Region: 1 - North America
Length: 78 minutes
Japanese 2.0 Stereo
Recorder & Ransell
On the surface it seems as if Atsushi is an adult, but really he's just an elementary student! However, he is paired with a second-year high school student Atsumi, whose height is just the opposite of his. These two together create an unusual relationship and will undoubtedly instigate some comedic antics in this slice of life comedy!
Seemingly too cute for many, this will be a comedy for all ages and types! Follow this unique family and its spherical cat, in a warm-hearted comedy for the winter!
I'm going to tackle two shows in one review as they are both three minutes long per episode. Both of them take on insane Japanese domesticity as their starting point. Poyopoyo is about a family who's OL (Office Lady) daughter, Moe Sato, finds on the street while drunk, a fat cat they name Poyo. Poyo is a gentle creature to all except Hide, the son in the Sato household, who he scratches on a regular basis. Recorder and Ransell is about two siblings, Atsushi who looks like a twenty-something adult but really is only 8 or so and his sister Atsumi who looks like a child but is in high school. Fluffy, light, this is easy going stuff.
Poyopoyo is literally about a cat. He goes for walks in the neighbourhood, is afraid of plastic and hangs out with his cat friend Kuro. Much of the jokes of the show trade on the fact that he looks like a ball and personally, I laugh whenever Hide tries to convince anyone else of what Poyo is like to him. Either they don't see it or they just don't care. The cat just grabs people's attention and it's like watching spaceships being dragged into a black hole, there's no escape from it. Shows like these are plentiful in Japan but until recently we had no experience of them. I found it curious that anyone could like a show about a cat and nothing else but here I am right now on the sixteenth episode wondering what the hell Poyo will next. It's drawn in a simple manner with lots of still backgrounds like being in a children's illustration book, so we see an anthropomorphized version of the characters. Not as they are, (because in the opening we see Poyo as a real cat) but as the author imagines them to be. I'm fine with that, it adds to the charm.
Recorder & Ransell is a horse of a different colour. Its trade is the absurdist logic that Atsushi could ever be mistaken for an adult and vice versa for Atsumi. Every time Atsushi tries to walk home with the girl he likes, Hina, he's arrested and dragged to the police station for being a pervert. Poor lad ends up crying in front of his sister about it. Atsumi, for her part, sympathises with him as people think she's a child so they are wonderful contrasts. As we go through each of their days we see the pitfalls of elementary school from Atsushi's viewpoint and Atsumi being the responsible one, trying to steer him in the right direction and sometimes failing spectacularly. I particularly like their next door neighbour, Take, as he's an unemployed wretch. That might describe me to a tee right now but Take goes further by giving the worse advice to Atsushi, ever. It's a wonder Atsushi hasn't been sectioned and thrown on the sex offenders register, such are the misunderstandings that arise from their chats.
Ultimately, both these shows rise and fall on the strength of the concept on display. I've not that much experience with absurdist anime or manga but it's growing on me. I would recommend both of them because, since both are only three minutes long each, you can power through in two hours or less and say that you had a good chuckle while you were doing it.