TV (13 eps)
3.385 out of 5 from 2,216 votes
Rank #8,684

After her grandmother dies, thirteen year-old Kana Nakamachi runs away from home convinced her absent parents will sell her. She tries to find a job, but with nowhere willing to hire a girl of her age without parental consent, she is back at square one. Then, to make matters worse, a young girl called Yume crashes her bicycle into Kana and knocks her unconscious! Following this chance encounter, Kana learns of a job vacancy at the newspaper company that Yume works for and quickly applies. Now Kana has secured herself a live-in job delivering newspapers along with her new co-workers: lively Yume; quiet Yuki; drunken and perverted Haruka; money-hungry Hinata; and grade school deputy manager, Saki. From memorizing her paper route to learning how to ride a bicycle to fixing her terrifying smile, Kana’s new life has only just begun.

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StoryFrom the delightful Strawberry Marshmallow and Minami-Ke to the wacky worlds of Azumanga Daioh and Lucky Star, there’s no shortage of cutesy comedies with adorable schoolgirls and little to no plotline. Each new incarnation of this sort of slice of life anime attempts to reinvent the genre, whether saturating the viewer with pop culture references or indulging in bizarre fantasies about detachable pigtails and patriarchal felines. So what fresh offering does Kanamemo bring to the party? Well, other than a newspaper office, not a whole lot. The series centres on Kana, an adorable, shy and naïve middle school student whose grandmother has just died, leaving her all alone in the world. After believing that she was to be sold off with all her gran’s possessions (as any sane human being would suppose), Kana finds herself at the Fuushin Gazette, where she manages to secure a live-in job delivering newspapers. The remainder of Kanamemo’s thirteen episodes documents the young girl’s day-to-day life as she acclimatises to her surroundings. As with every anime in this vein, the presence of adults – parents in particular – is completely ignored. In fact, despite their mention earlier in the first episode, Kana actively denies having a mother and father at all; infuriatingly, this is never explained. Are her relatives dead, living overseas, or just plain incompetent – who knows! Comedy peppers Kanamemo’s plotline throughout, but like most other aspects of the series, the humour is neither groundbreaking nor spectacular. While amusing, most jokes are not enough to evoke a full on belly laugh, though the episode where Kana attempts to smile had me in stitches. The majority of the time however, the show seems to rely on the same running gags, which often wear a little thin. Much like in Strawberry Marshmallow where Miu constantly receives blows to the head and lands face down on the floor, Kanamemo all too often falls back on Haruka’s habit of fondling Kana at every opportunity – much to the young girl’s terror – in order to gain a quick laugh.AnimationKanamemo utilises a vibrant colour palette to reflect the series’ narrative admirably, such as the deep crimsons and calming lilacs forming a spectacular dusk sky at the beginning of the first episode. The cutesy character visuals aren’t out of the ordinary, but they don’t quite feel like stock designs either; each protagonist looks different without being boring or completely unimaginative. Commendable animation complements this pleasing imagery. Movement is not blocky or lazy, and small details such as the swish of Kana’s hair as she moves adds to the environment’s believability.SoundNeither horrifically awful nor outstandingly brilliant, Kanamemo’s opening and ending themes are forgettable. Instead they meld together with the plethora of other fluffy J-Pop songs out there and subsequently, I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a line-up. Kanamemo’s voice acting is fairly standard, and the characters’ vocals all seem to fit well with their personalities, such as Rie Kugimiya’s performance as Mika/Taiga/Louise/Tsundere X.CharactersKanamemo boasts a variety of entertaining, likeable and ‘wacky’ characters to bounce off against the timid and clumsy Kana. Sadly, the series doesn’t make the best use of its cast and rather than developing the secondary protagonists, or exploring their personalities at all, they remain ignored. Instead of getting to know the quiet and mysterious Yuuki, or the bouncy Yume, the anime places sole focus on their rampant lesbianism. Meanwhile money-hungry Hinata leaves such a faint impression that I actually forgot her name and had to look it up. The series’ two tsunderes fare no better; not only do neither of them receive much exploration, but could someone please explain to me what the hell an elementary school girl is doing running a newspaper?! Despite her lack of growth as a character, Haruka can take credit for the majority of the points that I’ve given this section. Her loli-perv antics provide the majority of the entertainment throughout, though it did get a bit much at times. While I am aware that the series centres on Kana and how she adapts to her new life, I would have liked to see at least some development of Kanamemo’s supporting cast.OverallWhile an entertaining and cute series, Kanamemo is still decidedly average. Maybe it’s because I like this genre and have seen a fair amount of comedic slice of life anime, but Kanamemo seems to take the safest paper route possible; consequently it feels like I’ve seen it before, and that it has been done better previously. Anyone who likes this vein of storytelling will probably enjoy it, though there are similar shows out there, such as Hidamari Sketch or the aforementioned Azumanga Daioh, which, by my reckoning, are far superior.


Studio Feel’s 2009 coming-of-age/slice-of-life comedy has very little going for it. The story idea seems to have been scribbled on the back of an envelope. It exists in a universe where six young women between the ages of eight and twenty earn wage and lodgings delivering newspapers. Where in the world can you earn a living delivering newspapers? Principal character, thirteen-year-old Kana Nakamachi, believes she has been left homeless after her last living relative dies. She gets work and lodgings at the newspaper delivery office of the Fuhshin Gazette. The boss is an elementary school girl with the manner of a grown up. She spends all the time doing the accounts and reprimanding the other girls for their rowdy behaviour. Like that is realistic. Two of the girls are openly lesbian which is kind of sweet really yet of little consequence. Then there is Haruka Nishida the predatory lesbian paedophile alcoholic. Yes, really. It is Hakuda’s outrageous behaviour, in trying to grope up the younger girls, that appears to dominate most of the story. It isn’t vaguely funny. The only mildly interesting character is former employee and eccentric free-spirit Marimo. She only appears in two episodes. So that’s it really. There is no story. They deliver newspapers. The original four-panel comic strip written and illustrated by Shoko Iwami and the manga ran from 2008 to 2013. The show is driven by the bizarre and eccentric personalities the lodge at the office. A measure of commentary on events is given by Kana as she writes her diary (“memo”) in the form of letter to her deceased grandmother. It is all mostly cutesy-wootsy in nature. The girls do the stuff that girls do in all anime. They buy swimsuits, they wear swimsuits, they go to festivals, they survive typhoons, go on diets, have group baths together, catch colds, and hang around in children’s playgrounds. The end. It rolls around on automatic pilot. It is a blessing when it is all over. Nothing remotely special about it at all. You get no backstory behind the characters and they are all paper thin. The tale creates no emotional reaction in the audience at all. You just don’t care. They are cute. That’s it. Occasionally funny, mostly forgettable.

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