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Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight Ep1-12 (complete) June 10, 2007

Posted by ayasawada in Anime.


In short: まっすぐGO!

Thoughts: Enjoyable right through without ever being totally amazing, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight had charm enough to win the hearts of many otaku.

I’m a sucker for sweet slice-of-life comedies that star groups of, erm, young-ish looking girls (hmm. Don’t say the L word). Azumanga Daioh, Ichigo Mashimaro and Kamichu! come to mind. They’re easy to relate to empathise with, have adorable characters and an amiable storyline that’s enough to whisk you away from the harshities of life. But slice-of-life shows also run the risk of being a bit dull and need strong characters to keep the viewer interested. Lucky Manabi has that x5.

Manabi benefits from stellar animation by Ufotable, an impressive seiyuu cast (including the omnipresent Aya Hirano and Yui Horie). But it also has humour and heart that stays (just about) the right side of corny. It also knows it’s audience: who can forget the spit-out-your-coffee not-so-subtle fanservice?

I agree with Omni over at Random Curiosity, looking back, it feels very much like the story of Mikan, the original member of the student council and the one who ends up leaving in the end. It was also very sweet to see the gang back together years later. And great to see the return of victory pose (pic from Random C)! Like Omni, I also really enjoyed the soundtrack, particularly the ‘Intermission’ clap-track used for the next episode previews. Kind of fits in with the random new-age technology of the show.

Overall, Manabi is a really good bit of light entertainment: sweet, funny and with a nice message about friendship.


1. K-ON! Eps 1-12 (complete) « Canned Memory - June 24, 2009

[…] show normally screams off-beat hit for me (I am, after all a sucker for stuff like Azumanga Daioh, Manabi Straight and Ichigo Mashimaro), and with the hallowed KyoAni at the helm I was totally expecting another […]

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