I’ve started watching old anime lately, because the new ones are kinda boring. Moe here, moe there, moe everywhere. If it’s not pantsu, it’s boobies. Even the dudes aren’t that manly anymore. K Project, Code Breaker, Kuroko no Baske… most of these anime are for fujoshi consumption. Now, I’ll take you back in time, when everything was simpler and those OPs and EDs were not set on maximum auto-tune.
Midori no Hibi or known in English as Midori’s Days is a shounen romance comedy anime. That’s right, shounen romance comedy. The guy doesn’t get surrounded by 5 idiotic girls who show off their flesh or panties; instead, he gets a cute girl who loves him to the fullest and another one who he rejects.
Seiji Sawamura is known as the “Mad Dog” with the “Devil’s Right Hand”. He’s a delinquent who does nothing but beat up other delinquents from other schools. He only fights for a good cause, but the people around him get the wrong idea and label him as the scum of society. His friends also avoid him. He’s still single, mainly due to the fact that he has been rejected 20 times in a row.
Midori Kasugano is a shy, timid girl who has had a crush on Seiji since middle school. Yeah, people think she’s nuts for liking a delinquent, but she loves Seiji because he’s like her “hero of justice”.
One day, Seiji wakes up to find something wrong with his right hand. A chibi-sized Midori suddenly appeared there overnight! “Holy crap, how did that happen?” was Seiji’s first reaction. Midori also doesn’t know why she’s on Seiji’s right hand, but she tells Seiji right away that she has had a crush on him for a long time. And thus, their days begin…
Here’s something a bit off topic: I first watched this anime in 2007 and I re-watched it in 2013. After 6 years, I finally realize why Midori is on Seiji’s right hand, not his left. Answer: Internet and 9GAG.
Compared to the manga, the anime was pretty short, only 13 episodes. However, Pierrot Studios found a way to cram in the essential details of the manga into the anime: they made a slightly different plot than the manga, which turned out to be quite good. As a manga reader, I wasn’t that disappointed when I watched the anime because all of the important stuff was there and only a bit was left out. So, there’s a way to please both manga readers and anime watchers and perhaps the nit-picky otaku.
The story itself is a pretty genuine idea. I mean, how often do you get a cute girl as your right hand? Plus, the story progresses naturally, no major time-skips or Deus Ex Machinas happen.
Every episode has a story of its own and with its own gags. But, somehow, these episodic stories come together into a nicely put story.
Speaking of fans service, there’s a fair amount of boobies shown in this anime, mostly Midori’s. But it’s not overused and the service occurs naturally.
The only downside of the anime: it was way too short! I would have loved to see Lucy get animated, or the hijinks of Nao and her psychotic dad. But, hey, we can’t appeal to everyone right?
The characters are all unique in their own sense. First, they don’t look similar to one another. Second, they all have their unique nature that fits in perfectly with the plot.
Seiji Sawamura has a kind heart despite being a delinquent. He doesn’t do well with girls and is a bit rowdy, but when it comes to friends, he’ll do anything to help. Part of his kindness comes from his childhood, which is covered a bit in episode 3.
Midori Kasugano may be timid in real life, but as Seiji’s right hand, she’s so cute it gets annoying sometimes. She’s a good cook and always cares for Seiji. There’s no apparent scientific reason for her being on Seiji’s right hand, but the anime (and manga) suggest that her soul wanted to be with Seiji so bad, she ended up there.
Now, Seiji and Midori go well together. After all, behind every fighter, there’s a healer in the back row, and if this was an RPG, Midori would be the cleric and Seiji would be the warrior.
Let’s move on to secondary characters.
We have Miyahara, Seiji’s junior who looks up to him as if he was a god. He’s there for comedy purposes, because he’s the one that Seiji always has to save. If he’s not walking around town, he’s busy getting beat up by other delinquents.
Next is Ayase, the girls who sits next to Seiji. Like any shounen fantasy, she falls in love with Seiji after he saved her from a bunch of delinquents. She’s Midori’s love rival and quite the tsundere. Even though she confesses in the end, she gets rejected.
Shiori is that neighborhood girl (loli alert) who’s a real brat. Although she gets an episode for herself, she has quite a small role besides being an eyecatcher. She’s energetic and naturally, a pre-adolescent brat.
Takamizawa is the damned figure otaku who finds out Seiji’s secret and reveres Midori. He’s a douche sometimes and has suffered from physical damage thanks to Seiji’s chops, but he just wants to be friends.
Rin Sawamura is Seiji’s demon of an elder sister. She’s the reason Seiji has the “Demon Right Hand” in the first place. Some people don’t like Rin because she’s mean to Seiji. I’ll admit that she’s an A-hole, but without that Spartan training, Seiji may not be the hero he is today.
Shingyoji Kota is Midori’s childhood friend who’s a wimp. In fujoshi language, Kota is Seiji’s uke. Kota wants to help Midori wake up, but he also doesn’t want to interfere with her happiness. Kota develops a thing for Seiji after he rescues him from a gang of delinquents.
Cat. Yes, there’s a cat as a character. He’s just there for comedy.
Now, voice acting. The voice acting was superb. You can simply “get” each character’s personality through the voices of the seiyuu. Seiji’s rough voice matched him perfectly and Midori’s high and cute voice is just gold.
Combine all of these characters together and you’ll get the perfect mixture for an interesting comedy/romance anime.
Sadly, the music wasn’t that appealing. The OP theme, “Sentimental” sung by CooRie, was just… okay. The good thing is: no abuse of auto-tune. The BGMs were not that flashy either. The ED theme, “Mou Sukoshi, Mou Sukoshi”, however, is a pretty nice song. I liked the ED as it gave a soothing feeling (mainly because of the acoustics). Overall, the music was simply…. okay.
Graphics and Artwork (4/5)
For a 2004 anime, the characters are nicely drawn. They have their distinctive features: Midori’s large eyes and green hair, Seiji’s somewhat muscular build, and Rin’s sadist glare. Animation quality is somewhat above average, as some animations looked like Flash and were repeated.
The one awesome thing about Midori no Hibi’s artwork is the cityscape. The anime takes place in the city, and though it may not be as flashy as Psycho-Pass, the various backgrounds were simply nostalgic. The trains, the city skyline, the fountain in the park… all elements of a peaceful city, and all were drawn nicely according to 2004 standards.
The verdict: this anime is a must-watch despite its old age. You may complain about graphics, but the story is very original. The characters aren’t that stupid like today’s romance comedies; the girl is normal and the guy isn’t that dense. The amount of panties and fans service is minimum, unlike today’s anime. So, if you ever feel nostalgic, just try and watch Midori no Hibi, and I’ll be sure your hopes in romance comedy will be restored.