First Impressions: The Kawai Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior


Very much yes!

In this comedy, the main character is a first-year high school student named Usa (and if you hear that name and picture him a pink bunny rabbit, you're not alone). His parents are being transferred to a new location, leaving Usa to live by himself in an apartment building. Well... sort of, at least. Sharing his room is a perverted masochist named Shiro and along the way we also meet a few other residents of the building including the manager Sumiko, the girl of Usa's dreams Ritsu and Mayumi, a working woman who enjoys getting hammered.

This is a series about their daily lives together and the mayhem that follows them from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep at night. 

Unlike Blade and Soul, I hadn't heard anyone talking about this series after it premiered, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but there are times when no buzz equals bad news. After watching the first episode though I have to wonder: why isn't there any buzz about this one? It's cute, it's funny (well, giggle worthy at least), it's got some very interesting artwork that is almost Shaft-esque in its use of colors and backgrounds...why aren't more people talking about this one? It doesn't make any sense!

I'll be totally honest, I watched this episode and giggled more than a few times at the character humor used throughout the episode. Usa is the obvious straight man to a group of oddballs, and it's done well. The jokes are never too over the top and even border on clever most of the time. There's nothing to complain about there. 

The artwork is very interesting in that the characters are constantly put into different styles or up against unique backgrounds. If there is one thing you can say about this first episode, it's that you will never get bored with the visuals; before you even have a chance to adjust to one art style, you're being introduced to another. 

Even the music in this first episode is very well done. Always matching the scene perfectly while blending into the background, there was never a point while watching this premiere that I felt like the background music was out of place or jarring. It was always a very smooth transition from one scene to the next, and the music played a big role in that. 

The biggest complaint that I have with this episode is the pacing. While the jokes are plentiful and keep things moving forward, I still felt like this twenty-four minute episode was lasting for at least an hour. More than once I looked at the timer for the episode and was surprised to find out how little time had passed. I'm hoping that this is something that is fixed in future episodes, but we'll see about that. 

In the end, this is a solid comedy that had me giggling and enjoying myself throughout the entire run. I'm still unsure on if I will be watching this all the way through to the end, but I do know that my time wasn't wasted in the least by giving this one a chance. If you want a fun comedy this season, this isn't a bad place to look. 

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LB Bryant
LB BryantAssociate Editor   gamer profile

I've been writing about anime and manga either professionally or semi-professionally since August 31st 2005 starting on before graduating up to ICv2 and other sites more + disclosures


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