Going Down The List: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

(MAL LINK)

This is not the best-looking nor the most unique-looking Shaft show ever. Nor is it as crazy in its ideas as some other Shaft shows. Denpa Onna is actually a relatively normal show in most respects, even when it comes to the story: It has a pretty cold opening, and it ends without anything really happening. It’s not very interesting either, because I’m having a hard time remembering whether there were any noteworthy scenes in the show or not. Well, I mean, I do remember the bottle rocket, some of the school scenes and the telescope scene, but I can’t remember where in the story the interesting moments take place.

What I do remember is the characters. More specifically, they’re all… eccentric, for lack of a better word. The main character Makoto is obsessed with some kind of point system that he uses to judge how “rad of a teenager” he himself is. Or something like that. Ryuuko is very genki, but she has some issues with either communication or emotions, I think. Maekawa is probably most normal personality-wise, but she has a physical condition that limits what she can do. And Erio is plenty weird, but on some level she seems the most likely to actually successfully re-adjust to society in the end. And, as a side note, her mother Meme(sorry, I just had to mention her name) is far from well-adjusted too.

In retrospect, my favourite thing about the series is probably how it treats its characters, and how they treat each other and themselves. In terms of the angst and the melancholy of the characters, Denpa Onna is like Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai without the chuunibyou part of it. This means that when it comes to relatability, Denpa Onna is, at least for me(and other “eccentric” people), more serious in tone than Chuunibyou. And I think Denpa Onna is actually more competent than Chuunibyou, at least when it comes to actually dealing with the characters’ problems. Chuunibyou made me angry by first teasing development and then taking it away. Denpa Onna, on the other hand, convinced me that maybe it’s OK to be different, that maybe you can adjust to society without shedding your personality. Unfortunately, the show was not really good at showing this side of itself, because I remember most of it being really boring. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

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