A shoujo girl-makes-good show that’s really funny and has a lovely weird main character. When she isn’t being incredibly cute, Kirari is gobbling up whatever food she can find or drooling in search of it. In between, she finds time to force herself on stage with a boy she loves and become an idol.
Romance, humor that's actually funny. No fanservice. Fun for the whole family. Maybe I’m a chorus of one, but I think this show deserves more attention. Fansub on its way from Shinki Fansubs. I’ll give a fairly detailed summary after a brief review.
Kirari is 14. She is really, really cute, and really, really a glutton. She wakes up dreaming of food, downs about two dozen hotcakes, has drool spilling out of her mouth much of the time, and greets a suitor with a mouth overflowing with takoyaki.
The big-eyed character design works, especially when they drop her eyelids and blush her face, giving her a heated, determined look. Her tiny animal mascot Naa-san rides around on her head all day and no-one seems to mind. He echoes her motions in a hilarious way. And he flies into people’s faces to protect Kirari whenever she seems to be in danger. One of the funniest animal mascots I can remember.
Kirari’s voice actress is an idol from Morning Musume, Kusumi Koharu. She is 13 but sounds older. I often defend untrained seiyuu as bringing something special to a role, but in this case I found her voice difficult to hear and either unexpressive or over-expressive, except for a few good lines. Nevertheless, the character still worked really well for me, so perhaps she was more effective than I thought.
Kusumi-chan does the OP and ED, neither of which were anything special, but both of which I enjoyed. Morning Musume, after all.
The animation is quite witty, with many visual jokes and the best use of chibis I can remember seeing. I think it’s really well done. But many tricks are used to avoid having to do anything complex. The look is reminiscent of Aishiteruze Baby or Full Moon wo Sagashite.
Kirari slumbers on through her alarm, dreaming of food. Her animal companion Naa-san wakes her by diving onto her face. Deep cuteness arises as they brush their teeth together and Naa-san brushes Kirari’s hair. Then Kirari scoffs down about two dozen hotcakes, made for her by a doting Dad. They see news of a new idol on TV, but prefer to watch the animal exercise program. More cuteness as they join in.
At lunch, Kirari is eating with her girl friends. A boy comes in with a love note to present to Kirari. She turns to him with takoyaki in her mouth, a squid-tentacle sticking out of it, and drool on her chin. After the boy has fled, her friends tell her she should try to be more lady-like. She’s so pretty that she could even become an idol. They enumerate the advantages of being an idol. All Kirari can think of is the food she’d get to eat. They mention two guys from the same school who have become an idol team and are so cool. She only thinks of finding a boy who will give her good food to eat.
Walking home that day, she tells her friends that she’s only 14 and there will be plenty of time for boys in the future. Then she bumps into a guy swathed in bulky, disguising clothes, who is madly searching for something. He rushes off after a brief apology.
Naa-san sees a turtle up on a tree branch. Kirari goes up onto an overpass to reach out and rescue it, which she does, but then she herself falls. The disguised guy rushes back and catches her just in time. His disguise falls off. He’s gorgeous, and she is smitten. His name is Seiji. The fact that the turtle is his animal mascot just seals the deal. He gives a her a ticket to a concert, where he says he works. She returns to her friends and floors them by saying she has found the love of her life.
At the concert location, she is attacked by a girl for butting into line, then finds a staff entrance. A guy jumping from an upper floor lands on her (sans fanservice) and gets angry at her for not getting out of the way, then says with a leer that she is cute. She calls Naa-san to rescue her and he bashes the guy to the ground.
When she realizes the guy has a staff armband, she asks where to find Seiji. He asks why, and she says she likes him. He asks for her ticket and tears it up, saying that she should not get close to Seiji, he belongs to another world. She turns from shock to anger and flings Naa-san at him. Naa-san wins again. She says she’s going to find Seiji whatever he says.
But when she gets to the staff entrance without a ticket, the staff there won’t let her in. She and Naa-san try various hilarious methods of getting past them -- maid service, tunnel, battering ram -- none of which works. This part is really funny animation. Then Naa-san bloats himself with water like a balloon and the staff let them in to get help for the apparently sick animal.
She has to evade the staff, and can’t find Seiji. She climbs up and crawls through the ceilings looking for the concert, and ends up looking down on the stage. It suddenly lights up and she sees Seiji and the guy who fell on her start their concert: they are the two-person idol group her friends mentioned earlier.
She is up among the lights, and falls onto the stage behind them, landing on a big couch that explodes in a cloud of feathers around her. Seiji rescues the situation by spilling feathers over her and telling the audience she is an angel. People in the audience say how pretty she is, and people watching on TV say she must be a new idol.
Seiji’s partner carries her off stage, and berates Seiji backstage for giving her the ticket. Then Seiji has to go back on alone, and the guy tells Kirari she has to give up on Seiji, who is a famous idol, while she is just an ordinary middle-school girl.
She says she won’t give up the boy she loves, grabs a mic from him and marches on stage with Seiji. She stares out into the audience and says: “Tsukishima Kirari, 14 years old. I want to be an idol, please.” Her friends are watching on TV and are astounded. Her image appears on huge screens outside the arena. She stares out into the camera, flushed and determined. To be continued.