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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Ramen Fighter Miki

Miki is a very active, boisterous 20 year old delivery girl working in her mother's shop. But everyday it seems like the same old routine.  Her mother gives her a delivery, and every day something gets in her way that prevents her from making the delivery proper, prompting her to fight.  Add to that her battle with the bakery shop girl rival Megumi, a just graduated college student named Kankuro who tries to fight Miki but doesn't understand why she doesn't remember his name, and the neighborhood mean dog Toshiyuki whom Miki is able to understand for some reason, and she leads a pretty busy life. On top of that, there is the local grocer named Akihiko who is addicted to the sensei show Super Space Battle Team Star Rangers, and a teacher named Ms. Katakana who unintentionally scares her students but manages to smile when she eats ramen.
And that is pretty much Ramen Fighter Miki.  But you're missing out if you pass this one by.

I'm sure we've all seen old Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry cartoons.  Well, this is the anime version of that.  The show is composed of two mini stories tied together with a common theme (for example, one episode starts with Miki trying to "expose" Megumi at her bakery in the first part, and in the second part Megumi goes to the ramen shop to find out why the shop is so busy at lunchtime every day). And although the show is violent, it's so cartoonish you can't take seriously -- no one seems to get seriously hurt despite the blows they take.
The show parodies a lot of different types of anime and films.  When characters encounter Ms. Katakama, for example, they see her initially as a vengeance spirit similar to that of the spirit in The Ring. You also have Akihiko's addiction to super sensei shows, similar to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  And the opening sequence can be seen as a parody of other fighting shows that feature characters on a "great quest."

The writing is pretty good on this one, with characters breaking the fourth wall on occassion.  The jokes are spot on in this show, and really highlight the silliness of everything going on around the characters.

The only problem I had was that this was only available as a subtitled show.  It would have been nice to have a dub, as well, so that I had a choice.

Overall, pick this one up when you see it on the shelves, or you can view it streaming at Hulu or Crunchyroll.


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