Mini Moni the TV
The Mini Moni Cafe is the best cake shop in town, and the staff-Takahashi Ai, Tsuji Nozomi, Kago Ai, and Mika Todd, and their friends Yaguchi Mari and Goto "Gocchin" Maki-are, of course, the nicest staff you would ever find. This anime follows their various adventures and misadventures, all with a heavy dose of cuteness.
Ah, the things I go through in the name of anime reviewing...
If Aishiteruze Baby is an example of "How to Do Cute Anime Right", then Mini Moni the TV is an example of "How to Do Cute Anime Wrong, So Wrong that it Will Have Anyone Under the Age of 4 Fleeing The Room".
Now, although I do like Mini Moni, I do admit that the previous anime I reviewed of theirs - Mini Moni Yaru no da Pyon! - was less than stellar. And this series is probably even doinkier. Let's take a look, shall we?
First off, compared to Mini Moni Yaru no da Pyon!, Mini Moni the TV has a (somewhat) expanded cast. Along with Tsuji Nozomi, Yaguchi Mari (this time in a supporting role, due to her graduation from the real Mini Moni group), Kago Ai, and Mika Todd, there is also the then-new Mini Moni member (and Morning Musume member) Takahashi Ai and former Morning Musume member Goto Maki (referred to by her nickname, "Gocchin"). This expanded cast would have been fine, if the characters had not all had the same personality! I realize this is a show for little kids, but they could have had some differences in the characters' personalities ...
Secondly, the plot (whatever trace there is of it) is nothing more than an excuse to watch the members of Mini Moni do cute things in their cute, vaguely Tokyo Mew Mew-ish waitress outfits while accompanied by cute music in the background. We see Ai and Nozomi try to steal cakes from the kitchen twice, eating, the girls swapping diaries, eating, the girls trying to speak different languages, Takahashi Ai "komically" tripping over a mop, the girls going to Mari's flower shop, eating, Gocchin going to Italy and France, eating, the girls looking at each other's cell phones...and of course, since Mika is from Hawaii, she says various random English expressions. Did I mention they eat a lot of sweet stuff and yet never seem to get fat? In other words, it's just like Mini Moni Yaru no da Pyon!, except this time it's in a cafe. And like that series, it is guaranteed to rot the teeth of just about anyone who isn't a little doink (unless they're fanboys).
The art and animation is also very, very crude CG, unlike Mini Moni Yaru no da Pyon!, which was hand-drawn. Although the CG isn't too blocky, it is very rudimentary and has about the same animation effect as an episode of South Park if South Park was done in CG. The character designs do look less scary-looking than the previous series. There are no opening or ending themes, just a brief scene at the beginning where the girls shout the title, and a brief scene at the end where they tell you to watch tomorrow's episode. The background music, however, is just what you would expect from a show like this: extremely sugary cute. Like in Mini Moni Yaru no da Pyon!, the characters are voiced by the actual members of Mini Moni da pyon, and aside from the da pyon-ing, they mostly do a decent job da pyon.
While I know that Mini Moni was pretty much designed to be as cute as possible, at least their songs and their TV appearances were mostly charming. Their anime, on the other hand, aren't, and only manage to be extremely annoying. Mini Moni the TV is like Di Gi Charat mixed with Bottle Fairy mixed with a heaping amount of sugar and cake frosting and chocolate until it's just too sweet to have. In other words ... back off da pyon.
I like Mini Moni and Morning Musume....but this anime is just plain doinky. Add three stars if you love super-cute anime or you adore Mini Moni and Morning Musume to the point where you just HAVE to see this show. — Jennifer Berman
Recommended Audience: Like all things Mini Moni, this anime would probably be OK for little kids 3-6 to watch, as aside from its huge amount of sugar, there's nothing very objectionable. However, unless you're one of those creepy fanboys, there will probably be nothing of value here for people over six.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Full (15/15)
Mini Moni the TV © 2003 Upfront Agency / TV Tokyo
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