16 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Uta Koi episode 1

I’ve always thought those hats they wore in whatever-time-period-this-is Japan looked awfully silly. It means the guys all resemble walking penises in dresses. This is doubly amusing when every girl seems to go gaga over the guys dressed in these silly hats. Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all along. Maybe I need to dye my hair white and spike it up in a fountain shape while also wearing a brown tutu.

Good luck getting that image out of your head.

On the off-chance that you’re reading this without having seen the episode (because they bloody explain this in the opening 30 seconds), the anime is based on the poems on the cards in karuta. 100 poems, written by some of the greatest writers in Japanese history. Well, ‘classic’ as considered by the high-class elite of the whatever-period-maybe-Meiji-period Japan. Judging by this episode, the height of literature back then was incredibly cheesy romances that a chick lit group would dismiss for being too silly. Admittedly the opening narration has them flat-out admit that they basically only chose the cheesy romance ones because fuck yeah cheesy romance.

‘Fuck yeah cheesy romances’ seems to be the general approach of Utakoi, and I have respect for it for embracing that. I guess EVOL has given me greater appreciation for cheese, particular cheese that’s self-aware, and Uta Koi certainly seems to be that. It’s almost as though it’s poking fun at these stories while adapting them. The art style ties into this quite well. The thick outlines and patterned layers give off the aura of a deadly serious period piece, but then a character does a dopey reaction face to one of the incredibly cheesy lines and it all comes back into being approachable and amusing again.

Yes, while I struggle to call it ‘good’ just yet, I enjoyed this quite a bit. I think must be a reincarnation of a 10th century Japanese teenage girl, because I giggled my entire way through the episode. The first half was considerably better than the second, because the story was essentially about a tsundere. Also the OP is incredibly catchy. Also also the ED made me laugh even harder than the carrot bread suicide in Humanity has Declined did, something I genuinely didn’t expect would ever happen. Also also aslo SEX!!! Even Go Nagai looks on and thinks “woah there Nelly, that’s a bit too raunchy don’t you think?”. Yes I know I’ve made all these jokes on twitter already, but the people who follow me on twitter don’t read my blog, they just make fun of me in private skype chats, the big bunch of bullies.

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  1. Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I still read you buddy! Making fun of you on skype is something completely different!

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree, surely we can enjoy doing both?

      • Scamp
        Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink


  2. Ando
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    >the height of literature back then was incredibly cheesy romances that a chick lit group would dismiss for being too silly
    It was indeed. The world’s first novel was written in this period (Tale of Genji) and it was a massive soap-opera romance fest. Actually since it was about a bishie getting all the girls perhaps it’s closer to those bullshit harem LNs?
    But yeah, I think I’m going to enjoy this since it’s funnier than I expected.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Doesn’t he also sex up his sister too? It really is the pre-cursor to those BS harem LNs!

  3. fathomlessblue
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    “I’m just singin’ lus, singin’ las, set it loose, ever la!”

    The lyrics really ease you into the historic setting, don’t they?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I’m always and forever la

  4. Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Walking peni- thanks man, now I have to get your nonsense out of my head as soon as possible.

    Also, I think you’re kind of mistaken about the Hyakunin Isshu: They are not stories, just poems. This anime interprets them the way it wants them to be and spins the stories, that’s all there is to it.

    Last but not least:
    [x] Bashing Scamp (not on Skype though)
    [x] Following him on Twitter
    [x] Reading his blog
    Damn, I must be living the dream or something.

  5. Desi
    Posted July 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    The first dude’s hairstyle is what got me hooked.
    The second one was way too plain and boring and normal.
    No wonder he covered it with that hat basically the whole time unlike his younger brother.

  6. Taka
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    I really like the band who does the OP of this show, ecosystem. They also did the Gintama’ 2nd OP…couldn’t find it on youtube seems copyright hounds took care of it http://facedl.com/fvideo.php?f=eeeeoieauxiqk&gintama-opening-10

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I never really liked the Gintama OPs myself, and can’t say that one changed my mind unfortunately. Mr. Raindrop on the other hand…

  7. Shogun
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I was drinking a glass of sake when that ED came on and out my nose it went. Never has a laughed burned so full of anguish.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      You drink sake when you watch anime? Boy you’re really weabooing it up, I’m kinda jealous

  8. Kencana
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    The romance sure is cheesy. I’m not a huge fan of insta-love. There is no much character development. I prefer tsundere boys rather than girl.

  9. Posted July 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The opening is so dang good. I think I’m giving this a try.

    … or, wait, how long will this even be?

  10. Inushinde
    Posted July 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Being the withered husk of a human being that I am, I automatically approve of a show that approaches storytelling with cheesy romance in mind. Definitely going to be watching this tonight.

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