Miss Monochrome – The Animation

Miss Monochrome – The Animation

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Miss Monochrome is an android who is determined to become a top idol since in the ever-growing competitive market. We see her trying several ways in which she feels will make her a famous idol.

As part of her concerts, Japanese singer and actress Yui Horie created the vocaloid-type character ‘Miss Monochrome’ to use with her performances, which was very well-received. In this anime short, the talented since also designs the characters on top of voicing the lead character.

In the initial episodes, we see Miss Monochrome and her intentions – namely to be the best idol singer there is. The place that she lives looks like the inside of a laboratory, filled with the latest technology. However Monochrome, for an android, leads quite a dull life. But then she sees the idol Kikuko and gets her first hit of inspiration, suddenly serious about meeting Kikuko on day on her own pathway to stardom.

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Taking advantage of her free schedule, not to mention her friend (and new manager), Miss Monochrome plans her way to idol fame and looks for the best ways in which to make her dream a reality. Trying out of of these ways results in her giving all her money to the wrong person and finding herself on the streets instead. With a very limited understanding of how the real world works, Monochrome eventually meets a man by the name of Maneo who works at a local convenience store. Upon seeing that he has a name-tag with the word ‘Manager’ on it, she believes him to be the idol manager that will help her become a top idol. No matter how much Maneo explains to her that he just works in a shop…

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We get all the basics introduced to us early on, the core cast introduced to us and all the foundations laid – and what you see is pretty much what you get throughout the series. Since our protagonist is essentially a robot we don’t really have a lot of emotional range going on, but this works because it leads to a lot of comic misinterpretation on Monochrome’s part on the mechanics and legwork she has to put in to fulfil her dream of becoming the best idol ever.

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Through the episodes we see the hard work and extremes that Monochrome goes to in order to secure her aspirations, securing small parts in TV programmes, climbing mountains and trying to sell her CDs. You notice her progress and how she initially begins just floating around with no knowledge on how to execute her plans to actually being observant to the world around and targeting good things that can actually contribute to helping her. She even goes out of her way to help the people around her even if it doesn’t help with her own goals. Overall, however, things do seem a bit listless in places and I put this down to the story not really knowing what to do with itself in the short time that it has, but there’s some very cute and genuinely amusing moments and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Towards the end, we begin to see snippets from Monochrome’s past and how she is mysteriously connected to Kikuko the super idol. The finishing scene shows her actually performing her first song “Pokerface” to a small gathering of people (which is the song in the ending credits). This sequence is absolutely adorable – some great CG vocaloid material involving Monochrome singing and dancing – and its worth looking into this anime just to see it. The animation overall is very simple and fluid.

imageMiss Monochrome is an odd one, but it definitely has its moments, however surreal the story is overall. There’s small and simple pleasures to be drawn from this one, mainly because Monochrome herself is just so adorable in the way she is drawn, her innocence and her ever-so-slightly synthesised voice. Of course, with this being an idol anime, the music is particularly special, too.