Love Rice

img_2860.jpg“The Harvest Show” is a concert where all of the different grains show off their beauty to everyone watching, and “HarveStars” is the name given to the grains who put on the best performances. In this age of rice acreage reduction policies and Westernisation of eating habits, bread has become the most popular grain in Japan, and tables are dominated by “Yeast King,” the bread HarveStars. But five new rice students have enrolled at Kokuritsu Inaho Academy, a school on the verge of shutting down, and they form a new group called “Love Rice” that’s practicing to beat Yeast King…

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Not exactly one of the most serious of anime shorts, but it is difficult to acquire genuine depth in a plot when all you have to play with is four minutes, so I understand why Love Rice absolutely doesn’t bother.

I feel like I have to warn those that haven’t watched Love Rice yet, that the show can be riddled with rice puns. I mean, I never knew so many rice puns existed. And bad ones, at that.

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One of the best parts of Love Rice even isn’t in the actual show. At the end of each episode, whilst the credits are rolling, there is a short recipe demonstration of how you can cook something delicious with rice. Obviously this anime is being used to promote rice (Japan, huh?). Not sure whether rice is really losing its popularity with the younger generations (although I’m pretty sure there’s not a rice academy on the verge of shutting down), but I wonder how effective these little shows are in connecting with their target audience. This also occurs in longer shows such as Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club, in which the whole concept was based on promoting cycling as a mode of transport, exercise and as a leisure activity, adding on short ‘real life’ messages to show examples of the next step to take.

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Determined to succeed, rice enthusiast Hinohikari joins two of his fellow students in a cross-dressing group. He’s not enthused, but he needs to form some sort of group in order to succeed. He learns that Akitakomachi is an orphan and wants to reach out to his parents, wherever they might be, by doing Harvest Shows. When Hinohikari points out that his parents definitely won’t recognise him while he’s dressed as a girl, the group decide to stop cross-dressing. As a unit of three that no longer cross-dresses, what should they call themselves? Hinohikari pipes up that he’s been sitting on a group name for some time now and that’s how Love Rice is born (inspired name, right? Perhaps it’s a play on Love Live!…)

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Hinohikari is going around and trying to bring people on board to be a HarveStar with him. Even though some students refuse, having other goals that they want to pursue, apparently four minutes with rice fanatic Hinohikari is all that it takes to completely change their minds and join him. Such is the aura of the anime protagonist.

I’m not really expecting much of… well, anything from this one really. I guess it’s a light-hearted, mildly-amusing and slightly weird short anime that doesn’t take itself too seriously and shows that things don’t always have to make sense for them to be entertaining. Sometimes short, silly and crazy is exactly what I want from my anime.

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Posted in Anime, Anime shorts, Comedy