GUESS WHO’S BACK

It seems weird to do a First Impression for Minami-ke as I’m already well aquainted with it, but seeing as this fourth third series is from yet another new company (that still isnt the original) it’s getting a First Impression-style review.
The Minami sisters are back for more mundane yet somewhat amusing exploits at their respective schools. Kana seems to get most of the spotlight in this episode, with a section featuring on her bad grades as well as a lot of dumbassery at home. We also see a new face at her school, whose speciality seems to be using puppy dog eyes to get what she wants (here, help studying from Keiko). There’s also quite a lot set in the Minami home in this episode with the unifying theme being the kotatsu – studying at it, getting dressed under it, chilling with Fujioka at it – but maybe most memorably Haruka letting her childish side show as she refuses to get out from under it. There’s really only so much that can be said in a Minami-ke synopsis, but there you go.

There’s a new eyecatch thing called Minami Quest – not sure if its going to go anywhere though.

Being Minami-ke fan is suffering. No matter how many sequels you insist there are, no one can disagree that any of them can match the magic of the first one. (For the record, before this one there was only one sequel: Okaeri, which wasnt stellar but it wasnt terrible (I mean it had the Curry Song). Okawari was just a bad dream so it doesnt count.) It was great for Asread to get their claws off it but I’d actually been dreading studio Feel’s take on the franchise seeing as the only other anime they’ve done are ones I despise.
People are already singing in the streets about Minami-ke being back and that Tadaima is finally on par with season 1 again, but I can’t help but remain cautiously optimistic. It wasnt a bad first episode, but it didnt struck me as a particularly impressive one. It was pleasant, and it was mildly amusing… but the humour just wasnt on the same level as what I was hoping for.
Luckily, there’s plenty of good signs though : the show looks great, with smooth animation and artwork that’s almost just as pleasing on the eyes as the original series. (One rather interesting addition is some chibi moments as reactions, which is the first time that’s happened in Minami-ke. It was kind of cute, but I hope they dont overuse it.) The comic timing is much the same(one part I did find really funny was Chiaki being basically deaf to Kana and Uchida and yet responding to Haruka instantly), the music is very similar, and even theme song is reminiscent of the old one. One thing I really appreciated was that it doesnt dwell on a single joke for too long, which was the major problem with Okaeri which often devoted whole episode halves to one extended joke and kept going long after it stopped being funny. It’s true that there’s a little fanservice, and some people were annoyed about it, but it’s not any more than what the first season had (and definitely less than the bad dream I had where there was a season called Okawari that had an episode where all they did was sit in a hot spring for a ridiculously long time).
Of course the main negative for me is that there was no Hosaka. He appears in the opening holding a cabbage (ok) but doesnt appear in the episode itself – nor does does Makoto/Mako-chan, which is a shame. Those two are huge fan-favourites so I  would have thought that Feel would try to make a bigger impact with its first episode by including them, but the next episode preview has scenes at Haruka’s school so that’s a good sign.
While I wish I could have found it funnier than I did, I wasnt disappointed by Tadaima and I’m eager to see the next episode. It’s just a bit hard to get excited for Minami-ke being back after after,well, you know. Fingers crossed for this one.

I didnt even know Haruka knew how to be lazy.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelon1/2

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