Morita-san ha Mukuchi Anime (English)

August 9th, 2011

First of all, thanks to all of you who wrote in last week with well-wishes. Last week was pretty bad, but I’m down to fighting one last little case of bronchitis now and I can think straight again. I have no doubt at all that your kind thoughts helped me through the worst. I say it all the time, but it’s worth repeating – Okazu readers are the best!

Since this is my first post in a while, I’m going to go for something simple and light-hearted. Nothing fits the bills quite like Morita-san ha Mukuchi, which is showing on Crunchyroll, for those as can get it.

I’ve reviewed the first two volumes of the manga – Volume 1 and Volume 2. The anime is not substantially different – Morita Mayu is a perfectly normal girl who just doesn’t talk so much. It’s not like it’s an affectation, or she’s bad at it, she just gets lost in her own thoughts and misses the openings. And, as her friends are other teen girls, they so rarely leave openings at all. Mayu is a good friend and an excellent listener.

The anime is a super-short short; each episode is only 3 minutes long. This is, in my opinion, is the perfect size for a anime based on a 4-koma comic strip. The short size allows you to run through a few gags and not get tired of the one-gag-per-character issue that makes 4-koma manga difficult to read in general. Remember, when these run in the magazines, they only run a few pages at a time, so there’s just a few gags at once and you’re left smiling. When 4-koma get collected into volumes, there’s a tendency to read through more at once and it can become very exhausting as nothing changes page after page. It’s just a bunch of gags – it’s not *supposed* to change. ^_^

Mayu is still quite likable, with a suitably congested inner dialogue. Her friends are likewise likable, which is all they need to be. And it’s cute and refreshing to see anime girls just being friends.

The anime does lay on the boys a little thick, though. Especially in the first few episodes, we see two boys (who, in the manga, both have a crush on Mayu) playing Greek chorus for all the boys watching out there in anime-land. “It must so nice, being a girl” they say, while while watching Mayu playing with a friend’s hair, completely ignoring a aircraft carrier’s worth of baggage in that sentence. Oh well, they seem nice enough boys, I can deal.

Even in the manga, there is very little Yuri (although slightly more in Volume 3!) and in the anime, it’s mostly confined to the boys’ confused interpolation of events like two girls touching one another in a totally non-sexual way. I gather some boys have a problem with this. For you guys that have some confusion around this. here’s the rule: Girls actually do sometimes touch one another and it rarely means “I want to sexxor you up.” I hope that helps. ^_^

Although even on my most brain-foggy days I can’t really see Morita-san ha Mukuchi as a Yuri anime, I do think it’s good for a quick smile or two. If you can watch Crunchyroll, give it a try.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 1
LoserFanBoy – 3

Overall – 7

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3 Responses

  1. DezoPenguin says:

    The only real problem with Morita-san is that I wish it ran daily or on weekdays instead of weekly. Not at all unlike the funny-papers strips that 4-komas are based on.

    (The note about the boys with their too-tight Yuri goggles: it’s kind of funny, but the more I think about it…boys and men almost never touch each other unless it’s out of aggression (i.e. roughhousing or actual fighting) or in a pseudo-aggressive way (like forearm-bashing or back-slapping). So it actually makes some sense in a cross-gender-behavior misapprehension way that boys would mistake that kind of thing (which when you get right down to it, lies at the heart of the “fake Yuri” phenomenon).

    That aside, the show is funny and, I agree, is just the right length.

  2. Yes, funny strips do tend to run weekly. Most 4-koma (except for series so popular that they run in multiple magazines, like Lucky Star) run monthly. They are much easier to take that way. The no-jokes wear after a little while. Like reading a Blondie collection. After 15 pages, you’d want to kill Dagwood and immolate Mr.Dithers.

  3. BruceMcF says:

    As far as ‘can get it’, AFAIU, the limitation would be pretty much bandwidth / equipment to stream videos, Morita-san is the widest distribution Crunchyroll seasonal simulcast, worldwide outside Japan.

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