Mahoraba – Heartful Days VS Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou

May 13, 2016

Dorms. One of those indications to signal that you are independent and living life on your own free will. Or it might just be a cheaper alternative in places where monthly rental is skyrocketing through the roof. But I’m not here to discuss about that. There are many animes with its characters staying in dorms and some revolving around the life and times of those dorm people. Today, we take a look and compare an old retro anime, Mahoraba – Heartful Days with a newer one, Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou and weigh in the pros and cons if you are ever thinking about living in dorms. Just kidding. Okay, maybe part serious too because you certainly don’t want to end up with a neighbour from hell. Speaking of which, why do dorms always house weirdoes? Don’t they have some sort of mental institution around? Right, not mad enough to be admitted into one yet.

The new kid in town:
Who is also happens to be the main character and normal guy of the series.
Mahoraba: Ryuushi Shiratori.
Kawaisou: Kazunari Usa.

The dorm they’re going to live in:
Mahoraba: Narutakisou.
Kawaisou: Kawaisou.

Why moved here:
Mahoraba: To attend Sumeragi Design School in Tokyo to achieve his dream of becoming a children’s book artist.
Kawaisou: He made a deal with his parents that he could live anywhere they choose as long as he can leave home.

The landlady:
Mahoraba: Kozue Aoba.
Kawaisou: Sumiko Kawai.

Other occupants:
Mahoraba: Tamami Chanohata, Megumi Momono, Asami Kurosaki, Sayoko and Yukio “Johnny” Haibara.
Kawaisou: Ritsu Kawai, Shirosaki AKA Shiro, Mayumi Nishikino and Sayaka Watanabe.

Love interest:
I suppose it gives further motivation for the new guy to stay on. Otherwise they could have moved out.
Mahoraba: Shiratori for Kozue – They are second cousins.
Kawaisou: Usa for Ritsu – They are school classmates.

Only for her:
Mahoraba: Shiratori is believed to be the only one who can ‘cure’ Kozue of her multiple personalities.
Kawaisou: Usa wants to be the one to walk home with Ritsu and also get her email address.

It’s all in the family:
Mahoraba: Aside Shiratori and Kozue as second cousins, Asami is Sayoko’s daughter albeit adopted.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is the granddaughter of Sumiko.

The drunkard:
Every dorm needs to have one person who loves their alcohol and prone to get high.
Mahoraba: Momono.
Kawaisou: Mayumi.

Weak with alcohol:
Mahoraba: Saki.
Kawaisou: Ritsu.

The loli:
Mahoraba: Asami.
Kawaisou: Chinatsu.

Multiple personality:
Mahoraba: Kozue – She has 5 different personalities. Depending on the circumstances, a personality will appear and you can tell when she sports a totally different attitude and hairstyle or outlook. Also, can Haibara be considered to have one since he often talks via his hand puppet dog.
Kawaisou: Erm… Sayaka? She might not have split personality and more like putting on a double face. Because she can act cutesy and innocent in one moment but behind your back she turns into a nasty devil.

Scheming girl:
Cunningness runs in their blood.
Mahoraba: Tamami.
Kawaisou: Sayaka.

Shy girl:
Mahoraba: Natsume, one of Kozue’s personalities.
Kawaisou: Ritsu.

The inept:
Mahoraba: Sayoko – Big time useless klutz.
Kawaisou: Ritsu – At least socially inept because of her shy personality that makes her really awkward in expressing herself.

The pervert:
Mahoraba: Tsubasa Yamabuki.
Kawaisou: Shiro.

The masochist:
Mahoraba: Erika Vermillion.
Kawaisou: Shiro.

The cross-dresser:
Mahoraba: Shiratori is forced to cross-dress by one of Kozue’s personalities, Chiyuri. This leads to a mistaken identity that Tsubasa falls in love with. Who the heck is Reiko anyway?
Kawaisou: As a prank during the cultural festival, Usa is duped into wearing a maid outfit.

Period dressing:
Mahoraba: There is this storybook-like tale in this anime, the character Umeboshi Princess dresses like a typical, erm, princess.
Kawaisou: At Anekouji run by Sumiko’s friend, Tae Shinohara, the waiters of this café dress up as traditional apprentice outfit.

Occult lover:
Mahoraba: Erika.
Kawaisou: Hayashi when she was in middle school and Kurokawa AKA Saionji.

Depraved girl:
Mahoraba: Risona Aizawa – yaoi and yuri lover.
Kawaisou: Sayaka – BL lover.

Prone to depression:
Mahoraba: Sayoko – lack motivation and easily loses confidence.
Kawaisou: Mayumi – love problems.

Book related:
Mahoraba: Shiratori aspires to be a children’s book artist. Also, Johnny is a freelance writer. Not forgetting Satsuki Matsuba who always throws heavy books to her friend Michiyo Asagi to keep her in check.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is an avid bookworm and loves reading more than anything else.

