October 13, 2006

I had a hard time finding some information for the anime series Kasumin. Why is that? That’s because when the local tv aired the series, it was under the name Mistin. So there weren’t much details about it under that name. But luckily that one website manage to mention the name Kasumin, so I manage to find some info on it, albeit it wasn’t that much, but sufficient.
So how did it end up with that name change? I read that there was some adaptation of the Japanese version to the English version. Yup, meaning, there’ll be some voice-overs (read: dubbed). And I don’t know why, most of the time when there’s such a case, usually there’s a change in name of the characters. So somehow the title of this anime is also changed to suit the name change of the characters.
And why is it Mistin instead of Tintin or Carotine? Well, maybe the former might overlap (or copyrighted) with some travelling reporter of a famous comic strip. And the latter, perhaps this isn’t a health related anime. So I checked that the word ‘kasumi’ in Japanese means mist. Ah… so it’s a translation of the word. Hence, the main character of the series, Kasumi Haruno is renamed Misty Springfield. Yeah, and ‘haru’ means spring in Japanese.
It’s not just her character which has a name change. In fact, I think nearly the entire cast has a name change. Like Senzaemon becomes Ebenezer, Sentaro becomes Hermit, Ranko becomes Lily, among them. Most of them if I think about it are translations from their Japanese meaning. Haih, why bother. But anyway, to make things a little easier, I’ll refer to the characters’ name and terms based on the English version (since the version I watched is dubbed in Malay which is based on the English version) to avoid any ‘personal’ confusion.
The storyline is something like this. Misty a 10 year old girl arrives in a town to see her parents off who are going to Africa to do some research on animals. Of course, they couldn’t just leave her home alone. While they’re away, they leave her under the care of the Mistins family. I’m not sure how are they related since their names are quite similiar. As Misty arrives, she noticed strange things such as a big house located right smack in the middle of a large forest. One can even get lost trying to reach the house.
She finally arrives at the house and is greeted by the house family members. And there’re even stranger things like talking and walking appliances! There’s a rag cloth, a scrubber which looks like a duck (why is it carrying a tamborine?), a microwave oven dog, a turtle with a camera lens for it’s head, and a thermo flask who has a low morale and self-confidence. Actually all these creatures and the inhabitants of this house aren’t humans. They’re creatures called Morphs (Henamon in the Japanese Version). And they live a secluded life away from the eyes and ears of humans. That’s because it would be a big deal if their presence is made known, like they’ll be scorn by society and things like that. So it’s better that way.
In exchange for living with them, Misty has to do household chores like cleaning and cooking. But the Mistins has got themselves a robot maid already. Do they need an extra hand? Well, the robot maid’s gonna get married and leave soon so Misty’s there as her replacement. But later on, due to certain circumstances, she didn’t manage to leave. Guess she’ll always be part of the family, huh.
Of course, Misty and the head of the househould, Ebenezer, don’t seem to get along and are always at each other’s throat, quarelling and arguing just about anything. The stubborn Ebenezer doesn’t trust humans and is shocked to find that Misty isn’t one. But Misty is determined to prove him wrong. Probably that’s why they don’t see eye to eye. Other family members include Sakurame, Ebenezer’s wife, who seems casual and lenient at times, Hermit, their elder son, who doesn’t talk much and constantly blushes whenever anything is said or done towards him, Dragon Prince (Ryuunosuke in the Japanese Version), who’s the prince of the Dragon King, sent to live with the Mistins as part of his training. He can be quite naughty sometimes bringing Misty trouble, but at other times quite close to her and likes her a lot. Then there’s Lily, another loggerhead with Misty, who’s sudden return back to the family because she just divorced her husband just after a month of marriage. Yeah, she’s quite obnoxious and likes to order Misty to do things. And what’s that tree with that opera mask-like face in the forest? Er… seems Misty is quite afraid of it. Who wouldn’t? Popping out just like that.
But the funny and amusing part is how the Morphs use their magic. It’s quite funny to see it actually. What they do is that they cross and put both their hands under their ear (make like an x), and at the same time they stick their tongue out. Then whatever magic they do becomes activated. Even the serious face Ebenezer looked so funny. Hahaha. I guess that’s the only part which I liked watching the series.
So throughout the series, Misty will probably face a lot of obstacles coping with her school life and trying to keep the Morphs family existence a secret from her friends and society. Like how one of those talking walking appliances followed her to school and Misty has a hard time trying to keep it down. Yeah, probably eveyone in school thinks she’s a cleaning freak. Or the time when her homeroom teacher decides to visit her home as part of her ‘routine’ to visit her student’s home. Then there’s that time where Misty has to babysit Dragon Prince along with his other kindergarten pals. So you’ve guessed it, a lot of magic wrecking havoc.
One thing I would also like to note is that the Mistin family members seems to like to call Misty, Mistin. Uh-huh, much to Misty’s annoyance. Not only that, her classmates too prefers to call her by that. Speaking of which, Misty has got a classmate, Ozzie, who’s very much interested in exposing the Morphs. And he thinks Misty is the key to it all. Yeah, with that devilish snickering, you’d probably guess he’s the mad and desparate kinda type. Fortunately, his schemes usually gets thwarted by certain circumstances in the end. Oh well, but he seems adamant and not willing to give up yet.
Unfortunately, after viewing the first few episodes, this anime series wasn’t enough to sustain my interest to continue watching it. So I’m making a guess what will happen over the remaining episodes of the series. Misty’s life is gonna be a roller coaster ride with the Morphs’ magic wrecking havoc and obstructing her daily life, turning it upside down and inside out. Probably she manages to overcome it and accepts it by the end. Also, Misty maybe helping the Morphs and her school friends in any problem that they face. And there’ll be closer bonding between Misty and the Morphs as the series progresses, getting to know and understand each other better. Things like that.
By the way, by the end of most of the episodes or during one, due to the unfortunate events that befall on her, Misty always contemplates of leaving the Mistin house. But she never gets to do so. Yeah, I guess this is another one of the many examples of a love-hate relationship.
The drawing and animation of the series is ‘innocent’ meaning that it looked like it’s targeted for younger audiences with cute characters, especially the funny, weird and different looking Morphs (okay, maybe some people may call it cute). Besides, the storyline and the humour is kinda ok too. Nothing much special to me. Also, I read that this series is quite a hit in Japan, spanning a 3 seasons with a total of 78 episodes. But I think it isn’t as popular as Pokemon or Digimon, but there’s a reasonable number of followers.
However, like I’ve said earlier on, somehow I’ve lost interest in watching the series and won’t be continuing to do so. In addition, I don’t have to wake up on early Sunday mornings just for this. Probably I need to catch up on my sleep rather than catching up on watching anime titles. Sheesh, bad me.

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