Minami-ke Okawari

Title:Minami-ke Okawari
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: INOUE Marina
Original Concept - SAKURABA Koharu
A sequel to Minami-ke, this story follows three sisters, Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki in their lives at home and school. It`s a funny series that depicts how these characters interact with each other and their classmates. It`s a story about ordinary girls and their ordinary adventures told in an extraordinary manner.

Animation by asread.
13 TV Episodes.

"お代わり" ("okawari") means "second helping" or "another cup"--a joke at both this being a second season series and Kana's eating habits.
[edit] The ↗Minami-ke franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 7 7 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:1711#1552]
I guess I'm not the only one who found this sequel to Minami-ke to be quite disappointing after the fun I got from the first series. This new series tries changing the comedic formula and it backfired heavily.

I guess there's enough I could say that works against this new series. The segments that each episode was divided up into in the first season are changed to one full episode for Okawari which made the humor more subdued with things being dragged out as they are. Attempts at drama felt forced and didn't click with how I seen the antics of the characters, especially with the addition of Fuyuki to the cast (yes AstroNerdBoy, Fuyuki wasn't in the manga of Minami-ke) and what takes place at the end of the series. Fortunately, there were still some little bits of comedy in each episode of this series to keep me from ditching this series after a few episodes.

The artwork and character design details were simpler than the last season and I even found some inconsistencies in the artwork at some points of the series (in a scene in episode 5, for example, I seen Kana taller than Haruka). Like AstroNerdBoy, I also felt the black shading on the bodies of background characters to be an eyesore. Plus, the music wasn't as silly as what I seen in the first season.

Like enough sequels I seen in 2008, I was quite disappointed with Minami-ke Okawari. Changing the formula that made the first season such a laugh-fest for me was not a good move on the part of asread.

Last updated Friday, January 16 2009. Created Friday, January 16 2009.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1711#1573]
My biggest problem with this?

The animators give no life to their eyes. In the first series, their eyes told all, but here they don't even blink. And what the heck is Chiaki doing with such big muscles?

Last updated Wednesday, January 30 2008. Created Wednesday, January 30 2008.
Watch 7 6 6 7 6 6 AstroNerdBoy [series:1711#436]

When I was introduced to Minami-ke, I was immediately sucked into this world of three school-aged sisters living alone. The format used by production company Doumu of delivering the series with each episode being composed of several shorts worked quite well. The characters were great, the laughs were great, and the series is a favorite of mine. So, when it was announced that Minami-ke Okawari was being created, I was very excited even though it was going to be done by a new production company (named "asread"). Too bad the sequel doesn't live up to its predecessor.

For starters, asread decided to abandon the collection of shorts into an episode approach and went for a traditional anime episode route. That requires some tweaking of source materials to make a better flow of things and there are many comedy anime titles that use this traditional episode approach quite well. However, in the case of Minami-ke Okawari, the traditional episode approach fails. So instead of shorts with each having its own "punch line" (if you will) and laugh, the laughs seem to get smothered in the full-episode approach. With each episode, I became more disappointed because it was clear that the specialness of the characters and the humor that resulted from their antics just wasn't there.

Another thing that killed the humor was the character of Fuyuki-kun. I don't know if he's in the original manga or not (if you've read the manga, let me know) but he's this dark cloud of doom every time he shows up. Chiaki makes it her mission to work with this wimpy, depressed boy and this attempt at forced drama in a comedy series never worked. It was a relief when he left the series in episode 11, at which point I realized he'd served no purpose other than to depress things. Nothing in his storyline was resolved and everything involving him ended up a complete waste of time in my opinion. Very frustrating.

I wonder if asread realized their stuff wasn't going to be as funny. I say this because while Minami-ke Okawari had much less humor than Minami-ke, the levels of fanservice shot up by a great deal, so much so that it came across to me as compensation for the lack of humor. I'm not a fan of fanservice, but when something has a good story, good humor, or other positive elements, I tend to just ignore the fanservice. However, when good stuff is sacrificed to have more fanservice, then I start getting a bit annoyed, and that's what I felt happened with this series.

While asread's new character designs weren't as nice as Doumu's, I did get used to them after a while. What I could NEVER get used to were the "Black-san" characters that were jarringly used all over the place, even in speaking roles. What I mean by "Black-san" characters are background characters that are in all anime titles. However, rather than give these characters faces, they are given solid black faces (no eyes or anything) and solid black skin but they wear clothing and have hair. It was ugly, distracting, and frankly very annoying, more so when they had speaking parts. Toward the end of the series, asread began allowing bits of face to come through the black until the final episode, when it was business as normal. Man, I hope that's not used in the 3rd series for sure.

Speaking of characters, another thing that asread did was make the characters pale imitations of what they'd been in Minami-ke. Oh, they went through the motions, but the heart was all gone as I saw things. For example, Chiaki had a very dry sense of humor in Minami-ke and rarely suffered fools, often throwing out the insulting "bakayarou" word (a very strong form of the word for "idiot"). This time, if she used the term (which wasn't that often), most of the time it just didn't have the impact as before. Only toward the end of the series when the writers seemed to be improving in the writing did Chiaki (and the other characters) start feeling more like their original selves.

The Minami brothers were sadly missed in Minami-ke Okawari. I really hope they show up in the third series.

As I've said, things do improve toward the end of the series on all aspects, which makes me think that maybe Minami-ke Okaeri will be a better series.

Bottom line: This series is a major step-down from Minami-ke with the humor, characters, and stories all suffering, and this is made worse with the addition of Fuyuki-kun's depressed character as well as the annoying, distracting "Black-san" characters. While the writers to make improvements in areas toward the end of the series, sadly it wasn't enough to raise this above a "Watch" in my book.

Last updated Thursday, January 01 2009. Created Tuesday, January 29 2008.

Unevaluated Stretch [series:1711#628]
(11 episodes watched):

I guess "BTN" (Better Than Nothing) is the term that best summarizes Minami-ke Okawari. I was eager for Okawari, since the original series had been so fun, but I had also heard that it would be significantly changed, which made me a little anxious. There were some subtle differences, but all things considered this is pretty much the same show as before--except there seem to be far fewer laughs per episode. The OP and ED songs have been changed, and the new ones don't seem to convey the same mood of goofiness, but that's a small concern. The confusion about whether the cross-dressing characters should use the male or female sides of a hotspring was classic comedy. My favorite moment: Mako-chan going into frown mode! Episode two was less LOL funny; in fact, the first half had hardly any laughs at all, and I felt the humor we did finally get was disappointing given the lengthy buildup. The blackout episode was kind of fun, in a slice-of-life way, since it wasn't all that funny. No, this isn't as good as the original series, and I've come to consider watching Okawari as more of a chore than a pleasure. But I do still get one or two good laughs out of an episode; it's now a "watch the latest episode of Okawari and then I'll let myself watch one of the good shows!" sort of series.

My favorite line: "Today is the day our guests wear the costumes of the opposite sex in order to make me happy!" --Kana

Last updated Thursday, March 27 2008. Created Tuesday, January 22 2008.

Other Sites
Official Japanese series web site http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/contents/minami-ke2/

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