The five main characters of this series.

Summary:

Tanis is the youngest of five siblings. After their parents were arrested for conducting illegal experiments on their children, Tanis becomes his family’s main caretaker as he tries to live a “normal” life with his siblings. For some reason, Tanis is the only one who escaped experimentation and is a normal human. The rest of Tanis’ siblings have unique abilities: Snow can switch between dog and human forms, Aisuri has spider genes and legs (coming out of her back), Suishi is able to read minds, and Ashisu has plant genes and can grow plants from her body.

I do like this series’ interesting use of watercolor styles so far.

In this first episode, after Tanis unsuccessfully tries to cook a meal at home; he takes everyone out for dinner. This goes badly at first, as Tanis’ four siblings act pretty bizarrely and draw the ire of the other restaurant-goers. This situation culminates in Tanis scolding everyone for their behavior. Although it seems that Aisuri still doesn’t understand why Tanis wants them to “act normal,” all of the siblings do behave a bit better after that. And, despite everything, Tanis is still glad that they are able to live together as a family.

My two favorite characters so far (Ashisu and Snow).

My Opinion:

This series is actually based on a Taiwanese manhua. While the subbed episode that I watched had Japanese voice actors, I’m pretty sure that was a Japanese dub as the show itself seems like it’s being produced by a Chinese or Taiwanese company (I have found very scant information on this show so forgive me for not being able to give specifics). Before the current anime season even started, I had been very interested in this series. I am intrigued by the animated offerings produced by other Asian countries outside of Japan. From trailers, the animation for this series looked pretty good, and the story sounded pretty solid.

As for the actual episode itself, well… I’ll be honest, it is a little rough. The animation is still better than what I’ve seen in Spritpact and Fox Spirit Matchmaker, but it can get a little choppy and jumpy at times. Some scenes aren’t as smooth as you would usually expect from an animated series. But I do admire the backgrounds, which seem to be done in a very lovely watercolor type of style.

This series seems like it’s going to be a mainly “slice-of-life” type of show, focusing mostly on Tanis’ and his siblings’ lives as they try to integrate into normal society after being freed from their parents’ experimentations. This in itself is a pretty solid premise, but is it executed well? From this first episode, I give an “eh” to that. This first episode’s pacing was pretty awkward in places. At this point, I’m not quite sure if it’s just because of the production company being new to animation (from what I have found out about the company, this appears to be the first animated show that they have made?), or if it was intentional to emphasize how much human society dislikes these siblings.

There’s also the big question of “what the hell, did the government just let these kids live on their own after their parents were arrested?” Because seriously, what the hell. You would think the children of abusive mad scientists would get some better care or at least some support from the government (or something). It’s a pretty big deal, and yet they’re seemingly receiving no help to “re-integrate” back into society? What the shit?

Rant about the story logistics aside, I did like the characters in this show so far… except for Aisuri, but she’s very obviously meant to be brash. The Japanese voice actors for the Japanese dub are pretty much perfect for this show (I am in love with Ashisu’s voice and I swear I heard it somewhere else before…) I’m also just really glad this series isn’t trying to shove in random slapstick humor like so many other Chinese/Taiwanese animated shows. It’s also just a sort of heartwarming type of show, with some hints at some possibly darker plots. In which case I am pretty excited to see what happens next.

Yes, Shiyan Pin Jiating is far from being a perfect or a polished show. But if you can get past the awkward animation and somewhat awkward pacing, I think this will be an interesting series to keep an eye on.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Yes, I did end up giving the first episode a less than stellar rating. But I still really want this show to succeed, and I want to see where it goes next. Nothing else this season has interested me this much, so it’s very likely I’ll be blogging Shiyan Pin Jiating for this season.

Everyone is adorable.