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Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade (TV Series) Review
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Genre: Comedy,Magical,Parody
Rated: 17+ for strong language and fan service
It's like: If Excel Saga had a plot.
Related Titles: Excel Saga & FLCL

Short Synopsis: Sasshi's life has really sucked lately. First, his house was destroyed along with all of his geeky knick-knacks (miltary models, limited action figures, etc). And now, his best friend Arami is going to move away! As if things couldn't be any worse. Strange things start happening, though, when the last of the 4 gods protecting the city are tampered with. Finally, Sasshi and Arami are transported to world after geek-approved world. They try to find their way back to their own world, but does Sasshi really want to go back to the world, and life, he just left?

Story: Abenobashi's plot is kind of like FLCL: random and crazy. In each episode, Sasshi and Arami are transported to different variations of their own world. After about the 6th or 7th world, things can get a little boring. But thankfully, in the second half of the series, things are changed up a bit. The most interesting part of this series is probably the whole crazy plot and happenings.

Characters: Sasshi is an otaku-geek-loser, but that's why he's so cool (not to mention the target audience of this anime fits into that mold). Arami is a spunky little fireball in her own right. The two main characters are supported by a colorful cast, most notably Mune-Mune (bouncy-bouncy). The characters keep things interesting and it's fun seeing how they'll react in each of the new worlds.

Animation: Abenobashi is a GAINAX release, so right off the bat you know that this series screams "high production values!" The style is very similar to that of FLCL. Bright colors, bold lines, and great character design here. Certainly not a let down.

Music: Seeing as this is very similar to FLCL in almost all other aspects, I would have liked to have seen the same similarities when it came to the music in Abenobashi. The opening theme is a catchy JPOP experience. The ending theme is kind of a forgetable let down though. The BGM doesn't stand out like The Pillow's music did in FLCL. The music's not terrible; it's just not great.

Dub: Abenobashi's dub is the topic of much debate. Because its characters are from Osaka (Japan's rural-midwest, if you will), the directors wanted the english voices to also have a Texas-twang to it as well. It takes a lot of getting used to, but once you are used to it, the dub becomes enjoyable and memorable.

Overall: Abenobashi was a good experience! This anime is full of jokes, fan service, and some depth towards the end. Once more, I'd like to say that this isn't one for the kiddies, but for anyone else who enjoys some parody, I'd suggest you take a look at this one. Although, it's not as great as FLCL or Excel Saga, it's still a pretty good mixture of those two animes.

Seth's Ratings:
Story: 7.5/10
Characters: 8/10
Animation: 9/10
Music: 7/10
Dub: 7/10
Overall: 7/10
Final Verdict: Those who want the same craziness FLCL provided with some Excel Saga-parody in it won't be disappointed. Everyone else may want to look elsewhere for a good time.

The Good:
+ Great parody.
+ Very clean, fluid animation.

The Bad:
- The dub takes some getting used to.
- Music could have been better.

The Ugly:
* It has a high-level of craziness that may be too much for some