The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Midori no Hibi

Title: Midori no Hibi aka Midori Days
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Company: Studio Pierrot
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 4 Apr 2004 – 27 Jun 2004

Synopsis: Sawamura Seiji, also known as the infamous “Mad Dog Sawamura” for his brutal fighting style and powerful right-handed punch, is one of the school’s most feared “delinquents”. He’s capable of everything, it seems… except for finding a girlfriend. When one day he starts wondering if his right hand will remain the only girlfriend in his life, something unusual happens: He wakes up with a young girl named Midori as his right hand – she’s cute, she’s in love with him… and she’s attached to his right wrist…

The Highlights
Plot: Hilarious premise.
Humor: Wackiness galore.
Characters: Quirky and likable.
Drama: Sometimes very powerful.
Music: Catchy and light-hearted.
Fanservice: Too much naked skin.
Mood: Drama doesn’t always work.
Side characters: Unresolved issues galore.
Ending: Forced and weak.

“Will I ever have someone to replace my right hand as my girlfriend?” Answering that question (which quite a few young men must already have asked themselves) by giving poor Seiji a girl as a literal right hand is probably the funniest thing I’ve heard in my entire life. The concept sounds a little perverted (and it’s meant to be), but fortunately, Midori no Hibi refrains from becoming an ecchi series… most of the time, that is.

The show has its greatest moments when it just concentrates on sheer situation comedy, and there is plenty of that coming when you have a tiny nude girl instead of a right hand. Add to that two characters you wouldn’t want to lock dental braces with – Seiji’s dominant sister Rin and the obsessed otaku Takamizawa – that cross paths with our protagonists way too often and you have a guarantee for the wackiest situations since FLCL. And while Rin and Takamizawa are a good start for funny and well fleshed-out side characters, there are a few more, and almost all of them are so quirky and likable you’ll really be looking forward to seeing more of them. Only one of the characters doesn’t work because he has way too little screen time and that is Midori’s friend Kouta.

Midori no Hibi isn’t only about comedy, though… there are quite a few serious moments in the show revolving around Midori’s life before she became Seiji’s hand, and they are sometimes very powerful and captivating. Rather often, what seemed to be an annoying or just funny trait becomes an unresolved, rather serious dilemma in the life of one of the characters. Things aren’t always as funny as they look, and when comedy and drama collide, the series has its strongest moments.

Unfortunately, these moments are rare, and all too often, they are stifled by the only really annoying aspect of Midori no Hibi – the fanservice. There are enough nude breasts in this 13-episode series to outweigh the entire Baywatch cast in the boob department, and there is even a stereotypical onsen episode which only serves the purpose of seeing Seiji’s sister topless. Some dramatic moments are lost to nudity while others don’t work because you just don’t care about the problem which could be resolved if people just started talking with each other. Sorry, this has been done better before – Fruits Basket comes to mind.

As the series progresses, it gets increasingly weak until the final episodes try to resolve everything at once… and fail gloriously. The worst aspect is that the side characters you really started to care for are never resolved and don’t get the happy ending they deserve. Did I say happy ending? They don’t get any ending at all; the script just forgets about them! And as for Midori and Seiji, while their relationship is resolved, it is done forcibly with the infamous Scriptwriter’s Crowbar, and it ends in fifteen minutes of running around and five minutes of stereotypical dialogue. Of course, trying to finish a series based on an unfinished manga isn’t easy, but Midori no Hibi never even comes close to living up to its hilarious premises.

If I still consider this a series worth watching, it’s for the wonderful comedy, the quirky characters and the catchy music. Had Studio Pierrot waited for the manga to be completed (or at least for it to become long enough to make this a 26-episode series), many of the problems could have been prevented. Too much too quickly – that’s Midori no Hibi in a nutshell.

The Rating: 7
7/10

Reviewed by: Taleweaver

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