Massugu ni Ikou!
Adorable, rambunctious Mametarou is an energetic mutt with a heart of gold. But Lassie he isn't--he spends his days roaming the streets, romping in fields, and sometimes getting into harmless antics involving his girlfriend Hanako-chan--a Kishu pedigree (who doesn't realize he is a cross-breed ... oh the angst!) and other pure-bred doggies around town.
Even Japan couldn't escape the Paris Hilton plague. The Land of the Rising Sun is not the Paradigm of Pampered Pooches. For example, most pet-friendly apartments actually allow dogs only, and negotiations must be made for feline roomies. Stores all over Harajuku and Kichijouji feature outfits, gourmet goodies, and other knick-knacks for the trendy canine companion.
As a lifelong fanatical feline devotee, this crosses the line to nauseating.
But even the most devout kitty worshipper can crack a smile at Mametarou and friends--whose adventures are certainly a step up from the lethargic pacing of Ocha-Ken. the artwork is as bright as a breezy spring afternoon--with a rather shoujo-y feel that reminds me of Pretear. The animation is nothing spectacular, but the storyline never calls for sequences with a high frame rate.
The doggies are extremely cute, as are the owners. This is due in large part to the seiyuu providing the voices. All of them are easy and sweet ... not one of them jarring on the eardrums or gratingly high-pitched. A special mention goes out to Yoshino Hiroyuki (Pete Pumps in Ginban Kaleidoscope), who voices Mametarou in what has to be the most authentic doggie voice since Michael J. Fox's work in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. I swear, I was expecting him to bark any second. There could not have been a better casting choice.
What once was a subject of parody fansubs has finally gotten the serious treatment it deserves. At only four episodes, this series is hardly any kind of emotional investment. But Massugu ni Ikou! is a cute, clever, and playful dog's-eye-view of the Japanese world, and it was a fun little series to sit through.
Not a masterpiece of any kind, but the series is cute, well-done, unoffensive and entertaining. Practically flawless, but nothing outstanding to grant it that coveted fifth star. — Melissa Sternenberg
Recommended Audience: Anyone. Absolutely nothing offensive. A extra plus for animal lovers.
Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (4/4)
Massugu ni Ikou! © 2003 Yumeta
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