Final Review: Binbougami ga!

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Binbougami ga! is based off an ongoing manga featuring Ichiko Sakura who supposedly draws good fortune away from others and to her, making her one of the “luckiest” and “fortunate” girls alive. However, this is supposedly causing the world to fall out of balance in terms of fortune distribution. As such, Momiji, the God of Misfortune, is assigned to extract “some” of Ichiko’s fortune and redistribute it to re-balance the world. Of course, Ichiko doesn’t buy this gimmick and her good fortune continues to protect her from Momiji’s repeated attempts, for now that is. Binbougami ga! aired during the Summer 2012 anime season and was simulcasted and licensed by Funimation.

Binbougami ga! can be summed up in one word: Surprising. The show is literally the surprise of the season and most definitely in a good way. The show starts off with a premise similar to Nekogami Yaoyorozu but then quickly shifts gears to become a massive slapstick comedy whose quality could potentially rival that of Seitokai no Ichizon’s and Gintama’s. The comedy isn’t cheap comedy either like Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and instead references are blatantly clear. The characters are a likable bunch albeit a bit on the creepy side at times. The comedy also mixes up making each episode constantly different and enjoyable to watch. I should also note that the contents for the episodes are often kept concise making very little room for fluff and filler. Conclusion wise, the final arc was nice to see Momiji’s “alternate” personality even though the end was more or less predictable.

Art is well drawn for this show. Colorful and detailed with interesting character designs, particularly for Momiji and her teddy bear. Even the supporting characters have at least some effort put into them with the different variety of characters. Animation is by Sunrise and unexpectedly very good for a title that lacks mecha and again, comparable with Gintama, which happens to also be by Sunrise. The “action” and movements in this show have a good variety simple and complex motion, particularly when Ichiko summons her little “friends.”

OP/ED themes are catchy. Personally I prefer the OP theme much more than the ED theme though. Background music is above average and sound effects are perfect. Seiyuu wise, Kana Hanazawa was fantastic as Ichiko and Yumi Uchiyama, who is still relatively new, did a decent job as Momiji. Haruka Tomatsu as Ranmaru was nice given that it was her Beelzebub voice and something I never thought I would hear again. The rest of the cast is okay or generally forgettable due to their lack of appearance in the series.

Enjoyment? This series was absolutely awesome to watch. The comedy does dwindle a little bit towards the end of the season but it’s decent “plot” made up for it quite a bit. It definitely became a show to look forward to on a weekly basis. Maybe not so much like Sword Art Online or Accel World but definitely a solid second in that regard. However, at the end of the day, I will say that I enjoyed this far more than Accel World.

Overall, Binbougami ga! was a surprise, being a far more entertaining slapstick than one likely had anticipated. It’s content rivals that of Gintama’s and given the amount of weak comedy titles as of late, Binbougami ga! definitely hit the spot. It’s definitely a better show than the recently ended Sket Dance and whether next season’s Seitokai no Ichizon 2 can top it remains to be seen. The show also shows that Sunrise can still make good titles outside action mecha ones and Gintama, if they at least try.

 

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0.5/1): Startup is like Nekogami Yaoyoruzu crossed with Hayate no Gotoku!
  • Character Personalities (1/1): Quite the interesting cast. Good variety.
  • Character Development (1.5/2): Solid dives on Ichiko’s past and why she became who she is. Also had some development on supporting characters like Ranmaru.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (1.5/2): Small main cast. Secondary cast doesn’t pop up that often and maintains appropriate level of appearance.
  • Pacing: (1/1): Fair pacing. Nothing seen as blatantly wrong.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): This is a slapstick involving gods and you expect reason? If you factor those in, the show is quite tamed with a few exceptions.
  • Conclusion (0.5/1): Predictable ending but otherwise fair ending
  • Total: 7/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1.5/2): Colorful and detailed. A few hiccups every now and then though.
  • Character Designs (2/2): Solid variety and interesting designs
  • Fluidity (1.5/2): Good mix-ups of simple and complex animations. Could be a bit better in quality though.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Very flashy with non-blinding effects and decent visual appeal, particularly Ichiko’s little friends.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (1.5/2): Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou or Gintama would be the most appropriate comparisons and I would say this is definitely on par with Gintama and certainly better than Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou.
  • Total: 8.5/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2/3): Decent OP theme. ED theme is okay at best.
  • Background Music (1.5/2): Above average background music.
  • Sound Effects (2/2):  Fantastic sound effects.
  • Seiyuu (2.5/3): Solid seiyuu cast. Yumi Uchiyama did a decent job as Momiji but some improvements could be made.
  • Total: 8/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (1.5/2): Jokes are very well done. The visuals of them were also incredibly solid.
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1.5/2): High anticipation but not as much as say Accel World or Sword Art Online. More enjoyable than Accel World though.
  • Presentation (2/2): Easy and enjoyable watch. Not much continuity makes it relatively easy for pick ups and drop offs.
  • Re-watchable (0.5/1): Some
  • Recommendation (1/2): On par with Gintama humor quality but I’d prefer Gintama more due to a more likable cast and interesting setting(s). One of the better slapstick comedies in a long time.
  • Value (0.5/1): Likely underrated and missed by many. Long term may not have that big of an impact though.
  • Total: 7/10

Preliminary Score: 6/10

Final Score: 8/10

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