“Why are there tits on my right hand!?” — Seiji
discovers Midori attached to his wrist.
Midori Days is the heartwarming tale of an awkward romance
between a rough-hewn juvenile delinquent and the shy rich girl
who is attached to his right wrist in place of his hand.
If there is an anime out there with a more f[il]ked up concept
than this, I don’t want to know about it.
Seventeen-year-old Seiji Sawamura, known as “Mad Dog” for
his brutal fighting skills and his less-than-stellar intellectual
capabilities, has gone his entire life without ever having had
a date. Midori Kasugano is the only girl who isn’t deathly afraid
of the violent, delinquent Seiji, but she is far too shy and
sheltered to even talk to him. Then, one morning, when they
both wake up, they discover that Midori has mysteriously transformed
into a small living puppet, in place of Seiji’s right hand.
Midori Days naturally milks this bizarre concept for
all its worth. Almost all the comedy in this series comes from
Midori and Seiji having to adapt to their odd new situation,
from cooking meals to taking a leak. Fortunately, most of the
comedy is actually pretty funny. A lot of it is slapstick, such
as when Midori, who can move around on her own and even drag
Seiji around despite being essentially part of his body, has
to fend off various visitors to Seiji’s apartment while he’s
unconscious by hefting him around like a giant marionette. Some
of it is bawdy situational humor, since Midori and Seiji, literally
being attached at the wrist, have to change and bathe each other,
neither of them quite prepared for that level of intimacy.
But the real core of Midori Days is the characters.
On the whole, this is a very good thing, since this anime is
blessed with a surfeit of amusing personalities. The funniest
by far is Ayase, the uptight goody-girl in Seiji’s class. At
first completely dismissive of Seiji, she finds her attitude
changing after he saves her from a gang of thugs from a rival
school. Her perfectionist nature makes her fumbling attempts
to catch Seiji’s eye the highlight of the whole series, with
everything from first dates to seduction attempts laid out in
meticulous detail — and never quite going according to
She’s not the only one to steal the show. Seiji’s former-biker-gang-leader
older sister, O-Rin, is a violent, alcoholic, big-breasted,
bespectacled hellion, who divides her time equally between making
Seiji’s life hell and helping him and Midori out when they need
it. Seiji’s classmate Takamizawa is a doll otaku, obsessed with
anime figurines and never without his prized hand puppet Marin-chan;
at first, he seems to be a danger to the doll-like Midori, but
he quickly becomes a valued, if odd, friend (he knows where
to get all the best doll clothes, after all). Seiji’s neighbor
Shiori is the obligatory oversexed schoolgirl, but her crush
on Seiji (while played for laughs) isn’t creepy, but tragic,
since her obsession with him is rooted in her very sad family
I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are two obvious omissions
in that list. That’s because the two main characters in Midori
Days almost drag the rest of the series down with their
mediocrity. To be fair, Seiji himself isn’t too bad. He’s just
unoriginal — there are dozens of blockheaded delinquent
types who are the oblivious object of female attention in anime.
Seiji’s basically an updated version of Ranma Saotome from the
classic series Ranma 1/2.
The real problem with Midori Days is Midori herself.
While she does have a few good moments, like when she secretly
writes in her giant diary about her experiences or yells at
Seiji during the more perverted moments of the anime, the rest
of the time she’s just a gigantic lead weight dragging this
series down. Most of the time, she’s a bland, boring nonentity,
whose whole self-existence is wrapped up in her devotion to
Seiji. This not only makes for pretty uninteresting viewing
(especially during the episode where she briefly gets her real
body back, which was so interminable it almost made me fast-forward
through the thing), but it’s also a tad obsessive and creepy.
It also makes me wonder just why Seiji decides to return her
affections, instead of going for the far superior, interesting,
and non-stalkerish Ayase. Even worse, on those few occasions
when Midori does show a bit of spark and spirit, she’s basically
a ripoff of all the other angry anime femmes out there.
When the best thing you can say about your female lead is that
she’s a pale imitation of Naru from Love Hina crossed
with a pale imitation of Belldandy from Ah! My Goddess,
your series has problems.
Luckily, the other flaws in Midori Days are pretty minor.
The series is too short, lasting just 13 episodes, yet it’s
an adaptation of a multi-volume manga. This leads to a rather
rushed and unsatisfying climax, as the creators try to cram
as much resolution into the short length as possible, and it
doesn’t really work. The dub is also a little weak, though some
of the English actors do come off well, especially the ones
portraying Seiji and O-Rin. And, I gotta say, the music is really,
Still, there’s more than enough good stuff in Midori Days
to make up for all that. The setup is original, the comedy is
genuinely funny, and the supporting cast is hysterically entertaining.
The colors and animation are bright and sharp, and the original
Japanese voice actors are perfectly suited to their roles. The
whole 13-episode series is contained on just three discs, and
there are even some nice extras here, like some audio dramas
and dub outtakes.
Midori Days manages to be fun and enjoyable despite the
mediocrity and lack of originality present in its main characters.
It won’t make any “best of” lists, but it’s amusing, clever,
and even touchingly sweet at times. At just three discs for
the entire series, romantic comedy fans could certainly do a
lot worse than to check this series out.