Why did I take the time to highlight Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki (Yatogame-chan)? Simple, it looked cute.
I find writing long, proper, full-length reviews for short-form anime to be tedious and, ultimately, unhelpful. Given their brief runtime, it’s really a question of whether you have thirty minutes to an hour to spare. Detailing such a show’s positive and negative qualities becomes words for the sake of words.
However, I do enjoy watching short-form anime; you never know what ’re going to get, and that, in itself, can be pretty fun. Plus, these series don’t deserve to be ignored – at least, not at first glance. Sometimes you come across a show that rivals the entertainment value of a standard release.
With that said, remember, this is NOT a review post. The following are simply my impressions of Yatogame-chan season one.
I can’t kid myself; I enjoyed Yatogame-chan. However, I didn’t enjoy it for the typical reasons: characters, story, etc. In fact, if someone told me they found this show to be a bit pointless and forgettable, I couldn’t blame them.
Yatogame-chan was a safe comedy that relied on tried and true jokes that have been seen many other times in many other shows. Even I can’t understand how this series managed to get (as of this post’s June 2021 publishing) two additional seasons.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed Yatogame-chan purely because of its setting – Nagoya.
For a bit of my personal history; as I am writing this sentence, I am living in Osaka. I moved to Japan in 2015, but my first stint in-country was back in 2012 for a four-month exchange program during my university years. What city did I stay in? You guessed it, Nagoya.
I’m not sure if the word “nostalgia” can apply to a several centuries old city, but nevertheless Yatogame-chan brought me back to a period of my life that is very dear to me.
My favorite aspect about this show was how well it had Nagoya’s number. I’m not sure how this aspect may come off to someone who has never been but believe me, all the quick jabs at the city were funny because they were brutally accurate.
When this series says Nagoya doesn’t have any tourist spots, that’s not an entirely false accusation. Nagoya is most famous for not having many famous places. I mean, you’ve got the castle (what respecting Japanese city doesn’t have one of those) , the zoo (which can get depressing), the aquarium (which is even more depressing)…um, they’ve got a baseball and soccer team (the Dragons and the Grampus, respectively). The food is delicious, that’s a thing. And accordingly, you better love miso if you come for a visit.
Other than that, if you see a tourist in Nagoya, then there’s a high chance they’re waiting for a train to take them to Tokyo or Kyoto.
For the record, I loved Nagoya, so I say all this with the most affection possible.
Still, I couldn’t help but laugh whenever Yatogame-chan’s characters visited a Nagoya landmark. By comparison, if a show set in Tokyo did this, there might be more wonder. After all, I probably haven’t seen an eighth of the city, even though I actually lived there for two years. For Nagoya, I recognized and could tell you where every single location was. And that’s not very impressive since this show only took us to the two most “touristy” spots – Nagoya Station and Osu, the shopping district.
If it sounds like I am focusing more on Nagoya and less on Yatogame-chan, I apologize. But then again, Nagoya was at the core of Yatogame-chan’s humor and story. Take away the city, and this series is left with nothing.
That notwithstanding, let’s talk about the characters for a second. I suspect the Nagoya angle won’t hit as hard in the subsequent two seasons, and the characters were this show’s next best thing.
To that end, I don’t have much to say about them. This wasn’t the kind of series where personality growth would make much sense. Yatogame-chan was a simple slice-of-life comedy; what you see is what you get. Luckily, what you get is sufficiently serviceable.
To sum the cast up in a single word, they were “quaint.”
While I don’t get why this series got a second season, that’s not the same as me saying I don’t want to watch season two. Do I expect things to get better? Drastically, no; instead, I predict Yatogame-chan will need to rely on qualities beyond its setting.
Fortunately, at the very least, I can’t see how this show can go below what it has already done (knock on wood). Yeah, Yatogame-chan 2 and 3 may fail to leave a mark, but to have everything tank so bad that this series becomes unwatchable, that would require one hell of a drop.
I suppose only time will tell, and I’m more than willing to take the risk if you are.
If you’ve never been to Nagoya, can you get anything out of the show?
I won’t lie; this series is exceptionally region-specific; I actually didn’t get into the half of it. Nevertheless, there was a simple charm that only a decent short-form anime has.
Although I won’t guarantee laugh-out-loud moments, I am confident this show will put a smile on your face for the thirty or so minutes it will take you to watch the whole thing.
Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki does its job well enough.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? What were your impressions of Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki? 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 be sure to come back next week for Anime Hajime Impressions: Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki 2.
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