Acchi Kocchi First Impressions – Cats love it when you tickle them under the chin
April 9, 2012 8 Comments
Slice-of-life anime series tend to either be terrible or excellent, there is rarely anything in between, furthermore, they also seem to fit into two distinct sub-categories. A slice-of-life series either focuses on romantic relationships with an element of drama, or is a comedy with elements of parody and slapstick. Acchi Kocchi (place to place) is firmly in the second part of slice-of-life with a similar element of parody to shows such as Azumanga Daioh, something that is brilliant and makes for a thoroughly entertaining and cute series. The art style, the jokes and the ludicrously cute Tsumiki make for a show that is engaging even though very little really happens.
There are numerous series where cute girls do cute things, and while many of them do succeed, there are almost as many that can be tiresome and simply boring. However, the characters in Acchi Kocchi really help to provide a brilliant atmosphere and create a series that is as heart-warming as it is entertaining. The combination of Hime and Mayoi in particular producers some brilliant comedy, along with having two silly, yet engaging characters. Of course, Acchi Kocchi, like many other shows has its fair share of character stereotypes, with Hime the quiet, shy and at times entirely innocent character, while Mayoi is the slightly insane, yet also master of electronics.
Of course we also have the main characters Io and Tsumiki who are recoginised as a couple by everyone else, which seems to mean that thy are in a pretty awkward quasi-romance where Tsumiki is head-over heels fro Io. Romance in slice-of-life is always nice, but at the same time its just nice to see such situations used for comedic effect, with a lot of the jokes aimed at Tsumiki’s clear attraction to Io, along with her Tsundere tendencies. There is a great relationship here, with both characters seemingly attracted to each other in some way, although it appears that Tsumiki’s feeling are far stronger. However, instead of portraying this as a devastating one-sided love, Acchi Kocchi opts for a far lighter approach that nevertheless produces a relatively mature relationship between the two.
But the characters are engaging enough that you either forget their stereotypes, or acknowledged their existence, but simply don’t care of worry about it. Stereotypes are only bad when they take away from a series, or the series falls into a stereotype and does not know how to use it properly. When stereotypes are used to the series advantage, as is the case with Acchi Kocchi, much humour, randomness and general madness can occur. It’s also hard to deny how unbearably cute Tsumiki is when she enters nekomimi mode, something that happens regularly.
Now, nekomimi is a massive stereotype and it does have quite the reputation, yet there is something incredibly cute about it. It has been used in series such as Asboi ni Iku Yo and Omamori Hime, but the liberal use of nekomimi in Acchi Kocchi is slightly different, and incredibly cute. I particularly love how it is part of Tsumiki’s character, and fits with her other Tsundere tendencies. In fact Tsumiki for all her cute characteristics appears to be quite the closet Tsundere, and with her nekomimi nature appears to lash out at anyone who comes close to Io. It’s great seeing her lashing out at not just Mayoi, but anyone who she perceives as a threat to her monopoly over Io’s affection.
The episode was really great, although it will put many people off due to the nature of the series, along with the complete lack of almost anything happening. Like many other series, very little actually happens in Acchi Kocchi, which is essentially a series of gags strung together – considering it is a 4koma manga adaptation this is hardly surprising. Such shows tend to have a polarising effect, with people either really enjoying the series or hating it. There are occasionally problems with such shows where there is no continuity between each sketch, they just happen alienated from every other sketch.
Seitokai Yakuindomo worked well because there was some semblance of continuity in the script and plot, Acchi Kocchi largely does the same, with each sketch happening on the same day. Of course there is the criticisms that this still makes each sketch alienated from all the others, and it would be curious to see a 4koma adaptation that does not separate the gags, but instead puts them into a full story without breaks between individual scenes. Other than that it was an enjoyable episode with a very warm feeling to it (ironic considering the episode was set during the winter).Ina similar way to Sengoku Collection it is a fun series that doesn’t take itself seriously and instead has a colourful world, colourful cast and more nekomimi than you wish to shake a stick at.