|Satoshi looked distinctly unimpressed at Arumi's |
impression of Marilyn monroe
Yet another title that had been relegated to the darkest regions of my hard drive, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (MSAA) had initially struck me as a cutesy, but good looking kids show. Oh boy, how wrong could I be? The non-stop over the top deluge of mammoth boobs undulating across the screen warranted some strange looks from my husband and earned it a justified place on my list of perversion.
Satoshi and Arumi are two carefree kids who live with their parents in a small community, where most of the residents work in the central Abenobashi shopping arena. After a bizarre accident involving a pelican statue, the precocious pair are transported to a town that looks like theirs but with a typical anime twist; from a medieval showdown, to a mecha infested space station Arumi tries her hardest to find her way back to the world she knows and loves, whilst Satoshi seems to be enjoying his fan-boy escapist surroundings a little too much.
|Yeah... I have no idea about the eye-bra either...|
Although the first few episodes are a tad formulaic, there is enough variety in the stereotypical worlds and inhabiting characters to keep the viewers interest. A word of warning: MSAA is a parody driven rollercoaster that, for full enjoyment, requires the viewer to have a good grasp of Japanese culture, numerous anime series and knowledge of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Without this, the show may fall flat for the inexperienced.
The arrival of episode 7 is a turning point that reveals a back-story that has been hinted at throughout the preceding episodes, changing the light-hearted tone into something darker. Falling back into step with the previous frivolity, the latter half of the show then keeps the serious edge bubbling away just beneath the surface. The finale of MSAA sees the plot derailed onto yet another tangential plot twist; unable to decide how to wrap up the zany antics and emotionally moving threads, the director opts for a cacophony of the metaphysical and philosophical. Unfortunately, this makes the show seem shallow as the dark plot is shunned in favour of the inevitable happy ending. Whilst not terrible, the story just cannot decide what it wants to be and this indecisive nature holds back what could have been something so much better.
|Be prepared for this scene at least once per episode|
A young teenage male, Satoshi is obsessed with boobs, fascinated by panties and most likely comparable to the archetypal anime fan. Surprisingly, he also has a softer side for Arumi and regularly displays a degree of maturity that is never appreciated. The female in question acts as an older sister to Satoshi, reprimanding him for his perverted nature. Arumi can be unsympathetic at times, thinking only of how to get home, however her personality is the ying to Satoshi’s yang and the pair work well together.
|When asked in future"what could go wrong with this plan?",|
bear in mind the above image
|Gotta take the rough with the smooth.... literally....|