Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 Notes – Shinbo Presents: Clippy! Wait, What?!

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

This is an interesting show for me, one of the shows I’m most interested and intrigued by, but have the least “hype” for, just because I have no idea what to expect, so I have nothing concrete to hope for. I don’t even know “genre”. I’m just going to watch it and see what it is.

Took 20 screenshots this episode. Mostly starring Ene-blue and Shinbo-Sky-Mustard.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Shinbo being Shinbo (Shaft being Shaft):

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Tsubomi Kido

1) Boy’s hair fluttering makes me think of Araragi from Monogatari. Gears of a clock as we talk of time-travel or repeating time-loops (I’m guessing) is an easy motif.

2) Ah yes, the Shinbo artistic style, hammering away at us. I remember telling my friend, “Bakemonogatari looks as if Madoka and Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei had a love-child,” and he replied, “Yes, they’re both made by Shaft,” and then a light-bulb lit.

3) What an extravaganza of colours.

2) The Return of Clippy!

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Ene AKA Clippy / Enomoto Takane

1) The return of Clippy! I guess even with advanced AI, when they look like (cute?) girls, those helpers still get on your nerves.

2) But in the future, Clippy gets to unmute itself and talk back? Nope, I’m staying in the present, I’m good, yo.

3) “All you do is say the anime wasn’t true to the source material and the voice actress didn’t fit what’s in my head, you do it a whole lot.” – Oh stop it Shaft, talking to your fans! I’m onto you! :P

4) You know that show called “No Game, No Life”? My life is more like, “No Computer, No Life”. I can empathize. I can sympathize.

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Ene AKA Clippy / Enomoto Takane - DeeDee from Dexter's Laboratory - Your worst nightmare

5) Clippy is hell. For all he complained about how she never shuts up, he takes her even as he leaves home. It truly is hell. There is no escape.

6) This program is combining the worst aspects of one’s conscience, girlfriend, and little sister. She’s like DeeDee from Dexter’s Laboratory.

“I can see your soul. I know you reek inside.”

7) I can already see thousands of people using screenshots from this show as their wallpapers.

8) “I’ll probably never set foot outside again, so what the heck.” – And she doesn’t comment on it. Also, since he got Ene, his room became much cleaner. I wonder what’s up.

9) Clippy pls. Also, Shaft, pls. This is becoming self-indulgent.

3) Life is But a Dream!” – More like a Clown-Infested Nightmare:

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - Clown attack

1) “The clowns are coming! The clowns are coming!” – As if this show wasn’t clowning around enough already.

2) And now our MC-kun’s eyes turned red. Interesting.

3) Just Shinbo being self-indulgent / Shinbo.

4) Ah, I see, so it’s not necessarily that we’ve seen what Ene told him after being captured, it’s possible we saw alternate timelines where she said things to him. Time, and time again.

5) Post ED vignette was weird and neat, the most reminiscent of the Kageru Days project stories. Reminded me of Rozen Maiden (2013) with its little stories.

ED/OP – Whatever it is. I’ve never been a huge fan of vocaloids, but I’ve been liking the Kageru Days project songs. This? This was pretty boring to me. Dunno. The visuals in the beginning with the stark monochrome were a bit boring as well, but once they began fleshing out the colours by adding more, it was visually pleasing.

Post Episode Thoughts:

Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 anime notes - SHAFT style

This was certainly something. Weird and incomprehensible, funny and obtuse.

Shaft was certainly going all-out-Shinbo here, and it was definitely self-indulgent. I sometimes wonder if part of that self-indulgent feeling where it feels they are drinking their own koolaid is actually a result of their infamous inability to meet deadlines – of course they re-use characters and backdrops, and go for these stark backgrounds without characters or details – it’s easier, technically. So much easier to make your fingerprint style one that’s also easier to carry out, technically.

Seems next episode is going to be something completely different? So we’re going to tell a whole bunch of vignettes, and then tie them up, perhaps by some recurring characters? Perhaps they’re all the same story, from various angles?

I wonder if watching this show in one go wouldn’t be better, but it might also cause my brain to melt. Ene wasn’t annoying, on herself, through the Clippy flashbacks almost caused physical agony, but they kept her act going way longer than they should have.

