Posted by psgels on 30 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

I remember Astarotte no Omocha last year. It was a show that looked like pedo-bait, yet seemed to have something deeper and charming, only to reveal after a few episodes that it turned out to be even worse pedo-bait than what it had originally seemed. I still regret giving that show a second chance, and at the start of this season I really was not keen on doing the same to Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai, a show about a guy who suddenly finds that he’s the father of three cute girls.

Yet, this turned out to be the surprise of the season. I thankfully picked it back up after a lot of people started to recommend it again. And thankfully, this series avoided the Astarotte route and instead it actually tried to tell a very genuine story. It’s not perfect (believe me, it still has a lot of problems), but this series actually delivers quite an interesting look of what it takes to take care of teenaged girls and a toddler, especially when you yourself are only of college age with a measly paying job. It’s quite a heartfelt series, and I definitely did not expect this when I first learned about it.

Even when you ignroe the first impressions though it’s really easy to look past this series. Because it also tries to appeal to the otaku crowd. The result makes this seris a whole lot more annoying than what it should have been. There is a ton of pointless fanservice in this show, and I mean of the worst kind (characters randomly walking into each other changing or bathing. Over and over again…). There also is one particular character: the fat guy. This guy somehow managed to pull it off by being consistently annoying in every single scene he appears in. No exceptions. You’ll get what I mean when you see him.

So yeah, Papa no Iu Koto ni Kikinasai is a slice of life series that at first sight seems really bad annoying, but is very warm and charming on the inside. I wouldn’t recomment it immediately, because there is a lot of fluff in this show, but it’s not a bad watch either if you want to watch something that’s light, yet with substance. My one complaint about the substance is that the ending is a bit flimsy and doesn’t really solve anything. The final episode like, focuses on a problem that pretends to be the climax, yet leaves a bunch of stuff unresolved that really should have been addressed.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Why on earth did this show try to be as annoying as possible?
Characters: 8/10 – Bad moe cliches at first sight, but the development is actually pretty good and heartfelt./td>
Production-Values: 8/10 – Nothing special, nothign that stands out, doesn’t get in the way, although the character designs are pretty bad here…
Setting: 8/10 – An intersting look at parenting. Perhaps not as detailed as with Usagi Drop, but still good in its own way.

Suggestions:
Usagi Drop
Hanamaru Youchien
Kimi to Boku

3 Responses

  1. meow says:

    Hm…I gotta say this show deserves a better story rating. It’s interesting that you described the girls in the story as pedo-bait. To me, in a way, you are correct, in the sense that it may have been designed to attract moe-lovers but then slap them with a surprising dose of reality. Reminds me of NHK coming off at first glance as a weird otaku comedy turning into a realistic analysis of the hikkomori NEET phenomenon. Or Muv-Luv Alternative coming off at first brush as a sci-fi harem story with mecha like Infinite Stratos only to turn into a rich, grim, realistic war story.

    A young man – actually I’m not even sure if he’s even old enough to drink, is suddenly saddled with a family of three little girls – one of them a toddler. He’s still in college. His own source of monetary support is gone too (I believe that would be his older sister/guardian). He’s got limited resources and they’re stuck in a tiny one room apartment.

    All the issues that came up later felt very real….although, to me a little bit unrealistic in how it all worked out. Honestly, I’m impressed that this guy actually tried to take up the challenge, especially when there were other family members around able to take some of the load off. His sister managed it with him alone (although I think they had a lot of help from their aunt) but now he’s stuck with three kids. The toddler especially is…wow. I mean even in Usagi Drops, the guy was an experienced career person and all and he had a hard time managing his ward – and he had miraculous help from a fellow single parent to save him. I suppose Raika and the other club members, plus the neighbours, landlady, etc. count too but you can’t count on that happening in real life.

    All the fanservice about walking into girls while they’re changing…I was thinking, these girls and one guy are stuck in this one room together, where they have to cook, study, sleep, everything. There is no space, no privacy. Yet there are real people out there who live like this in real life. And they may be the lucky ones with a roof over their heads and basic amenities like their own bathroom and a place to cook. How about those people who live on the street?

    Their struggling over laundry and cooking and their budget. What was that wooden box thing where the girls got vegetables? It felt like an honor jar system to get fresh produce from local farmers. There was one scene where one of the girls wanted to try some kind of desert then looked at the price and went..wow this is worth 2 dozen eggs on it’s own.

    The creepy fat guy from the club was a symbol for me for some of the dangers that the girls could run into as they commute to school on their own. Especially the toddler – she would need a proper adult guardian. It’s a miracle the other two were so mature and independent in spite of their age and somehow could look after her, and each other. And at the very least, it does address the impact it has on their development in school, etc.

    The landlady coming to kick them out. I was just waiting for that to happen. Actually I was expecting something like child services to come over and take the girls away.

    It’s not really realistic, in the sense that a lot of things work out pretty well somehow, in spite of the odds. But I think a lot of issues that would be involved in a situation like this get addressed to some extent.

    Also, about the ending, it feels like an open ending to me, with the possibility of a “To be continued”. They’re in a bigger house now but in a different place with possibly new challenges.

    Just my two cents.

  2. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    While I’d be an advocator that the tried, tested and generic comedy anime approach still offers occassional laughs, when a moe show goes the extra mile I’ll still see it as a good thing so long as its done right.
    I was amused by this at times and thought it was heartfelt, it tried to be more. Still its another case of the comedy being pointless and intrusive. I couldn’t shake that while it was cute, funny, grounded in some sense of a genuine or in parts slightly more real approach it also felt so artificial and fake. The overall production didn’t help either.
    Although I laughed at his antics the fat guy felt more like a secondary insert character.

  3. Atonal says:

    I have to agree with the score. It had it’s issues, but for me, the fat guy was the biggest issue. Although some of his antics were funny, but the guy literally made me want to puke at times when it came to the nieces. I felt like the guy was dangerously close of being a straight up pedophile. It was just plain annoying for the most part…

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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