Midori Days starts off with typical male angst: “I can’t get a girlfriend, gahh!” Seiji is known as a brawling fighter, yet even so his luck with the fairer gender is incalculably bad. He realizes with growing horror that he is facing the real possibility that his right hand may be his only girlfriend, ever. Until one day he wakes up and finds his right hand gone, replaced with a perky, bright-eyed female named Midori. A girl who happens to be madly in love with Seiji.
It, like many anime romance stories, has definite roots in pandering to common or not-as-common male fantasies. I mean, what lonely guy, resigned to a life of solitary singleness, wouldn’t want to wake up in a similar situation? It is a scenario that screams of a bunch of frustrated guys, at a bar drinking, saying, “Man, girls suck. They have no interest in me. If only I had a girl instead of a hand, then life would be about perfect!” Imagine the bawdy laughter that ensues. And yet what separates a show like Midori Days from some erotic internet fanfic is the noble constraint by not going where one automatically would think a show spawn from fantasies (as such) would go.
Indeed, the focus is largely on the characters, how they become friends, and the various struggles one would go through in such a situation. In this way Midori Days is like a situation sketch: oddball situation presented… and GO. No real explanation given (or needed), it just has to be taken at surface level. It is definitely not a show to think too hard about. For example, it is apparently assumed that Seiji doesn’t ever need to take a shower and that clothes magically appear on his body, two everyday occurrences that would immediately present awkward situations in such a scenario. But this never comes into play in Midori Days. Yet I would argue that it is good these aren’t shown, as it would transform Midori Days from a comedic situational romance into, well, a cheap erotica.
The animation style is neither good nor bad. It works for what it is going for without being distracting, while at the same time no one would accuse it of being ground breaking. But they switch things up now and then when need demands: there are several times in the series where an older look is needed. They avoid the awkward images of how Midori is actually attached to Seiji’s arm by simply never showing it: a good thing he likes wearing long-sleeved shirts, huh?
Ultimately, Midori Days is a highly flawed series. And yet there are too many fun elements that make it hard to dismiss. It is a series that would drive people who think too hard absolutely nuts. They’d reaction an “oooh, brain freeze!” fashion, like they just slurped on a slushee too quickly. But to those who can accept the logical leaps of faith, and who enjoy the romantic comedy genre, it is worth checking out Midori Days. There is a lot more heart present than one would initially suspect.
Title: Midori Days
US Distributor: Anime Works
Number of Episodes: 13
Availability: Quite, both used and new for pretty good prices.
Links: ANN Encyclopedia