Kana HanazawaSaori HayamiHaruka TomatsuYoshino Nanjo
Morita-san wa Mukuchi
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2011
Director: Naotaka Hayashi
Writer: Yu Sato
Original creator: Tae Sano
Actor: Ami Nanase, Haruka Tomatsu, Kana Hanazawa, Maki Tsuchiya, Masatoshi Kii, Mie Hiraga, Saori Hayami, Yoshino Nanjo
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 28 three-minute TV episodes and a 25-minute OVA episode
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12135
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 14 March 2023
Morita san wa Mukuchi
In the world of anime adaptations of 4-panel gag manga, some expand the source material and you'd never guess that they come from that kind of manga. This is not one of those shows. It's not just the extreme brevity of the episodes, but the throwaway disconnected scenes and low-key humour. That said, though, the show's okay. It takes a while to build up from a relatively mediocre start, but it probably helps if you start with the full-length OVA (released February 2011).
It's nice. Nothing wrong with it. If you set your player to run each episode automatically after the last one, it's effectively a three-episode series.
The title character, Mayu Morita, doesn't speak. It's not a policy or anything, but she tends to overthink things to the point where she's unlikely to have settled on an answer to any question before the other person's fallen asleep, gone home or taken Mayu's response as an answer in itself. Her friends get used to it. Miki Murakoshi is a chatterbox who wants a boyfriend, Hana Matsuzaka is shy and Chihiro Miura is... uhhh, mostly just a normal girl, I think. She likes sweets. There are two boys in the class who are almost always just bystanders at most. Mayu has an ineffectual fan/stalker who likes her a lot, but never proceeds beyond the "lurking" stage. No one's silly or unrealistic, but equally you couldn't call this show special.
The most distinctive thing about this show's characterisation is the parents. Our heroines are nice, but Mayu and Hana both have complicated home lives. Hana's normally the kind of meek, timid girl who'd probably apologise for everything in sight, but she can turn dark, scary and intense if reminded of her mother and grandmother. Sounds like a bloodbath at home. As for Mayu, her parents flip-flop between lovey-doviness and scenes where her mum is politely crucifying her dad for the latest circumstantial evidence of possible infidelity. We never learn for sure what's going on there, but adding it all up is enough to make you worry about Dad. Especially in the OVA.
I quite like this show. It's way too modest and low-key to recommend, but the TV series keeps getting better as we get to know the cast and their quirks. You could do more with, for instance, that student teacher who appears in a Season 2 episode and then that's it. I laughed a few times. The "frozen squid eyes" song is amusing. For what it's worth, the original manga's been running since 2007, so only a small fraction of it was covered in this 2011 anime. If they made another season (unlikely), I'd definitely watch it.