Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade #1


100 minutes
English Subtitles
Released: 12/16/2003
Reviewed: 12/20/2005

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Listen to Dave and Joel talk about this show! (right click, save as)


That's just about all I have to say about this show.

But since you're not paying me to be minimalist I guess I might as well try to slap something together.

For some reason a whole lot of anime fans immediately gravitate to anything that could be described as "wild" or "crazy" or "whacky". Then they apply these ridiculous catch phrases to them like "Excel Saga is like Furi Kuri on CRACK!", which I think is not only inappropriate, but also sort of trivializes the plight of crack addicts. I guess it doesn't matter a whole lot, why should I let people like this stress me out? Why? Because that's sort of what I do. It's the whole point of this website and, by god, when something pisses me off it's like my genetic imperative to whine about it to the entirety of the internet super-mation highway (or, the entirety that-will-listen-to-me, who are notably few). It seems to have been working for me so far. No reason to stop now!

Abenobashi is stupid, but it starts out with promise. The show gives you the idea that it's going to be about two kids and their feelings of disenfranchisement when their home, the Abenobashi Shopping Arcade, is torn down and repaved to make way for progress. Their parents are both business owners in the district and it has the makings of a tale similarly as poignant as Furi Kuri, which I loved with a passion I cannot begin to explain to you. What I should've remembered is that Furi Kuri is the only thing I've ever liked that came out of animation studio Gainax and there's probably a reason for that. The guys are too busy making live sized body pillows and hentai strip poker games about their most famous characters to even deign to release a halfway decent (much less watchable) show. Furi Kuri was some kind of magical fluke and I need to stop thinking that it's ever going to happen again.

Where does Abenobashi go wrong? At the end of the first episode, which is charming in its own way, the buildings start falling down and then there's a rainbow and crap and you have no idea what's going on because it's so OMGWILDNKRAZEE!! It is at this point I turned to my viewing companion Joel and said, quite simply, "Oh no." He did not reply to me, at least not verbally, but I think he shared my sentiment.

I can confirm this because he actually fell asleep halfway through the third episode. Can you blame him? Have you seen Furi Kuri? If you haven't, you probably should... 'cause it's like really really really good. But it is not this show. This show is what would happen if they doubled the speed of Furi Kuri and completely excised all the funny parts (I didn't even think Furi Kuri was all that funny to begin with). Then they would proceed to take an axe to the hideous, gelatinous beast that once held a seat of the highest respect. When the pieces were so minced as to be unrecognizable, they would shoot that sucker up with 1000 ccs of OVEREXPOSED TITTIES. Also there's a whole bunch of transexual jokes, because somewhere in the universe somebody decided that those were funny too.

There's no rhyme or reason to this show, it's just an excuse for the two main characters to travel to various fantasy worlds so the creators can make parodic references to other animes so done to death that they are in fact the children of the original references and they too are dead. I mean, really, I understand that Dragon Warrior has slimes in it, I've played the game. Also I'm pretty sure I heard about those crazy giant robot shows where the pilots have to scream out their super moves. Thanks for reminding me!! While this in itself is not grounds for immediate dismissal, the fact that there's no plot besides the laughable skeleton of one that consists of the two kids REALLY REALLY wanting to go home doesn't inspire good faith.

Don't watch this show. In fact, you should feel worse off just knowing it exists.