I don’t always like Shoji Kawamori’s series. My impressions of the series and concepts he comes up with range from preachy (Arjuna), disappointing (Macross Frontier), absolutely fantastic (Excaflowne), solid (Macross), gorgeous (the Macross OVAs and Movies) to ridiculously unbalanced but fun (Basquash). Still, I have to admit: this guy is creative, and to this day he is consistently coming up with original premises, rather than series based off of some manga, light novel or game. My personal guess as to why all those series are so completely different from each other is the rest of the staff behind it, who seem to get quite a bit of freedom (something a certain Shaft director could learn from). His next concept is Kiruminzoo, a series again completely different from anything that he tied his name to so far.
Now, I like kids’ shows. The good ones, in any case. There are unfortunately still too many badly produced ones that make cheaply made harem shows look like the combined works of Shakespeare. Kiruminzoo impressed me in this, though. It’s perhaps not as good as Heartcatch Precure, but it really has its heart at the right place. If I had kids and this show somehow made it over to the Netherlands, I really wouldn’t mind showing it to them.
Kiruminzoo isn’t simply trying to entertain, it’s also trying to teach its audience something. It’s all based on a bunch of kids who become able to transform into animals throughout some sort of mahou shoujo devices. The entire reason why they get to be able to do this is to improve understanding of all kinds of animals. This series teaches children about morals, how it’s often more important to understand rather than to fight, and how to treat animals with respect. It’s a great series for people who love animals.
This series also manages to avoid the “adults are useless”-trope that often plagues the kids’ shows. Most of the adults are nowhere near useless in this series, and most of the problems in this series revolve around issues that children can actually deal with, and it forces them to think. Only with the climax of the series does this show start to become a little epic, and even then it’s handled well. Well, for the most part…
This is a bit of a “love it or hate it”-thing, but this show is full of morons. And with that, I don’t just mean one character, but half the cast seems to only have half a braincell. Granted, the series provides an explanation for this, and on one hand, it’s part of the charms of this series to see the beyond stupid antics of certain characters, without that stupidity taking over the show, but on the other hand the stupidity does get taken a bit too far at times.
The main flaw of this series is that it’s too long, though. It’s an episodic series through which the characters gradually discover and explore their powers to transform to other creators, but the creators could have done this in 39 episodes as well. Right now, there are a number of points in which this series drags on, and there are a number of repetitive episodes that could easily have been cut in order to make it a bit more of a snappy series.
On the technical side, this show is very solid. The animation is very consistent, leading to very little distorted faces, and just about everything in this series is as bright, colourful and cute as possible; it just looks really pretty. The voice acting also is very good, and I especially loved Riko’s voice actress.
Overall, if you don’t like kids’ shows, then this series isn’t going to make you see the light. If you do, though, then this is quite an enjoyable series to watch with a charming cast and premise. Perhaps it’s a bit long, but it certainly doesn’t deserve to remain unsubbed.
|Storytelling:||8/10 – Enjoyable, educative, and does justice to the animal kingdom.|
|Characters:||8/10 – A varied and charming cast.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Solid animation and music, very cute art.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Teaches kids understanding towards animals. Nothing wrong with that.|