301st G-View: Amanchu!

A show about lovely ladies going scuba diving was too good to resist. Question now is whether it is worth watching. Let us find out as we take a look at Amanchu!

Amanchu Poster

Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Iyashikei

Themes: Diving, School, Yuri

Number of episodes: 12 + 1 OVA

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: Hikari Kohinata is an overwhelmingly cheerful and outgoing 15-year-old girl who has spent all her life in a small and beautiful seaside town on the Izu peninsula. On the first day of high school, she meets Futaba Oki, a slightly introverted girl who has just moved from Tokyo. Before she knows it, Futaba gets dragged along into Hikari’s passion for scuba diving. And from there, Futaba gradually starts to come out of her shell, and learns how to take challenges and dive into the ocean of life

Puppet photograph

First of all readers need to accept one important fact before picking the show up, a majority of the younger characters, including the teacher who is a young adult, are half-Muppets, meaning they often show faces like the ones seen in the above image, usually for comedic purposes. If readers can tolerate the puppet faces while watching the show then they are good to go, otherwise do not bother.

Teko and Pikari ready to dive

Beyond that the show falls under the iyashikei genre like its spiritual predecessor ARIA,  Yama no Susume and the recent (as of this writing) spring 2016 show Flying Witch, where the main goal is to help viewers relax after a long day’s work with a show that is slow paced and pleasant to look at. An iyashikei show also works when the activities and main plot being told are engaging in a way that does not get the blood pumping. Shows like Amanchu!  and the other examples I mentioned are meant to heal, not entice a thirst for bloodshed.

As far as the draw of there being scuba diving in the anime goes it is similar to Flying Witch and HaNaYaMaTa, meaning there is not much of it. However, the lack thereof, in a kind of similar manner to HaNaYaMaTa is intentional because it is part of the main story being told. That story is one of a socially awkward person coming out of their protective shells and facing a new world with the help of love and friendship. It is a heartwarming journey where the shy girl Teko, as she is nicknamed by her future bride Pikari, is encouraged by her and other supportive people to work hard to slowly but surely become brave. Since this is an iyashikei the process is a slow one, like real life, where overcoming something that has been looming over you like a dark shadow is not that easy and takes time. This is also where the diving comes in as Teko is a newcomer to both it and the ocean whereas her friends are all experts but want to help her get ready for that big moment where Teko and the audience cheering her on finally take that big step into a beautiful new blue world.

Beautiful sight

Pikari underwater

And oh how beautiful it is. Amanchu! continues the iyashikei tradition of having a GORGEOUS world to take in thanks to its stellar animation when not showing off the half-Muppet expressions. It has been many years since I had gone to the beach or near an ocean so I can gladly say that the show motivated me to go for a swim again after so long. Now obviously it will not have the same effect for everyone when it comes to swimming or diving (Which I might give a shot one day) but the show’s stellar animation cannot be overlooked either. The same goes for its serene soundtrack. Its OP and ED are personally one of the best anime tunes in 2016 and the soundtrack is delightfully tranquil as is expected from a calm show like this. Also the OP blessing viewers with the ladies’ sexiness and the eventual swimsuit episode being wonderful also helped boost the animation’s appeal.

Cha.jpg

As far as the cast go, I noticed some not liking the twins (especially the sister Ai) for being too loud apparently but other than her everyone is instantly likable from Pikari’s wise grandmother to the sexy but clever Katori-Sensei and the show stealing background cat “Cha” who has little effect on the main plot but his amusing antics and adorably funny butt face are too wonderful to ignore. He has mascot privileges and he takes full advantage of them to entertain viewers every time he is on screen and for that the world thanks “Cha”. While Teko is the main protagonist, Pikari and the others also get time to shine with segments/episodes either centered around or narrated by them. Again everyone for the most part is cool.

Teko and Pikari holding hands

As for the yuri…let me put it this way. Imagine Re-Kan but with little to no on-screen shipping. Teko and Pikari’s not-so subtle at all show of affection for one another throughout the show is more than enough to imagine them living a wonderful life together at the seaside village of Teko’s. The yuri is THAT STRONG. Every time the two have a moment alone together…or even near friends they can barely contain the urge to snuggle.

