Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl

Alt title: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

TV (12 eps)
3.66 out of 5 from 9,961 votes
Rank #3,600

Makoto Niwa has just moved from his rural hometown to live with his aunt and experience high school life in the big city first hand. Unfortunately, his dreams of an adolescence filled of dates and school activities are soon shattered by having to share his new home with Erio, his deluded cousin who thinks she's an alien and spends most of her time wrapped in a futon for protection! Now, in addition to enduring his aunt’s energetic attention and flirting awkwardly with the girls in his class, Makoto finds himself drawn into helping Erio rejoin regular society and stopping her 'alien' antics.

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StoryWith its self-contained plot, small cast, and punchy finale, the first half of Denpa Onna to Seshun Otoko plays out like a clever OVA. After moving to the big city to live with his aunt, Makoto Niwa juggles a flirtation-filled school life with the thorny problem of his deluded cousin, Erio (she thinks she’s an alien and spends all her time wearing a futon). As he slowly forces her out of her self-imposed isolation and into the real world bit-by-bit, he treats the viewers to a pitch-perfect view of adolescence, where the realities of home life prevent him from doing what he wants. When this segment culminates in a fantastic ET homage designed to shatter his cousin's belief that she is an alien, the series appears positioned to follow the protagonists into the even sticker problem of how to integrate the young girl into society. But that's not what happens. Instead, Denpa Onna quickly falls into a near-torpor as all the conflict evaporates and Niwa spends most of his time engaging in normal adolescent activity. The sparkling conversations he has with his two classmates, Ryuuko and Maekawa are the highlights of this portion, but even the cute girls barely lift the series above its pleasant atmosphere and meandering pacing. And then comes the ending. The final two episodes see some small bits of magic come into Niwa's life which work together to transform the feeling and message of the anime. Recast as a parable, the previously charming-but-tedious buildup becomes important groundwork for the story's payload. Given the simplicity of the message and its understated delivery saying more would spoil, however viewers will walk out of the second half of the anime with a dramatically better opinion of it than when they entered.AnimationThe unnamed city doesn’t offer much in the way of compelling scenery since the characters remain the primary focus of the show. To this end, SHAFT lavishes attention on each girl using their recognizable combination of strange-angle stills and luscious motion. In addition, the show uses shared visual cues across all the girls to accentuate their commonalities. All the ladies have the same cryptic smile, for example, and the sparkling hair that Niwa first sees on Erio becomes a trait shared by more than one of the people populating his life.SoundWhile Niwa, and by extension Miyu Irino, talks the most throughout the series, most of the aural goodness comes from Erio, Meme, and Ryuushi going head-to-head in an all-out moe contest. None of the girls comes out the overall winner, but their healthy competition further enhances the characters' charm. As for the music, only the series clumsily sung OP really stands out. Its raw vocals evoke Erio's inherent vulnerability and drip with self-aware humor.CharactersIn the second half of the show, Niwa transforms from a typically bland harem protagonist into a realized character through a trick of self-awareness, and the result vastly improves the cast in retrospect. As his orbit accumulates girls like a collection of moe moons, he slowly comes to understand that his life must be made not experienced. Unlike many harem protagonists who don’t get the chance to show how this new wisdom would change their lives, our hero gets an opportunity to act on his new knowledge. These feats drive the final episodes and help trace a positive arc for Niwa heading into the finale. Sadly, much of his supporting cast is about as sweet and fulfilling as cotton candy, with two exceptions. The undersexed and overenthusiastic Meme bubbles with an attractive joie de vivire that’s one part mask and one part comic relief. The other gem in the crowd, Ryuushi, bounces through every scene as a charming mash-up of moe traits (adorable bicycle helmet and snaggletooth, anyone?) and genuine insecurity. Like all good contradictions, these quirks add an important dose of realism, painting the picture of a teenage girl desperately trying to stake out a place for herself in high school and Niwa’s life. Erio and Maekawa, however, rarely rise beyond their initial impressions, no matter how cute they become (especially Erio, who grows more attractive with each episode). Erio’s antics and personal history, for example, offer a rich vein that could have been mined for interesting development. But instead of gaining complexity and nunance once liberated from her futon, she flattens into a fawning barnacle.OverallDenpa Onna’s ending transforms it from an unfocused slice-of-life parable into a careful character study. The attractive art and charming cast help the time to pass quickly towards the show’s conclusion. For people looking to see what Shinbo can do when he lays off the insane editing and lets his characters work, this show is worth checking out.


