What’s the show? Amazing Stranger, Episode 1.
And what’s it about? Short version; otaku guy buys a ⅙ scale bishoujo figure of his favourite character from his favourite anime but turns out she’s a real girl–shenanigans ensue. Even shorter version; it’s like Toy Story but with anime and mild lewds.
Why the “short” version of the synopsis, aside from the pun considering the subject matter. Because it’s important to note while the show is pretty simplistic on the surface and can be reduced to a mere sentence. Even during the 12 minute run-time of this first episode, there’s a lot that happens.
Right, so does that mean you’re going to give us the “long” version of what it’s about? So our protagonist Bouida Haruto has zero interest in 3D (aka, real life women) as he’s an obsessed otaku through and through. The show and the anime girl he is obsessed with are ‘Girls Planetary Investigation’ and Nona respectively. Things get off to a rocky start as he marvels over the craftsmanship of his new figure and then proceeds to undress her. Which the–up to that point pretending to be a toy–Nona is none too happy with and proceeds to riddle his couch with bullets from her arm cannons. In order to keep the nature of her existence from her (that she’s a fictional character in an anime) he pretends to be a professor affiliated with a space alliance from the anime and they strike up a truce.
I could have probably done without the long version. Maybe, but I like that there’s already layers of deceptions going on–it adds drama to their ~relationship~. As well as that there’s questions about who Nona is and if in fact she is as Bouida presumes and is a toy brought to life (somehow)–or is actually a real person from a real galaxy “far, far away” who’s just managed to end up on Earth in the care of an obsessed otaku.
And what about the characters themselves? As this episode is basically just the two of them the real litmus test for whether you’ll enjoy this series is how the characters are and their interactions with one another. I think both Bouida and Nona are terrific characters; I enjoy the fact that Bouida is an adult otaku living by himself and not a high-school kid as could have easily been–it makes his connection to the 2D world all the more relatable (and all the more pathetic). Nona is all kinds of adorable and her 3D animation blends so seamlessly with the mostly 2D world around her. She’s also that great combo of confident and ditzy which makes her very endearing.
So final thoughts and recommendation for the first episode? I really enjoyed it, I thought it was funny, sweet and just a little bit naughty. I look forward to the kind of shenanigans they’ll get into in future eps as well as meeting the colourful cast of supporting characters that adorns the poster. I don’t really have a basis for comparison for recommending a series like this, but if you enjoy otaku-centric humour and want to see an “unconventional” relationship form between two unlikely characters then give this series a go!
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