Company: Doumo/Starchild Records
Air Dates: 8 Oct 2007 – 31 Dec 2007
Synopsis: The three Minami sisters Chiaki, Kana, and Haruka have been living together for quite some time. Haruka is the oldest and the motherly figure of the group. Kana is more of the problem child whose energy often causes her to get in trouble and Chiaki is the youngest, but is fairly intelligent and has a sarcastic side to her as she belittles those she finds stupid. Together, these sisters live life normally with a few interruptions coming in the way such as school, creepy upperclassmen, cross-dressing classmates, or Kana’s antics.
- SENSEI!!!! NINOMIYA-KUUUUUUN!!!!
- Comedy has good execution and is accessible to a wide audience
- Hosaka is awesome in all sorts of disturbing ways
- Comedy can be a bit inconsistent at times, especially during the first half of any given episode
- The addition of the Minami brothers should have been done sooner
Review: For those who have seen it, Ichigo Mashimaro (Strawberry Marshmallow) presents a series of vignettes about the daily lives of its characters and adds a few comedic touches here and there. Based off of this premise, Minami-ke can be considered Ichigo Mashimaro’s spiritual successor albeit with a larger cast which has the bonus of increasing its comedy potential.
The show’s plot is fairly bare bones since each episode takes you through the sisters’ day. There are few shows that can get away with a simple, plot-less premise than Minami-ke and the reason for it is because of the comedy, which is driven by character interactions. Each of the Minami sisters has a distinct personality and the director made an excellent choice by just letting their personalities bounce off of each other. Of the three, Kana dominates most of the scenes because her ADD-induced loudmouth personality which, when combined with her ability to manipulate others, makes every scene in which she’s involved all the more hilarious with her over-the-top antics. Props also go to Chiaki whose sarcastic remarks are bitingly cruel, but her weak spot for Haruka is exploitable, allowing Kana to take advantage of her easily.
Some of the other characters are also worth mentioning because they are unforgettable. Hosaka’s role as the overbearingly creepy guy who’s out to steal Haruka’s heart never gets tiring because of the amazingly scary levels of narcissism that he displays. Watching his internal monologues, his disturbing fantasies, and him removing his shirt in erotic ways inspires a mixture of fear and awe, leading one to question his sanity if it weren’t for his ability to add to the hilarity. Makoto’s character is also adds to the fun when he begins exploring his feminine side by cross-dressing. The only bad thing is that this shtick tends to burn out a bit more quickly because amusing as it may be, there’s not too much depth beyond the fact that he enjoys doing it and must always hide in fear of being discovered as a boy wearing girls’ clothing.
The cast does get bigger towards the end with the late introduction of the Minami brothers. This addition is both a boon and a bane in that the Minami brothers are able to prevent the series from becoming stale. For example, the middle Minami brother’s personality complements Hosaka’s and both together design hilariously poor plans to catch Haruka’s attention. But the humor the brothers bring to the stage does have a slight downside. Because of how funny they were when they appear and interact with the sisters, I can’t help but speculate at the comedic potential that could have been explored had they been introduced sooner.
Minami-ke may be a simple series at heart, but its ability to make me laugh and keep me entertained means that it has done its job. And coming from a comedy series, there isn’t much more that you can ask of it.