Salute Your Shorts: The Shorts of Spring, at a Glance

gomachan ep 1

I LIKE SHORTS – THEY ARE COMFY AND EASY TO WEAR.

This is a sentiment I agree with 100%. If I needed a spokesperson, it’d be this brave soul from the original Pokemon games. Shorts are comfy, and they are easy to wear. I won’t back down on shorts! I usually wear them from the start of May until mid-October. I do not live in a warm climate. As a cadet, one of my instructors once asked why I didn’t just wear pants since I was pairing shorts and thigh-highs. I am a misunderstood soul.

I won’t pretend that I’m covering every single short here, as I don’t have Aggressive Retsuko, for example (to my chagrin!), but I appear to have netted everything running on Crunchyroll.

By the way, anyone remember Salute Your Shorts? I can still sing the entire theme song! It’s a bit bizarre what things manage to lodge themselves in our memories, huh? But I also remember the theme song for Hey Dude, so maybe I’m just painfully uncool. Anyway, without further ado…

Kagewani: Shou

My most anticipated of the season! As a re-introduction, the first two episodes have been fairly decent, although not quite at the high water marks last season managed. Nevertheless, the monsters are just as discomforting as ever (although the one in the second episode has an ability which, while horrifying to consider, unfortunately resembles a certain human biological process which detracts from it somewhat). I in particular liked the mild misdirection of the first episode. I still think Kagewani’s a very under-rated show, so I encourage you to check out the first season if you haven’t already.

Pan de Peace

A.k.a. “The lesbian bread show.” So, I love bread, and I like queer girls, but Pan de Peace doesn’t quite make the cut. I think a good short is difficult to make given the time restrictions, and the disadvantages of the formula show here very strongly, as it’s just a rapidly-paced cute girl archetypes nonsense without the room to give us a reason to actually care about the nonsense. Nor does it possess the sense of humor that could’ve made it work. Nah, these are just some bland high school (junior high?) girls who… really love bread. Well, and one of them likes to mix scrambled eggs with strawberry jam, what a fucking weirdo, holy crap. At only a few minutes per episode, it won’t hurt you to check it out, really, but it’s not like there’s any reason to.

Space Patrol Luluco

A lot of folks have been calling this the female FLCL, and I think it’s a pretty fair comparison (although I’ll note that I myself am not particularly fussed about that show). I like what I’ve seen of it (first two episodes), and I am so damn delighted that they got Bonjour Suzuki to do the ED since I like her stuff and I think it’s a very good fit for the show. On the other hand, I’m a little uneasy about Trigger’s tendency to push their young female protagonists through bodily transformations which they find actively embarrassing (particularly so given the scarcity of women in their company). Watching these episodes, I kept thinking of the Powerpuff Girls of the 90’s, actually; the visuals bring that to mind, but so, too, does the frenetic pacing, which was sometimes employed in the former. There’s also some similarity in the bent of the humor. Given that quite a few of the staff worked on Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, which clearly took nods from PPG, that isn’t too surprising.

Having said all that, I want to mention a moment in the second episode where Luluco states that she can’t tell the difference between aliens and humans and ΑΩ expresses surprise. It reminded me of an incident in my own childhood where my mother met the mother of one of my friends for the first time and was surprised that she was Muslim, as I’d never mentioned it. She said she then realized that to me it’d clearly never registered as something worth noting, that ultimately my friend and her family were just regular ol’ Americans like everyone else. For all Luluco’s declarations of a desire to be a totally normal girl in the first episode, contrasted with the environment she’s grown up in, then, she just sees her neighbors and classmates as regular ol’ “people”. I was expecting a story about young love (filtered through Trigger’s peculiar sensibilities!), but not one with a dose of pro-immigration sentiment.

Shounen Ashibe: Go! Go! Goma-chan

Ok, here’s one I bet you aren’t watching. GGGoma-chan is a children’s short that is mildly odd in the manner which programming for small children often is; the local bathhouse has an aquarium full of piranhas, and Goma-chan enters their lives after literally falling off the back of a truck. Its first episode also unexpectedly featured some pretty prominent homoeroticism. I wondered if I was perhaps reading too much into it, but then the ED animation seemed to simply bolster my original interpretation. In GGGoma-chan’s universe, the best way to defeat a bully is to make him develop a crush on you, it would seem.

It’s a mildly amusing show, the seal is cute (as it should be, of course), and I genuinely like the slightly silly ED. I’ll probably forget it in a couple of years, but I’m perfectly happy to watch it now.

Wagamama High Spec

Watching this, I was in some awe over how generic, pointless, and ugly it was. I believe it exists to promote a mobage, which makes it all somewhat understandable, although I don’t know how it is supposed to inspire people to seek that mobage out. The entire first episode is an excuse to get the girls to strip down to their underwear. I felt a mild pang of annoyance at how the way a bra didn’t fit on the wearer’s body as physics, gravity, and clothing design would’ve demanded. This was the only moment which engendered anything other than apathy on my part. This show is a void.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou

THE DAD IN THIS LOOKS JUST LIKE SADDAM HUSSEIN

tonkatsu dj dadsaddam hussein blog

Even without that, I liked this. It’s definitely a comedy with a “quirky” edge, as it concerns a young man who gains a passion for the family business (tonkatsu) when he realizes that being a DJ and cooking tonkatsu is similar. And, yes, he also wants to be a DJ. If I were being churlish, I suppose I’d pick at the fact that his revelation comes about in a rather Magic Negro way. However, of the various things I’ve tried out this season, this one honestly struck me as the most interesting, perhaps because it also seemed to be the least “anime” so far.

By the way, I happened to notice that the director is Daichi Akitarou. What?!?! I tend to associate him (and I believe a lot of fans do) with his shoujo directing over the years, like Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, Bokura ga Ita, Kamisama Kiss… but he also directed Sexy Commando Gaiden and Akazukin Chacha, so it isn’t as if comedy is something out of his line of work. Dude’s been around for aaaages.

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