Shaft is being self-indulgent here, and I still have no idea where this show is going. Hm.


10 comments on “Mekakucity Actors Episode 1 Notes – Shinbo Presents: Clippy! Wait, What?!

  1. Artemis says:

    I still don’t know what I think of this one. Generally speaking, Shaft doesn’t have a good track record with me – there are one or two exceptions, but I feel like basically all of their work (that I’ve seen, anyway) has been self-indulgent to some extent, and self-indulgent anime usually just annoys me in a vaguely irritating kind of way. Like you though, I don’t know where this show is going at all, and am just curious enough to go in for round 2 next week on the slight chance that I’ll actually find out.

    • I think Shaft is generally self-indulgent at times, but I think a lot of people forget that one of the reasons why Shaft shows look so different from other anime is because Shaft has a history of adapting things with unusual styles. It isn’t always just a case of Shaft dicking about and adding their own style for the hell of it. Take Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, for example. Shaft’s art style in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is both very unique and very faithful to the manga by Kumeta Kōji. Another example of Shaft matching the style of the source work would be Arakawa Under the Bridge.

      Other times, of course, when Shaft is adapting a LN series or something else without a clear style, they just add their own distinctive style to it. This doesn’t really turn me off, because I guess I got used to (and like) their style through things like Zetsubou Sensei and Arakawa. But it is self-indulgent.

      Shaft has two series running right now – Nisekoi and Mekakucity Actors. Nisekoi is a fairly normal manga, stylistically speaking, and as a result, Nisekoi is a fairly normal show, as Shaft goes. There are obvious hints of Shaft at many occasions (Chitoge’s Zetsubou Sensei style despair in episode one, for example), but it clearly isn’t as Shaft-like as Mekakucity Actors. Mekakucity Actors is far more clearly a Shinbō Akiyuki anime, and it shows. I mean, Shinbō was putting random clocks and stuff in his shows way back when making Pani Poni Dash in 2005. But with Mekakucity Actors, it works pretty well. Kagerou Project music videos tend to look sort of Shaft-like, despite being fan-made. Whereas Nisekoi really could have been animated by any competent studio, Mekakucity Actors is something that really was a good match for Shaft.

      Of course, I can’t say whether this will be a good show or whatnot, because I too have no idea where it is actually going to go in terms of plot.

      • Artemis says:

        It’s really not the art style I have an issue with – in fact, I tend to quite like the general look of a lot of Shaft anime. I have more a problem with the way in which exactly the same visual tricks are used over and over with many of their titles – although when I talk about Shaft being self-indulgent, I’m also referring to the execution of the story and its characters rather than just the visuals.

    • Guy says:

      I think it’s Shinbo, not Shaft, and I think a lot of it is because they’re allowed to get away with it. I truly think a lot of it is actually used to cover their inefficient planning, time-wise.

  2. Cassandra says:

    I also wasn’t sure if loved the songs. I did like the animation though.
    And Shintaro continues to remind me of Araragi from Bakemonogatori like you said.

    • Guy says:

      I like some of the songs on youtube a lot more.

      And wow, I wonder how I forgot to reply to all the comments here. Sorry!

  3. NEET ADMIN says:

    Ive watch episode 1 and it feels like I was watching bakemonogatari but filled with nonsense conversation which makes me bored. Considering the good animation for this anime, I’m waiting for some extraordinary fighting scene because it was stated in the description of this series that they have some sort of power in their eye but all I notice is their powers was on their mouth which is a typical shaft thing, its really annoying and I’m thinking of dropping it but still I want to see the development of this series.. whatcha think? will this become interesting?

    • Guy says:

      Ive watch episode 1 and it feels like I was watching bakemonogatari but filled with nonsense conversation which makes me bored.

      Honest question, I’ve watched Bakemonogatari without being exposed to what the internet thought of it, and I sort of felt that way about it myself, for large stretches. As if every 3-4 episodes had enough material for 1.5-2 meaningful episodes, and a lot of the other space was just filled with inane chatter.

      So, what’s the difference?

      I think it’s that I could marathon Bakemonogatari, and that there had been enough episodes to eventually get to that meaningful bits, here they don’t have a lot of time, and they still stretch it.

      We’re now at episode 5. It’s still not very interesting :-/

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