Anime Meta-Review


Crayon Shin Chan


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-8
  • type: mini
  • grade: flawed
  • Series state: Don't intend to watch more.
  • made: 1992
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

It's not easy to review something that put so much effort into being `different', but here goes. This anime focuses on the domestic life of a young kindergarten child named shinnosuke, his family and a wide variety of other people who cross his path. However if you think this is a domestic, shouj'ish title then put that thought away, because shinnosuke is trouble magnet, blissfully unaware of social restrictions and occassionally far too perceptive for the comfort of those around him. Thus irreverant humor, alternative perceptions on Japanese life (I assume) and a bit of random chaos always follow shinnosuke's introduction.

The base concept is pretty cool, but it must be mentioned that the humor is fairly coarse, crude and situational rather than clever. This is partly caused because shinnosuke is not represented as being that bright. Thus his actions are generally accidental, arising from either innocence or ignorance. This differs from the model where the child is capable of clever observation and can comment on it in a `too wise for their years' way. The simpsons being a good example of this. Thus a lot of the humor relies on the `crude' nature of the whole scene, and the shame for those involved in it. This is the sort of stuff you suspect the Japanese see very differently from a western fan. Which might explain why this show seemed very racy and revolutionary in its homeland (which I believe is the case) but seems familiar and only moderately amusing here.

This is especially true because the western fans likely to see this title are probably fairly hard-core anime fanatics. Exactly the sort of people likely to be upset that the crudity applies to the production values as well. The style goes well beyond super deformed and straight into the realm of childish or naieve representation. Very simple coloring and setting with crude linework and simple character designs. Likewise the voices, while they may be authentic `real life' japanese voice archetypes, are less pleasant than most anime fans will be familiar with. This production fits the style, tone and intent of the anime, of that there's no doubt. It does mean, however, that if the story is not that appealing then the animation quality is not going to keep you watching. Still, an interesting part of the complete anime experience.

I was interested to see what my review sources had to say about it, but sadly none of them have a review of this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:16 WST 2009