Since these are shorts and subs for them were available on the same day, I’m just going to combine them both into one review.

First up, Mangirl!

Mangirl! Episode 1:

Hana and Aki, two friends since junior high, have gotten the go-ahead to start up a manga magazine!  Problem is, neither of them actually know anything about editing.  On the first day, they manage to hire two other employees to add to their editorial staff: two girls named Tsugumi and Ringo.  After they get settled down in their new editorial room, they get to work with actually trying to publish a magazine.  Eventually, they manage to snag 15 manga artists to draw for their magazine.  How successful with these ladies be?   We’ll have to find out next time.

Our four heroines.

My Opinion:

I only just realized now that Mangirl is a portmanteau of “manga” and “girl,” instead of being a series where a man is stuck in a girl’s body or something.  Anyway, I ended up enjoying this far more than I could have expected.  Which just makes me really sad that each episode is only going to be three and a half minutes long.  Couldn’t it have been five minutes at least? :C

Even though this is just “another anime short,” I think it’s one of the better ones.  The “four girls” formula is reminiscent of the often used *insert weird hobby here* club cliche, but since this is an actual job the characters are holding, that immediately makes things more interesting to me.  And at least two of the characters are adults (that would be Hana and Aki).  Sure there will undeniably be some cutesy girl shenanigans, but since the characters are joined together in a job I think there will be a bit more action than just the girls lazing about or something.  Also, since they’re running a magazin publishing gig, I think we’ll get some info out of it about how the manga industry works.  Obviously we’ll have to take everything with a grain of salt (since this is anime), but I’m rather curious about the process it takes for manga to actually get published.

I’m also interested in meeting Hikari. She looks cool!

Animation for this series is… surprisingly good!  Well, surprisingly good when compared to all the other anime shorts I’ve seen beforehand.  Even with an anime this short, some series have awful animation, which shows that the producers really did not give a shit.  But Mangirl! has very smooth and clean animation, and that’s quite refreshing.  Another refreshing thing is the characters.  Okay, so Tsugumi and Ringo are kind of “meh” with me at the moment since they haven’t talked much, but I really like Hana and Aki so far.  They do admittedly seem a bit cliched, but I like their dynamic.  And… I have to admit, even though Hana’s design seems to be pandering to the otaku crowd, I think she’s adorable.

Simple but cute.

Overall, I wouldn’t mind reviewing this series (in batches of course).  This seems like a nice, fun little series.  The only thing I have to criticize so far is its length.  A full 20 minute anime might be stretching the material a bit long, but I don’t see how this anime couldn’t fill at least 5-10 minutes.

Out of five for this episode:

precure heart2 precure heart2 precure heart2 precure heart2

Yama no Susume Episode 1:

Meet Aoi, the shy girl. Can you tell who she is from this screencap?

Aoi is a shy girl who’s just started high school.  She prefers to spend time alone, shunning invitations from her classmates to do so.  However, her peaceful life is shattered when she reunites with an old childhood friend–a girl named Hinata.  Hinata drags Aoi into going mountain climbing with her, because Aoi promised (when they were kids) that they would someday see the sunrise on top of a mountain together.  Unbeknownst to Hinata, Aoi has developed a fear of heights after falling from a jungle gym and breaking a bone.  Unfortunately, Hinata’s eagerness leaves Aoi no chance to back out.

That’s cold Aoi.

My Opinion:

This series doesn’t seem to be that bad, but the first episode didn’t leave a particularly good impression on me.  The most distracting thing about this series is the animation.  While it looks very nice in still screencaps, in motion it looks a bit… awkward?  I’m not well-versed in animation styles, but I think this is what you get if you drew over CG animation.

Other than the awkward animation, everything else about this series is rather average.  The story seems nice and calming at least (which is a welcome relief from those manic-paced anime shorts), but this three minute time limit is really not doing it any favors.  This type of story needs a proper-length episode.  For something this slow-paced, three minutes isn’t going to achieve much.  The first episode DID manage to cram in quite a bit of story (and backstory even!), but I’m wondering how far it can go with just three minute episodes, and only 13 episodes in all.

Aoi and Hinata are alright characters I guess, but at this point there’s nothing that really interests me about them.  They fall too deeply into those popular anime character archetypes.  Aoi at least is a bit unique in that she actually enjoys being alone, but Hinata is the full-on genki girl at the moment.  So when all is said and done, I can’t bring myself to care about them.

Overall, this series seems like a rather relaxing one to watch after a long day of work.  Sadly, it’s hindered by it’s short time limit, strange animation, and somewhat bland characters.  I think it’s better to watch this anime after all its episodes have aired, and just watch them one right after another.  It really would work better that way.

Out of five for this episode:

precure heart2 precure heart2  and 1/2

The art style for this series is very nice on the eyes, I’ll give it that.

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