Overall Amanchu! is another wonderful iyashikei anime to pick up and enjoy when in needing to chill. Its presentation and (most) of its cast are likable, the main story is charming and the yuri is soft but oh so heartwarming. Mainly recommended to readers who enjoy chillaxed anime and slice of life aficionados. I reiterate that the show is slow paced so do not expect fast paced action of any kind here.

PS: Readers who have seen the author’s previous work ARIA will notice many references to the series while watching Amanchu! that might have fans asking if the show takes place in the same universe’s past, so that is a neat bonus.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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35 Responses to 301st G-View: Amanchu!

  1. ARamdomGamer says:

    Overall one of my favorite shows from the season, it was a nice time, pretty chill. The muppet faces were hilarious to me, especially Pikari’s XD. Lijked every character. I wasn’t expecting the Pikari x Teko goodness to be that strong when I first started it, but it ended being pretty satisfying, and the final scene in the last episode, OMG I was squealing like a fangirl over it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bayuro says:

    I’m gonna missed those two butt-face felines and Pikari’s Sesame Street face…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. cirno9fan says:

    I thought the muppets were adorable. Didn’t have a problem with them at all.

    It was a really really enjoyable show. Maybe because I’m going through a lot of tough times right now, it just really really worked for me.

    I couldn’t find a single unlikable cast member. that’s a pretty rare thing for me.

    My #3 of the season~

    Liked by 3 people

  4. @StriderShinryu says:

    Good on you to call out the faces. I, for one, couldn’t stand them especially given that they never really changed. I have no issue with silly faces in serious anime when it feels like work and thought goes into them, but here it went from being “cute and stylized” to feeling like a lazy shorthand very quickly. I also couldn’t stand Pikari most of the time as she ended up squarely on the annoying side of the endearing/annoying line far too often.

    I really thought I was going to love this series when it was first shown but it just didn’t end up clicking for me at all.

    Like

  5. Dimagnus_Gia says:

    To all those who said that this anime would be a queerbating and blah blah blah…i salute them because it resulted be one of the cutest soft yuri anime. The ship never sank, so cheers!.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Literary Scribe Tanique says:

    This was definitely the feel good anime of the season. It was such a joy to watch each week and so relaxing. The OP and ED def were the most pleasant not just this season, but this year thus far. I haven’t seen Aria yet, but this makes me want to now because the visuals were breathtaking and all the characters were extremely likeable. Finally, the yuri vibes were very strong and went even beyond my already high expectations. Teko x Pikari are one of the cutest pairings this year and that confession-ish scene at the very end was perfect. I’m going to miss this terribly, but it did have a good enough end that I’d be ok if we get no second season. That being said though, I really hope we do. On a general note, this has been one of the best seasons for soft yuri shows this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      PikaTeko were so adorable my heart melted whenever they held hands and spoke lovingly to one another. Hopefully one day our dream of seeing them walk the aisle comes true but for now let us cherish this couple’s greatness.
      Summer 2016 has been fluffy to the max and it was GLORIOUS!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Q says:

      After seeing the opening of the last episode (Pikari snoozing peacefully against Teko) and the last scene where they reveal their embarrassing feelings, I’m almost inclined to categorize this show as genuine, legitimate shoujou ai. The subtext is almost text. I don’t think there are any goggles needed (except for the underwater stuff).

      Even if this will be the end of the Amanchu anime and there will be no more episodes, I feel that the way this season ended is fine enough that I won’t be left wanting.

      The cats were fine and the couple/parents challenge the kitten added to the PikaTeko evolution was well played; unsubtle yet tasteful.

      I think the muppet faces were okay but a bit overused– they sometimes seemed to conceal the characters’ emotions rather than reveal them. May just be me.

      The twins were acceptable overall, but the sister and her horrible temper and penchant for violence weren’t exactly endearing and seemed to “harsh the mellow” that the rest of the show exuded.
      The teacher brought lots of value in every appearance, always guiding her students in a gentle, authoritative way. Would it be selfish of me to want a spinoff series in which we follow Hot Sensei home where she’s greeted by her wife, the prim-and-proper marine biologist with a dry sense of humor but a child-like weakness for pistachio ice cream? I guess that’s what fanfiction is for.

