Power Word: Please!

I’ve been looking at some of the blog posts and online reactions to Ano Natsu de Matteru. The general concensus can be categorized into three bins: 1) those who has seen and enjoyed the Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins series, 2) those who did not enjoy those two shows, and 3) those who knew nothing about them until recently.

I find the general concept of AnoNatsu intriguing, coming from a reboot perspective. I think this guy kind of points out the problem–or better put, the trick. Does AnoNatsu stand on its own? I think that isn’t a question that those in groups one and two can truly answer, and Chris B. is firmly in that category. Actually, he kind of comes off clueless there, but that’s not the point I want to get at.

The general reaction among the 3 groups are:

Group one typically loves AnoNatsu just purely running on nostalgia alone. To use a sweet analogy, it’s like Peanut M&Ms, but now you have Almond M&Ms. And typically people who like nuts like both. We’re (because that’s who I am) the kind of people who gets excited seeing Ichika wearing something like Mizuho’s negligee or understand the secret behind Remon’s identity (as oppose to merely having knowledge of who she is). We are, I guess, Hayama. Actually, it’s more than just that. Some people get really into it and there’s plenty of Easter eggs in AnoNatsu that you can get tripping with both the new material and the old material and how the old material is in the new material. That’s three-fer-sugar high, to extend the sweet analogy.

Group two are, I hate to say it, made up largely of stereotypical Americans that gets hung up on teenage sex fantasies. Of course there are some legitimate complaints here and the Oneti/Onetwi series is all about adolescent romantic fantasies as a core component of that magic, so invariably some people will have issues with that. It is kind of interesting to see how people react to it now that they’ve been armed with 10 years of fandom vocabulary and development that wasn’t present back when Onetwi was around. I think regardless, AnoNatsu comes off somehow different than the genre tropes people are used to, even for this group, and I’ll get to that in a moment.

Naturally I am most interested in the opinion of people in Group Three. I think what made Oneti and Onetwi fun to watch is present in AnoNatsu so I expect that new viewers to find themselves reacting to it the way we did 10+ years ago. It helps that there’s a good amount of self-selection going on, given AnoNatsu doesn’t beat around the bush and doesn’t distinguish itself beyond that it is the spiritual successor of the Please! franchise. Also I think people prefer that to begin with. For example, like what this ANN reviewer said. I think just like back then, Please Teacher and Twins are romantic comedies for guys that actually walked that really scandalous road where fantasies are fulfilled from the get go, rather than a carrot on a stick form that is way too typical (especially given the constraints of serialized manga publication). From there, the rest of the show is set up to exploit that tension of fantasy being reality, but with a twist. (It slightly deviated from the typical Alien Girlfriend plot generator.)

[Well, If Ah My Goddess can do it, anyone can too. Also if you review anime for $, please do me a favor: Please do not quote from TVTropes unironically.]

I think more importantly it isn’t common to see reboots drag new fans into the fold of old, the original series, in this genre. I mean I can’t remember a single time when people quoted either Oneti or Onetwi in their “must watch” list. But for entertainment, I think they are a good time for everyone. It’s neat to see that some people are really enjoying it today even when they missed out 10 years ago.

PS. There is actually a mysterious fourth group of reactions that I left out: Those people who know about Please Teacher from way back but forgot Please Twins existed. They … are a fun group to watch. A bit of category 1 and 2 in those.


6 responses to “Power Word: Please!

  • Fencedude

    This is an interesting show to watch from a Meta perspective, the reactions to it are just as interesting as the show itself. Personally, I’m firmly in Camp 1, though to be honest, I was never a huge fan of Onegai Teacher, but adored Onegai Twins. I think this is mostly because Mizuho isn’t my personal sex goddess, so I never really bought into the conceit of the show. I enjoyed it, but it just never did it for me. Also, Twins was one of the first shows I watched as airing (2003 was when I really got into week-by-week watching), and so have more vivid memories of it than of Teacher.

    ANYWAY, I’m thoroughly enjoying AnoNatsu (I love Ichika, way more than Mizuho, or even Karen and Miina), and I personally think that the show is basically a love-letter to fans of the Onegai franchise.

    I’m really curious to see how much of the stuff about Lemon will actually go somewhere, or if its just a huge inside joke. It could go either way at this point.

  • Smithy

    Well I liked Onegai Teacher and Onegai Twins when they aired and I’m liking AnoNatsu so far, the series feels right as a romantic comedy with some serious elements, some comedy and some sci-fi all mixed in and looks like it at least will have a serious love pairing instead of an undecided, uninspared harem.

    In fact out of nostalgia, popped in DVD volume 1 of Onegai Teacher to rewatch some of that fun series. Watching the DVD on an HD television also drives home how far we’ve come technically with animation in the HD age.

  • omo

    Love letter to the fans, yeah it is exactly that…and much more. I’m kind of curious about the “much more” aspect I guess. And it isn’t really a thing for just fans, but just anyone who can fondly remember that show.

    And as mentioned elsewhere, there is a Blu-ray re-release of Onegai Teacher in Japan next week~
    http://www.amazon.co.jp/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005ITTNK6/rankbank-22/

  • jpmeyer

    armed with 10 years of fandom vocabulary and development

    You know, if there’s one phrase developed in that period that doesn’t apply here, it’s “lolipedo moeshit”.

    (As opposed to say, “Suuuuuuuuuuuuure is oedipal in here!”)

  • omo

    We need onegai loli to test that.

  • Mike

    It is an interesting tension—I’m viewing (and evaluating) Ano Natsu pretty much as an Onegai Teacher reboot, even though one could argue in all fairness that since it’s really isn’t, it shouldn’t be judged as such. So I guess I fall in group 1, seeing that Onegai Teacher was a show I loved from my early fandom in college. I knew there was something a bit special about Yousuke Kuroda’s writing of that show even then, when I was exposed to far less anime, and I’m seeing those strengths again in Ano Natsu. I do hope he does something different though this time around, just to see how he might have evolved in 10 years in both his outlook on life and approach to anime.

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