Original Run: January 6, 2013 - March 31, 2013 Number of Episodes: 13 Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Based on the Series Created By: Coharu Sakuraba
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Minami-ke Tadaima. Reader discretion is advised.***
For the fourth and final time, welcome to the home of the three Minami sisters, Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki (voiced respectively by Rina Satou, Marina Inoue, and Minori Chihara). Along with their friends, the Minamis do not know the meaning of the word boredom.
No matter the time of day, month, or season, something will always be happening in this loving – sometimes chaotic – household.
“This story is a simple illustration of the three Minami sisters and the ordinary lives they lead. Please don’t expect too much from it.“
For four seasons, these were the words that proceeded nearly every Minami-ke episode. Its tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating message has proven to be an apt description of this series’ comedic style. Minami-ke is the story of the average, not-at-all extravagant lives of three sisters and their friends. It’s been a recipe that has brought this franchise great success, making it a hallmark of the slice-of-life genre.
Minami-ke Tadaima (Minami-ke 4) was no exception.
For a slice-of-life anime, uniqueness is nothing short of impressive. When something distinguishes itself in this genre, that is an accomplishment. Happily enough, Minami-ke 4 continued to be strong in this area, its story, and its comedy.
Much of what the Minami-ke series has done right made a return and was expanded upon this season. It would be a bald-faced lie if I said I didn’t have fun with this show. Thus, you shouldn’t be concerned about a full-on tanking in quality here in the fourth round.
More than anything, though, I’m running into a problem I wish happened more often. The Minami-ke series has been so consistently good for many of the same reasons. As a result, it’s getting harder and harder to write reviews for this franchise.
Case in point, the last three paragraphs were lifted straight from the reviews of Minami-ke 1, 2, and 3 (albeit slightly edited). A few cosmetic alterations aside, any one of the three previous seasons could have stood-in for this one. The only real difference specific to Minami-ke 4 was that it came out of feel studios, making it the third studio to take the reigns of this show (Minami-ke 1 was from Daume, Minami-ke 2 and 3 were from Asread).
Something can be said about a four-season anime maintaining a consistent quality while passing through multiple hands. It is clear that no matter what, the heart of Minami-ke is its characters. And by this point, the cast has expanded far beyond the titular trio. Hell, there were times when none of the Minami sisters were involved in a joke or scene.
When we get right down to it, if you’re looking to this review to decide if Minami-ke 4 is worth your time, you already have your answer. If you enjoyed, laughed, and were entertained by the first three seasons, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for with the fourth.
I need to be honest with you. The longer this season went on, the less invested in it I felt. Now, I do believe there were a few external reasons for this.
For starters, I was watching this series intending to write a review on it. This is also not my first time with either the Minami-ke franchise or Minami-ke 4. I knew going in what to expect and that there would be no out-of-the-blue shock, surprise, or twist.
That isn’t to say I didn’t laugh or have a good time during my viewing. I did. Had this been my introduction, or had I been casually enjoying it, I know Minami-ke 4 would have held my attention through to the end.
However, I could’ve easily written this review just as I have had I stopped at episode six.
Be that as it may, I can’t see a reason why we have gotten four Minami-ke seasons. If you enjoy these kinds of simple, easy-going stories, I don’t doubt you’ll be overjoyed to get as much of this series as possible. I know I did long ago. Still, there was nothing “new” about this installment.
You get the same kind of jokes, the same kind of set-ups, and the same kind of deliveries. As long as they keep making you laugh, then this series will continue to stay with you. The moment it doesn’t, though, there is no coming back.
Perhaps there is a reason why we haven’t yet gotten a season five. And seeing how this post is coming out 8 YEARS after Minami-ke 4’s release, I think we can finally say good-bye to this show. From beginning to end, it was what it was.
And to put a final point on it, this was Minami-ke.
The final chapter – and I do think this was final.
For one last time, we got a show that knew how to be funny. This fourth installment had the massive advantage of working with a fantastic cast of characters, guaranteeing there would never be a second of downtime.
Funny, cute, and comforting, this season was everything you have come to expect from one of the quintessential slice-of-life anime.
Minami-ke Tadaima earns a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Minami-ke Tadaima? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.
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