Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Tesagure! Bukatsu-mono Spin-off Purupurun Sharumu to Asobou (2015)

Tesagure!  Bukatsu-mono Spin-off Purupurun Sharumu to Asobou is the third season, or spin-off, to Tesagure!  Bukatsu-mono, depending on how you see it.  This time, the cast is partnered with the manga Minarai Megami:  Puru Purun Charm.  In addition to the four main characters from Tesagure, being Yua Suzuki, Hina Satou, Aoi Takahashi and Koharu Tanaka, they are joined by five characters from Puru Purun.  Unfortunately with this spin-off, it doesn't actually do much different and definitely does not breathe anything new to the tried and true formula.  The theme of sitting around a table discussing about random topics is still the main vent, thus there does not seem to be much point in meshing the two worlds together because they are largely played separately.  Having a crossover when you don't have some sort of common drawcard/objective is boring and this is what Spin-off ends up being.

The episodes are somewhat structured that the first short section would have all the characters discussing how the episodes are going, then the first main half would have the Puru Purun characters discussing (later episodes would have a few Tesagure characters join in), before the final half having the Tesagure characters doing what they normally do in their discussions (with select Puru Purun characters joining in).  The two sets of characters feel too discrete in what they are doing for the anime to feel coherent.  Character traits and personalities are exaggerated but they don't develop.  Nevertheless, Aoi is still as funny as ever, and Yua is still dirtier than you'd expect, while Koharu remains with her fixation on hot guys.

All the discussions boils down to is that it constantly reminds the viewer that there is definitely not enough plot to keep the 24 min length of each episode (up from the short 11 mins episodes of the previous two seasons).  It becomes a slog when there is no objective that the plot is aiming towards and the jokes are not that funny, often feeling bland.  Spin-off breaks the fourth wall immediately and waves through the setup with the bare minimum of rationalization.  The fact that the characters are in a dream crops up again, and thus they can collaborate with the Puru Purun characters into an anime.  Characters will also refer to their voice actors and how they are friends, to the point where they even "record on location" and you can hear background noise as they go through a theme park.

It tries a few other things including reusing existing animation and dialogue in a whole episode because "the voice actors couldn't make it to the same session".  However, the dialogue spoken, while the same, is subject to random restrictions (e.g. talk like an old lady, talk with mouths open, crying), unfortunately, as interesting as it sounds, it doesn't work and feels lazy.  There were a few surprising references to other anime and games (including Danganronpa!), which is amusing if you were aware of the works it is referencing.

The anime tries to crossover the series more when a two-episode arc was played as a murder mystery, where the characters have to find the two "yuri wolves", discussing amongst themselves before voting out the suspect.  Like everything else, it fails to capture your attention as once again, there is not enough content, and in this case, it lacks cleverness and suspense to keep it engaging.  At least the topics have a wider scope, they are not limited to club activities, while still seeming somewhat random, covers table tennis, musicals, creating a school song and putting in joke lyrics, Ferris wheels and dentists.

The animation style is different but keeps similar aesthetics, so characters look familiar.  Overall, Tesagure!  Bukatsu-mono Spin-off Purupurun Sharumu to Asobou is one season too much.  The collaboration with characters from another manga is not used to its full potential and just feels tacked on and pointless.  There is not enough content, and the jokes fall flat, such that it cannot fill a 12 episode season of 24 mins each.


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