Studio: Asread / Feel
Publisher: Kadokawa Shoten
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life
Release: S1 (2007), S2 Okawari (2008), S3 Okaeri (2009), S4 Tadaima (2013)
Years back, there was a time where I’ve overindulged myself in shows that are just too serious, bloody and depressing. To counter them all off, I usually move to the other extreme of the spectrum and watch shows known for their simple but ingenious hilarity in slice-of-life instances- and Minami-ke was the right choice!
Synopsis: Nothing. Everything just revolves around the everyday lives of the three young sisters. The Minami household comprises of the ideal Haruka (eldest) in her high school years, who takes responsibility in looking out for her sisters; spontaneous Kana (middle) in junior high, who is yet to aggressively discover the fun things in life; and witty Chiaki (youngest) in elementary, who looks up to Haruka and insists that Kana is an idiot.
You will come to know these girls and their friends as they spend their school days, vacation trips, festival gatherings, Christmas, New Year and other significant parts of their lives. The lyrics in the OP song best describes their theme: “Watch my experience points as they go up!” Focusing mainly on family values and genuine friendship, Minami-ke is definitely a fun watch. Just as the show warns you in every episode of season 1: “…Please do not expect much from it.”
This show is best watched when one has nothing else to do, or just want to sit back, relax, and watch their mundane yet comical skits. What makes the series really fun and interesting are the assorted friends and schoolmates of all three sisters. Varied with age ranges from elementary to high school, they certainly put up entertaining out-of-the-ordinary scenarios that make up for the unique points of the anime.
Minami-ke does include bizarre fetishes and subtle fan service among its characters: such as unrequited lesbian love and cross-dressing, among many others. But all are for laughs. Usually, the suggested scenarios save them from being labeled as such. Examples are the cross-dressing Makoto (to continue visiting the Minami household, he needed to pass himself off as Kana’s friend Mako-chan), and Touma, as Chiaki requested her to be the little brother she never had. The other characters don’t usually know Makoto and Touma’s true sexuality (except for Kana), and that usually is the basis for some of the funny scenes in Minami-ke.