21 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Kill Me Baby episode 1

Sometimes a new season throws you a fascinating looking new anime, with shiny graphics, intriguing synopsis and a hugely talented crew behind it. Other times, it decides to vomit dead babies on your lap. Kill Me Baby is the latest offering by esteemed animation studio JC Staff (and by esteemed I mean “haven’t produced anything of worth since Nodame Cantabile”) in a season where they are also producing 5 other anime. 4 of which are sequels, which have proved popular enough to warrant them in the first place, and the ambitious anime original romcom Ano no Natsu, all of which obviously are getting more budget than Kill Me Baby. Better yet, it’s adapted from a 4-koma. With my excitement reaching fever pitch, I dove into this pile of feces.

First thing that is made abundantly clear is that Kill Me Baby’s animation budget is possibly even lower than I originally expected. Backgrounds are rarely more than a child’s drawing of shapes and squiggles. Sometimes they’re not even fully drawn, having that old trick of fading the corners away to reveal the blank background that’s probably used for the bottom layer on their photoshop files. As for the foreground, the character designs are rather unusual. They’re apparently meant to be 15-year-old girls, but their designs combined with the childish background drawings make them look 6 inches tall.

The background music is also unusual: there isn’t any. Jokes are done in complete silence, occasionally with a few sound effects. There was one track they played for about 5 seconds or so, but even this song sounded like it was less instruments and more somebody on the staff discovered he could make a groovy track if he hit the right sound effect buttons in the right order. Speaking of music, the original band choice must have rejected their offer to play an OP for the anime, the pay being higher if they played for their friend’s grandmother (and she even gave them some home-made mince pies). So instead the crew recorded the sound of a colleague having an epileptic fit on the soundboard and used that instead.

The story is about an assassin and her friend in school. That’s largely it for the first 10 minutes or so. Neither character expresses much in the way of depth to their personalities. Eventually though, someone on the production team remembered the first law of 4-koma adaptations: Thou must have more than one joke in your repertoire. So they introduced a ninja halfway through. OK fine, spread the load a bit, but we’re still lacking in variety. I’m not going to write a first impressions post of Recorder and Randsell because it’s only 3 minutes long, but at least keeping 3 minutes long there’s no time for the single joke it has to get stale (not that its single joke was funny or anything, but it certainly didn’t get enough airing to become stale).

While I’ve basically been mocking the ever-loving shit out of Kill Me Baby for this entire post, it’s honestly nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Its stubborn refusal to budge from its pure gag roots means there’s no time for horrific crowbarred attempts at heartwarming or melodramatic scenes. It also follows the second law of 4-koma adpatations: Thou shall not be just cute girls doing cute things. It’s a damn sight better than the likes of A-Channel for these reasons, and some of the jokes are even quite funny. A fleeting grin spread across my face when the doofus character pretended to be compelled to follow the piece of chicken dangling in front of her face.

Ultimately though, Kill Me Baby fails because it didn’t follow the third law of 4-koma adaptations: Thou must form some sort of cohesive narrative. This show is horribly directed. There’s no transition between the jokes. There’s an almost audible clunk when they’ve reached the 4th panel and have to move onto a new joke. It feels like you’re watching a clip show rather than a coherent production. And again, the jokes just aren’t funny for the most part because it only has this one joke, which isn’t funny in the first place. The best comedies have that weight behind their jokes that gives them their laugh out loud quality, such as Detroit Metal City or Arakawa. So Kill Me Baby is typical rubbis-wait a second…

Is that dancing in the ending song!?!

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Best anime of the season.

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  1. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    .Jokes? Ooooh, where, where? I must have missed them. I think the lead constantly turning into Yui from K-on was supposed to be funny, but who the hell knows? I’m evidently not quick enough to catch the humour in this show. Either that or having someone vomit dead babies in my lap sounds more appealing that what I saw.

  2. Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Just you wait. It will be the masterpiece of the season.

  3. Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Dancing? Don’t care. Show still looks like AIDS.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      “Baby, please kill me” That pretty much sums it up. Is a show that says in the title that it wants to die really worth watching at all?

  4. ペーパー先生
    Posted January 6, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    This anime at least wins the award for best Engrish. They could have had 30 minutes of different people saying “Baby, please kill me”

  5. Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Wait, this isn’t a three minute episode, but rather a full length episode?

    Sure didn’t look like it.

  6. Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    Just blog Nisemonogatari and spare yourself the stench of unmitigable bullshit.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted January 7, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      No! Continue blogging total shit! It’s hilarious!!!

    • Scamp
      Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Nisemonogatari will probably remain untouched because sequel

  7. Karry
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    “The best com­ed­ies … such as Detroit Metal City ”

    What, really ? You’re serious, arent you ?

    • Adamar
      Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Are you somehow implying it’s not?

      Because DMC really is the best comedy.

      • Scamp
        Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        This man knows what he’s talking about

      • 4 bear
        Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Licking each other ass-hole is only good after you both take a dump.

  8. @aogukip
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    If anime fans start pulling off the whole of that dance I will be genuinely stunned. I hope it catches on, because it would make hilarious youtube viewing XD

    • Scamp
      Posted January 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Especially since one of the dance moves can only be described as ‘humping the floor’

    • ~sky
      Posted January 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      yeh i was thinking that too……. how would anyone manage to dance like that????? :D

  9. Posted January 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ll give them some credit, it’s one of the few 4-koma adaptations that actually feels like reading a 4-koma. Also, while the OP is shit, it’s been in my head since the PVs. And the character design feels a little bit like Mitsudomoe. But the budget clearly makes it suffer too much. Luckily for it, there doesn’t seem to be that many new shows that are interesting, bar a couple of sequels.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      But actually feeling like reading a 4-koma when you’re a 24 minute long anime episode. It’s clunky and awkward. Fine if you’re a 3 minute thing like Recorder and Randsell, but not a full episode

    Posted January 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink


  11. GTebbetts
    Posted January 7, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    This could have been much much MUCH worse. I don’t think the hype was too high in this one, so getting any sort of humor out of it was good enough for me.

    It was shite, but it wasn’t total shite.

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