Binbou Shimai Monogatari (Poor Sisters Story)
Plot: "Asu and Kyo are two orphaned sisters; their mother passed away some time ago, while their father abandoned them due to gambling issues. Asu and Kyo now live in a rundown apartment complex. Asu, the younger sister, is responsible for all of the housework while Kyo is in charge of living expenses; and together, the two sisters work hard to live a comfortable and enjoyable life. Looking to one another for support, Asu and Kyo experience the hardships of daily living, but are still able to welcome each day with a smile."
Story: Ever wondered how life would be if you had no parents, no relatives, living alone with only your own sibling at your side, in an one room appartment without bathroom and finding happiness just by relying on one another or being able to have meals toghether? Someone like me that always had someone at my side to protect, help and support me will probably never understand such a thing. Usually this type of life is specific for adults but its much more heartwrentching when kids face it. Such things do happen in real life as well, and Binbou Shimai Monogatari (Poor Sisters Story) definitely catches and ties up toghether this concept in just 10 episodes. The story is centered on two orphaned sisters Yamada Asu the younger sister, an elementary school student and on Yamada Kyo, the older sister, a middle school student. Their mother passed away at the time she gave birth to Asu and their father had to abandoned them because of a huge debt. Having no one to rely on other than on themselves, they took the weight of life on their backs and with a positive conception about life they always welcomed tomorrow with a smile. I know, this may sound a bit too melodramatic, and to be honest i expected a much more dramatic story in this one, however i received another Minami-ke type, which casted away its heavy comedy aspect and embraced a more realistic view. Asu is in charge with housework, cooking, laundry and shopping while Kyo covers their life expenses. Even though day by day they struggle to put something on the table they always smilled and led a enjoyable life. Of course it may sound a bit ridiculous, finding comfort and joy just by being able to eat something, for some of us who are used to these things we may never understand, however this two sisters show that life does not resume only to materialist stuff and wealth, living a simple life is also a way to pursue and obtain happiness. With funny moments and with dramatic moments, Binbou Shimai Monogatari was a nice experience for someone like me that always looks for life references in anime shows. Screw supernatural shows or other fantasy, unrealistic shows that are only meant to remove us from reality. Facing it is much better and i think much more satisfying, somehow it feels like you can become more experienced in life by learning from other people experiences, it may sound lame but this is how i felt. One thing is for certain, we should learn how to cherish life rather than finding happiness by being materialistic. Nothing much to complain about the story, probably the only thing that dissapointed me is the lenght of it, i wished it had more than 10 episodes, and reveal more experiences of the two sisters. Sufice to say this is one of those shows that really worths re-watching in my opinion.
Animation and Sound: Regarding the animation, it was fairly good, the background scenes, the character designs, it was pretty much acceptable for a 2006 production. The sound as well was pretty good, enjoyable soundtracks and cool voice acting done by one of my favorite voice actors, Maaya Sakamoto.
Characters: Since this is a short anime show, we don't have a big cast, the main focuse is on the 2 siblings Asu and Kyo and some other secondary characters that appear from time to time and not in each episode. For such a short slice of life show i was surprized that the producers managed to develop the main characters and even the side-characters so well, they must defintely be credited for this. I was glad that the past of the two siblings was revealed a bit as well, to do not leave a huge plot hole.
Overall: Slice of life fans, if you guys really want to watch a good show that suits your tastes then don't avoid Binbou Shimai Monogatari. Despite its short lenght its a very entertaining and heart warming experience that will definitely impress you. Those that also want to watch a more realistic show with a "not so common situation" should give this one a shot but those that are entangled in the "action" types should avoid this little slow-paced gem.
~Enjoy and Cya around~