Abenobashi Review

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A show with too much referential humour without a point to make. This is one of Studio Gainax’s weaker shows.

I had high expectations for this series and was dissapointed I only found the humour in the later episodes to be funny and the conclusion was pretty weak and the resolution contrived. All the characters excluding the two main characters continually get reset to fit the new setting of each episode so there is little to no development. Even the growth of the two main characters gets reset completely finally. Don’t expect any conclusive romance you will only be teased with it, this is just a wacky referential comedy that tries and sometimes succeeds to make fun of anime tropes. To be honest I was expecting more from a Gainax show. The subtitled version I watched was woeful for example it replaced “moe” with “charm” as if they mean the same thing, I think you might be better off watching the dub at least its in English.
The animation looked okay, the characters sometimes looked off model but its mainly for comedic effect in hectic animation scenes. The art style changes in some scenes throughout the series to match the varying settings, all of which reflect the fantasies and wishes of our twelve year old protagonist. In the end however this series ends up celebrating what it is mocking as the main character is chosen by fate to change and undo events in a convenient manner using his newly acquired broken powers while giving out a standard shounen coming of age emotional monologue.
If you like referential comedies which are occasionally self-ridiculing then you might like this. I didn’t like the humour too much as the lines given to the characters in each episode were too repetitive and sometimes they spent a whole episode making fun of the same thing until it got boring, towards the end however especially in the “Hollywood” episode it was quite funny seeing all those references to shows and films like Robocop, Knight Rider, Titanic, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future etc.. all coming and going one after the other with an extra dosage of sexual innuendo.
My main gripe with this series is its ending where the boy is able to win the argument against his father purely out of plot conveniences introduced at the very few last minutes of the show. A very different show with very similar themes called Tatami Galaxy managed with its ending to redeem its otherwise clunky humour and characters with an excellent ending. The opposite could be said about Abenobashi. As a certain anime reviewer used to say “the ending is paramount.”

Well, if nothing else I have to say that the girls look pretty cute in this one and it has got the perverted anime tropes that I love.