Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Looky what I found

(Image from Crunchyroll.com)

When I was in Tokyo last week for New Year's, I had the opportunity to watch a little TV - something I know I should do more of in Japan but find quite difficult. Well, the TV in the hotel had good reception and a nice LCD, so it was a bit easier.

Anyway, two consecutive mornings (I think they must have been running a marathon) I came across this cartoon that really piqued my interest. I did a little research upon my return, and apparently it's called 獣の奏者エリン (Kemono no Souja Erin). And it appears that it's available to watch on Crunchyroll, which I admit I've never used before, but probably will to watch this.

I caught the series in what seemed to be the early middle, so I'll refrain from talking about specifics in case anyone decides it looks interesting and wants to check it out. But I will say this: it was very charming and although it looks like a little-girl anime, it was quite enjoyable for me, a 20-something year old dude. The art style was perhaps what struck me the most. Although it's a relatively recent anime, the animation reminded me a lot of old cartoons from my childhood, some of which were originally from Japan, such as Nickelodeon's Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics.

The main story is about this green-haired, green-eyed girl named Erin who seems to have an affinity for and curiosity about nature and animals. The setting looks to be a typical fantasy-esque world filled with kingdoms, peasants, and the like. I did see a little bit of swordplay and some fantastical creatures, but I don't know if there's any magic in the series. If so it doesn't seem to be a heavy element.

I'm looking forward to checking out some more episodes, but with a slight tinge of disappointment; when I watched the show at the hotel, it was good Japanese practice. I didn't understand 100% of what they were saying, but that caused me to pay closer attention, and I had to work sometimes to figure out what they meant. It's my understanding that Crunchyroll has English subs, so that element will be lost for me. Oh well - maybe I'll hold off and go get a Tsutaya (Japanese Blockbuster equivalent) membership and see if they have it there.

Anyway, this was a good find for me. I really should be consuming more of my media in Japanese, but it can be a challenge to find books/games/comics/shows that both match my level of Japanese and interest me. Out of curiosity, has anyone else seen this show or read the manga it's based on?

Update: Looks like the English subs won't be a problem, since the videos don't seem to play in Japan.


  1. Glad you found something you could stomach. Some anime is pretty watchable if you give it a chance.

  2. Yeah, I mean...I don't HATE the stuff. I like some of Ghibli's movies and I've watched a few series that I've enjoyed. It's just that the cookie-cutter characters and themes of a lot of them get really tiresome after a while.

  3. I have been watching Kemono no Souja Erin on and off and up to episode 40 something now. I like these kinds of story heavy anime.

  4. Ah, cool. Yeah, I'll take a good story over unnecessary action any day.