Title: Binbougami Ga!
TV Series; Episodes 13
Calling Ichiko Sakura a lucky girl would be an understatement. She has so much luck that it creates a vortex in the fortune/misfortune continuum, and causes despair to those around her. In order to set things right, the gods send in Momiji, a goddess of misfortune, to drain Ichiko of her excess fortune and return peace to the world.
It’s fun premise that serves as a great set up for the slapstick shenanigans that ensue. Ichiko and Momiji butt heads repeatedly throughout the thirteen episodes that create some memorable moments throughout the show. I can’t say that there wasn’t an outing where I didn’t laugh out loud so hard that the other people in my house wondered if something was wrong with me.
But surprisingly enough, Binbougami Ga! isn’t a one trick pony. It likes to mix things up with some parody and meta-comedy as well. Some of the most standout moments include a parody to Death Note, an homage to Fist of the North Star and an ode composed by a couple side character for the fanservice episode. I can’t forget to mention the fantastic Dragon Ball Z gags.
Not everything was just shits and giggles though. At times the show would switch gears into dramatic scenes as a means for character development. While I appreciate the effort, at times it seemed to heavy handed for a show that seems to just want to have a good time. Early the series becomes a rollercoaster ride, with exhilarating highs and truly despairing lows.
But are the histrionics worth it? Considering they are the foundation for the series’ maturity from being just another comedy, they could be called necessary evils. At times though, it just seems like lazy scripting, where sentimentality is used to propel the characters rather than proper plotting and dialogue. I must commend the series for finding a good balance near the end of show where it begins to blend the its two modes seamlessly. That’s when the narrative and writing truly excels.
Binbougami Ga! has a very well selected cast. The two leads, Momiji and Ichiko, are both firebrands that give this show its spark. At times it does seem like all they want to do is kill one another, but as the show progresses, they begin to betray a bit of their depth. They’re not particularly fascinating by any means, but the two are likable and aren’t the usual two dimensional fair comedies usually offer. What more could you ask for?
How about a fantastic supporting cast. A horny priest, a masochistic transforming dog, and a pink haired female karate champion round out the crew. There isn’t much to them other than their idiosyncratic personalities, but they help highlight the heroines of the show. At times it does seem like they are serving as plot devices, but as long they make me laugh, it’s forgiven.
The art production for this show is serviceable enough. A bright and upbeat palette help set the atmosphere. Action sequences are aptly animated, but they aren’t anything to write home about. It’s true strength lies in its diversity. Scenes effortlessly switch between art styles depending on the gag, from the dark thick lines of Death Note to the sparse shounen forms of Dragon Ball Z.
Aurally the production shines. “Make My Day!” by Piko is a jovial opening that never fails to get stuck in my head. “Koi Boudou (恋暴動)” by HAPPY BIRTHDAY is definitely a grower. The vocals seems just as strange as the show and is a stark contrast to the clean voice of the opener. Regardless, it found a place in my heart only after a few episodes.
Kana Hanazawa (Ichiko) and Yumi Uchiyama (Momiji) give dynamic performances that fit their respective characters perfectly. The rest of the seiyuu do a respectable job in bringing their characters to life. Often, voice acting for a comedy can be difficult, as a joke is only as good as the delivery. There are a few misses, but to their credit, they hit more often.
It’s easy to recommend Binbougami Ga! to any fan. It’s not perfect by any means, but its a feel good show that’s worth the watch. If you’re the type that needs your shows to artistic or philosophical bent to them, then maybe you should stay away. For the rest, enjoy the ride.