show after the first episode. I guess it’s hard for me to see the joy in watching a spoiled (but nice enough) rich kid for whom everything goes right. I could see exactly where the show was headed and it didn’t have any kind of necessary edge that made me want to keep along. So the girl’s rich and likes sweets… is that all she’s got?

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I guess I just feel like the fact that she’s a spoiled rich kid is kind of periphery to the story itself. Also, predictability doesn’t necessary hinder a story – I feel like the execution thus far has pretty good, and I’m not really looking for much from it besides. But the definite draw is the imaginary friend-type role of the Sweets Spirits. Its just a pleasant way to pass twenty minutes. I’m sure Aoi Bungaku would be my favorite of the season, but I think I’m gonna have to hold off on watching it, all things considered.

  2. Misu says:

    Oh La Corda D’Oro. As much as I enjoyed it, I was disappointed at how the series ended right as Kahoko decided she would *actually* learn how to violin.
    I really like Vanilla; when she was introduced I thought she’d be like Su from Shugo Chara, but she got angry, and didn’t use magic to just get the job done.
    Looking forward to see Ichigo become a wonderful sweets maker as well.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      I definitely enjoy the fact that Vanilla basically was like, “No, bitch, practice!” instead of being all magical and fixing everything. She also seems to have more brain matter than Su does… ;P

  3. Landon says:

    Digging this show for many of the same reasons as you. As a cooking show buff, in addition to being an anime fan, I’m liking how the show is giving kids little glimpses into how to bake. The show doesn’t overwhelm them with recipies and such, but they get real information, like in the latest episode where Ichigo learns not to open the oven while baking creme puffs. I can see lots of little girls demanding to take baking classes and the like after watching this. There’s far worse things a show can brainwash kids into liking.

    And “The Best Damn Sports Show” lost all of its charm when they dropped Tom Arnold as a host.

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Yeah, I admittedly haven’t watched The Best Damn Sports Show in… I’m not even sure. I don’t own a TV myself, soooo my exposure to TV is kind of limited to me barging into my friends’ apartment and demanding that they cede the TV to me during sporting events.

      I really am enjoying Yumeiro – it isn’t exactly a heavyweight, but it goes down pretty easy, and its a nice relief after all the creepy magical girl-type shows that seem to have flooded the market recently (Nanatsuiro Drops, Magical Lyrical Nanoha, Umi Monogatari, etc.). I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a shoujo show this much since Hakushaku to Yousei a little while back.

  4. usagijen says:

    I think I just got sold into watching this. That a bad thing? XD

    • adaywithoutme says:

      Of course not! Its a lot of fun for what it is. I’m on episode five, and one of the things that continues to make me happy about the whole thing is that Ichigo actually has to work to get her goals accomplished. Its a nice touch!

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