Saturday, 11 June 2011

りぜるまいん / Rizelmine

Rizelmine is one of the sillier animes I’ve ever seen, typical moé, but very cute and funny and compulsive watching. It’s an undeniably odd series about a teenaged boy who spends all day fantasising about his teacher, who comes home one day to find that three government agents have brought him a young girl who they announce is legally his wife.

Rizel is very cute, very innocent, looks about 8 and…well, despite the probable intention is a long way from sexy. Rizel adores her ‘danna-sama’ (respectful term for husband) and spends all day trying to make him love her as much as she loves him, until he calls her an idiot and she cries – and for some reason, her tears are made of nitro-glycerine, so everything blows up. Told you it was silly.

Aimed squarely at the lolicon fanbase, I don’t think it even hits that mark. Rizel is about as desirable a lover as a baby rabbit. But that doesn’t make it any less fun to watch – Rizelmine was always a safe go-to if I felt I needed cheering up, or wanted to relax. It was simplistic, daft and cutesy, but that was precisely its appeal.

In many ways, Rizelmine was deeply influential, or at least part of a general movement that defined anime in the years since it aired, back in 2002. Cutesy, silly moé anime was a guaranteed hit for years after this, and I feel sure that its success was a part of the decision to make that movement happen. Nothing clever, innovative or deep, but fun, memorable and very, very sweet.

(Expanded from impressions, 19.4.05)

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