In the realm of strange series, Battle Programmer Shirase obviously can’t be missing. It’s a very short series with only fifteen episodes of ten minutes each, and it tells about the adventures of a legendary hacker. Those who are expecting a series that explores the ins and outs of the hacking-business can just shut down this window and look elsewhere, because at heart, BPS is just another romantic comedy.
The realism in this series is like some distant legend. We’re talking here about hackers who can crash satellites into earth’s atmosphere and little girls who can single-handedly take care of the security of the ministry for defence, and that’s just the tip of the ice berg. Everything computer-related is over the top on purpose, and that makes for a fun watch, especially if you’ve got something with computers (which I guess is the case with most of the people who visit this site). But oh boy, this series does have its issues.
Its biggest problem is that it doesn’t seem to really know what it wants. The result is comedy that feels like a shot of a shotgun shell: it shattered all over the place. There’s no real central theme or message that keeps the series together and each arc feels more ad hoc than that some real thoughts were put behind them. It makes you wonder why the creators went with such a bizarre series length of fifteen episodes to begin with, because the series also ends when the overall storyline is about to get started. Why couldn’t the creators just have gone with a regular airing of 13 or 26 episodes?
Then there’s the romance, with is just like the rest of this series: weird and hit or miss. We here have a couple that consists out of a ten year old girl and her twenty-five year old great uncle. Obviously, the fanservice jokes that result from that are rather predictable, but admittedly, their relationship, how weird it may be, does remain fresh through the series.
There’s also a lot of repetition in this series, even though it already was incredibly small. Each episode has at least a minute of recap about what happened in the previous episode, and there’s one particular minute-long sequence that gets repeated for FIVE TIMES through the series. What went on in the creators’ minds to approve of that, I don’t know…
Still, despite all this, the creators actually know that this series is rubbish, and just try to make the best of it. You can really see that the creators are critical of their own anime. This is one series that makes fun of itself, and actually succeeds, which I guess is where the short airtime comes in: it’s a short and fun series to watch if you’re stuck at home on a rainy day and need something light to watch. This is a series with style, no matter how strange it may be.