Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (Vol. 1)
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The show has its faults, however. The first episode, which sets up the initial relationships, is painfully slow--so slow, I almost gave up on the show itself right there. I'm glad I kept watching--episode 2 had me laughing out loud in a few seconds. Also, the show is marked for ages 17+, and this isn't an exaggeration. While everything is played to be ridiculous, there is a lot of innuendo and a whole heck of a lot of bouncy, underdressed, over-endowed girls, as well as a fair share of crude humor (but less crude than Hollywood has been getting the last few years). Also, if you're watching the English dub, Sasshi, the main boy, is very obviously voiced by a woman. The acting is fine, just the voice is somewhat jarring, particularly in the first episode.
Finally, the box. This version comes with a box to hold all four discs in the series. While this box is sturdier than some of ADV's paper-thin ones (e.g., Neo Ranga, Najica), it is still just folded, fairly-thin cardboard. It also has a weird curvature on the bottom, preventing it from sitting flat. It is fairly attractive, though, and suits the show well.
Basic story : Osaka shopping district kid duo gets swept into alternate usiverses of their block where they deal with condensed, stereotypical worlds based on their shopping district home.
It is a 13 episode series released in 2002 in Japan as a kids show. While it is off beat, it is very enjoyable. The show uses every bit of information and energy they can muster to keep these silly, fantastic and post modern affairs tangible or at least enjoyable. Littered through out are tons of sci-fi, anime, manga, hollywood, video game and literature references. As the father of Harumi says at one point 'No matter how much GEEK knowledge you have, you are no match for me.'
Great animation, wonderful backgrounds and a very offbeat idea. While these first stories are indeed Gainax, later episodes on fuirther disks are done heavily in Korea and look cheap. ADV keeps good picture quality, but not always as nice as the original Japanese releases. Fun fun fun. Nice acting and posing. I can't imagine anyone except prudes regretting this purchase. Some sexual/odd erotic situations/imagery. Guns occassionally. No tangible death.
First off, I'll speak of the art. Abenobashi is done in a bright, visually pleasing style very similar to the animation of FLCL, Gainax's other recent comedy series. It is high quality, and the dizzying animation style keeps pace with the equally dizzying storyline to leave your head spinning.
Second, the characters. Sasshi and Arumi, the two main characters, make for a cute couple, and their constantly-at-odds personalities provide a great deal of the humor of the series. In general, the characters are all quirky, bizarre, and interesting, from the town transvestite to the improbably-busty Mune-Mune.
Third, the music. I'm not sure I'd really call it quality music, but the quirky tunes fit well with the show. It's not as outstanding a match as the Pillows with FLCL, but it's far from bad. I found the opening song rather endearing, despite its preponderance of badly-pronounced English.
Fourth, the voice acting. Someone at Gainax seems to have a thing for regional dialects and odd pronunciations. The vast majority of the characters in the series speak in Osaka-ben, which is part of its charm. I wouldn't recommend watching this series dubbed, as the Osaka dialect is transfigured into an irritatingly fake-sounding Texas accent. Again, I can't say that the voice acting in the series quite lives up to the wonder that was FLCL, but it's definitely a cut above average.
Lastly, some general comments.Read more ›
I would have given it 5 stars but I removed a star because these kids are supposed to be Elementary School Kids; yet the second episode is a panty episode with her being exposed naked by a gust of wind. OK I do not get the Japanese obsession with panties. No I get the Japanese Obsession with panties ... what I do not get is the Japanese obsession with YOUNG girls panties.
Other than that it is a funny, geeky drama.
Oh and enjoy the voice talent. Not sure why the picked to Southern Sounding Voices to represent Japanese School Kids ... but whatever y'all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
it was interesting and like most anime takes some bizarre twists but the story and emotion is there.Published 3 months ago by David Masiwchuk
It's a very super funny Anime and it is definitely worth watching I wish Amazon prime had a bigger selection of AnimePublished 3 months ago by Bob
I didn't care the series. Filled will crude sexual jokes. Too Chaotic for me.Published 4 months ago by HOakMS
So creative and pure fun! Anyone who is familiar with different genres of anime will get a kick out of this, but not solely for the spoofs- the story line is really imaginative... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kristina
Warm hearted and funny love the references to other anime... Good story and likable characters.Published 5 months ago by Dudley Franklin Jr
I'd imagine it is much better in Japanese with Subs which I'll watch insteadPublished 5 months ago by Megan D.