February 15, 2013

WTF?! How can they do an anime on cockroaches?! Those disgusting little filthy insects that many humans despise. Forgive me cockroach lovers, but like the majority of humans on this planet, I am not really fond of cockroaches so my first instinct upon seeing them is to whack and kill them with a newspaper!!! Anyway, so it is really an eyebrow raiser that the producers really could make an ONA based on a little cockroach called Gokicha. Well, if you personify it into a cute little girl, then I guess that’s where all the disgusting part melts away. But still, she’s a cockroach nevertheless. I don’t really know what goes on in the mind of cockroaches (besides survival, I guess), for this particular Gokicha roach, she wants to make friends with humans! Good luck to that. If she can survive all the swatting and not get her guts splattered. Yeah, that is what the synopsis even says. A heart warming story of a cockroach girl who wants to be liked by humans while dodging insecticides. Heart warming?! My foot! Even if the storyline is, I still can’t see how cockroaches and heart warming can be put into the same sentence. Call me bias, prejudice and barbaric but the truth is, if I want to have peaceful sleeping nights, I better not see one of those things crawling anywhere near me. We can never click. We are worse than cats and dogs, oil and fire. Get the picture?

However if you are asking the main reason why I am watching this show then, there is one good reason and perhaps the only reason why one should watch this show. As even agreed by many viewers, the only reason why one should watch this show is because of Mamiko Noto. Yes, she is the sole reason. Her voice is the sole motivation (and salvation) why you should put up with the cockroach thingy and watch this series. Glad to know that she is still darn cute putting up with that trademark voice of hers. Yeah, it’s like falling in love with her all over again. And she really makes disgusting creatures cute (I remember she had a very short cameo role in Gintama as a disgusting and ugly looking creature made to be eaten. Pandemonium was its name again?). Oh, don’t get the wrong idea. I’m in love with Mamiko Noto and her voice, not the cockroach role she plays. And never ever in my entire life will I love cockroaches!

Episode 1
Gokicha introduces herself and how she moved to Hokkaido from Kanto region because everyone hates her there. Who wouldn’t want to smack a cockroach with a newspaper upon sight? Doesn’t the world hate cockroaches? She thought moving to this place with fewer cockroaches would mean she could make friends with humans. How wrong she is. Does this newspaper smack bring back memories? Later as she warms herself behind an air-cond unit, she spots several bad roaches hanging out on a garbage bag and tries to stop them from whatever they are doing. Otherwise it will be like Kanto all over again and the humans will hate them. They don’t give a sh*t and kick her away before moving on to a new place as she goes back sitting at the warm spot. Then as she tries cleaning up glass shards to avoid humans or cats getting hurt by stepping on it, she remembers a person who was the only one kind to her. Back in Kanto, Gokicha almost got stepped by another human. Bruised and hungry, she stumbles upon a guy cooking and gazes through his window. He tried to close the window and from Gokicha’s point of view, he is like extending his hand to welcome her! Before he knows it, she crawls up his arm!!!! FREAKY!!!! He tried to spray on her and the reason he hesitated wasn’t because he pitied her. She was standing next to his bowl of vegetables. After he takes the bowl away, he lets loose the spray. Didn’t work? Gokicha runs away crying but soon runs back in. The cat is chasing her! She could have been its dinner if not for the boy taking it away. Safe… As Gokicha bums outside his window, the boy leaves a small bowl of seeds for her to it, much to her delight. And who would have thought that she likes him ever since. Eww… However when spring arrives, he moved out to a different place. Though she doesn’t know where he is now, she hopes he is doing well.

Episode 2
We are introduced to another cockroach living in Hokkaido, Chaba. She narrates how humans truly fear them (note evil grin on her face). However she also notes that sometimes they too scare her. Later Gokicha meets up with Chaba and the former is all bruised up due to an ‘assault’ by the ramen shop owner. Chaba wants her to bring her to that shop that instant. Why? She wants to see the human fear them! OMG! See Chaba running around letting the ramen stall owner chase her and poor panicky Gokicha! Chaba is revelling in it! Eventually the roaches knock into each other, got swatted and dumped into the trash. If that isn’t enough, Chaba had the guts to tell him to finish them off in one death blow shot and not leave them alive! Well, cockroaches are tough, right? She’s going to crawl over his face one day for this! Then, Gokicha reminisces the time they first met. Chaba was at a train station and attracted to a guy’s onion bento. However the gap between the platform and train is too great for a roach so she fell short during her leap. Fortunately, she is pulled in by Gokicha. As they lay hungry, Chaba gets an idea. She is going to steal that man’s onion bento. Gokicha tries to stop her for fear her act will only make humans hate them even more but Chaba doesn’t give a damn. At this point, the ticket conductor spots both the roaches and tries to step on them. Chaba has already given Gokicha the slip so the poor latter once more got squashed. Don’t worry. She is still alive though she is thrown into the dustbin. The conductor goes off to ‘hunt’ the other roach.

Moe Roach…
Well, I don’t know how many more episodes there will be for this series because so far this is how much we viewers will get to see. I’m sure the story did not end just there yet. I get a feeling that this will be somewhat similar to Kyou No Asuka Show whereby only subscribed phone users in Japan can get to watch the remaining episodes. Also, this series reminds me of Ichigeki Sacchu Hoi-Hoi-san. But we don’t have little cockroach exterminators here. Just normal ordinary humans with their instincts to whack cockroaches upon sight. Rie Kugimiya is the voice of Chaba and despite pulling off her trademark tsundere voice, don’t expect her to be a tsundere roach here. She’s like a troublemaker and has a totally different personality than Gokicha. Yeah, I think all the cockroaches in real life are like Chaba. They’re out to get us and freak us out to the max!

If this series is trying to make us be to treat cockroaches better and to be on friendly terms with them, they can forget about it and they sure can forget about my support. It’s hard for me to change my stand on those pesky little bugs and I have a few close encounters and ‘brush with death’ with those damn roaches. Yeah, my heart nearly stopped each time I see them so that’s why I ‘nearly died’ before and after smacking them. Don’t worry. I kill them outright and don’t give any second chances. But the sad part is, for every one you kill there are thousands and millions more. Yuck. I shudder to think of such thought. I could even feel the chill down my spine as I write this.

Both the short opening and ending themes (Gokkyun! Days and Beginning respectively) are sung by Mamiko Noto. Though sometimes I have this dilemma if her heavenly voice is suitable for singing. Don’t worry, she still sounds cute. This would be the least of my problems because I still have phobia and to an extreme a very strong dislike for roaches. I hope my case won’t turn into like that unfortunate cartoon character, Oggy and the Cockroaches. I once said in my Hoi-Hoi-san blog that if God made cockroaches cuter, we would probably get along well with them. Since they’re not, I probably never will. Not even if they look moe or sound like Mamiko Noto. And no, Mamiko Noto is not a roach!!!

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