Introduction: My anime reviews are simply for fun and my opinion of a series. Therefore, they should be taken light-heartedly. :`) I do my best not to throw in huge show spoilers either. I may elaborate, but I won't directly give anything away. Also, many things about me and this journal have been discussed in the Introduction entry here, if you're interested. The bolded words in the middle of my reviews have been fully defined in the Introduction or in the Anime Terms entry here . Lastly, for a full list of anime shows that I am reviewing, visit my Ultimate Anime List entry
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★
Setting: Present-day setting in a newspaper office named the Fuhshin News.
Plot: I'm back! Way sooner than planned. What can I say? I'm currently done with all of my homework and wanted to take a quick break aka: write a review. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. (Lol.) Without any further ado, here's the review!
Kana Nakamachi is a middle school student who lost her last living guardian and home all in one swoop. With no where to live and no means to support herself, she goes in search of a job. After a series of rejections, she finally ends up in a local newspaper establishment with a variety of wacky co-workers and an, obviously, Tsundere boss. Kana, suddenly thrown into the newspaper delivery business, starts a new chapter of her life and learns that a family can come in many different shades. I suppose you could say that she also learns the value in never giving up when life gets you down, but she seems to hold this personality from the very beginning.
That's the basic premise of the show or at least what I gathered from it. It's definitely FIRST a comedy, but it also has a few heart-warming scenes thrown into it. Since this series is a Slice-of-Life, I am not grading it too hard in terms of character development and thin plot lines. Some reviews have stated that the series falls short because there is not enough character development. Although, arguably, Kana does receive some by the end of the show. I do think some of the other characters could have used more of a turn in the light in order for the viewer to further appreciate their presence. However, it did not keep me from enjoying the show. I'll discuss the characters (all female cast) a little further down.
First I'm going to discuss the style of humor and general tone in the show. The MAIN source of humor is Kana's naivety mixed with the contrasting other characters' personalities. There's some slight fan-service but nothing really obvious. Of course, I watched the "censored" version since it was easier to find. The "censored" version has a little bubbly thing that covers the characters when they're in their underwear and whatnot. I'd say the fan-service would be extreme at times if you didn't watch that version. I'm not sure if the other natural version is even available to watch online, but you could probably find it if you really wanted to. I don't feel like the show really lost anything just because of it though.
Because one of the characters (Haruka) is a severe Lolicon, Kana ends up getting groped and horrified just about everytime she turns around. The show's comedy relies heavily on this yuri loli-con concept. If that bothers you, then you won't be able to make it through the first few episodes (and definitely not towards the end when it's kicked up a notch). Although, to be fair, Haruka only acts out extremely if she's drunk. Unfortunitely, she's also drunk constantly. In the anime, I was way more amused than bothered by her antics. Although, if she was a real person, I'd suggest she go to AA immediately and be monitored when she's around small girls. Haruka's antics towards Kana definitely qualifies this show in the yuri realms. There is also an actual yuri couple, Yume and Yuuki. They are by far the most naturally displayed yuri couple that I've ever seen in an anime, but first I'm going to discuss a few of the other characters.
- Saki, referred to as "Chief", is the assistant chief of the Fuhshin Gazette. She's an elementary student but, obviously, a WBTY character to be able to RUN the entire newspaper staff despite being the youngest. She's also really Tsundere to Kana more than the others for some reason. Perhaps it's Kana's Moe personality that brings out the Tsundere-side in Saki. Her hair also seems to have a life of its own at times. In one instance, her pigtail is seen smacking Haruka across the screen after Haruka dives at her little Lolita self. She's definitely the Straight Man to everyone else's Wise Guy antics.
- Haruka (self-proclaimed Lolicon) is a heavily drinking college student who's studying bio-fermentation. No doubt her major has a direct impact on why she's always mixing drinks. She's constantly seen "attacking" the other girls on the staff who are under fifteen. By attacking, I mean leaping at them in attempts to fondle, poke, grab, squeeze, and do all sorts of things that would be double-standardly horrendous and inappropriate actions from a male character. She is, however, often smacked and even tied up by the other members of the newspaper staff when she gets out-of-hand. Hinata especially keeps her in check.
