Keiji FujiwaraJapanese
BAR Kiraware Yasai
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2015: B
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2015
Writer/director: Mankyu
Actor: Haruka Michii, Keiji Fujiwara, Masato Tanaka, Rena Maeda, Takayuki Kondou, Yuya Murakami, Madoka Tomishiro
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 micro-episodes
Website category: Anime 2015
Review date: 27 July 2016
It's an extended weak pun, presented as an anime. The title is wordplay. ("Kiraware-yasui" would mean "people find it easy to hate you".) Literally this title means "unpopular vegetables" and that's what you'll see here. Unpopular vegetables. Celery, aubergine, bitter gourd, etc. They're drinking in a bar. This lasts for one whole minute, then the credits roll. (The running time is theoretically 90 seconds for eps.1-3 and then five minutes for eps.4-13, but there's never any more than sixty seconds of actual episode. Everything else is either closing credits or a music video for the latest CD of Tomato-chan, available in the shops now!)
You might be thinking that not much can be done in sixty seconds. If so, you'd be right. This anime is based on a gag manga and it's quite possible that each episode corresponds to only one four-panel strip.
The show's humour, such as it is, depends on the characters. I might as well introduce them. They're not bad, actually, although obviously there's only so much that can be done with them in the available screen time. They are:
1. CELERY, who's a cheerful, happy chap. He sings a song in ep.3.
2. PARSLEY, an often negative, gloomy office lady. In ep.5, she's advised that she'd be prettier if she smiled occasionally and her attempt at doing so is grotesque.
3. AUBERGINE, aka. eggplant, brinjal, melongene, garden egg, guinea squash, etc. He's got a bulbous purple face and he generally ends up pulling faces that would put you off your lunch. Ep.12 sees the police leading him away for looking too disturbing. I won't say they didn't have a point.
4. BITTER GOURD, aka. bitter melon, bitter squash, balsam-pear, etc. He's faintly worrying, e.g. in his over-the-top reaction to Celery's song.
5. TOMATO-CHAN. (Tomatoes are the greatest! Since when did they become hated?) She's an idol. The male vegetables want tickets to her live concerts. She's cutesy and she sticks out her tongue to be lovable. In fairness she is actually quite endearing, but I particularly enjoyed ep.9, in which the barman suggests dropping the cute mannerisms since there's no one else around. It turns out that the real Tomato-chan is a terrifying hollow-eyed depressive, but only for a few seconds before snapping back into Chirpy Idol Mode again.
6. BROCCOLI SUPER SPROUT, or so he insists. Only seen in ep.11.
7. BARMAN. This one's a bit distracting at first, because he's an actual actor being shot in live-action. This show is Flash-animated, with the vegetables being superimposed over live-action footage. It's a bar. He's the barman. He's unctuous and personally I'd be tempted to avoid any bar with such a barman, but he's also basically just the straight man.
Would I recommend this show? No, but it's sort of approximately okay. Maybe. If you're feeling generous. It also looks really cheap. A few of the episodes are amusing. Besides, even when they're not, at least they're only sixty seconds long. Admittedly that's usually under a fifth of the run time, with the remainder being mostly credits and/or music videos, but no one's making you watch all of it. I was mildly diverted and even occasionally thought an episode was good (ep.9, ep.12), but you've got better things to do with your time than hunt down this.