Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles – Anime Preview
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Synopsis: A cool girl who rarely speaks… The mysterious transfer student Koizumi-san doesn’t get along with others very well, but she’s actually a professional when it comes to ramen, who seeks out delicious ramen every day. Now serving up a truly authentic ramen story! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Ms. Koizumi opens with vibrant colors, solid animation, and a general quality that leaves little to be desired. Outside of some obvious use of 3D for the ramen bowls in the opening credits and eye-catches, this show looks perfect, at least this first episode anyway. Unfortunately, the quality of the animation doesn’t entirely speak to the quality of its content.
Linny: The humour in Ms. Koizumi quickly gets repetitive within its very first episode. It’s basic formula seems already thoroughly defined and goes as follows: Yuu tries to befriend Koizumi through persistent stalking and ramen eating. Yuu reveals her ignorance about ramen. Koizumi gets angry and schools Yuu on ramen. Rinse and repeat. Sure, this formula has some charm and cuteness thanks to the voice acting and animation but its total adherence to its basic tagline is going to wear thin pretty quickly.
Tom: The story is stupidly repetitive. While the first segment works solidly enough, introducing us to Yuu’s fervent desire to befriend Koizumi, her appreciation of Koizumi’s beauty, and Koizumi’s obsession with ramen, it seems that’s all the show has to offer. The second segment plays near identical to the first, and by the third the show is running on fumes, and this is only episode one. Part of the problem, outside of following a stringent formula, are the characters. Koizumi herself responds to nothing but ramen, that is the gag after all. That would be fine if the other characters showed a tad more variety. As it stands Yuu has a singular appreciation for Koizumi, and showcases not a single other trait to round her character out. The same can be said for Misa and Jun, Yuu’s two schoolmate friends privy to her fervent attempts to befriend Koizumi. Jun is the classically laid back buddy who takes it all in stride. Misa is the boisterous girl obsessed with being ‘more popular’ than Koizumi, and gets in a huff whenever Yuu expresses more interest in Koizumi than her. These are all fine traits and gags, don’t get me wrong, but the anime absolutely needs more than this if we’re going for a full twelve episodes.
Linny: Yuu’s personality is very strong and loud, which could either come off as hilariously endearing or ridiculously one track. Her obsession with befriending Koizumi is fanatical, constantly stalking her and only responding with a chuckle when admonished by Koizumi herself. It also speaks to the shallow and comedic level of the show that Yuu’s obsession with Koizumi seems purely based on physical looks and isn’t dampened even a tiny bit by Koizumi’s cold dismissals. If that’s the kind of comedy you enjoy, Ms. Koizumi will have you in stitches. But if you aren’t fond of one track characters, then consider this a heads up as for now, like Tom described, all the main girls seem to have a single shtick.
Tom: Ms. Koizumi is based off a 4-Koma gag manga. I think it shows. Gag manga tend to get several 4-panel gags per chapter, meaning I wouldn’t be surprised if we just adapted only a handful of the very first chapter or two. It might work to be so repetitive in the manga’s original format, to hammer home the kind of story we’re going for, but it just doesn’t work the same in a twenty-two minute episode. Ms. Koizumi is really only worth your time if you’re obsessed with ‘food porn’ and enjoy this singular formula of Yuu pursuing Koizumi’s affection, getting shot down, but remaining steadfast. Otherwise I think it’s a safe pass for anyone more lukewarm on the premise of a girl who likes nothing but noodles.
Linny: Ms. Koizumi seems best suited for those who enjoy all the cliches and stereotypes we have described in this preview. Or those who love anime food porn and have a general curiosity about ramen noodles as the show is casually informative about the various kinds of ramen and preparation methods. And the girls’ over the top reactions to eating good ramen, specifically Koizumi’s, are portrayed in the oh so popular (in anime) orgasmic style, which can be enjoyed as comedy or titillation, depending on the viewer. What can be said for certain, at least based on this first episode, is that Ms. Koizumi is a show for someone seeking something light and fluffy involving food porn and who won’t mind the strict adherence to a simple formula.
Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles is available for streaming via Crunchyroll