6 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime #12: The Greatest Showtel on Earth


I’m not sure how often Sparrow’s Hotel was deliberately funny. I don’t think I liked it ironically — whatever that even means anymore — but many times when Sparrow’s Hotel made me laugh, it seemed like a total accident. That’s fine. Accidents can be pretty funny. I do a million dumb things every day that are probably funny as hell if you look at them the right way.

But every so often Sparrow’s Hotel would do something unexpected and legitimately funny. It would last like a second, so you weren’t sure if it actually happened, or you dreamed it. It’s like you spotted Bigfoot but couldn’t whip out your phone in time to take a picture, so all you had was your word. We do, however, have evidence of the greatest trick Sparrow’s Hotel ever pulled.


The visuals of Sparrow’s Hotel were the butt of many jokes. It didn’t seem as if the series were crafted in a “retro” style. It was more as if the show were made in 1990 but left unaired for some reason, and afterward remained in some studio’s cellar to rot forever. Then some intern discovered the series 20+ years later. The station he worked at needed three minutes to fill each week. And so the legend of Sparrow’s Hotel was born. Any truth to the rumor that the show was released on Laserdisc or Betamax rather than DVD or Blu-ray?

Anyway, yes, they look terrible and cheap, but there’s also a weird charm to them. Hating Sparrow’s Hotel because of how it looks is like hating an ugly puppy. Nobody benefits from it, and it just makes everyone sad. But the people who work at Sparrow’s Hotel love their craft and are tireless. They live to serve.

sparrows-hotel-new-styleThen episode 7 happened. Sparrow’s Hotel underwent “renovations” — both in-show and out. The hotel gets cleaned up and suddenly looks like something from this century, albeit early this century. Like, the second it became 2001. It’s such a goofy gag that I won’t accept any explanation other than the show was created purely for this purpose. (Well, maybe I would accept that the early parts of the show really were found in some musty basement, but parts of the footage were destroyed, so more needed to be created to finish it out.)

What a silly show.

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  1. Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Clearly the best show of the year. People will look back on that renovation as when this show came of age.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      It’s exactly like seeing Sparrow’s Hotel get its first kill.

  2. Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Kill la Kill may be a visually kinetic masterpiece, and Flowers of Evil’s rotoscoping was damn interesting, but from a purely visual, formalist perspective, Sparrow’s Hotel was this year’s crowning achievement.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Its art is the best art of all the art.

  3. gedata
    Posted December 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Can’t help but wonder how many laser-discs they’d need to sell to update the animation again 5? 6?

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 15, 2013 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      A piece of one.

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