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October 19, 2009

Bento Bako Weekly: Midori Days

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Written by: Kristin
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bbwmidoriTitle: Midori Days
Author/Director: Kazurou Inoue (mangaka), Tsuneo Kobayashi (series director)
Studio/Licensor: Studio Pierrot (anime production), Viz Media (manga), Media Blasters (anime)
Episodes/Volumes: 13 anime episodes, 8 manga volumes
Vintage: The original manga ran in Japan from 2002-2004, Viz began publishing them in 2005.  Media Blasters released the anime in America in 2005 (it ran in Japan in 2004).

I had been putting off watching this one for a while, worried that it would be just too bizarre, maybe a little stupid, and that I wouldn’t like it. Well, it WAS bizarre, but it was also rather sweet and very funny. When you see something about Midori Days, you’ll notice that it’s about a high school boy who has a tiny girl for a hand. That is the driving force of the show. And, of course, I immediately thought, “How idiotic.” And, you know, it kind of was. But the story is touching, in its way, and while nothing changes the fact that this adolescent boy is living his life with a real girl as one of his hands, if you just sort of ignore the absurdity of this, it’s a very cute show.

The anime is based on the 8 volume manga series of the same name (which I hear wraps up the story a bit better than the anime does; it’s basically the same, but it’s handled better and given more time).  The anime is a short 13 episodes (which is good for having only 8 volumes of manga to follow), but it’s enough for things to come full circle.

In Midori Days, we watch the life of Seiji Sawamura, a high school student who is a bit of a delinquent. He’s the toughest kid at school and gets into a lot of fights, but he doesn’t bully the weaker students; rather he stands up for them against others. His right hand has been dubbed the Devil’s Right Hand, and it packs a powerful punch. At seventeen years old, Seiji is longing for a girlfriend badly, but most are too intimidated by him, and he’s not exactly the most socially able person around. In a moment of desperation, he announces out loud to himself that he will take any girl as long as he can have a girlfriend. When he wakes up the next morning, his desire has been (sort of) granted – a high school student named Midori Kasugano, who has been admiring and loving Seiji from afar (she goes to a different school than he does, but sees him around town, like at the train station), has replaced his Devil’s Right Hand.

bbwmidorimangaAt that point, just throw all notions of reality out the window and you’ll enjoy the show. Midori eats, sleeps, moves and even gets sick, all independent of Seiji. Which doesn’t make a lot of sense, nor is it ever explained in any way. But that’s OK. Midori is so adorable you’ll forget all about it. She is head over heels in love with Seiji, who unfortunately barely notices her, even though she’s on his hand and with him 24/7. He still tries to find a girlfriend, even though he’s got Midori, who cooks, cleans, takes notes for him in class, and does everything she can possibly do for him with her small body. Except, you know, those things. The show thankfully manages to avoid any sort of sexual adventures that this situation would be ideal for (though if that’s your thing, I’m sure there are plenty of doujinshi [fan comics] out there where those sorts of things happen). There’s some nudity and ecchiness, fan service (like when Seiji goes to a figure costume shop to find clothes for Midori), the kinds of things normal for this sort of show. But Midori is very shy and innocent, and aside from an initial peek when she first appears (as she’s nude when she first appears on his hand), she makes sure Seiji doesn’t see her naked, and presumably they find ways she doesn’t have to see him naked either (at least not from the front). It could very easily turn into quite a raunchy series, but it doesn’t. It’s a sweet romantic comedy, as Midori showers Seiji with her love, and does her best to earn his love in return (which is quite a feat, as dense as Seiji is).

There’s not much more I can say without giving away bigger plot points, so I’ll leave it at that. You either want to watch a show like this, or you don’t. Personally, I found it very charming, and I’m glad I decided not to ignore it.

Come back next week for the first part of my look at vampires in anime and manga!

Kris
kristin@comicattack.net

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5 Comments



  1. So does Midori see ‘everything’ Seiji does with his hands?

    …?


  2. Kristin

    Uh, yes and no.

    Sometimes she’s blindfolded, or she’ll close her eyes. Or he’ll just hold her out of the way of…whatever it is he’s doing. If they’re in the shower, he’ll wear a towel over his lap so she can’t see anything. Stuff like that. The uh, actual mechanics of some of those things aren’t ever really explained. But she can move around totally independently from him (and by that I mean that she can drag his unconscious, sleeping body around along the ground while she does chores and makes breakfast), and she often wakes up before him and goes to bed after him. So they manage fine.


  3. Princess Powerful

    I like to forget that this series exist…it just makes my brain hurt… O_O;;



  4. @Kris-chan: Hey! Finally found time to visit again. For anyone who’s seen enough anime (200+ titles), this is definitely a cute little comedy gem. Admittedly, I’ve seen it twice (Japanese audio, English subs) and gave it 4 of 5 stars. Unexpectedly emotional. Slightly sad that the series was so short, haha.

    P.S. Let me know if a “more raunchy” clone series pops up?



  5. Jay-san:
    Read doujinshi? It’s definitely there. ^_^



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