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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Final Thoughts: Recorder to Randoseru Do♪

Been a while since I've done one of these, hasn't it? Maybe I'll actually watch more anime this year! One can only hope.

Miyagawa Atsushi is an 11-year-old boy who is 180 centimeters tall. Since he has a grown-up looking build but acts his age, he has always been running into troubles. On the other hand, his 17-year-old elder sister Atsumi is only 137 centimeters tall. Even though she has a childish looking build, Atsumi takes good care of Atsushi. (Source: MAL)

Spoiler warning: The following reviews contain spoilers for the first two episodes of Recorder to Randoseru Do♪. Read with caution!

I had my initial trepidations about Recorder to Randoseru and how it would handle its own premise, since it seems like it could tip so easily into creepy territory. I mean, a little kid that looks like a handsome grown man? A high school girl that looks like she is in elementary school? Certainly there would be no way for this show not to become inherently skeevier with each episode. Surprise surprise – that did not happen! 

Sure, it occasionally went for the cheap “Atsushi holding a young girl’s hand, call the cops!” joke but somehow Recorder to Randoseru managed to go beyond that and become something enjoyable and surprisingly sweet.




First of all, if you did not like it during the first couple episodes – well, you probably won’t like it by season’s end, unfortunately. They kept all the oddball humor and character quirks and expanded on them by putting Atsushi and Atsumi in various scenarios where their appearances can be milked for humorous responses from people who don’t have a clue. If the idea of watching the siblings go shopping and see the younger one be passed over for candy because he doesn’t look like a kid doesn’t at least amuse you, you probably won’t find much to love in the series overall.

But the series doesn’t wholly rely on these kinds of jokes. Okay, maybe a little. But there is more to it than that! For one thing, the cast gradually expands to include Atsushi and Atsumi’s classmates and teachers, including Atsushi’s long-suffering teacher who thinks Atsushi is strange and is usually the one who picks him up from the police station after yet another mishap over appearances. 

It’s also interesting to see them interact with their classmates who are well aware of their true ages and sometimes slip into behavior that would suggest otherwise. Although it was cute for one of them to point out that Atsumi always drinks milk even though she knows it won’t do anything to boost her height.

There is also the freeloader character Take, whose upper face we never see, like some sort of male Ms. Bellum from Powerpuff Girls. He slowly becomes a constant presence in Atsushi and Atsumi’s household – even going so far as to influence Atsushi’s behavior. Gah, what a terrible role model! 

I have to wonder if perhaps Atsushi needs more grown men as proper role models in his life, lest he turn out like a lazy mooch like Take. Thank goodness for Atsumi, who is loads more mature than him and perfectly capable of keeping the kid in line.

So, I would not label Recorder to Randoseru as groundbreaking or miraculously quality; what it is happens to be a humorous, enjoyable program featuring some very interesting characters and some quirky scenarios (although they occasionally seem overplayed by its own standards). I enjoyed watching Atsushi and Atsumi’s home and school life and I’ll certainly be watching the second season when it premieres – which isn’t too terribly long from now!

You can watch streaming episodes of Recorder to Randoseru on Crunchyroll here.