Recorder and Randsell

Alt title: Recorder to Randoseru Do♪

TV (13 eps x 3 min)
3.255 out of 5 from 3,126 votes
Rank #11,511

As siblings go, Atsumi and Atsushi are anything but typical. High schooler Atsumi is exceptionally small for her age, and elementary schooler Atsushi is abnormally tall with a deep voice, leading to misunderstandings on both sides! Whether Moriyama-sensei gets embarassed by Atsushi's every move, or Atsumi is offered candy meant for children, or poor Atsushi is arrested for being a perv that’s trying to snatch kids on their way to class, this brother and sister duo is bound to have an eventful day-to-day life!

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Story I confess that I have a bit of a thing for short anime series. Whenever I spot any new offerings that have episodes of five minutes or less I tend to jump on them, since they’re just enough to satisfy that anime craving and handy for slotting in when I only have a few moments to spare. So, having been out of the loop for a few months, I decided to ease myself back in with the latest bitesize chunk of fun, Recorder to Randoseru. Unfortunately, my return to anime wasn’t met with a glorious fanfare, but more of a battered trumpet squawking off-key. Recorder’s premise is simple; Atsushi and Atsumi are brother and sister, except they both have unique visual quirks. High school girl Atsumi appears to be a young child, while grade schooler Atsushi looks like he should either be in university or active employment. Atsumi’s eccentricity isn’t at the forefront; instead Atsushi’s steals the main focus. Though the young boy has the mentality of a kid, his mature appearance frequently gets him into misunderstandings that more often than not lead to him being arrested for supposedly perving over little girls. This is funny. I don’t deny that. When I watched the first episode and saw him carted off by the police for giving his female classmate a scarf to keep warm, I laughed more than I would care to admit to. Unfortunately, this is the kind of joke that has a tendency to wear a little thin and there are only so many times that you can see the same gag before the hilarity runs dry. That being said, I found that there was just enough variety in the humour to keep it from going completely stale. While Atsushi does end up in police custody on several occasions, his adult-sized presence around elementary school kids offers more comedy than just that. Aside from the long arm of the law and the suspicious neighbourhood gossips giving him the evil eye at every turn, Atsushi also has to deal with his man-fearing teacher who is horrified by his very presence as well as his sister’s oblivious best friend secretly perving over him. For me, however, the most entertaining aspect is the juxtaposition between infantile mind and adult body, so scenes such as Atsushi skipping down the street like a carefree child are particularly amusing since it just feels so wrong. AnimationBy no stretch of the imagination is the show’s visual design offensive, it’s just very bland. Anime with short episodes often demonstrate a variety of animation styles, from the watercolour-esque visuals of Kuruneko, to the rougher gag-manga stylings of Damekko Doubutsu, so I’m always intrigued to see what a short series will come up with. In Recorder’s case, it didn’t bring a lot to the picnic. While shows such as Omae Umasou da na baked some quirky homemade cupcakes, Recorder simply went to the supermarket and bought some cheap own-brand biscuits and promptly sat on a few on the way home. It offers up the standard anime character design complete with loving sparkles and wibbly depression lines of doom. Unfortunately, while generally serviceable, there are odd shots where faces seem a slightly squished or out of proportion, which sadly gives off a vibe that the series was low-budget and rushed.Sound Honestly, the sound never made much of an impression. The voice actors fared well, particularly Ryotaro Okiayu’s Atsushi, who managed to ideally portray a carefree child with a clearly adult voice, which ultimately added to the comedy value of his character. Whatever background music there was never made much of an impact, indicating that it was - like everything else - neither terrible nor wonderful, and while I couldn’t hum any of the themes it’d likely be noticeable if they weren’t there. CharactersNone of Recorder’s characters are particularly ground-breaking or out of the ordinary. Aside from Atsushi and Atsumi’s obvious quirks, nobody has anything new to offer, and the rest of the cast seem to have been dredged from the bucket of stock school life characters. There are the typical mischievous grade school boys and their kind and friendly female classmate, as well as the fawning high schoolers hoping for a chance to date their crush. Basically, it’s everything you’d expect to find in this sort of series, and the spotlight rarely strays from the two protagonists. Atsumi’s friend and Atsushi’s teacher occasionally make their presence known, but their participation feels more like photobombing rather than being wholly inclusive.OverallThe best word I can use to describe this series is average. I wasn’t anticipating a masterpiece; in fact after a friend of mine completely trashed it, I was expecting the opposite. Instead, it’s neither spectacularly wonderful, nor mind-numbingly awful. The show’s hefty reliance on the one central joke could easily wear thin, but luckily since Recorder is so short it manages to just about get away with it. If you have a spare forty minutes to kill, then you might as well marathon through this – after all, it’s a far more sensible use of time than say, sadistically watching a spider attempt (and fail) to crawl its way out of a bathtub.


