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Anime I’ve Seen: Midori Days

Posted by travizzt on September 29, 2011

Want to watch an off-the-wall comedy about a guy’s right hand becoming a girl? Well, look no further than Midori Days!

This is not meant to be a review. This is just thoughts and feelings I had on the show in question and if it’s something that non-anime fans would enjoy, it’s only written in a review-like format. So please, do not take this as a review.

Opening

I tried to look for a trailer for Midori Days but none could be found so instead, here’s the opening for the show.

Plot Summary

Seiji Sawamura is a feared high-schooler with a mean right hook, lovingly referred to as his “demon right hand”. Seiji seems like your typical high-school delinquent. However, he has one problem, he can’t get a girlfriend. In fact, for his seventeen years of life he never had one. He even has a running tally of how many girls have turned him down. But all that changes when he wakes up to find his right hand is now a girl!

Midori Kasugano was a shy, timid girl with an immense crush on Seiji. Unfortunately, she can’t find the courage to even talk to him. Lucky for her, she’s now stuck with Seiji, as his right hand. Unfortunately, being the right hand of someone you love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Viewpoint

With such an insane concept that Midori Days has, it makes you wonder how it will turn out. Is it going to be immature with the masturbation jokes, will it be solely silly, off-the-wall humor, or will it have dramatic moments that are deep and meaningful? Midori Days is actually surprising how this concept is pulled off. It does have moments of immaturity and silly humor, but it’s surprisingly deep. It’s one of those shows that you go into expecting one thing, but come out with something entirely different.

Midori Days does not have a complex story, but in its simplicity, it makes for an entertaining show. If you read my plot summary, then you have everything you need to know. It doesn’t go deeper than “girl loves the ‘bad boy’, who isn’t really ‘bad’ and through an odd turn of events, spend a certain amount of time together, which leads to love”. That’s the story, in the most simplest, rudimentary way that I could explain it. There are a few times when the plot takes a brief detour, but it doesn’t really seem to impact the story in any real, meaningful way. It’s just a nice little distraction. The most impressive thing is how enjoyable the simple plot can be.

The characters from Midori Days are hit or miss. The two lead characters were the only real stand-out characters, aside from one of the minor characters. Seiji and Midori were fantastic and rightfully so. Having to spend all thirteen episodes with these two, they had to be strong character. If they weren’t strong characters, Midori Days would have been painful to sit through. Seiji was strangely likable in his tough guy persona. You quickly learn that he isn’t just his right hand and he does have more going on in his head and in his heart. While he may seem totally stupid for his constant complaining about getting a girlfriend even with having a girl as his hand, he does have some good points as to why Midori can’t be his girlfriend. It’s kind of hard to be in a relationship with your own hand, after all. Midori was just sweet and there was something really great about her. Her devotion to Seiji may come off as slightly weak at times, especially when you consider that she didn’t even talk to the guy, but as the story progresses, you realize that her reasons why she liked him do make sense. She wasn’t looking at him on the outside, but somehow can see into him and what he really was. It felt like a more genuine attraction. It was also great to see how her love blooms for Seiji as the story goes on. It also helps that she’s incredibly naive and cute at times. Without these two characters being as likable as they were, Midori Days wouldn’t be as enjoyable.

The minor characters are a completely different matter altogether. There are only six minor characters that play an ‘important’ role in Midori Days. Out of the six, only one really stood out and that’s Takako Ayase. The other five just didn’t make that much of an impact like Ayase did. Why did Ayase make such an impact? Well, she’s the only minor character that truly felt developed and brought something to the table. The other five didn’t do that. Ayase is incredibly likable. She’s the ‘other girl’, so to speak, in the series. Basically, she starts out detesting Seiji for his behavior, until she finds out his motivations for how he acts, then she develops a crush on him. Most of the time, when another character falls for one of the main characters in any kind of love story, it causes a love triangle. Here Ayase’s infatuation isn’t noticed by Seiji, but Midori does notice it. While Midori does try to put a stop to Ayase’s advances on Seiji, he’s still totally oblivious to it. However, the weird thing about Ayase is by the end of the show, I was truly rooting for her and not Midori. That may be a slight spoiler, but it has to be mentioned and if you didn’t figure out that Midori and Seiji end up together by the end, you haven’t seen ninety-five percent of these kinds of love-stories. But it’s weird to find yourself rooting for this other person, and truthfully, I think that the ending would have been better if it broke away from the cliché ending it has. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, but that’s not to say that the ending is bad, because it isn’t bad.

