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Recorder and Randsell - Eps. 1-3
Date 26 Jan 2012
Appearing alongside Poyopoyo in this season's "comedy series with episodes shorter than five minutes" category is Recorder and Randsell. Sadly, this series doesn't measure up to its competition in any way.
The series focuses on a pair of siblings in waaaaacky circumstances - Atsumi is in high school, but looks like a freakish 7 year old waif, and her elementary school brother Atsushi looks like a fully grown adult - to be precise, he reminds me of a geography teacher. What then follows is a series of really obvious jokes about the characters appearances and how their heights dont match their ages, and other uninspired dross.
Frankly, this series is horrible due to one key reason - it's lazy. The premise itself is really basic and feels played out after just one episode as there is literally one joke re-used over and over with no attempt to tie the scenes together. Atsumi is short! Atsushi is tall! This confuses people or causes misunderstandings! Whooooo! This premise would probably fit better as a single gag (or a series of sketches, if you wanted to stretch it) in a different comedy series. The execution of the idea is also horribly lazy - the pacing of the episodes is sluggish, taking it's time to set up obvious puns and dragging out the very meagre amount of comedy for far too long, ruining any possibility of humour. The amount of filler present in a show that only has three minutes running time is shocking and exasperating - for a show supposedly devoted to being a comedy you get a grand total of two punchlines an episode at best, with everything inbetween proving devoid of mirth. Another strike against the show is an utter lack of consideration for transitions between the individual sketches, betraying the series' origins as a four-panel manga; every time the pace of the show comes to a screeching halt and then re-starts again along a different path.
This laziness of the show extends to the design work - the two siblings look so freakish in their extremes of outward aging that suspending disbelief is almost impossible. Not only that, but the older sister looks so waif-like it's frankly unsettling. The actual art presented in the show looks nice, but at the same time utterly bland and dogged with poor transitions and a lack of actual animated frames for movement. Once you notice that most of the series uses image trails to convey movement you cannot help but notice this cop-out technique every single time. The same blandness leaks over into the sound design, which I never even registered while I was watching.
Recorder and Randsell is a boring show and a failure as a comedy. The show did not get me to laugh, but instead made me groan out loud multiple times at how dull it was to watch. Everything about it feels lacklustre and half-arsed in a way that is inexcusable. It may only be three minutes long an episode, but you could be doing so many better things with that small slice of time.
You can currently watch Recorder and Randsell in streaming form via Crunchyroll.
Japanese audio with English subtitles. Video is available in 360p, 480p and 720p resolutions; HD format and removal of advertisements are available to paid subscribers.