Friday, 1 July 2011

だめっこどうぶつ / Damekko Doubutsu / Useless Animals

Damekko Doubutsu is a simple comedy of reversed expectations: it revolves around a forest full of anthropomorphised animals (generally made to look like humans wearing kigurumi pyjamas) who act totally contrary to how their animals are usually personified. At its centre is Uruno, a wolf who acts timid and childish, contrasted with Usahara, a brash, rough-talking bully of a rabbit. Similarly, the cheetah character is hopeless as running, the eagle is myopic and the unicorn enjoys cruel tricks. In a series of five-minute shorts, the concept is explored in a way that presumably wrote itself: it’s entertaining just watching the group of misfits interacting and ending up in silly situations.

An addictive rapid-fire opening song doesn’t hurt. Benkyou dame demo kakekko biri demo kokutte furaretemo *squdgiuu*

Animated by Magic Bus, a small studio generally known for doing additional in-between work and assistance, it’s a small-scale project based on a manga from a magazine that really doesn’t get many anime adaptations. But it’s funny, cute, likeable and silly, and does exactly what it should – in bite-sized chunks.

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