Just want to be friends:
Mahoraba: Rich and snobby Michiyo may seemingly be acting unconcerned but all she really wants is just to be friends with Asami.
Kawaisou: Maemura shares the same reading interest with Ritsu and instantly become friends but she went too far distributing unauthorized pictures of the latter and inviting her to a group blind date in the disguise of ‘meeting guys with the same reading hobby’.

Dorm activity:
It isn’t a place just to sleep.
Mahoraba: There is this weird annual tradition of the residents playing a hide and seek game whereby the winner gets a ticket to order others around.
Kawaisou: They played water pistols, blowing bubbles and relay storytelling just for fun.

Dorm visit:
Mahoraba: There is an episode whereby coincidentally Shiratori and Asami’s friends all pay a visit on the same day.
Kawaisou: Sayaka’s high school friend, Miharu Tsuneda makes a surprise visit. Same case for Tagami because he is interested in Mayumi.

School cultural episode:
Mahoraba: Episode 20.
Kawaisou: Episode 13 (OVA).

Room raiders:
Mahoraba: Everyone loves to crash and party till they drop drunk in Shiratori’s room.
Kawaisou: Mayumi and Sayaka raid Usa’s room for ‘snacks’ to avoid having that guy let Ritsu alone into his room. Porn magazines and DVD, find any?

Musical talent:
Mahoraba: Sayoko can play the violin. Surprise! Well, she does come from a wealthy family. Also, Hiro Utsugi is the president of the school’s orchestra club that has only 3 members.
Kawaisou: Mayumi can play the guitar but it only brings back heart breaking memories of her breakup. Usually girls resort to drowning themselves in ice cream or chocolate. This one goes up to the roof and strums her pain away…

Animal phobia:
Mahoraba: Saki (one of Kozue’s personalities) fears butterflies. Also, Risona has a fear of goats (because they will eat her manga manuscript).
Kawaisou: Sayaka has fear of rabbits.

Other fears:
Mahoraba: All the girls in Narutakisou fears Chiyuri thanks to her tendency to dress them up in weird costumes.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is averse to ghost stories and horror films.

Mahoraba: Although only for a short causal moment, a stray cat is seen with a cockroach in its mouth leading to a shocking moment and a change in Kozue’s personality.
Kawaisou: There is an episode trying to locate a stray centipede in the dorm!!!!!!! SCARY!!!!! Thank Sayaka the saviour!

Love not returned:
Mahoraba: Tsubasa will never know about Reiko’s true identity…
Kawaisou: Although Tagami is interested in Mayumi, once the latter found out he isn’t of legal age, she loses interest.

Forbidden love:
Mahoraba: Sayoko eloped with the family’s gardener, Kurosaki.
Kawaisou: Would you believe it? Chinatsu likes Shiro!!!!!!!!! The world is coming to an end!!!

Sculptures of art:
Mahoraba: Sayoko’s dad, Ushimitsu is a burly sculptor.
Kawaisou: Shiro made a bamboo contraption that turns out to be some flowing noodles. Shiro also helps Chinatsu make mud balls for her summer project but the latter soon gets captivated into making decorative bread in the end.

Mahoraba: Miyabi Shirogane, the teacher of Shiratori’s school has some sort of terrifying punishment waiting if you don’t hand in your assignment on time or being disobedient. Whatever goes on in that room makes you wonder… But you know you don’t want to experience it, that’s for sure!
Kawaisou: The dorm is split into male and female section. Males are forbidden to step into the latter’s side. Because if you do, like Usa accidentally found out the hard way, there are nasty batting weapons lying a few feet from each other in the corridor for the women’s convenient to beat you up of you overstep the boundary.

The maid:
Mahoraba: Tachibana, Sakura Utsugi and Mahiru Minazuki from Ushimitsu’s household.
Kawaisou: Usa spotted in one after being tricked into wearing it during the cultural festival.

Production studio:
Mahoraba: J.C. Staff.
Kawaisou: Brain’s Base.

Number of episodes:
Mahoraba: 26 episodes.
Kawaisou: 12 episodes + 1 OVA.

Year of release:
Mahoraba: 2005.
Kawaisou: 2014.

In terms of aesthetics and looks, Kawaisou has got it hands down with characters looking like your standard conventional Japanese anime whereas Mahoraba is just looking cartoonish. However in terms of storyline and development, Mahoraba beats Kawaisou thanks to its various characters that include many others that do not reside in the dorm. The character development in the former feels better maybe because they had more episodes compared to the latter in which even watching the romance unfolding between the 2 main characters is painfully slow. Okay, some things do take time. The dorm residents of Mahoraba are also wackier and crazier compared to Kawaisou. Just like many newbies, they become familiar with the ‘customs’ and blend themselves in to become part of the weirdoes. At least they’re being family. Only, not blood related. Whatever place you live in, let’s hope that you can call it your home in your heart. More importantly, even the most annoying and bizarre residents of the dorm they are still human beings deep down. You just accept for who they are then can you only make peace with yourself. Like the saying, if you can’t beat them, join them.

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