As a 4-minute-per-episode short anime, Super Seishun Brothers certainly fulfills the saying ‘good things come in small packages’.
This year has seen a number of good shorts so far, and I have definitely been spoiled by the likes of Senyuu and Ketsuekigata-kun. However, despite being up against pretty stiff competition, Super Seishun managed to hold its own.
While having a good plot is always appreciated, there are times when you don’t really need one. That was the case with Super Seishun. As per the opening of episode one, “The older sisters are best friends. The younger brothers are best friends. And between these similar siblings, existed a strange relationship”. The series chronicled the daily lives of these siblings, focusing on the quirky relationships between them and their interactions with other characters. Falling into stereotypes, the Saitou siblings (purple haired) were quieter, while the Shinmoto siblings (blond siblings) were the livelier pair. I very much enjoyed the playful banter that they had, as well as the dynamics between these characters. It’s really endearing to see siblings get along as well as they do, and the interactions between all four of them were very interesting.
Bringing life to the interactions between the characters were the seiyuus who voiced them. Based purely on voice alone, I was more partial to the purple haired siblings (okay, maybe the fact that they had purple hair MIGHT have swayed my vote. I want purple hair too!). As Saitou Mao (purple haired brother), Ishikawa Kaito’s deadpan voice really stood out. His is one of the many new voices that were introduced this Autumn 2013 season, and I believe that this young seiyuu is one to look out for. Just this season alone, he’s been credited as the main in a number of series, such as Tokyo Ravens and Nagi no Asukara. Having been following those two anime series as well, I can hear his versatility shining through – the way he adapts his voice to suit the different characters he plays is quite remarkable. Newcomer or not, I have grown rather fond of him.
Speaking of Nagi, we have one other seiyuu common to both shows – the lovely Kayano Ai. Playing the role of Saitou Mako (purple haired sister), she did a fine job, giving us viewers an equally amusing deadpan voice. Anime watchers may remember her from last season as the good-natured Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi (…) aka Yamagami-san in Servant x Service. Of course, this is not the only anime that she is known for, as this veteran seiyuu has a whole list of characters on her resume to boast about. And as Mako, she delivered yet another favourable performance.
Rounding up the main cast, we have Oosaka Ryouta and Yamamoto Nozomi, who voice the blond brother and sister respectively. Having had the pleasure of actually seeing Oosaka Ryouta at a live event, I have a soft spot for him and can’t help but smile when I hear him in any anime. While I’ve personally not heard Yamamoto Nozomi in any other shows, I did like what she did with Chiko’s character. For one, I could discern the desperation in her voice, as she tries to dissociate herself from the otaku label. Yes, she’s a self-proclaimed bishoujo in serious anime fandom denial (ah, that certainly brings back memories.. heh). On the whole, I think the cast did a pretty good job, making the series even more entertaining with their voice acting.
That aside, another thing that really drew me in was the setting of the anime – I simply loved the atmosphere that exuded throughout the entire series. The world in which these siblings exist seems so carefree and fun, watching them made me wish I lived in such a world. The story was relaxed and whimsical, and despite my earlier assertion that there wasn’t much of a plot, we were even teased with a cliffhanger in one of the episodes. The playful manner in which this series was brought forth, coupled with that adorable ending theme (yes, I’m guilty of putting the ED on loop for the entire hour that it took me to write this review), left me feeling all warm and fuzzy after each episode ^^ happiness~
Short & sweet – that’s what this series was for me.