One of the more attention grabbing shows this summer, no thanks to Maaya Sakamoto and the slice of life thingy going on with it, the first episode of Binbo Shimai has it’s ups and downs. For the unintiated, the story is about Kyou(15) and Asu(9) Yamada, sisters whose mom had died and their father ran away because of his gambling debts, leaving both of them alone.
The first episode has the *hanabi taikai* as the main story, with the umbrella story amalgamated in as a flashback. Asu gets mad at Kyou for using the money she had saved up to enjoy the festival for a *yukata* instead. Upon trying to return the *yukata*, the shopowner told about how hard Kyou searched for the same patterned *yukata* for her and Asu decides to wear the *yukata* in the end.
Starting with the downs, the execution was kinda sucky as they took the drama elements too seriously in my opinion. I’d wished they made the happier ones first and did this maybe on the 3rd or 4th episode. Of course, thanks to the manga’s arrangement, it is easy to shuffle the stories around (this episode was chapter 09 in the manga) but I felt they took the sad elements a bit too seriously for my liking.
Another is Asu’s seiyuu, Tomoko Kaneda. I’d expected a less squeakier voice for Asu, since her character type is of the *masegaki* and Tomoko’s high-pitched voice is totally wrong for her. In fact, I felt that the seiyuu herself was trying to tune down her squeakiness. Better seiyuu’s I can think of for Asu are Yukari Tamura (based on her Ichigo performance in Onegai Sensei) or maybe Mika Kanai. Any other suggestions my dear readers?
On the plus side, the intro and outro sequences of Aya Hisakawa’s narration as the Mother was quite a nice addition and added in a touching element to this episode. Another is the piggy bank, who seems to be made into a kind of passive watcher for the sisters. It was quite funny to see the piggy’s reactions to the sisters.
I’ll be trying out Binbo Shimai’s next few episodes and hopefully it will turn out to be a good slice-of-life series on par with ARIA. For those expecting anything outstanding or extraordinary, Binbo Shimai probably won’t live up to it…. unless there Binbo Shimai turns Yuri Shimai. Probably won’t happen anyways :P.