Sketchbook ~full color’s~: Be Wary of That Which is Cute (namely, the dog)

Daichi is quite terrified of this demonic Satan-beast. As should you be, dear reader, as should you be.

So I’m behind on Sketchbook ~full color’s~ and quite rapidly rectifying that situation. After staring at homework for hours, a dose of relaxing, soothing, and clever light comedy is just what the doctor ordered. What I really like about this series is the clever comic direction. Every gag is impeccably timed. The gags themselves are quite clever, and, although in my long hiatus from the series I had forgotten about the specifics of the characters, I remember pretty fast. That means that Sketchbook has what a comedy truly needs: strong characterization. What drives a good comedy is not necessarily the wacky antics, but the characters; put another way, you could say that a good comedy is created by creating a bunch of outlandish characters, winding them up, and setting them loose to bounce and prey off each other for hilarious results. Which is exactly what Sketchbook has done, created a set of mostly two-dimensional characters, each with their own wacky personality (in this case, “two-dimensional character” isn’t a negative attribute; indeed, in a straight-up no-holds-barred comedy, the flatter the character, the funnier the results usually are), and set them loose.

The results are, needless to say, quite fun to watch. The series isn’t laugh-out-loud, oh-god-my-sides-hurt like, say, Potemayo was, but that’s not what it’s set out to do, which means it succeeds. It’s gently, heartwarmingly silly, and that is a good thing. It’s the perfect endcap to a busy, frantic, hectic day: twenty-four minutes of tranquility. And it’s well-done to boot, so watching it means you can exercise your brain somewhat, if you choose to=–but I don’t recommend engaging your brain while watching. But you, of course, already knew that, having already finished the series far sooner than I did.

The exception to the “wacky personality” rule is Sora herself, although she’s definitely not your everyday schoolgirl. I think she’s a fine “protagonist”, in that she has a pleasant, if quirky, personality. She is most definitely about stopping every so often to smell the roses (or, being Sora, drawing a picture of them), a philosophy which I believe firmly in. The overall message of the series is a simple one, so simple that it gets overlooked: why rush through life? Today only comes once, so take a break and enjoy it. It’s a common message, and certainly the sort of audience for Sketchbook will already know this particular philosophy, but I think Sketchbook, through Sora, does a good job of communicating this message. It’s not about the big contests to get more money or save the world or do something important to be remembered by. It’s about living. Which we all do. So, uh, get out there and live some more! 生きろ! Yeah, that works.

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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a ridiculously long and only partially organized list of subjects


March 2008

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