Monday, May 28, 2012

Anime Review No. 32 "I Dream of Mimi"

I’m the Eclectic Dude and I review it for the lolz (especially this week).

Sorry, this review is up a day late-it’s a holiday weekend and I got sidetracked a little from the relaxation. Anyway, I’ll make an effort to post on time from now on that’s for sure.

DVD Cover Note the 17+ recommended. It's not a joke I'll tell you
Guilty Pleasures Month closes on “I Dream of Mimi” or Buttobi CPU as it is known in Japan. This 1997 OVA is strikingly similar to another OVA from that same year that I’ve looked at earlier this year. That would be My Dear Marie, an OVA deals with the relationship between a young man and his robot female companion/girlfriend. I reviewed that in February, so check that out for details, but for summary, it is a rather good if criminally under-rated OVA from the 90s, touching on a lot of issues like love, nature of humanity and reality, etc.

What is “I Dream of Mimi” about? Well, none of that interesting stuff. Instead, it’s a soft-core erotica masquerading itself as a sci-fi romantic comedy. Yes, seriously. Not surprising, since the company who made this OVA is Pink Pineapple, notorious for producing hentai (the animated equivalent of porn), though they apparently got some help from Oriental Light and Magic, who are most well-known for Pokemon. Take that what you will.

The premise of “I Dream of Mimi” is as follows: Akira, the male geek and audience stand-in, comes home one day with a box supposedly carrying a new computer. Except it’s not; it’s a young naked woman! He’s very confused, as is the audience (yours truly) and then she turns on. It is revealed that she is a biomechanical computer, state of the art (from 1997!). She then requires ‘memory’ in the form of ‘active molecules’ from her owner. They do make a cute couple, to be fair.

If this sounds a bit familiar, well minus the sexual part, congratulations: You have seen/heard of Chobits, another anime that has a couple consisting of a young average male schmoe and a robot girlfriend. I am convinced that the girls at CLAMP (who are really great mangaka) at some point must have watched this OVA. Granted, I haven’t seen much of Chobits so can’t really say how much it’s different than “I Dream of Mimi”. Then again, one guy on the web says that this is the “R-rated Chobits”, so what do I know?

Sounds like fun, eh? Yeah the stuff in ‘ ‘ stands in for stuff that I shall not mention-draw your conclusions there, just take my word on it. The 3 episodes of this OVA follow Akira and Mimi (the android/bio-computer) as they deal with everyday life juggled with well having Mimi around. The first episode has them dealing with an out-of-control bio-computer in addition to introducing the characters of this little romp. Besides the main couple, there’s Shimada, Junpei and Futoshi. Of course, they have very little to no impact on the storyline, hence why just one statement on them.

This being an erotic piece, one would expect/assume a lot of sexual scenes in the style of a typical romance novel one find at the local grocery store (I don’t read those by the way). Not true here, for you see, the editing has a weird habit of either taking out the critical parts or substituting it for symbolism/convenient censorship. The result is that any sexual scenes aren’t really titillating but are rather unintentionally hilarious. There are also not a whole lot of them, so calling hentai doesn’t do it justice.

The science fiction is nominally better. It is severely dated, as evidenced from the loads of information on computers dispensed within the other 2 episodes. That’s because the other two episodes take place largely in ‘cyberspace’ or the inside of a computer network. I actually like this as the erotica blends well with the comedy. You see, Akira and Mimi end up going there since Mimi isn’t really a person (duh!). So, they are going to hack into a government site and insert false info about Mimi to elude suspicion. But, they ran into Forte, a high-grade bio-computer who doesn’t take kindly to our couple sneaking into her database.

But before punishment happens, another nemesis appears, the Nakinotsh sisters (pfft hahahaha xD). Seriously, I get the feeling the writer of this was a huge Microsoft fan, not that I’m complaining though (been a Microsoft user since childhood). They plan on doing something nefarious to the Japanese market of bio-computers, similar to taking over the world. Oh, and they are stereotypically Amero-centric (God Bless America!). Two of them (Quadra and Centris) show up in episode 2, with a third one (Performa) shows up in the third and last episode. All of them are dealt with by end of the last episode, but promise that they will be back. Haha, fat chance xD.

So, some other things of note for “I Dream of Mimi”: The English dub is absolutely hilarious. And quite a surprise too, as it features V.A.s like Angora Deb, Megan Hollingshead and Jessica Calvello (under a pseudonym-odd).    For the DVD, they include a outtakes track, which is very funny. The animation and music are stock-standard 90s with some neat early CGI, and very high quality more so then really necessary. Finally the opening is the best earworm of music you’ll ever listen to.

Now, I have a problem with recommending “I Dream of Mimi”. You see, it is very hard to find nowadays.  I managed to find it at a local video store (now a dying out species) for about five bucks last fall. Later, I checked to see if it’s available on DVD online. On, last time I checked, the VHS for it was available for about nine bucks (currently unavailable). Thankfully, someone posted them up on Youtube for anyone truly curious to watch this. It is very funny and entertaining, yet doesn’t take itself too serious. It is also fairly short, running a bit under 90 minutes with only 3 episodes. The manga that this is based off of hasn’t had an overseas release, and I doubt it ever will. Good luck finding it!

Well, that’s all. I am still sticking to the Sunday release schedule, as much as I can. Expect a schedule for next month on May 31.

The Eclectic Dude

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