Story 6.5/10 - This show has an enjoyable story altough they didn't explain some things (won't go into detail cause that would be spoilers). It's first half is very enjoyable we have our main character Makoto Niwa who is moving to a big city, when he arrives there and enters the house the first thing he sees is Erio a girl who thinks she's an alien and spends her time wearing a futon. Afer a certain point in this show Erio gets very little screen time and Niwa spends most of his time engaging in normal activity. Having conversations with his two classmates Ryuuko and Maekawa. Then you get the ending (wich are episode 12 AND the special, the ending is great it turned out more to be than I expected still the story in this show is a bit average. Animation 7/10 - A normal animation for a show from 2011, altough I have to say almost every female character looks the same (atleast for me) the animation also has kinda strange angles wich I tough was pretty good. The only other thing in this animation is that almost all female characters have this sparkly hair that I haven't seen in other shows and I tought it was done really well.  Sound 7.5/10 - The OP in this show really stand out, it is sung in a way that I haven't heard before and it was really good, the ED was catchy but it reminded me more of a child's song.As for background music there wasn't any that I recognized.  The voice actors did a great job in this show there is mostly talk throughout the whole show and it was never boring nor bad so good job voice actors. Characters 6.5/10 - some interactions with the characters where really great, I kinda got annoyed with the same sentence over and over again wich was: "And call me Ryuuko" it was said probablt three times every episode, well that was my only irritation in this part. the other characters are done really well and there's a bit of seriousness under every character wich I really like. Enjoyment 7/10 - This was just a really funny 12 episode show to watch. and that was about it the ending wasn't what I expected but was still really enjoyable, overall this show did a good job on makin an entertaiming comedy / high school life show. Overall 7/10 - This show has a few flaws but overall is done really well, it has enjoyable characters great shounds and the animation is good. So if you are looking for a comedy/ slice of life show you should try this show. Thank you for reading this review if you have any tips or other things you want to say please leave them in the comment section below


Story: In the midst of all the atypical bif-baf that goes on in this anime, there IS a plot, though it is so tightly woven into the mood, it IS there. However it is greatly overcome by the mass use of backstories and also by many, many mood enhancing moments, which is what really colors this anime. The writers give you the 'here' and 'now' by using a fairly simplistic plot, but create the dissonance that makes a story good (typically done with rising action, climax, falling action ect.) by keeping you guessing about how we got 'here' and 'now'. So although the story is slightly simplistic, it is at the same time hard hitting and very enjoyable. Animation: The animation was also very, very good, especially the characters, which seemed unique and well drawn. Erio's design was possibly the most well matched to her character of all the characters designs I've ever seen. The scenery was also adequate, not the best I've seen but defiantly not bad. There was surly nothing lacking in animation. Sound: The sound was mostly average, with two exceptions. First, the voice actors for all of the main female characters did impressively well considering how challenging their characters were. Second, the title and credits tracks were both very interesting. They fit the show very well (probably because they were made specifically for the show). At first I found the title track some what annoying but oddly, I grew to love it. Characters: I feel like the characters in this anime were so unique that I had no choice but to be thrust into their eccentric personalities. You are really drawn in by how different they are. It's not to the point where they are unnatural however, their personalities sit perfectly on the border lines of what is socially accepted (with the exception of Erio, who is not socially accepted what so ever). Being a Harem (defiantly not the typical Harem though), there is a huge emphasis on the characters and their compelling backstories aswell. Overall: I most definitely, truly, positively explicitly recommend this anime for a break away from the typical anime that have worked such a deep groove of mainstream into the anime world. And even if you like watching the same anime over and over with different faces, I'm sure you will still love this one, just be warned though, this one is like none other.

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