Released By: Central Park Media
NOTE: This review is a continuation of my reviews of this series. If you have not seen any of the volumes or my previous reviews, you risk spoilers by continuing.
It’s always a good feeling to get to review anime while it’s still new.
In the sequel to the original smash hit, Kuromi is now three months into her job. The original series that she was hired on to work for has been canceled and now they are onto new and better things, namely working on three whole series at one time, which for a staff of seven (including Kuromi) is incredibly difficult since they just barely got the job done when working on just one series.
Kuromi must face all sorts of new trials with this OVA including a crew that doesn’t seem to want to work, a director that is quitting smoking and the president bringing in another producer who‘s a complete jack ass.
The Good And The Bad
When dealing with sequels it’s always interesting to see what the director decided to keep from the original and what to bring in that’s fresh and new to the series in order to keep things interesting. From my stand point, all the right choices were made.
Kept are the same wonderful character designs (May I just say once again that Kuromi is one of the most adorable anime characters I’ve seen in a very long time!), animation quality and strong storyline.
What’s new about this release that I think is a very welcome change from the previous release is that the story moves away from non stop comedy and throws in some moments of drama. One scene in particular near the end when Shihohmatsu decides to leave the studio due to the new production manager being a jack ass and starts to think about Kuromi and other things in the studio that kept her going, I thought was an incredibly touching scene. It wasn’t meant to be overly funny (though the gags that were thrown into it made it very funny), it was just meant to be a quiet scene for character growth.
The scenes at the end between her and Kuromi were also very good as it’s not often that you see such strong relationship development in releases that are this short.
There were a few scenes when the writing started to get a little cheesy but for the most part I really can’t complain with how things flowed. It paced itself well and really kept a strong balance between over the top comedy and touching drama.
Keeping the cast small was a good choice as well. I liked that they didn’t try to introduce a bunch of new characters opting instead to stick with the small cast of seven that we were already familiar with. A couple of new protagonists had to be brought in but that was nothing that could be avoided.
While the background music was the same as the first release of this series that I could tell (not that I’m complaining, I actually liked the music from the first release), there is also a good insert song near the end that is worth paying attention to.
The sound quality for this release is also very well done. Nothing to complain about from what I heard. A great example of this is the Foley in some of the quieter scenes where you can hear each and every single pencil scratch against paper. It’s really quite interesting. I really can’t remember the last time I heard the sound of so many pencils working at once.
Dub vs. Sub
Lisa Ortiz did another great job as Kuromi and I also really enjoyed Carol Jacobanis (who I actually mistook for Suzy Prue at first) as Shihonmatsu. They really carried the cast all the way through.
The sub cast was also very well done but I do have to say that I was really shocked to hear the difference between the two casts at first. Due to my DVD player having issues I had to watch this feature on my computer with headphones and I almost fell out of my chair when I switched tracks. The world of difference between the English dub voice of Takashimadaira and the Japanese was incredible. It was just a world of difference. After a few seconds of adjusting I got over it and enjoyed it again but wow, I probably should’ve chosen a better moment to switch tracks.
Unfortunately CPM didn’t put on nearly as many extras with this release as they did the first one but there are still enough to keep fans happy. Starting with the standard alternate angle storyboard extra (watching the feature in storyboard format), art gallery and sketch gallery. Also included are the original Japanese and American trailers for this feature.
The two most interesting features though would be the interview and ‘Day In The Life Of Kuromi’ extras. The interview is a second interview with the director Akitaroh Daichi where he talks about his thought process going into this sequel and many other things about the actual production. Unfortunately he doesn’t mention anything about a third release of this series but I suppose hope will continue to spring eternal for me.
In the ‘Day In The Life Of Kuromi’ feature we are taken on a live action tour of Kaori Asoh’s day as an animation runner doing the actual work done by Kumori in the anime. This was actually really fun for me to watch as it really looked like she was having a good time doing this job and really showing the production aspects of creating this anime. Definitely a feature that I would like to see more of on future releases.
I loved the first release of this anime and I love the second. The changes were welcome, the cast was further developed and everything that I loved about the first release is here in the second. This is definitely something that should be viewed by all anime fans, even if they choose not to add it to their collection afterwards.
Final Grade: 96% – A