The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Otona Joshi no Anime Time

Title: Otona Joshi no Anime Time
Genre: Drama/Romance
Company: Various
Format: 4 Episodes
Dates: 1 Jul 2011, 10 Mar 2013 – 24 Mar 2013

Synopsis: A collection of award winning short stories written by women for women which details the struggles of the modern woman.
Kawamo wo Suberu Kaze – A career woman brings her son to her hometown to visit her family, returning from abroad to a town full of memories.
Yuuge – A housewife falls in love and moves in with a garbageman.
Jinsei Best 10 – An 40 year old office lady meets an ex-boyfriend at a school reunion, and begins introspecting the past and present.
Dokoka Dewanai Koko – A working mother slowly loses her zeal for life in the midst of a  personal crisis.

The Highlights
Diverse Production: Changing up studios, authors and directors each episode.
Josei Focus: Something for the X chromosome(s) in you.
Mood: Enchanting and relaxing.
Soundtrack: Vibrant and varied score that remains thematically fitting throughout.

Otona Joshi no Anime Time is indeed anime meant for adult women. A collection full of gentleness and wistfulness, these are reflections of lives gone by. There are several fundamental questions regarding our life’s journey that often flows into our subconscious: Where am I, how did I get here, and where am I going? Otona Joshi attempts to explore these questions through their characters, as we experience with them the struggles and fears of the modern woman.

The common themes of regret and powerlessness resonates throughout the series. These characters are trapped in their own cages, be it emotional, relational or situation. Life in a love-less marriage. Lonesome spinsterhood at 40. Estrangement and indifference from the family. These are cages which they have unwittingly put themselves in as a result of their bad decisions and indiscretions, and must achieve closure in their hearts to be able to set themselves free. Free and unburdened to carve out a life in this world in which they can be satisfied with.

There is wondrous enjoyment to be garnered from the little details that are littered throughout the series. This is not a show to play in the background for quick laughs, but rather one to take time to appreciate the subtle nuances and the interactions between the characters. The character development here is gradual ad tender. Every second reveals more about the central players, as you see how everything slowly guides them in their inner journey towards their closure.

Each episode has a certain manner of unique charm contained within. Kawamo displays a fair amount of sentimentalization and melancholy, while being accompanied by a delicate piano score. Yuuge uses an interesting live-action and animation fusion that provides a visual metaphor which contrasts the character’s outlook at different times. Jinsei is cheery and cute, and is able to laugh at itself rather than mope in the face of disappointment and despair. Dokoka delivers an inspirational payoff after a realistic and suffocating buildup.

Otona Joshi was a fresh and delightful experiment, with a different production team, directors, and authors, for each episode. Connecting them is Mine Kawakimi, who scores each episode in a way that suits their tone. It’s enjoyably different from the usual fare that wastes time trying to provide a broad appeal; rather, it delivers stories that hit home for their target audience. I dream that one day it is picked up by noitaminA and more of these vignettes are produced.

The Rating: 8

Reviewed by: Slashe

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