Otaku No Video

An anime parodying anime fandom. Now *this* is certainly a unique title that virtually every obsessed fan could probably identify with. Otaku No Video blends a story about a couple otaku trying to elevate their own fandom with some documentary-style live interviews with "real" otaku to create a very interesting perspective on the hobby we all know and love. The story begins with characters and situations that every anime fan should identify with. Kubo, the main character, is introduced to anime by his old friend Tanaka, and he soon becomes nearly obsessed, forgoing former pursuits like girls and tennis. Everything from Kubo's introduction to anime to things like model-building and cosplay gave this series a down-to-earth feel to it, and I was chuckling at both the characters and the fact that I could see myself in their shoes. Unfortunately, the story element falls apart after things start getting too exaggerated. I could identify with the simple things, such as watching the characters trading for animation cels or drawing their own fanart. However, once the main characters start to become corporate megalomaniacs things lose all focus. I simply couldn't identify with the characters after they become successful businessmen and build their corporate empire. This turns the "Here, I've done that before"-style humor into "Huh? Where the heck is this going?". And it is very unfortunate that Otaku No Video took this route, because the premise itself should almost guarantee a winner. Live interviews and silly "facts" about anime fandom are sprinkled throughout the video. Some are kind of tame, but others are genuinely hilarious (unless you can see yourself in their place, in which case "disturbing" is a better adjective). It's a nice element, and it's probably worth watching this anime for the interviews alone. While it lacks in entertainment value, I think this is the one video that every anime fan needs to watch at least once. After all, it worth finding out how much of an otaku you really are. The Verdict: * * (poor)

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