I tossed and turned all night deciding whether or not to make this a full-length post or not, but in the end, I figured it would be rather redundant seeing as there’s very little difference between these specials and the parent series. Also, I lied, I didn’t think about it at all until I wrote the title of this post. I’m very sorry.
For a more in-depth write-up on the topic of this anime, I’ll link my thoughts on the original series. As I said, this special is little different, and in order to understand the nuances within, it’s a better post to look at.
However, there are some differences, specifically in the amount of “filler” present that invaded a good portion of the parent series. There is very little filler, creating the calming atmosphere with likable characters that the final few episodes of Kamichu! managed to spit out before its end. There is also much less attention associated with Yurie’s (the main character) godliness. These specials are somewhat of an homage to the more human aspects of the slice-of-life genre, as while spirits and such are present and regarded, not a lot of fantastical things occur outside of opportunities for emotional flamboyancy.
The specials present a more down-to-Earth style of characterizing the cast in a way the parent series did sparingly in an effort to indulge in the more spiritual escapades. Some subtle moral messaging is also present with the events that transpire, as well as conflict within characters that are pretty trivial, yet charming in their execution. Allowing one’s child to express themselves, worrying about a loved one’s impression of you, and similar circumstances with spiritual beings within the realm of humanity as if it were normal. It does a lot of what the good parts of Kamichu! employ without having to rely on wacky adventures a la saving aliens from corrupt politicians and the like. Still, it leaves a little bit on the table that could leave those wanting some exuberant “oomph” wanting more.
Animation in Kamichu! was fairly good, with a lot of focus on small movements and otherwise inconsequential facial movements. Those little quirks allowed the world and characters to feel more alive and refreshing in their “not-sexualized-to-high-heaven” production. The Kamichu! Specials are a lot of the same, though I believe the animation is a tad better seeing as they had time to chip out all the details without an allotted week-to-week timeslot. It instills the same kind of atmosphere that makes things complacently entertaining, without the necessity of making everything so wacky and over-the-top.
I was somewhat surprised to see that these specials were rated higher than the original series. Now indulging in them myself, I can see why. There’s a lot less filler bullshit accompanying and lets itself work with what it knows will work within the context of its setting. While I don’t think it’s a vast improvement, it shows exactly what the series is about and how well it can perform within its genre. And while a six out of ten may seem low, my appreciation of the series is something that shouldn’t be questioned.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.