Quote of the Moment

"Beep Industries currently has no openings. This is a good thing. Any number of career paths are better than game development. Lots of jobs are more lucrative and far less work. We hear marketing and animal husbandry are filled with potential."

Thursday, May 31, 2007

TV Review: Shin-Chan

For my first non-introductory post, I'll kick it off with a review of one of the animes I'm currently enjoying, Shin-Chan. I'll try to set up a format that I'll use for all subsequent reviews.

Show Name: Shin-Chan.
Genre: Comedy Anime
Network/Timeslot: Cartoon Network, 12:30am Mon-Thurs
Appropriate for Ages: Old enough to watch South Park

Shin-Chan is a slice-of life anime dealing with the trials and tribulations of its protagonist, the overly self-aware first grader Shin, and his baby sister, overworked and cranky mother, and dead-end job working salesman father. I find the show hilarious, with the best bits being the ones with some slight basis in reality, that remind me either of myself as a child, or of my kids now. To me, that's some of the best kind of humor: the kind that can make you laugh at yourself, at your own foibles, and at the stuff that sometimes seems so serious.

It's not everyone's bag of candy though. Mrs. Caster was in the room for one episode and went to bed afterwards saying she felt dumber just for having heard the show. If cartoon first-graders with potty mouths offend or annoy you, just pass this one by. Also, the art style, while less ugly than South Park (and really, just about anything short of stick figures looks better than South Park) is still minimalist to the point of ugly. Presumably this is a result both of the show having a slim production budget, and also that it was originally created in 1990.

Like all animes on Cartoon Network, Shin-Chan has been dubbed into English. While I'm sure this upsets and annoys some purists, for a show that involves Family Guy proportions of pop-culture references, it's probably a good thing, and the re-writes are generally pretty sharp. A woman in the supermarket begging Shin to "Be her Bill O'Reilly" and tell her what she needs to think is a lot funner to me and likely most Americans than whatever Japanese cultural reference was originally there.

Final Analysis: If you like South Park or Family Guy, give it a shot. Because it makes me laugh consistently, I give it a 4.5 out of 5.