World Fool News Part II
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: W-X
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 ten-minute episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19943
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 10 April 2018
world full news
It's a TV station comedy, with our heroes being newcasters and production staff. Half the time they're just reading us offbeat news stories, then the rest of the time we're seeing behind the scenes. It's quite amusing. I wouldn't call it brilliant and I think the format might have flagged if they'd tried to stretch it to full-length episodes, but I enjoyed what I saw and I'd watch a third season.
The tone's understated. The only joke in a fairly long news segment might be the duration of the newscasters' pause at the end, for instance. The characters are all realistic and their interactions are liable to be deadpan enough that at one point I was wondering if some or all of this had perhaps been improvised. It's not wacky. It's gentle. There's one ridiculous character (the eight-month-old baby who runs a construction company and talks like a fifty-year-old), but even he gets played oddly straight. Even the title I could imagine happening. It wouldn't even necessarily be an error in Japanese to transliterate "full" as "fool", or else you could see it as fair comment on the state of current world leaders. (The show never goes there, though. The nearest it gets to parody is the foodie show in ep.3 that shreds the genre with lots of Japanese wordplay. That might be my favourite episode, actually.)
Our two newscasters are Shimohira (female, friendly, relaxed even when saying silly things) and Takahashi (male, kind of nervous). They're drawn with weird mouths and the kind of simple art style that I think is probably CGI animation under a deliberately crude cel-traced skin. (Look at how they preserve their 3D shape when our angle of vision changes. That would fit my improvisation hypothesis since there are other short-form CGI anime where all the dialogue's improvised, although I think this show's at least 95% scripted. The main giveaway is that it's good.)
There's a fattish production assistant whose voice actor is giving him a bit of a fat voice. It's not too horrible, but it's there. There are some complete whack jobs who get invited in as guest commentators to talk about the day's news stories. There's also a bit of a recap episode in ep.7, which blew my mind. (Why would you need to fill in time with a recap episode in a format this short, with animation this simple?)
Is there a plot? Sort of, maybe, for about an episode and a half at the finale. This isn't a plot-based show. There's not much to talk about here, really. It's the kind of relaxing anime you might watch before bed, but it's not so empty that you couldn't watch the whole show back-to-back if you wanted. The quiet, character-based humour means that it sustains extended viewing better than a lot of more frantic shows. (Mind you, ep.6 is an alt-universe episode in which the TV show is happening in pre-medieval Japan.) It also has delightful jazz opening and closing theme music, which I never skipped even though that must have been 30% of the total running time. This is the kind of show that's quite nice and you'd probably enjoy it if you watched it, but it's an inconsequential animated doodle that doesn't matter and you wouldn't lose a minute's sleep if you lost all your copies of it. It has gentle charm, though.