Story Recorder to Randoseru Do (Some people refer to it as 'Recorder to Randsall' or 'Unfunny Lazy Repetitive Comedy With Like Three Jokes' - although that title is a bit long. No idea what 'Do' stands for. Sound a recorder makes? 'Do' something worth 'Do'ing?) is a comedy about an older sister (Atsumi) who is really short and her younger brother (Atsushi) who is really tall. Since there is no actual storyline and the brother and sisters' appearance are the main plot point, the show becomes a shallow mess with the same joke being repeated constantly- “oh look,  a grown man talking to a little girl, he must be a paedophile. QUICK, CALL THE POLICE!” Recorder to Randoseru is 13 episodes long, each episode lasts 3 minutes (2 and a half if you count actual content and not theme music) which is a good length for a gag comedy- a good comedy, that is. I’m sure many people found the first episode to be amusing, but after 13 episodes the plot wears thin and we see this series for what it is- insensitive and unimaginative. Is it fair for the young boy to be treated this way? Each time he has no idea exactly why the police chase him or why people direct so much hatred towards him. He’s technically a child, and no doubt this will cause him to have problems in his future- maybe make him scared to talk or be around girls. And what happens then? He becomes a main character to a terrible generic been-done-before harem anime. Seriously. His sister never gets in trouble with the police and only suffers the usual problems looking young causes. For some reason, the show doesn’t treat her so harshly and she never has problems with the police, however it makes her less memorable. Why anyone should treat people differently because of their size is a mystery - who cares about appearances? Can anyone decide a persons personality just by looking at them? When did anime get so judgemental? Animation The animation is nothing spectacular and the show could pass as being older than it actually is. Unfortunately some of the characters are just a blur of forgetfulness, not one of the characters has an original design, which wouldn’t change the outcome of the show anyway but it would be enjoyable to see some effort put it - even if just spending ages designing elaborate clothes. None of the backgrounds stand out and each scene is easily forgettable. Sound The opening...ending theme is rather cheery but not quite catchy enough, all other music in the show is forgettable. 'Oh No, An Evil Villain' music should play whenever the police enter the scene, that would probably funny, since in this show the police are actually the bad guys. The voice actress behind Atsumi (take a guess at who it is, her role this time is completely different to her usual roles)does a great job but Atsushi sounds far too manly! It sometimes sounds like the actor is forcing himself to sound like a child and this becomes rather irritating if you think about it too hard. So don't think about it, turn your brain off and laugh at the unfunny jokes. It makes it easier to bear with. Characters Since Atsumi doesn’t have much of a personality (or much screen time) she becomes similar to the generic characters seen in most school series, her brother Atsushi however is treated unfairly to the point where his life seems unbearable. All other characters are fine, but the police are without a doubt the villains here. It seems that all anyone has to do is briefly mention something bad is happening and they will spring into action, which does leave me wondering if they saw a father and his daughter walking together would they question it? Just how far would they go, shoot a person because someone told them said person was carrying a weapon? Arrest all teenagers entering shops simply because they have hoods pulled over their heads and might potentially steal? How about delivering the death penalty to someone simply because they had a nasty thought? The police in Japan must really suck and have nothing better to do. Overall This show is not funny. Ok, maybe the first time the paedophile joke was delivered we felt a smile on our face (admit that you found it funny - if you didn't find the first episode funny, why would you watch the whole series?) but when it is repeatedly beaten into us? And when we realise that there are people in the world who look older or younger than they are, is it right to laugh at them? Ok, maybe this might just be an anime series, but isn't a large part of enjoying anime being able to connect and feel what the characters feel? This series is probably not the best thing to marathon, but since the episodes are tiny and the series is watchable within 39/40 minutes it's not too difficult to sit through. Just don't watch it expecting humour or character development, or a storyline...or emotional moments, or you will probably be disappointed. If you already have a burning hatred for the police and have been wrongly accused by them, you might also want to give this series a miss. Otherwise, enjoy season 2. Please be funny, please be funny, please be funny...

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