Makuranodanshi

Makuranodanshi

imageA short ‘bedtime’ anime show for those who feel a bit lonely when they go to sleep, Makuranodanshi presents a different ‘pillow boy’ each week with a different type of personality. Which one will be your favourite?

An interesting concept, if not a bit on the weird side, this show is for those that are on the verge of purchasing a body pillow. Every week introduces a new boy to the viewers in different situations and settings. We have had Merry, the caring and tentative one; Sousuke, a work senpai-type; Kanade the willful musician and Ryuushi the astronomer. There’s 12 altogether, with the intention that you get to ‘sleep’ beside a different boy each week!

imageTo make it even more realistic (or creepy, depending on which way you look at it), this anime takes on a first-person perspective so that it almost feels like these boys are speaking directly to you. They react to expressions they think you have whilst conducting one half of a conversation with you. There are even brief pauses where you are meant to be reacting back to what they say, all the while they are gazing at you.

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NO, THANK YOU.

The idea is delivering a type of anime boy persona to the viewers each episode in a somewhat gentle and disarming way, and this has succeeded in doing that. Once I stopped eyeing every episode with suspicion (Merry was not the kind of personality that puts me at ease, but Sousuke and Kanade were fine) I began to see it for what it was intended to be: a short and novel way of trying to get people to relax in the evenings with a bit of intelligent interaction.

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If you’re having difficulties with relationships, Makuranodanshi will show just just how simple things should be. Short episodes of romantic entertainment where you can find your best bishounen and romantic situation and sit back and no that it won’t all end in tears. It’s like a talking body pillow and an animated otome game rolled into one.

In fact, I was quite surprised how much personality and backstory each episode was able to provide its characters with in a three-minute window. They each have their own focus and story to tell and the show goes far in developing twelve diverse and varied personalities and trying to grab the interest of as many different people as possible through them. Sometimes they’re deep, sometimes they’re cute, sometimes they’re funny and sometimes it’s just plain fan-service.

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You might want to avoid Makuranodanshi altogether if you find the concept of an anime that panders to peoples lonliness a bit on the weird side. I can see how it wouldn’t work over here in the UK but, like me, if you’re finally able to suspend your disbelief that something you’re meant to be watching is watching you back, it’s quite a novel idea. Of course, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t go falling in love with them. They’re not real and can over give you a couple of minutes of dialogue!