Kuuchuu Buranko

Title:Kuuchuu Buranko
Kūchū Buranko
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Irabu Ichiro is an eccentric psychiatrist. Patients, who visit him to have a counseling, are perplexed with his weird behavior.

This adaptation of Hideo Okuda's Kūchū Buranko (Trapeze) short story collection will be a hybrid of 2D anime and live-action. The popular 20-year-old media personality Yumi Sugimoto will play a "sexy nurse" in both the anime and live-action segments. The stories center around the various odd patients of psychiatrist Ichirō Irabu; Sugimoto's character is an assistant to Irabu. Yuji Mitsuya and Romi Paku are splitting the shared role of Ichirō Irabu since the character takes on three different forms in this presentation.

This is an anime adaptation of a story originally written by Okuda Hideo, who won the 131st ↗Naoki Prize (in 2004) for this story and he then wrote a drama adaptation in 2005.

For more info, see ↗wikipedia entry.

New series scheduled to aire in Oct 16th, '09.
11 TV Episodes.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 9 7 10 10 Ggultra2764 [series:2202#1552]
Kuchu Buranko certainly does enough to stick out of the norm for an anime title with both its storytelling and animation. The plotting to the series is mostly episodic, mixing comedy and drama in exploring how different types of psychological problems like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Yips negatively effect the lives of Irabu's patients. The characters in each story are fleshed-out enough where you get to know what their personal lives are like, how their disorder could have came about and how said disorder negatively effects them. Like Welcome to the NHK, you could be tempted to laugh at the problems effecting these people yet at the same time, you may feel uncomfortable sooner or later upon realizing that these problems can happen in real life with you or anyone close to you.

The more comical elements from the series come from the immaturity of Irabu's character who while he does seem legitimately knowledgeable about the problems plaguing his patients, he often behaves selfishly for his personal amusement or gain while leaving his patients to confront their personal problems alone. Notably, Irabu takes on three different forms while tagging along with his patients in assessing how their disorders effect their everyday lives, taking on the form of a child, adult and his mouse-head form. The series also occasionally breaks the fourth wall when a real-life psychologist will interrupt the regular story and comment on different aspects of the disorder effecting a patient such as symptoms and ways to treat it.

The animation style for Kuchu Buranko definitely sticks out with its mix of live-action and 2D animation that are implemented. Close-up shots of psychologically-effected characters usually mix in live-action facial shots to enhance key scenes of when their condition effects them. It also looks like Irabu's nurse Mayumi is entirely filmed in live-action whenever she appears onscreen to either deliver shots to patients or make witty remarks at said patients. The 2D animation features brightly-colored details and usually mixes in bizarre design patterns used to reflect either the eccentricity of Irabu's character or the problems plaguing his patients. It also makes use of different cinematic effects to enhance the dramatic effect of seeing the problems of the patients unfold, such as experiencing hallucinations or seeing the heads of the character's turn into an animal head that represents the problems they are facing. The 2D animation and live-action mix does have its moments where the live-action bits stick out prominently, but they are still effective in enhancing elements to the character stories in this series.

Kuchu Buranko certainly won't be for everyone thanks to its avant-garde animation and episodic storytelling. But if you are looking for an anime title that is free of many of the conventional elements you would find in more popular titles, then Kuchu Buranko should certainly work well for you with its unique presentation and storytelling.

Last updated Thursday, June 21 2012. Created Thursday, June 21 2012.

Other Sites
アニメ 空中ブランコ (Japanese) http://www.kuchu-buranko.com/

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