Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer 2010: Tono to Issho

From what I've heard, Tono to Issho ("Along with the Master") sounded like it could be an appealing gag series. On paper, the yonkoma manga stayed short and to the point, mocking the historical figures from the Warring States period in Japan. Figures such as Masamune Date and Nobunaga Oda are drawn according to corruptions of their nicknames and modern-day parodies, not according to their historical images in painting.

Yes, on paper, they seem lively, vibrant and exuberant. On paper.

However, considering the length of each of Tono to Issho's "episodes" (approximately 90 seconds flat, according to the screenings being shown at Crunchyroll), there seems to be little reason to really waste breath on reporting about the "series". Reading this review likely will take more than the first five "one-minute theater" episodes combined, especially if you leave out the ten-second closing song.

The brevity does make the show a bit of a hassle to watch, as a sneeze would make you overlook quite a bit, but the comedy itself misses the mark for the non-Japanese speaker. Quite a few gags for such a small sliver of a show may make people scratch their head, while the physical humor gets repeated quickly and hurriedly. Personally, I'm not even sure if this show counts as a show, as I'm getting mixed ideas about the original video made earlier this year. Are these all cuts from the OAV?

I do invite people to watch the show on Crunchyroll, as that will likely be the only form of the show you'll get to see. Any DVD or Blu-Ray of the series will likely be too small to place on store shelves, and the appeal is so fleeting that just showing the three screen shots above probably gives away too much. A lazy effort in the end, Tono to Issho isn't even worth watching just to get a whiff of Gackt playing Kenshin Uesugi.

If you want to mock history, mock it yourself. This show is too short for even the shortest of attention spans.

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