Binchou tan anime review

Binchou tan anime review
This is a story about a little girl who lives in an old house in the mountains. Her name is Bincho-tan. Each episode depicts a day in the life of Bincho-tan as she prepares her breakfast in the morning, goes to the forest to gather vegetables, does her household chores and rests at night after a day's work. She is surrounded by a group of close friends who adds color to her ordinary yet simple life.

For all the accolades I give to anime that have complex and layered plots and painstaking character development, there are times when being entertained takes precedence over being impressed. Sometimes, I just want to turn my brain off and watch something I don’t have to think about at all. Thinking hurts my brain, and the less I have to do it, the better. This series is just the ticket, because me not have to think all good and stuff to watch pretty colors.

Plot synopsis: Bincho-tan is a young girl who lives alone in a house in the mountains. She leads a simple life, living off what she can find in the forest and traveling to town for day jobs. Each day brings a new adventure, particularly when she gets to know the people who live around her. Though Bincho’s life may be somewhat ordinary, it certainly isn’t dull.

Artwork: The most striking thing about the anime is the backgrounds, which are fantastically rendered. Clouds in particular are full of depth and definition. Character designs are made out of cute and eyes, as the young girls look very chibified. There seems to be an odd scale issue that isn’t fully explained, as Bincho can easily ride in the claws of an eagle, but in the next scene is almost waist-high to an adult. It appears that the entire world is either composed of small people, or the animals have become freakishly large. Overall the sizing issue is quite distracting.

Music: The soundtrack for the series is extremely soothing. Nearly every track is smooth orchestra, and pairs very well with the imagery of the countryside and peaceful town life. The opening theme song is a very cute piece sung in a quiet, mousey tone, seemingly mirroring the outward appearance of the main character. The ending is a fun festival dance with lyrics about Bincho-tan. Through and through, the songs are a major part of what gives the series its personality.

Characters: The characters are simple and pure, and as such can be appealing to all ages. Bincho lives alone in a leaky, drafty house in the middle of the forest. She is totally self-sufficient, but seems to only float through life. Bincho wears a log on her head, the only purpose of which seems to be to flavor her rice (why she can’t just keep that in the pantry is not made clear in the series). Perhaps she wears it as ballast, to balance a body that has been cruelly misshapen by animation directors for the sake of making her cute, but that is mere speculation. Chiku-tan helps her family run a pharmacy, and in her free time she likes to invent things and figure out how to solve problems. Her little sister, Chiku-rin, always tries to imitate her, and also (almost gleefully) points out when her sister is crying. Ren-tan works at a Buddhist temple with her family. She is very spiritually aware, and also extremely lucky. She always shares her winnings with friends. Kunugi is a rich girl who leads a sheltered life. She wants to experience the outside world, and tries hard to make friends with Bincho because she believes Bincho can help her do it. Aloe is a girl who almost behaves like a plant; she hates cold, prefers to be immersed in water (i.e. swimming), and gets disoriented when she gets too dry. Though the characters are not complex at all, their simplicity is what makes them somewhat charming, and further reinforces how completely harmless the series is.

Plot: The series is basically a lighthearted slice of life, so plot was not given much priority. Each episode is self-contained and presents very basic and inconsequential events. The most stressful thing that happens to any character (and I am not making this up) is her clothes get dirty. This series is what you watch when you don’t want to get emotionally conflicted about anything, and wish only to pass time by having your brain saturated with a concentrated solution of cute.

CHICKS!: ...Yeah, no.

Overall: For a series where, essentially, nothing happens, it’s not too bad. If you have a low tolerance for paralyzing cuteness, however, it would be best to give this series a wide berth. On the plus side, I do believe I have finally found an anime that cannot possibly offend anyone in any way. Then again I’ll probably live to regret those words once the studio has a class-action suit filed against them by child welfare organizations for depicting a young girl living alone in near squalor. It’s a sad state of affairs when a lawsuit against anything for any reason can be rationalized. Makes me wish I lived alone in the mountains somewhere.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Binchou tan. Watch it now:
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