WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Miyako is a shy college student who is also an otaku. One day she happens to meet some angelic grade school kids! When Miyako sees her little sister’s new friend Hana-chan, Miyako’s heart won’t stop racing! Miyako tries to get along with them but struggles… A sketch comedy all about trying to get along with the super cute girl is about to begin! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: With WATATEN! it is impossible to ignore the controversial content its humour is based in. There’s no two ways about it, especially when a grade school girl having to call the police because Miyako seems a little too excited about her is one of its big ‘gags’. The entire comedy of WATATEN! is centred around Miyako’s obsession with her grade school sister’s classmate and her obsession, while not graphically sleazy, isn’t a pure sisterly love either. The episode is so focused on Miyako’s intense feelings and the resulting comedy that we barely learn anything else about her, even though she is the main character. All she seems to do in the episode is be a homebody and stitch cosplay costumes for Hana to wear and pose in.
Tom: Wataten isn’t the first anime to skirt a fine line, nor will it be the last. The trouble is that there’s simply no other way to read the series. While Wataten tries to portray Miyako’s obsession with Hana-chan as one of innocence, there’s too much comedy that steps right over the line and makes Miyako’s pedo-nature uncomfortably overt. Maybe it’d be one thing if the show was actively condemning her. You could maybe then write it off as dark comedy, much like the opening to A Sister’s All You Need. But Hana-chan grows to tolerate Miyako, giving it this upsetting air of acceptance for Miyako’s creepy behavior. About the only thing going for the series is some strong production values which give the series plenty of visual appeal. But that’s not enough for me to recommend this, not with the constant undercurrent of uncomfortable content.
Linny: What further hampers WATATEN!’s appeal is that beyond Miyako’s obsession, it doesn’t really have anything else to offer in the form of comedy. There’s a few jokes here and there revolving around her younger sister but throughout the entire episode, there’s maybe one moment that is genuinely funny without being outright uncomfortable. As Tom said, the show seems to make everyone else oblivious to or accepting of Miyako’s tendencies and that makes it feel all the more wrong and awkward. It’s a shame given the great animation and production value that WATATEN! isn’t something I can see western audiences enjoying thanks to its troublesome main plot.
WATATEN!: an Angel Flew Down to Me is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.