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Ebiten: The Complete Collection (anime review)

Ebiten: The Complete Collectionreview provided by Katie

Title: Ebiten: The Complete Collection

Director: Hideki Okamoto

Studio: AIC Classic

Author: Kira Inugami and SCA-ji

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 2

U.S. Release Date: April 1, 2014

Format and Length: DVD / 10 Episodes + OVA / 275 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Ecchi, Parody, Harem, School

Industry Age Rating: 17 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Maria Holic and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

Sometimes friendship is all about chemistry! And sometimes chemistry is just about blowing stuff up!

Synopsis:

What do you get when you take one group of crazy fan girls with questionable grips on reality, toss out all rules of proper social behavior and mix them together in a basement with more twisted anime parodies and allusions than you can imagine? Besides a recipe for disaster, hilarity ensues when you meet the members of the Astronomical Club where mayhem rules and the wall between the real world and total fantasy crumbles at least once every five minutes.
Commentary:

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Or so the old adage says. Ebiten: The Complete Collection takes this concept and completely warps it to something that can only be described as beyond over the top. Parodies are hard to accomplish and are often done incorrectly, becoming nothing more than a mockery of what they intend to pay tribute to. For the most part this is not the case. The story revolves around the adventures of the members of the Ebisugawa High School “Asstronomy” Club. That’s their spelling, not mine. Gotta love Japanese wordplay jokes. It’s a small club that’s not really all that popular, has few members, no budget or funding, an absent teacher adviser, being shoved into a small room in the basement of the oldest part of the school, and has a club president who does not participate, and wants to disband the club for any reason she can find. But all that doesn’t discourage the members from their daily activities.

Ebiten: The Complete Collection’s story mostly revolves around Kyouko Todayama, the unofficial head of, and most outspoken member of the club. Her only check is Hasumi Ooba, club vice president, and she really only intervenes when Todayama goes too far. But that scale is full of blurry lines and undefined limits that nearly don’t exist. And with little adult supervision, since the teacher sponsor, Shouko Oomori is more interested in ‘pursuing’ her love life, and her lover for that matter, than doing her job, she leaves her cat Oomori Neko Sensei in charge, and of course, the cat rubberstamps everything with a “nyan”, the adventures get quite crazy. Followed by Rikei Hiromatsu, the quiet and obedient member with a strange fetish, Hakata Kanamori, the club’s ditzy cosplayer, manga and dojinshi collector, and easy target for jokes and fan service, and freshman member Itsuki Noya, the story revolves around the club’s atypical activities, which has little to do astronomy, minus a small reference from time to time. Throw in Izumiko, aka Elizabeth, an unexpected visitor from a different school, Yuka Iseda, the unsupportive club president, and member of the student council, and the poor unsuspecting man Shouko is stalking, and you get Ebiten: The Complete Collection.

Though the story is a bit off the wall, chaotic, changes from a bit from one episode to another, and kinda seems written as they went, there was lots of humor to be had. Of course the story line was second to the parodies, and had to change a little to match what they were doing a parody of. Each episode parodies a different anime, and some of the parodies followed the characters themselves. When watching it, I found myself more concerned with trying to figure out what they were doing a parody of, than how consistent the story line was. Ultimately I did find it difficult to pick out a few of the animes they were doing a parody of, because at least half of them never made it here, or are old and have been forgotten, having been out of print since the 90s. At one point I had to look it up online to find a few of them, but for some reason I enjoyed doing all that. Normally if you have to work to understand something, they are doing it wrong, but not in this case. I have to mention though that I am old enough to remember most of the older animes they parodied, so I did have that advantage, and it added even more enjoyment, remembering the early days of anime, before it was cool, mass produced, or easily obtained. Also I need to note that there was fan service, quite often just to have it, but it’s nothing really excessive or over done.

Extras:

Ebiten: The Complete Collection includes Heart Throb Hot Springs, Japanese commercials and promos, music videos, clean opening and closing animations, and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features.

Overall Grade: B

Ebiten: The Complete Collection will make you laugh with all the parodies they use in each episode. You have been warned.