How Bad Would You Want a Girlfriend?
One tough guy: check. One shy girl: check. A typical romance? I donít think so.
Studio Perriot, which has put out a number of shows in the past, recently the highly successful Naruto, is doing something a little bit different. They did put out one of the most famous romance/comedies of all time, Fushigi Yuugi, and it seems like they are back at it again. Now Studio Perriot, along with Bandai Visual and TOHO, have released another title that will soon not be forgotten, Midori No Hibi (to be called My Days with Midori when it makes its way over here). The great news is that we're lucky enough here that Media Blaster has already licensed it. For years now, Media Blaster has been bringing us love stories, but for once this is a love story without any love making.
Midori No Hibi is one of those very few animes that really stands out from the crowd. When you're done watching it, you'll have a hard time comparing this to another show you've seen. If you're expecting something you've seen before when watching this anime, you'll certainly be in for a shock, because odds are you haven't seen anything like this before.
Midori No Hibi is a romance/comedy, but with a twist. Let me first set up the story for you. It's about Seiji, a high school student that likes to get into fights, and it seems like that's all that he's good at. Basically, all he does is beat people up with his "devil" right hand. The people who dare to confront him fear this hand of his and for very good reason. Not only does Seiji get into a lot of fights, but he also wins a lot of fights. Since Seiji gets into a lot of fights and beats up a lot of people, everyone is scared of him. This is where Seiji's true problem comes in. He wants more then anything to have a girlfriend, however, all the girls are afraid of him. It seems that being known as the toughest kid around also comes with its drawbacks, because he can't seem to make a good impression with a girl.
Recently, he has asked out twenty girls and been rejected every time, so it seems that poor Seiji will never be able to find himself a girl. During the first episode, we get his take on this as he's picturing himself being rejected when he's an old man. There is some hope for Seiji though, and that hope is Midori. We never really find out, but she's about two years younger then Seiji and has had a crush on him for three years now. This is where Midori's true problem comes in. She has never said anything to him (I did say she was a shy girl). During the show, we see clips of her at the train station, watching Seiji and trying to build up the courage to talk to Seiji, but she never can. We get to witness as Midori wants to say something to Seiji before he passes and just as she's about to speak, it's too late and he has already left. It seems that poor Midori will never be able to talk to her love Seiji. Soon enough, both of their problems will be "fixed" in a very unconventional way.
One morning, Seiji wakes up to a girl's voice, but has no clue where it's coming from. It only gets louder and louder, and he's really starting to freak out now because he has no idea where this girl's voice is coming from. Finally after some pretty funny moments, Seiji and all of us get to see where this girl is. The girl's voice that he was hearing was coming from his right hand, because now his right hand is a girl, and the girl is Midori. I did say that the problem was "fixed", right?
I know that you must be thinking that this is either a hentai or it has to be one of the dumbest animes out there, but it turns out that this happens to be one of the most charming and funny animes since the likes of Fruits Basket. Throughout this short thirteen episode show, you get to see a relationship grow between Seiji and Midori, and you find out exactly why this happened. You get more then enough comedy, and of course some fan service, but this is mostly from a girl the size of a right hand or Seiji's sister who isn't one of the most attractive female characters in anime history. Somehow this show manages to make you almost forget about the incredible thing that has just happened, letting the romance between the two characters shine through. This does seem to be a difficult task, but a strong and enjoyable relationship emerges in this series. Midori No Hibi works for what it is. This show isn't trying to be anything that it's not; it's a wacky, offbeat, original comedy that also gives you very charming and believable love story. Midori No Hibi being only thirteen episodes helps this show out. Any more episodes and this show would have been pushing it, but for a short comedy series it works.
Yuko Kusumoto does the character designs for this show, drawing on her strong background on shows such as Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi and Fushigi Yuugi. The character designs are something that almost any anime fan can appreciate. Along with the work of Yuko Kusumoto, the art director is Junichi Higashi, who has worked on such shows as Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi, Cowboy Bebop, Escaflowne The Movie, RahXephon and Vandread, just to name a few. With impressive names like this working on a show, anime fans should know that they are in for a real treat. Certain shows seem to nail down the character designs and have them fit the show to a tee, and Midori No Hibi is one. The extreme expressions to show shock, sadness, anger, or any number of a certain emotions are done perfectly here.
Midori No Hibi has a heart-felt ending song that matches the show perfectly; it really sums up Midori very well.
This may sound crazy, but somehow Midori No Hibi manages to get around the whole physics behind "hand turning into girl", doing a good job in explaining why it actually happened in the first place. During the last couple of episodes, you'll find out why something like that could happen, and the answer adds to the story and character depth. The fact that there actually is some depth here is surprising enough. The story flows well throughout all the episodes, never seeming to be rushed or dragging on. You get to meet a few secondary characters, most of whom are reasonably enjoyable and add spice to the story, but the focus is always on Seiji and Midori.
Midori No Hibi is a fresh and original anime that adds something new. This certainly won't blow you away, but if you can get past the odd, almost incomprehensible premise behind the show, you'll be treated to a very cute and charming show that you'll most certainly enjoy.