      I can’t help but wonder if the creators are playing with us: ships, goggles, — diving, sub(marine)text? It’s been a wonderful ride no matter what.

      If it weren’t for your blog, I never would have known to check this one out. So, thanks OG, for the enthusiasm and value that you bring with each post. I’ve come to know and trust that if it’s on your radar, it’s worth my time to check it out 🙂

      The series looked promising, so much so that I ignored all of the negative comments people had before it launched warning that it was going to bait instead of reward. I’m glad I stuck with it. Totally worth it.

      Liked by 3 people

      • OG-Man says:

        Peeps who read ahead in the manga explained that the het had no negative effect on PikaTeko. Also I don’t pay much attention to manga events when focusing on potential yuri pairings. You saw the result while watching this show. Sometimes it’s best to dive into a show that sounds interesting to you and see for yourself whether it’s worth it or not regardless of what people who are up to date with the manga tell you.

        Liked by 1 person

    • yurimylove says:

      to DrAnimania… err, i meant, Literary Scribe Tanique, i highly recommend Aria to you and anyone else who enjoys Amanchu. Except for the latest OAV series “Aria the Avvenire”, which I’ve been saving, I have watched all episodes of past Aria seasons. Even though i thing Aria’s subtext is slightly lower than Amanchu, overall i like Aria slightly better. The setting, the atmosphere, the amazing background scenery and serene music are just wonderful!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Literary Scribe Tanique says:

        Thanks! I’ll definitely check it out when I can. Also you can still call me Dranimaniac if you wish. I know it sticks and is less of a mouthful lol. You can also just call me Tanique, I’m fine regardless. Also as an aside, thanks for always taking the time to read and like my comments. I appreciate it!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. kracen says:

    When this anime season started, Amanchu was the one I was probably the least interested in (Still interested, but just not as much as the others), however, around half way through, it became the one I wanted to watch the most as I just loved it… It was brilliant, and the ending was excellent, and it is easily my favourite for this season of anime.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nick says:

    Absolutely loved this anime a lot more than I expected I would. The characters, story, art, music, yuri, it was all so chill and relaxing and it always put a smile on my face. As much as I enjoyed Love Live Sunshine, I gotta say that Amanchu beats it out for my favorite of the summer season. Really gonna miss this show.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. themarrowbook says:

    It was a nice, relaxing show overall, that I would hope to see more.

    Just as you mentioned, I also found Amanchu! to be slow-paced from time to time.
    Even though the main story’s supposed to be about diving, they went diving only slightly more than in, say, Love Live! Sunshine!! (coincidentally, both shows are set in the same locality).
    Most of the rest consisted of Teko moping and being gloomy was also tough to watch sometimes, but this is probably biased, for I prefer comedic and light-hearted shows and falsely expected the show to be like “Non Non Biyori in a seaside village”.

    Besides those things, I found Amanchu! to have beautiful and soothing animations, soundtracks and character relationships.
    As I got used to those muppet-faces, I found all characters likable, even the loud twin sister Ai.
    Watching Teko and Pikari’s relationship grow inseparable was also great. One of the most yuri-centric shows of the season it was (the 3 shows I watched this season all had strong yuri shippings, though).

    Liked by 3 people

  10. K says:

    I didn’t mind the muppet faces. It made things funnier, I say.

    This was a very relaxing, tranquil anime and Teko’s development was nothing short of great. Of course, Pikari and the others were not slouches in that department either. Sometimes, I’d be watching an episode then when it ends, I’m bewildered because it didn’t feel like a full episode. The OP was the best of the summer for me and the OST was very soothing. The art was also top-notch.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I am not going to lie. I did watch this anime, although I missed some episodes. It was a very comfy anime with so much yuri. Love the hilarious faces that Pikari, Teko, and Sensei do every episode. I am glad that this anime did not reach the manga’s point where it ticked off a lot of yuri fans. I really hope that this does not get S2.

    Like

  12. It was a wonderful experience, all times that i watched, i felt like that moment was pretty calm and peaceful, and funny too. Oh, Pikari x Teko it’s just so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. yurimylove says:

    after watching this and Love Live Sunshine, I’ve come to the conclusion that most japanese lesbians live in the Kanto region… and they also like diving XD

    Liked by 2 people

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