The other five minor characters only seem to be there to make this show a little longer, episode-wise. Each minor character has their own special episode that focuses on them, and while these episodes aren’t bad, having the focus being taken away from Seiji and Midori makes these episodes feel intrusive and unneeded. It also doesn’t help that the these five characters weren’t that interesting. The first minor character we meet is Seiji’s “best friend” named Osamu Miyahara. He’s useless and only there for comedic relief. The problem is he really isn’t needed for comedic relief. He just felt unnecessary in every regard. The other four minor characters don’t feel useless, but didn’t feel that developed or interesting. There’s a little girl named Shiori Tsukishima who seems to have a weird crush on Seiji. A very weird crush. An extremely disturbing and weird crush on him. The episode that focuses on her isn’t too bad with the message it conveys, but it has a lot of problems. The problem with Shiori is that she didn’t feel developed enough to warrant her own episode and it really seemed like her gimmick would have been fine if it stayed as a gimmick. Another minor character who plays a somewhat important role is one of Midori’s friends named Kouta Shingyoji. Kouta wants Midori to wake up from her apparent coma and tries to enlist Seiji, who he knows as the guy that Midori has a crush on, to help. He’s an interesting character who felt very underused. He comes into the story late and really suffers for that. He seems like he should be an important character but it never develops. We also have the creepy Shuichi Takamizawa. He’s an obsessive doll otaku who discovers Seiji and Midori’s secret and becomes somewhat obsessed by it. The funny thing about Takamizawa is that he seems like a good character who also doesn’t have enough time to really develop into anything. His episode is kind of good and when he pops up throughout the series, you do get a better feel for him, but he still doesn’t have that presence to make him anything more than a side character. Basically he has good moments that never amount to anything of importance. Finally we have Seiji’s older sister, Rin. I hated Rin. She’s not likable, enjoyable, or even fun. She’s just there to be as annoyingly cruel as possible while trying to pull off this likable presence. Quite frankly, Rin is a bitch. That’s the easiest way to put it. She brings things to the table, but every time she shows up, she brings the show to a halt, at least for me. That’s all I can say about Rin. The minor characters were a let-down with only a few bright spots.

Midori Days is primarily a comedy, but it does have its moments of drama. Surprisingly they both work will together. Most of the time, when you have stories that are primarily comedic that turn to the dramatic, the drama mostly comes off as forced. In Midori Days it works and doesn’t have that forced feeling to the drama. It’s all built up so well that it’s almost seamless. There were no sudden tonal shifts that do plague a lot of these types of shows. It was a good blend of comedy and drama.

Midori Days is meant for a mature audience. There isn’t a lot of cursing, but there is a lot of female nudity in it. Now, it may seem like this would cause the story to be immature and childish, but surprisingly it doesn’t delve too far into immature humor. In fact, with a premise of a guy’s right hand turning into a girl, there is almost no masturbation jokes. But there is a lot, and I mean a lot, of breasts in Midori Days. However, it doesn’t feel very awkward as most fan-service does. In fact, it feels almost innocent and unimportant. There isn’t much focus on it, while still focusing on it. That may be a contradiction, but it’s true. Honestly, just be prepared for a lot of breasts showing up.

Finally, I have to mention the voice acting. I normally don’t like to bring up the voice acting, unless it blows me away. Midori Days has a lot of average dubbed voice work, but the two main characters are unbelievably good. Drew Aaron, who voiced Seiji, and Kether Fernandez, who voices Midori, seemed to have a blast doing these characters. It really shows in how much emotion and humor is conveyed through these characters. It genuinely feels like they were having fun. Even the outtakes are a blast listening to. While the other characters felt very average, Seiji and Midori were voiced fantastically.

Midori Days is a fun, goofy show that is a blast when you’re watching it. The concept alone is just insane and makes you wonder how a show like that can work. The story, while basic and simple, it works. The simple story really makes Midori Days fun. The two leads were fantastic. Seiji was awesome and brought something unique to a story like this. Midori is cute and really sweet, you can’t help but like her. The minor characters were unfortunately rather bland. The only one that stood out is Ayase and the others were decent but didn’t leave a lasting impact. This is one of those shows that you wish would end differently, but glad it didn’t. It’s a show that you need to be mature to watch, not for the tone, but for content. The easiest way to describe Midori Days is cute. It’s really worth a watch.

Originally posted on Geeekout.com on 9/25/2011. You can check that version by following this link.

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