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AKA: ももくり
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Length: Television series, 26 episodes, 12 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks. Also available streaming on Crunchyroll.
Content Rating: PG (Mild fanservice, mildly unsettling behavior.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: My Love Story; The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-Chan
Notes: Based on manga by Kurose, published by NHN.

Each episode on Crunchyroll is technically two episodes, so thirteen separate streams consist of 26 episode by this show's yardstick.
Rating:

Momokuri

Synopsis

Yuki Kurihara has it bad for Shinya Momotsuki- spell that B-A-D. She sneaks photos of him, has spies checking his every movement, and collects his discarded trash. She finally works up the courage to confess to him, and the show follows the aftermath. Will he like her if he finds out she's THIS obsessed?


Review

The title of the show is obviously derived from short versions of the protagonists' names, and for convenience I'll adopt those shortened names for this review.

I've been putting this review off, which is usually a clue to myself that I'm regarding it as a middling show, neither great nor horrible (I can work up more energy to do either one of the latter.) But I'll do my best:

Let me start by saying that I guess there must REALLY be a gender double standard in the way certain things are regarded, for Kuri's obsession with Momo is treated as zany and cute, whereas if the genders were reversed Kuri would clearly be regarded as creepy, and probably as a stalker. Fortunately Momo readily accepts her feelings and becomes her boyfriend. (Do guys his age ALL agree to date girls they hardly know this readily? I didn't receive any such out-of-nowhere confessions from girls when I was his age, so I wouldn't know.) ALSO fortunately, Momo has no other girls he's seeing, or we might be doing Play Misty For Me instead of a zany comedy; this helps the show maintain this depiction of her as "sweet".

But he ALMOST had a different girl, and here's where I feel the need to make some comments about the show's treatment of its supporting cast. The show's OWN major obsession is with KURI's obsession with "Momo-kun" (and his leavings), and it doesn't give us much of what's going on with the other players (and in their hearts) except tantalizing hints, so there's not much drama allowed to come from that department, and that's really a shame, because as I've said time and time again, vivid supporting players can make a show vibrant and lessen the dramatic load the leads must carry, and THIS show could have particularly used that, since the one-note nature of Kuri's behavior and viewpoint gets a bit boring after a while. The show comes closest to letting one of the supporting characters emerge as an actual character with Rio Sakaki. She's tall, athletic (member of the tennis club), we're told a good cook, and a gentle soul; she was ALSO interested in Momo, and might have had him if she'd been as aggressive as Kuri was; so she spends much of the rest of the show feeling wistful, and quietly reproaching herself, but she never really feels anger toward Kuri. The show WANTS us to feel surprised about a later development between Kuri and Rio, but Rio's own attitude about the situation undercuts the "surprise".

What about the rest of the cast? Well, there's Norika Mizuyama, Kuri's best friend, one of those deadpan, sarcastic sidekick characters with much more sense than the lead; she's always making Kuri discard her "collection" of Momo's rubbish. I generally disliked the character art in this show- it's done in a simplistic style that somehow (this is my subjective judgement here) makes everyone look younger than they are, and makes the physically smaller characters look like elementary schoolers- but for some reason (equally subjective) I actually liked Norika's hair- it just seemed rather distinctive. There's just a hint that Norika might be beginning to like Momo's best friend, a guy named Rihito Sawaguchi, but there's so little of this, and it's so fragmented, that I couldn't tell for sure.

Most of the supporting cast are in fact longtime friends of Momo's who've been his classmates since elementary school. Besides Rihito we also have Shizuka Shouta and Yuzuki Shimada, first cousins who seem awfully close though they're not precisely lovers. (From longtime watching of anime, one gathers that this is not really an issue in Japan.) Shizuka has some grim thoughts about something that he's keeping from Yuzuki, but as always there's not much space to slip someone else's story in between that of our two leads.

So what about our leads? Momo, as is common with male anime leads, seems to not have much personality, viewed objectively. (Kuri's view of him, of course, is about as far from objective as you can get.) He's a poor student. He seems a bit short, but Kuri says it's not so, and she should know, for she's calculated his exact height from her photos of him. He's a bit dense in several ways- for example, he worries that Kuri might think less of him as a "man" if he doesn't take more of a leading role in their relationship, apparently oblivious to the fact that Kuri is perfectly content to do the driving. He gets jealous over a misunderstanding. YOU know the drill; except for Kuri's obsession with him, this is all very much by-the-numbers romantic fluff. (The show did floor me one time: Kuri buys a sexy swimsuit to wear at a barbecue, but it turned out to be too cold for swimming. What to do? I really wasn't expecting what she did- even from HER- so the show actually DID surprise me here, just a little.)

Well, relationships do change over time, and couples do tend to grow out of ingenuous infatuation and get a more realistic picture of their partners as relationships progress, so maybe Kuri will grow out of it. But if she doesn't, and Momo tries to split up with her, in the immortal words of Mr. T, I pity the fool.

Unfortunately, so much of the time the show keeps most of its own characters, except the leads, at arm's length; and its main focus, Kuri's wackiness, grates on you after at time. It means well, I suppose, so I went three stars rather than two, though I was tempted to stay at two.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: Mild fanservice (Swimsuits). It's not a horror show, though Kuri DOES scare me a bit, in her way.



Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on Crunchyroll
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Momokuri © 2016 Satelight
 
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