Thursday, January 9, 2014

Anime Review: Miss Monochrome (2013)

She is a superhuman android, wear shades of black and white, and is accompanied by a robotic friend. She isMISS MONOCHROME.

Year 2013 has been an interesting year of Titans devouring humans, vampiric mecha soldiers and handsome bishonen boys taking over the pool. But if you want to shake up your anime palette just a little bit, MISS MONOCHROME (2013) is the perfect anime for you.

Directed by Yoshiaki Iwasaki, Miss Monochrome is an idol series revolving around the daily life of android Miss Monochrome and her dream of becoming a pop idol. Inspired by the most popular and beautiful popstar Kikuko -- based on real-life popstar and voice actress Kikuko Inoue (Oh! My Goddess, Hunter x Hunter, Claymore, Chobits) -- Miss Monochrome believes she can become a famous idol herself just so she can meet Kikuko someday.

After losing her 19.3 billion fortune, Miss Monochrome somehow stumbles upon Manager Maneo and makes him her manager. Little did she know, that Manager Maneo is in fact just an ordinary manager of a convenience store.

Miss Monochrome is cute, mysterious, futuristic and highly eccentric but first impressions of the android popstar would be critically harsh amongst anime viewers. With the long pigtails and the 'kawaii' look to the design of her character, Miss Monochrome shows strong resemblance to Vocaloid's Miku, and it wouldn't be surprising to see fans mixing her up with Vocaloid characters.

Voiced by popular Japanese singer and voice actress Yui Horie (Fruits Basket, Love Hina, Vampire Knight, Golden Time), the character 'Miss Monochrome' first appeared as a 3D virtual singer back in March 2012 at the concert 'Horie Yui o Meguru B ken III ~Secret Mission Tour'. Miss Monochrome's popularity then rose, spawning her own merchandise and appearing in social games such as Girlfriend (Kari) and Girlfriend Beta. And finallyher own self-titled anime series.

True to her name, Miss Monochrome despises color and is only ever seen in shades of monochrome from head to toe. If you haven't already guessed, Miss Monochrome isn't your average idol popstar (wannabe).

She's not exactly perky, upbeat, colourful nor can she dance or sing like an angel. Yet, the audience loves Miss Monochrome as she's so determined to become an idol that everyone will love and admire -- just the way she does for Kikuko. And because of her naivety, she is easily taken advantage by others, and it's difficult not to pity Miss Monochrome for her misfortune throughout her journey.

But luckily for her, Manager Maneo wants Miss Monochrome to achieve her dreams as well, and does his best to book 'gigs' that is relevant for any idol. Whether it is having meet and greets and practicing idol moves with props, Miss Monochrome doesn't complain and goes out of her way to do whatever it takes to be the #1 popstar in Japan.

The anime might seem incredibly entertaining but it is quite disheartening that Miss Monochrome episodes are only four minutes long which doesn't leave any room for in-depth plot or character development. The audience, however, has accepted the anime's formula and a majority of the fans are quite appreciative of the episodes and its respective content.
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