- Hinata, the green-haired tomboy is a somewhat carefree girl who likes to gamble and, oddly enough, invest in the stock market. She's very prudent and hesistant to spend money on frivolous items. She has attempted to join a college, but as a running-gag, is said to have failed the entrance exam multiple times. (Unfortunitely, Hinata's character seems the most under-developed to me. She's needs more lines and a backstory.)
- Yume and Yuuki are the yuri couple. Yume is a blonde wide-eyed Genki Girl while Yuuki is a tall dark-haired shy girl. There is not much stated about these character's backgrounds in the anime. Although, we know that Yume comes from a very wealthy family. Also, Yume and Yuuki appear to have known each other since they were children. The humor that derives from these two is Yuuki's very jealous reactions to Yume touching another character in a friendly manner. She doesn't SAY anything but a dark aura appears over her head and everyone gets REALLY nervous. When Yume notices, she rushes over to her and assures Yuuki with physical attention. Also, these two characters tend to get lost in their own world when their together. The other characters become embarassed at times by their obvious public affection. Although, the others don't show any signs of having a general problem with their relationship.
- Mika is very Tsundere... to everyone. She seems to have come from an upperclass family; although, the anime never delves into it. She works in another newspaper delivery service but spends ample time with Kana and at the Fuhshin News. She's short-tempered and... well Tsundere. She's quick to hide her emotions and not admit her mistakes. Spoiler about Mika's personality towards Kana. (Spoiler: Mika seems to develop an obvious crush on Kana which explains Mika's Tsundere personality towards her and her actions. Although, in the manga it is Kana who appears to have feelings for her instead.)
And those are the main characters. Despite the series getting somewhat negative reviews, I enjoyed it. "Kanamemo" managed to keep my interest 90% of the time and even had a musical episode thrown in there. Not many non-musical shows can pull off an interesting musical episode. It was quite out of no-where, but yet I didn't find it odd that they started singing through the duration of the episode. (I still have that "Working Girls" song stuck in my head.) The general flow of the series was light-hearted and upbeat. It was like "Strawberry Marshmallow" meets "Azumanga Daioh". I haven't read the manga, but I'm considering doing it in my free time. The manga is on-going and there lies my hopes for a second anime season.
Manga: I've read that the manga has a generally different tone than the anime. "The manga tends to focus more on verbatism, obscure pop culture references, and dialogue-based humor. The anime has a lot of slapstick and slightly naughtier humor, but it also retains the dialogue-based humor." Kana is portrayed differently as well. She's more confident and not as shy or perhaps emotionally sentimental to her parental loss as she is in the anime.
Side-note about the anime title: Usually, I classify what the title of the series is if it's in Japanese, but I think "Kanamemo" is pretty self-explanatory. The main character's name is Kana. Kana can be translated as "One who is powerful or excellent". Kana is a very typical name... in the animes that I've seen so far anyway. I've mentioned it a few other times. In the "Minami-ke" and "Candy☆Boy" reviews, I translated Kana as standing for summer. Ka literally means summer and Kana can mean "sand". Kana stands for "summer" in "Minami-ke" because the other characters had themeatical names for the seasons. I wouldn't necessarily assume that THIS Kana stands for summer or sand, so I'm sticking with the original definition. That's just my take on it though. Plus I don't have a firm grasp of the Japanese language, so I'm not going to begin to try to elaborate on why these names can have different meanings. Lol. This just what I read. It makes more sense to me that Kana's name would mean "someone who's powerful or excellent" considering that the series is about a girl who finds her own inner strength. Also, I take Memo to mean "something to note or remember". Kana memo.
Favorite Characters: Towards the end of the series, I really started to like Mika. Also, I'm not sure what it says about me, but I was way more amused by Haruka's antics than I probably should have been.
Mika: "Damn you, Johnny!"
Kana: "So how did you all learn to ride a bike?"
Yume: "The first thing I did was go down a hill this steep. *emphasizes* Then... BAM THERE WAS A TRUCK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!
Yuuki: Eeeek! *passes out*
Yume: *runs over* It's okay! As you see, I'm still alive!
Hinata: First someone's gotta do mouth-to-mouth!
Yuuki: *jumps up and drags Yume to a private area*
Kana: Um... Yuuki-san?
Yuuki: We're going to go do some mouth to mouth now.
Kana: ...For who though?
Yuuki: For me.
Kana: But why?
Yuuki: I have to hurry so I don't die. *disappears in the bathroom with Yume*
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★