January 22, 2011
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Title: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Rating: 6.2/10

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Summary: Clumsy Arashiyama is a girl with a love for mysteries and a knack for getting into trouble. She works for an old lady’s lackluster maid café in a small shopping district. The cafe is largely unsuccessful in attracting customers aside from Sanada, a regular and one of Arashiyama’s classmates (who has a secret crush on her). One day Arashiyama’s clever friend Tatsuno is invited to the café, and, upon seeing the miserable state of things (and Sanada, whom she has a secret crush on), decides to work there.

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Review:  Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru was one of those anime that either put me to sleep, chuckle, or feel warm inside. This comedy, slice of life had all the elements needed to make a good anime, but didn’t execute the plan very well.

The animation for Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru was very well done as you can probably tell from the screenshots. The anime uses unique camera angles and brilliant shading to really have the characters stand out. The facial expressions were drawn exceptionally well to portray laughter, confusion or sorrow. The anime had reoccurring settings such as the classroom, café, antique shop, and Arashiyama’s living room. It also provided a very wide range of other scenes. It seems rare to see an anime take the time to draw out so many different backgrounds with precision and detail. The art helped keep the anime going, but wasn’t quite enough to take it to the next level.

The story and characters weren’t really anything special. I can’t say that any of the characters really struck me as memorable and I felt a net neutral in terms of liking them. A few key characters like the antique shop owner and Sanada were probably the best of the lot. The “hilarious antics” by Arashiyama got old fast. I’m not sure if they were even good to begin with. The anime seemed to lean toward comedy, but the slice of life poked a hole in the bottom of that glass. I viewed the anime as a bad stand-up comedian. Most comedians take a common occurrence in life and make it funny; Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru attempted to do the same but forgot the funny at home. After a while I wasn’t sure what the creators were aiming for. I would chuckle at the overreactions or perverted (yet accurate) nature of guys in the show and smile at the Arashiyama’s younger brother’s puppy love. Unfortunately none of the story or gags are worth repeating. It wasn’t too long since I finished Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, yet I can’t remember over half the stories. I am not sure if the jokes just flew over my head, or if they weren’t trying to be funny to start with. The way I see it Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru didn’t quite make it over the hump to the comedy genre.

One thing the anime did very well was make me tear up. Who saw that coming from a comedy? While many of the episodes were split for multiple story arcs, the final episode leads up to one tragic event that blindsided me. I’m not sure if it was the unexpectedness of a melancholy episode or a very well done script that made me wipe my eyes. One thing I do know is it probably wasn’t because one of my favorite characters died or something. I think much of it comes back to the art. The sunset glistening off the tears of the different characters was like throwing heart-sobbing punches one after another. The script made me feel like these fictional characters had very real feelings. Despite doing so well with drama, that wasn’t what the anime was meant for. I was looking for a laugh not an emotional rollercoaster.

Final statements: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru is a low priority watch because I feel that some people may enjoy this type of comedy. I’m also a fan of slice of life so I didn’t find it terrible. I do remember laughing just not very hard. I’m sure most will find it boring though (as did I at times) so I can’t give it a higher rank.

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