Poco’s Udon World – Preview
Poco’s Udon World:
Original Air Dates: October 8th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Souta Tawara is on a visit to his hometown after his father passed away. He visits his father’s now run down noodle shop and home, only to discover that a strange child has taken up residence. While dealing with this cute little kid, Souta finds himself under pressure from multiple sources to take up his father’s mantle. But things take a surprising turn as Souta discovers that the little boy is actually a Tanuki in disguise.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Poco’s Udon World seems slated to be the feel good slice of life for the season with a more mature cast and feel compared to your typical moe slice of life. It’s likely that the show is going to explore Souta’s journey of self growth and discovery as he returns to his small town roots and family home. It’s basic premise isn’t necessarily original, in fact, it might remind some of shows like Barakamon, with its older male protagonist forced to go to a small village town and work with the dynamic of an awkward male and cute, hyper kid. But at the same time, that familiarity means it exudes the kind of cuteness and comfort that slice of life shows are well loved for and is thus, sure to earn the show its own fandom.
Tom: Poco’s Udon World is enjoyable in a relaxing, don’t think too much kind of way. It feels a lot like the offspring you’d get if you crossed Sweetness and Lightning with Barakamon. Comparatively the comedy feels a tad basic compared to the latter, particularly during the scene with the berating granny who takes some pointed shots at Souta’s life in the city. It feels obvious, generic, and something altogether common in anime, but executed well enough that it’s fine, neither funny nor painful, just fine.
Linny: Some might complain that Souta feels bland and generic, yet another older male who has lost his way in life and is struggling with what to do next. He’s not a terrible person but has some major regrets in life and there’s a clear indication that he will be returning to fulfill a childhood dream he rejected as a teen. It’s a story one might have seen many times before, but it does have all the qualities that appeal to fans of these kind of stories such as cute characters and a theme of regret and redemption.
Tom: Souta is a bit generic in my honest opinion. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy, relatable to anyone still making their way in the world, perhaps even burdened by family pressure to take over the business, but none of that makes him all that memorable. As other characters go no one else really gets explored. My thoughts on his best friend is that he’s a bit of an ass, completely disinterested in the kid Souta finds wandering around his family’s home. We also meet Souta’s potential love interest, although she pretty much just pops in for a face check with the audience. The kid, Poco, is undeniably cute and if you’re not clued in via the synopsis, an amusing surprise just as the premier’s winding up.
Linny: Poco is definitely the highlight of the episode with his cuteness maximized through voice acting and his adorable expressions. We get allusions to him having a secret of his own thanks to a mysterious scene at a temple but that scene also raises quite a few more questions than answers. As for Souta’s potential love interest, her introduction in the episode is comedic but also feels forced as she claims to be out of time for her lunch break even though it’s barely minutes since she got to the restaurant. Even if she was planning on getting take out, it’s hard to believe her order could be ready that soon.
Tom: Poco’s Udon World has a very light, fluffy, almost picture book-esque quality to it. It’s taken to the absolute extreme at the end of the episode for a cute little skit involving the children’s show introduced earlier in the episode. It gets a bit too childish at that point for my taste, but is likely to appeal to more hardened slice of life fans.
Linny: The imagery and art of the episode lends well to the quaint slice of life vibe, The scenery and nature shots look dreamy and suit the boonies locale. Something rather unique is that the next episode preview is narrated by a man in a suit who introduces himself as the Udon Prefecture Vice Governor. This man is actually a real life actor named Jun Kaname who is doing promotional work to have the Kagawa prefecture in Japan renamed to Udon Prefecture as an homage to their famous udon noodles. What does all this have to do with Poco’s Udon World? Well, the show itself takes place in the Kagewa prefecture, hence all this promotional work at the end of the episode. Just a little tidbit that I thought other viewers might be amused to learn.
Tom: Poco’s Udon World is enjoyable, but struggles to feel unique. Maybe once Poco’s character and the fantasy aspects of the story get greater play it’ll develop it’s own rhythm. As it is right now Poco is still very much enjoyable, and I recommend it, but feel like it has a bit to go before it can be recognized as a true classic like Barakamon or Sweetness and Lightning.
Linny: There’s nothing groundbreaking about Poco’s Udon World but it doesn’t need to be for its intended audience who will more than likely be on the lookout for something that makes them feel warm and fuzzy while producing a chuckle or two. Poco’s Udon World does just that, even if it’s main character feels like someone you’ve seen a million times before. It’s adorable child character is sure to melt the hearts of Slice of Life fans and even if it doesn’t leave a lasting impression, it’s likely to be the show that you will enjoy unwinding to after a long and hectic day.
Poco’s Udon World is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com