Thoughts on Momokuri (TV)

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Going through the list of anime this season, there weren’t a lot of titles that stuck out to me. Aside from this, 91 Days was the only other title I considered picking up, but I never bothered to follow that series on a weekly basis, instead opting to keep it snuggled inside my Plan to Watch list. Momokuri isn’t actually a “new” series. It had an ONA series of 26 episodes spanning 10-12 minutes per episode back about a year ago. This version of Momokuri is simply adding two of the ONA’s episodes together to craft it into a standard 24-minute episode of a one-cour series. One could say that the original ONA is essentially the TV version split in half. This made it incredibly confusing to research on MAL, which is stern on keeping the ONA and TV versions as one entry.

What drew me to watch this series was the emphasis on a female character acting like a stalker-ish pervert. I was skeptical that they would emphasize her bizarre kinks to absurd levels for the sake of one-dimensional comedy, but was surprised to see a decently paced story and slightly developed characters evolving throughout each episode. The relationship between Momo and Kuri (shortened names) is blissfully slow and steadfast in its development due to the purity of the characters, but enough happens to justify the two being in a committed relationship, rather than having Momo be a sort of perverted fantasy in Kuri’s mind. This is another thing I was skeptical of; whether or not the romance of the show would be genuinely heartfelt.

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It’s a simple show at a base level: high schoolers doing high school things. The only real quirk it has is Kuri’s odd obsession with Momo. What exactly is so appealing about Momo, you ask? Kuri would say that it’s his entire being. His cute expressions, hairstyle, personality, and little quirks that seem to exude a pet-like cuteness that she can’t withstand just watching from afar. Maybe Momo was born with it. It is through this quirk that Momokuri helps steady itself from beginning to end, introducing a vast number of different characters who act as the voice of reason (or brain-teasers) on a part of their respective friend’s side of the relationship. Think of it like Haji-Otsu, only instead of constantly giving advice as to what’s wrong with their relationship, the friends tease them that their relationship has only come so far. There are shy moments to this anime when it comes to the main couple, but the tone of the show outside of those tender moments alone between the title character is an aloof, almost carefree nature of young love. It helps to soothe over those tired of relationships always falling into adversity upon every couple episodes or so, but doesn’t give a realistic interpretation that the couple truly has any sense of chemistry aside from being physically attracted to one another.

I was right to be skeptical, as the relationship between Momo and Kuri is pretty forgettable… at first. As the series goes on, Kuri starts to see Momo less and less as a fetish and more as an actual man. This, however, is also riddled with the constant desire to reveal to him the way she actually (or originally) viewed him. Because of this personality quirk of hers, one is never too certain as to how much she actually loves Momo the man or Momo the fetish. It throws doubt into the validity of their relationship and whether Momo is more attracted to Kuri personally or if he’s more just enticed by the idea of “having a girlfriend.” I didn’t really see Momo and Kuri as a genuine couple for a good majority of this series. Even by the end, I still have lingering doubts about whether they should even try to make it last. Their relationship was predicated by one’s desire to examine a specimen up close, rather than having that profound attraction. But I may just be talking out of my ass.

Apart from them, the rest of the cast acts primarily as observers of this main relationship. Very rarely does the series take into account the lives or relationships of the people who hang around Momo or Kuri, typically giving them attention to act as comic relief, advisers, and the occasional love rival. There are two characters in particular, one of Momo’s male friends and his female “cousin,” who are given a smidge of importance due to their nearly inseparable bond based on the extended time they’ve spent together. Does this go anywhere? Not really. What does it all mean? They’re a male and a female high school student whose bond is nearly inseparable and has it highlighted in an anime detailing young love. You fill in the blanks. For all intents and purposes, the appeal of the secondary characters is to stay in there place and act as a shoulder for the main characters to cry on.

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Momokuri has a distinct design that highlights the characters’ eyes and color scheme, while also relying on the ordinary everyday to balance out the array of colors. Personally, I think Momo looks suspiciously similar to Hideyoshi from Baka-Test, but aside from him, the rest of the cast has enough to differentiate themselves from other characters in this series and otherwise. It has a keen emphasis on exuding the cuteness of situations to a higher extent. Watching Momokuri, one will come face to face with obscene amounts of blushing, chibi-faces, flashy fantasies, and kawaii karikatures. It’s almost trying to hide the indecent motivations of the central female character while also implying that its justified so long as it’s cute. But the anime is quick to put her down for her actions, so it’s balanced enough. I enjoyed the animation of the series, if only for the sake of adding some zest to an otherwise plain dish. More emphasis on mundane events aren’t always a plus, but here they have good timing, which helps boost the enjoyability of a title like this.

Is it particularly romantic? Somewhat. Is it all that funny? Not really. Did I like the series? Yeah, it was alright. The chemistry of the main couple isn’t always the most believable, but the enthusiasm and effort to progress the relationship past what it already is (and as slowly as possible) is enough to give the series a passing grade. The characters play off each other nicely without really standing out individually. The tender moments come off as relatively sweet while also exuding enough cheese for romantics out there (like me). It’s just not exactly something that’s groundbreaking or something worth watching right now. If ever you wanted to watch a series to calm down or to invoke an easygoing mood, Momokuri‘s your prime destination. In every regard, the series is simply “A’right.”

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on Momokuri (TV)

  1. Agreed that this series is alright. I enjoyed watching it each week but I doubt I’d ever go back for a re-watch given that there just isn’t all that much substance. Still, given I started this series expecting it to be one of the first ones I dropped and then it became one of the shows I looked forward to each week, it certainly manages to deliver a watchable high school romance. Thanks for sharing.

  2. From your writeup it sounds pretty ‘middle of the road’ -ish to me so I don’t know if I’ll be getting around to it anytime soon. Your description of Kuri’s appeal reminded me of Eruna from Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku because she sounds like kind of an endearing deviant. Both were kind of mediocre shows by the sound of it but they were perhaps carried a bit by the characterization of their leads. Thanks for the review.

  3. It’s such a cute and quietly subversive show. Definitely one of the more low-key highlights of the season. And to think I was going to drop it!

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