Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai

Title:Abenobashi Mahou Shotengai
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: AKAHORI Satoru
Animation - Gainax
Animation - Madhouse
Original Concept - TSURUTA Kenji
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
YAMAGA Hiroyuki
Sasshi is having a bad summer vacation. First, his old house is demolished in the recent Abenobashi Shopping district redevelopment plan , and his best friend, Ayumi, is moving away to Hokkaido. Investigating, the duo find that the Abenobashi district is constructed as a cross with a different animal guarding each pole in the market. Unfortunately, with Ayumi's family leaving, the last guardian will fall and something terrible may happen to Abenobashi.

There is a lot of fun following the hijinks and parodies that ensue as Sasshi and Ayumi make their way from Abenobashi to Abenobashi trying to find a way back to their Abenobashi.

Comedy from the same company that did Trigun and FLCL.

13 TV episodes.

1:29min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 7 8 7 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:523#1552]
As a parody comedy, Abenobashi excels. As a drama, it's a mixed bag. The series tries to pass itself off as a comedy-drama focused on Sasshi's escape from reality with Arumi in the various silly worlds of Abenobashi that are thought up from his otaku interests. The big problem with this mix though is the series has a bad habit of flowing with comedy episodes for a while and then a drama episode the next. As the series progresses to its climax, the humor and drama blur together which isn't so effective with the later developments we learn of the different Abenobashis.

As I said, the comedy found throughout Abenobashi was what kept me hooked on the series. Like Excel Saga, many of the episodes of Abenobashi are focused on a specific theme to parody in relation to Sasshi's interests. Featuring areas such as dating sims, sci-fi, action RPGs, and Hollywood movies, there are enough nods to elements found in anime, Japanese pop culture, video games, and American movies that had me rolling on the floor. The chemistry between Sasshi and Arumi reminded me of the "boke and tsukkomi" routines found in Japanese comedies as Arumi is around to knock sense into Sasshi whenever he gives into his absurd otaku fantasies. I was looking forward to whatever silliness Arumi and Sasshi found themselves in the next world that was thought up by Sasshi.

The drama aspect of Abenobashi comes from the escapism of Sasshi and the connection between Eutus and Mune-mune. The series tried evoking a coming-of-age aspect to Sasshi's jumps to the different Abenobashis as he must to learn to cope with the changes going on around him in the real world. In addition, we learn more about the past of Abenobashi and the connections of Mune, Eutus, and Arumi's grandpa. While the Eutus/ Mune exploration was handled decently, Sasshi's development was quite weak. When the final episode comes along, the ending that came along felt quite forced.

If you are looking for a good parody comedy title, Abenobashi will fit the bill for you so long as you don't mind the mediocre attempts of drama that the series tries to mix in.

Last updated Monday, March 23 2009. Created Monday, March 23 2009.
Buy 8 8 9 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:523#2279]
I saw that this was animated by the same people that did FLCL, so I had to watch it.

Art, Animation and Character Design
The art is pretty good. The colors are rich and the animation is really smooth. This was almost on par with many anime movies. The character designs were great! I loved the way they were drawn and cute.

The opening scene umm.... 'opened' to a nice jazz piece that reminded you or gave you perceptions of America in in the 60's.... maybe even the 70's. I liked it. Throughout the series, there was plenty of nice piano and sax pieces... old school that gave a nice feel to the anime in general.

Series and Episode Story
I love the parodies found throughout this anime..... Excel Saga anyone?... hehehe! Our main characters, "Sasshi" and "Ayumi" are a great duo and funny. I love their facial expressions and silly antics! Their investigations into their district's "secrets" leads them into a fun and strange adventure that will leave you with plenty of laughs and might even leave you scratching your head a bit. In the end, it does get a "little" serious and that's only to give you a satisfactory conclusion that will have you smiling.

Overall, it's a fun and adventurous anime. Do watch.

Last updated Thursday, February 26 2009. Created Thursday, February 26 2009.
Buy Forbin [series:523#1573]
Drama : Med
Comedy : High
Action : Low/Med
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Med

You know this was my 3rd anime to watch on DVD (June 2004). And I COULDN'T STAND IT! Everyone was talking with a Texan accent and way too much regional things going on that I couldn't follow. Flash forward to a year from then I pulled this back out. OMG I was laughing so much that I was going 'How in the Heck did I NOT like this'. Then I realized that it was because I had so many of the references in me (Especially Kurumi).

