First things first, let me extend a short love letter to the opening song and animation. I’ve had a soft spot for Round Table ever since the Chobits opening and this one puts as much of a big stupid grin on my face as that one did, even if they are songs of the slightly cutesy variety. The other part I love is the dancing. Look at them, they’re dancing with mops and brooms! Anime needs more dancing in general. I know why anime doesn’t have more dancing. It’s costly to animate any sort of fluid dancing, hence we’re left with opening and closing songs to get our dance moves. Still, I wish they did dance more often.
The ending song is also pretty damn cool, but anime characters playing in a band together has been in fashion for a while now, so not much new there.
The anime itself? A bit of a disappointment. To use an example, take Natsu no Arashi. We have our peaceful maid cafe and all is well and good. Now strip Natsu no Arashi of everything that made it interesting. Get rid of the retro setting, the occasional pieces of Shaft-ing that made the visual experience fun and the actual plot of ghosts and time travel, increase the animation budget a bit and you have SoreMachi. There’s just nothing to this. Shaft may have increased the animation budget, but if you hadn’t told me I wouldn’t have been able to guess this was them. The closest we have to some sort of Shaftyness is a few shots from below whenever a character takes a step forward in dramatic fashion.
There’s no hook here. No original take on the maid cafe thing. The characters aren’t interesting. Actually I take that back, I do like the maths teacher because he acts exactly like a maths teacher should act. Besides the opening and ending songs, he was the only real highlight of the episode. But other than this, this show got nothin’. I’m willing to give it another shot, because Shaft anime are often difficult to judge solely on the basis of the first episode, but early signs are not good at all.