Since I’m feeling very anxious at the moment, I think it’s fair to have a chiller piece today. Life is tough, unbelievably so in current socio-political climates, so anything that helps alleviate that is worthwhile. Short anime, by their very structure, are great for that. Easy to digest, easy to spend time with, short anime can give brief moments of spare time or energy the pick up you need. So here we are. Three shorts that have meant alot to me, in differing ways, this year.
Please Tell Me! Galko-chan!
Please Tell Me! Galko-chan was the biggest surprise of the Winter season. The show follows three archetypal girls day-to-day lives at school. Galko, the titular character, is called Galko for she is a gyaru. Typically, characters of this archetype, are typically antagonists. Generally stereotypes of sexual deviance, delinquency, and low intellect pervade this archetype. Please Tell Me! Galko-chan avoids these. Galko being a gyaru and large breasted means.. well.. very little. The ways it does matter are in typical, for reality not anime, ways. Large breasts are heavy and tend to draw attention from horny guys for example. Please Tell Me! Galko-chan is ultimately a comedy show revolving around the kinds of curiosity and grossness that teenage girls are obviously going to talk about. It’s a show that features a large variety in body types without being fetishy, which in itself is incredibly surprising. Optimistic, heart warming, and empathetic Please Tell Me! Galko-chan is probably the most pleasant show I’ve watched all year.
Space Patrol Luluco!
I do not like Imaishi shows. I’ve not finished Gurren Lagann, and only got four episodes through Kill la Kill. Sex and Violence with Mach Speed was undeniably the worse piece of short animation I have ever seen. Not due to the animation itself, but due to it’s central themes and literal objectification of women’s sexuality all played for laughs. I cannot understate how much I loathe that Animator Expo short (Especially as Animator Expo has some of my favourite short pieces ever in it). Space Patrol Luluco however, is incredible. In this 13 episode short that features such episodes like “That time a middle schooler met Inferno Cop in hell” and “Hey remember Little Witch Academia, wasn’t that good?”, Imaishi managed to capture something greater. Space Patrol Luluco is all about it’s titular character, Luluco, and her first crush. The scifi setting, the Imaishi absurdities, and even the reference arc don’t really get in the way of such an earnest depiction of a middle schooler’s sexuality. I think that’s impressive. I think the fact no other show I’ve seen this year – bar maybe those few episodes of Konobi? Or I guess you could argue Gakuen Handsome >.> – have quite managed to depict such an integral part of many women’s experiences. It isn’t up to me to say quite how successful Luluco managed such a thing, that’s for you each to decide on your own. But on a personal level, Luluco’s silly world ending crush was a wonderful thing to experience alongside Kiznaiver.
(Much like every other show on this list Space Patrol Luluco is available on Crunchyroll!)
In the interest of fairness, I am giving myself the same length of time to write this section as an episode of Teekyu lasts.
Teekyu is ostensibly a sports anime about tennis. In actuality, it’s an absurd gag series that’s takes what would otherwise be a 20 minute episode of any other show and cramps it into 2 minutes. It’s fast. Unbelievably so. It is also almost single handedly scripted, and animated by Itagaki, who’s pension for fast cuts and visual humour is at it’s peak in this show he works on inbetween other projects. Teekyu is worth trying out
Oops. Out of time. I’m impressed I got that far. Please enjoy Teekyu.
(On the off chance my terrible description of this show that defies length and description it – and it’s spin offs – are also available on Crunchyroll. Each season only lasts 20ish minutes so the 8 seasons shouldn’t be offputting. On the off chance you wanted an actual sports show about lesbians playing tennis and being cute the latter spin off, Usakame, is actually that.)