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vivafruit

  • Boulder, CO
  • Joined Nov 27, 2004
  • 37 / M

Azusa Will Help!

Apr 12, 2007

Story

I seem to seperate myself from most of the anime-watching crowd in that I actually prefer shorter animes. In a TV series, the object is generally to pad the length as much as possible in order to cut costs but maintain viewership. In short OVAs, however, little time is available, and so every minute usually will contribute to the overall experience (as opposed to bloated series like Naruto or Hikaru no Go).

Another large perk of short animes is well illustrated by Azusa Will Help!: if the anime sucks, it doesnt waste too much of your time. The OVA is decidedly below average, with a weak storyline, generic characters, and only a handful of laughs, but its 40 minute runtime prevented me from hating it passionately.

Still, even if the show is a relatively small waste of time, its still a waste of time. The one or two good jokes in the entire OVA are largely cancelled out by the tedious and trite maid shit that dominates the running length. An attempt is made to dilute the cliche by combining the maid parts with elements from sports anime, but mixing together two hackneyed story devices seldom produces something original, and this is no exception.

The story doesnt really make a whole lot of sense from a logical perspective, either. In the anime, we are told that anatomically correct androids are no longer being made due to the apparent sexual consequences that inevitably result. This leads to the question of how the protagonist manages to purchase one of the older, fully fleshed out robots for so cheap. If sexdroids were in fact banned from production, there is no doubt in my mind that rabid, undersexed otaku would soon make the remaining ones nearly priceless. Also, the very idea that androids would be used to play baseball at all is preposterous. The whole point of athletic sports is to engage in fun, competitive excercise, and having a robot do that for you is just stupid. I think the concept is somewhat similar to getting a robot to jog for you every morning.


Animation

Decidedly below average, especially considering the shows age and length. Very little money went into making this anime, and it shows with jerky animation, generic character designs and lame action scenes.


Sound

Voice acting is definitely on the stale side (although Ill grant that there isnt much ANYONE could do in these godawful roles), and music is weak and unmemorable.

An odd note is that Noto Mamiko is in this one, presumably before her career took off and she earned the luxury of not having to participate in this kind of degrading material. She does what she can with her role, but even Mamikos succulent, oh-so-good-to-hear-it voice isnt enough to save a cardboard character with some absolutely idiotic dialogue.


Characters

Unlikeable and dull - pretty much characteristic of what I would expect from a 40 minute maid show. I could write more, but then Id be spending more time talking about the characters than the studio spent actually creating and developing them.


Overall

Basically, Azuza does just about what every maid show before it has done: weak-ass comedy. The lackluster plot and characters combine with the decidedly mediocre animation and sound, and one is left with an unusually disappointing overall package. Im just happy the anime cant waste any more of my time than it already has.

If youre one of the thousands of people who actually enjoy maid shows on a consistent basis, then by all means knock yourself out; theres enough tribute to the tired genre to please most of the diehards. However, if youre not a dedicated fan of the genre, then know that this brings nothing new to the table.

2.5/10 story
4/10 animation
5.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
4/10 overall

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