I decided to carry out a little experiment: I was going to watch one new anime that I hadn’t read any reviews or information about, and didn’t remember anything about its summary when I was going through the fall previews. Minami-ke was the subject of my experiment. Was it good? Well, somewhat.
The opening disclaimer seems to be a setup for a wild and crazy comedy–at least that’s how I usually interpret such notices–but it turns out it was pretty much telling the truth. The stories of the three sisters it tells are mildly slapstick on occasion but otherwise quite ordinary. In some ways, this appears to be a show much like Azumanga Daioh, an all-female cast going through relatively ordinary, school and family-centric situations (though the jokes and punchlines are drawn out a bit more). I’ve confirmed that this is indeed a seinen show, not a shoujo or josei, which is what I suspected; despite the fact that only one male shows up of note at the end, for some reason I don’t think most shoujo or josei stories would feature an entire plot where Kana tries to yuri-incest little sister Chiaki with a kiss. Though her continuation of her pursuit as she gets up in the morning was pretty funny.
I’d say the first half of the episode is not as strong as the second half, probably because I’ve taken a bit of a warming to Kana, who reminds me of Tomoyo-chan in Azumanga (impulsive, energetic, and selfish). For some reason, Chiaki, whose whole schtick is her cynicism and emotional flatness at such a young age, doesn’t appeal to me–even though she is the opposite of the usual imouto characters in anime. Pancakes and the eldest sister, Haruka–who is clearly the mom of the group–are her only weaknesses thus far. Though I did like her “solution” to Kana’s love letter problem; it’s so clear she was toying with her and Kana bought it hook, line, and sinker. That’s good humor.
I may keep watching this show because it’s relaxing and reasonably funny, but I probably won’t blog about it; it’s hard to write about because the situations are relatively random and disconnected and impervious to either my usual analysis or snark. It may end up being the Nagasarete Airantou of the season, though with much less cheesy fan service and hopefully less eventual repetitive boredom. There’s time yet for these three sisters to warm my heart.