“Poco’s Udon World:” a sweet slice of life story

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A lot of the animes for this year are just second seasons of shows that started last year. So now might be the time to catch up on shows you may have missed in years prior. “Poco’s Udon World” is a great example of this.

The manga started in 2012, and was made into an anime in 2016. With 12 episodes in total, this makes for a pretty easy and laidback watch. The story centers around a young adult named Souta. When he comes to his hometown after pursuing a career in web design, he finds out that he will be staying in his father’s closed down Udon restaurant. Upon ariving there, he finds a young, seemingly homeless, boy that had been staying in the abandoned food place. Not knowing what to do with the little one, he names the boy Poco, and decides to take the kid in until further notice. Souta immediately notices Poco’s strange behavior, and the fact that he can barely talk. As the two become closer, Poco reveals that he is a tanuki (a Japanese mythical creature) that can take human shape along with other magical powers. Thus, chaos ensues.

The conflict of Poco actually being a tanuki makes almost every scene entertaining, or hilariously ironic. Like whenever the old lady that lives near Souta comes by, who is set on hunting down that one tanuki who tearing up her garden. It gets even better as we see Souta and Poco’s personalities grow, and with each passing episode, they seem more and more like a father and son. This sounds like a lot to pack into just twelve episodes, but the story rarely feels rushed. Which is probably because of the “slice of life atmosphere that the show eventually settles into. This makes it good or old and new fans of anime. Since it has just the right amount of fantasy to keep seasoned anime watchers interested, but not enough to overwhelm first time watchers.

While I do like a more story driven show, that can sometimes leave a lot to be desired from the characters. Unfortunately this is where Poco’s Udon World falls a bit flat. Souta and Poco are great characters, but aren’t the only characters in the narrative. Along the way the two will meet other people, including some of Souta’s family, childhood friends and more. Souta comes up with excuses to explain why Poco is suddenly staying with him, in order to keep Poco’s secret. Even then, almost every character reacts negatively to Poco. We get to more of these characters development later on, but their first impressions make them seem very petty and almost cruel. Some characters I was able to warm up to by the end, but others still seem ridiculously mean spirited despite the stories attempts to redeem them.

The animation isn’t super distinctive from other animes, but it definitely isn’t dull. It’s pretty bright and colorful like most animes going for the cute feeling, but has many backgrounds and landscapes that will play with many styles. It really kept things interesting. So, you remember certain moments from the background and atmosphere, rather than what was happening in the story. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. Same goes for the the music. The high points definetly being the opening theme song, and ending theme song; “S.O.S” by WEAVER, and “Sweet Dawin” by Goodwarp. However, all of the songs on the soundtrack do a great job of creating the peaceful but exciting atmosphere of the show. This is one of those soundtracks that you could listen to for hours, just to relax. Many soundtracks can give you a good variety, but many can’t do that consistently.

Overall, this anime was a fun experience that left me feeling good about being an anime fan. This wonderful story wasn’t forced, or full of itself. Every episode progressed nicely, leading to an ending that gives our main characters all the development they needed and more. I give this series an 8.4 out of 10. Hopefully this will change people’s minds about all modern anime being trash, or at least see this one as an exception.