Eri KitamuraMikako KomatsuAya SuzakiMitsuhiro Ichiki
Miss Bernard said.
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: M
Also known as: Bernard-jou Iwaku.
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Hisayoshi Hirasawa
Writer: Yuichi Uchibori
Original creator: Yuki Shikawa
Actor: Eri Kitamura, Aya Suzaki, Mikako Komatsu, Mitsuhiro Ichiki
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 three-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 21 February 2017
Bernard Jou Iwaku
It's okay. I don't have a strong opinion on it. I watched it and sort of enjoyed it, but it didn't do enough for me personally to recommend it. I approve of the fact that it's about book-lovers being passionate about books, but unfortunately that's also the show's downside. They're talking about books. They're having literary conversations. That's it.
This is also a comedy, but the jokes aren't about the books themselves. Instead they're about the characters. These are:
1. SAWAKO MACHIDA, aka. Miss Bernard (but only in her head). She reveres books. She talks about nothing else but books. She's built her lifestyle around books and she loves nothing better than snobbish conversations that make her look like a well-read intellectual. The only slight flaw in all this is her dislike of actually reading the things. That takes time. It's too much like hard work. She thus spends all her time reading other people's reviews, thinking up bluffing strategies, showing off and generally trying to show off knowledge she doesn't have.
She's not unlikeable, though. Her very brazenness makes her honest, since she has absolutely no shame about being scum and will brag all day about her avoidance strategies. (If she put even half as much effort into actually reading, she'd be a master of literature.)
2. SHIORI KANBAYASHI, an intense SF fan for whom reading is a religion. She's even more over-the-top than Sawako, but only because she cares. Put her next to Sawako and they might still be talking into the small hours. You might think that Kanbayashi should despise her bullshitting anti-matter opposite, but in an odd way they're soulmates because they both so love talking about books. They're going to become close friends.
(I think she likes J.G. Ballard, though. Tch.)
3. SUMIKA HASEGAWA, loves Sherlock Holmes and has a crush on...
4. ENDOU, the token boy.
It's mostly Sawako and Kanbayashi, though.
The show's showcasing the kind of conversations people have about books, including the silly ways we might try to show off or make ourselves look clever. Sawako lives for all that. This can be amusing, but it's also a very specialised variety of comedy. I approve of this show for doing something very different by anime standards, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I like it. I don't dislike it. I don't expect ever to rewatch it. It did make me want to read a couple of its book suggestions, though, so in that sense I was rewarded for my time. I'm now thinking of hunting down Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds (the Wellmans, 1975), while Dogra Magra (Yumeno Kyuusaku, 1935) sounds like a must-read (and deeply messed up). Unfortunately Amazon says that the only currently available translation of the latter is in French. How tough would it be in Japanese?
Anyway, the show's okay. Not great, not bad. It's an easy watch, since the episodes are only three minutes long. You could do worse.