So this should be your 50th Anime. Probably watch it right after you watch Azumanga Daioh. Because it is much more funnier that way.

Last updated Thursday, July 21 2005. Created Thursday, July 21 2005.
Buy Stretch [series:523#628]
(Maybe you should Rent it first, then see if you agree)

Going in, something, perhaps the character designs, reminded me of FLCL, which makes sense since the credits revealed that this is indeed a Gainax production. I also noticed the names of Hiroyuki Yamaga (Wings of Honneamise, Mahoromatic) and Satoru Akahori (Sorcerer Hunters), if I'm not mistaken. There was also a credit for a "Osaka Dialect Comedy Rewrite", which, unfortunately, will be lost to anyone who doesn't speak fluent Japanese. The dub features a sort of "Texas drawl" as a substitute. The way each episode was a parody of a particular anime, movie or video game genre reminded me of Excel Saga (and so did the high speed dialogue which forced me to pause the DVD on practically every subtitle). The thought occured to me that maybe this series would include "Vid-Notes" like Excel Saga, and indeed it does, though they seem considerably shorter and less enlightening. Still, highly useful. About the only other extra feature on the first DVD is a version of episode three during which the two chief English voice actors kind of play MST3000 with it. All in all, so far so good! I'm surprised that I'm only the third person to add a review here.

Getting back to the comparison between Abenobashi and Excel Saga (which is mentioned by nearly every website dealing with this series), I must say that I'm torn between two emotions. On the one hand, I'd love to see more genre parodying Excel Saga-style anime, so I enjoy Abenobashi; on the other hand, Excel Saga is one of my favorite anime series ever, so I'm jealous of any series which might claim to be even better! My overall conclusion is this: Abenobashi is more emotionally touching than Excel Saga, but all things considered, not as funny. Still, a good series well worth watching. Whereas Excel Saga was almost completely madcap, there's a serious side throughout Abenobashi as we search for answers to questions like "why are Sasshi and Arumi continually leaping to alternate realities? What is keeping them from getting home?"(and so on). The answers turn out to be a good deal more complicated than you would have expected, involving suppressed memories, time travel, reincarnation, and mysticism. I had a hard time keeping track of all the various plotlines--including comments like "This is a world of bitter regret that the wandering soul of Grandma created!". Whereas Excel Saga ended with a "dirty" episode, things get completely serious for the final episode of Abenobashi (I had to watch it twice to make sense of it). But it is a pleasing conclusion, with more "depth" than Excel Saga ever tried to attain. The problem is, I'm not sure which style I like better! Maybe I'm trying to compare apples to oranges, and in the end these two series aren't all that similar after all. Well, seeing as it's only 13 episodes, after all, I don't think a rating of "Buy" would result in anyone being particularly disappointed.

My favorite line: "I just imagined something that I shouldn't have" --Sasshi

Last updated Monday, February 04 2008. Created Monday, September 27 2004.
Buy 8 9 9 5 9 Curi [series:523#1429]
You're gonna want to buy this one, so you can show it to your friends. It's quickly becoming my favorite anime.
If you like Kodocha, or Puni Puni Poemi, you'll dig this. It's unbelievably fast-paced with jokes about every 5 seconds. It's a good thing I speak Japanese, because the copy I have didn't even try to sub it all. Every episode spoofs something you've seen before, so there's virtually no plot, just two kids wandering around a world where they have to figure out the rules. Each world is loosely based on the Abenobashi shopping district in which they live.
The first episode is kinda slow paced and boring, but if you give up on it that early, you're gonna miss out.

Last updated Saturday, June 12 2004. Created Saturday, June 12 2004.
Rent 8 10 9 7 9 Alexander [series:523#416]
Sasshi, and Ayumi are both 6th grade students both whom are fairly close friends. With the sad fact, that Sasshi is a wimp and Ayumi is mostly the one beating on him.
One of the four, supposely protecting shires is accidently broken, and all the whole market goes haywire. The whole city is basically changed, and the two are sented to a different time period.
This one had me rolling on the floor. The first episode introduces complex and interesting primary and secondary characters with individual personalities and real-world problems....and then all hell breaks loose. The second ep is a parody based on console RPGs, and is utterly HILARIOUS if you've played or even seen them. It's like the Fortune Quest OVA, only 100 times better. Each subsequent episode is a parody of a different genre of anime or film, such as fantasy, sci-fi, etc.

Last updated Wednesday, February 26 2003. Created Wednesday, February 26 2003.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org