Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary – Preview
Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary:
Original Air Dates: October 5th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Kiitarou is a boy with a very strong spirit sense, but when he entered a forbidden storehouse, he found himself kicked out of his home. He soon found a new place to live where he met the House Spirit Suzu. He and Suzu soon began to attract all kinds of spirit creatures. Just what kinds of Yokai will Kiitarou end up meeting?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The cutesy look and character designs of Kiitaro immediately made me think of Ninja Girl, another short-form anime this season in a period setting with young lead characters. So far Kiitaro looks like it has a bigger budget, with art looking competent for a short form and despite its cutesy look, the episode contains teasing glimpses of older, adult looking female characters dressed and drawn in a sexually provocative manner.
Tom: Kiitaro pretends to be a serious, action yokai battle anime as two warring sides go at it in a battle that’s rendered fairly well. The whole thing feels a bit boring without much context though, but Kiitaro doesn’t want to give that context up right away because the reveal spoils the joke. Just as you’re wondering exactly what spurned this battle on in the first place the show reveals that Kiitaro isn’t a warring yokai anime, but rather a little romance comedy about two kids, Kiitaro and his servant, Suzu who tend to get into ‘little’ spats over really dumb things. It’s an– okay reveal and joke, but thanks to its four minute length leaving no time to really introduce us to either character it doesn’t feel gripping, or really all that interesting. For a comedy, there’s really only one joke here and that’s the bait and switch from serious action to comedy, assuming you didn’t dive in having read the synopsis.
Linny: The cast and series summary of Kiitaro gives the vibe that it could potentially be a kid friendly introduction to Japanese supernatural folklore. However, thanks to some of the aforementioned older, enticing female character designs, it’s hard to be sure of that right now. This first episode felt rather childish in nature as we watched these two kids have it out in a battle that ends on a silly note. However, it isn’t exactly laugh out loud funny at any point, making it hard to recommend the show as a comedy based solely on its first episode.
Tom: As characterization goes, we get just the tinniest idea of who Kiitaro and his servant/spirit Suzu are. All we can really gather is that the two periodically get into arguments that spin way out of control, but have strong, kid-level romance feelings for each other either way. It’s not a lot to go on, and maybe there’s more there, but this makes for a very poor introduction that fails to make Kiitaro something you’re interested in coming back to next week.
Linny: This first episode is basically watching two kids having a kids’ spat and ultimately feels like a waste of your time unless you found the kids and their fighting adorable. The series is described as Kiitaro’s journey of making and discovering new supernatural friends, but what we saw this episode made it look like he’d already made a bunch of friends already so is the rest of the show going to be a flashback or is he going to add to his already burgeoning army? Either way, there isn’t much noteworthy content in the first episode itself, unless you wanted to see more of some of the sexy ladies that made brief appearances. Given the vast number of shorts available this season, Kiitaro is up for a lot of competition and seems doomed to lose to other, better and funnier shorts unless the viewer is specifically looking for a yokai themed affair.
Tom: Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary isn’t awful. It’s just, not very compelling. The fighting animation wasn’t particularly impressive, the yokai designs were bog standard, and what little we learned of the characters wasn’t enough to hook me. I can see it improving though.
Linny: The art in Kiitaro is competent but not amazing, and is in fact a little weak in some action shots, which is unfortunately a common flaw among most low budget shorts. Combined with a first episode that ends on a rather juvenile, almost kids’ show like note, it makes Kiitaro a difficult recommendation. The story and art feel basic and uninspired, and the comedy is weak. Unless you are desperately craving a cutesy take on Japanese folklore, give this show a miss.
Kiitaro’s Yokai Picture Diary is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com