I waited a few days to write about Okaeri, because I wanted to see who’d end up subbing it. Unfortunately, Minami-ke never has seem to got a lot of fansub love. But there’s a couple groups subbing this season, the speed sub group Chihiro, and Ayako. I’ve liked Ayako’s work in the past (most recently on Kannagi). They’re pretty quick and accurate. I’ve only seen Chihiro’s subs once on To Love-Ru. They’ve got a rep for being fast, but at the cost of trading accuracy. But having watched both subs, it seems like they’ve got a pretty good team on it. There were a couple parts where I thought Ayako’s translation made it easier to understand (for example, the Cup Yakisoba Genshou joke), but Chihiro’s translation wasn’t bad by any means. So, it depends on your preference. If you want to check out the show as fast as possible, at the cost of some translation accuracy/fluidity, then go with Chihiro. If you’re willing to wait an extra day or two, I’d say Ayako would be a better choice. This write-up, and my future write ups will be based on the Ayako translation.
Okaeri’s animation… umm… failures have been pretty well chronicled. It looks like they went with a mix of the season 1 and 2 look. I like that they dropped the two-tone hair (and the black faces, thank god), but the characters seem to look less and less human every season. I’m pretty sure that’s a anthropoid mouse, and not Chiaki up there.
Not everyone’s a total loss though, as Fujioka looks better now than ever, and Kana comes out looking alright, at least when she doesn’t have chicken legs. There’s really way to sugar coat it. The character designs might grow on you, but the animation was terrible. I don’t fancy myself an expert by any means, but it was bad enough to the point of distraction. Proportions were out of wack, lines were poorly drawn, details were all over the place. It’s basic stuff that looked bad, which is pretty shocking. Let’s hope asread picks up the quality in future episodes.
But animation aside (since you’re not really watching Minami-ke for the animation anyway), how was the comedy? Well, I’m happy to say that it was considerably funnier than season 2. The writing was sharper and the pacing’s much snappier than what I remember from Okawari. It doesn’t have the first season charm, but there were still a handful of scenes in this episode which cracked me up, including:
- the cup yakisoba genshou scene, which was sort of random, but the chanting was just funny
- almost any scene with sad-sack uncle Takeru
- and of course, the final scene with Hosaka
The new OP is also great, I think I actually like it even more than the original OP (definitely better than the Okawari OP, which didn’t really seemed like it fit the show), the ED’s pretty good too. I really like Chikaki’s dancing ahoge and the chibi drawings, although it’s a little weird watching Haruka dance around in a pretty revealing bathing suit (see below).
Okaeri’s off to a promising start, and if they could just pick up the animation quality, it looks like it’ll be a nice rebound from the Okawari disaster.