Love Rice – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 7th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: “The Harvest Show” is a concert where all of the different grains show off their beauty to everyone watching. “HarveStars” is the name given to the grains who put on the best performance. In today’s age of rice acreage reduction policies and the Westernization of eating habits, bread has become the most popular grain in Japan. The Dinner table is dominated by “Yeast King,” the bread HarveStars. However five rice students have enrolled at Kokuritsu Inaho Academy, a rice focused school on the verge of shutting its doors. The five form a group called “Love Rice,” in the hopes of beating Yeast King at the next Harvest Show. They seek to win back the popularity rice once had…
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Watching Love Rice felt like watching a joke told in a language I do not speak. Are the boys literally supposed to be rice grains? Because they’re all introduced with a brief mention of what strain they belong to. But then, we are also shown that, no, they want to be idols and win a idol competition…or are they trying to become idols who can then help promote rice back into popularity and they’re not literally rice, just lovers of rice? If I sound confused, it’s because I AM confused.
Tom: Whatever is going on, be it an idol competition or fighting tournament (I honestly couldn’t tell either way, the synopsis being the only thing to confirm it for me one way or another.) Love Rice is extremely over the top. So much so the series isn’t afraid to go out on a fourth wall breaking self-deprecating pun that hurts more than it could ever entertain.
Linny: It’s a short form show, so the jokes come flying hard and fast. You can tell when the episode expects you to laugh because of the exaggerated reactions and slight pauses but you’ll find yourself wondering exactly what the joke was. I will admit that the joke about everything being repossessed made me almost crack into a smile but that was it. Thanks to all the language based puns, this show might be a lot more entertaining to a Japanese speaker but if you aren’t one, the jokes will likely fly over your head.
Tom: Part of the problem is that a lot of the jokes don’t really translate well, although that’s assuming they were all that funny in Japanese to begin with. The whole premise is absurd, but fails to nail its crazy atmosphere with a brand of humor that really strikes that same cord. Right now, it’s a lot of bad puns that make up the majority of Love Rice’s offerings, making it more of a groan to watch than anything else.
Linny: Though the show does, roughly, introduce a handful of characters by name, for this episode, the most focus went to Hikari Hino and Maru Niko, with Hikari clearly the starry eyed protagonist with fervent love and desire for rice and its revival. Maru comes off as the young and innocent one who’s most likely going to be won over by Hikari’s sheer enthusiasm. Also, on a side note, to any Japanese speaking reader/s, are their names puns related to rice?
Tom: Love Rice could get better, if it focuses on its bizarre and absurd world rather than strained puns and fourth wall breaking moments. But right now I think this one is best left at the back of your watch list.
Linny: The words ‘short form’ have often come to be associated with ‘not funny’ in the anime watching western world. It’s not always the case but it might be true in the case of Love Rice unfortunately. There’s a chance you might like it since humour and taste are subjective but for the more casual anime viewer, the jokes in the show feel culture-centric and more likely to be beyond our grasp and tastes. Thanks to its less than 4 minute duration, you could always give the first episode a try but just go in with tempered expectations.
Love Rice is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com