I need to make something extremely clear before I start reviewing this series. As the manga is available on Crunchyroll’s manga service, I had been reading it before I ever found out that it was getting an anime. For that reason, I will be a little biased in its favour, and also a little harsher at times, due to the fact that I am quite inundated with the source material.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss this sometimes awkward, yet always quirky romantic comedy.
Momokuri is almost completely a practice in tonal dissonance. At some moments a completely cute and charming look at first love, and at others an indulgence in our heroine’s utterly creepy habits, this series has managed to pull it off quite well throughout these first four episodes.
And when I say four episodes, I mean eight. Unlike most other anime, Momokuri has decided to operate under an episode count far more familiar to viewers of Western animation.
Like series such as Adventure Time, where each half hour segment offers two episodes, Momokuri has taken the idea of loosely stringing together vignettes and put it to great use; its past as an Original Net Animation (ONA) that aired from December 2015 to February 2016 providing an easy framework to work off of.
While we are presented with a consistent story over these early episodes, we’ve just seen our protagonists Momotsuki and Kurihara become a couple and slowly start to feel each other out emotionally, the vignettes have been able to jump from one frame of time to another without ever feeling as if things are moving too fast.
That being said what really makes this series enjoyable so far has been the character interactions.
While Momotsuki and Kurihara are delightfully awkward together, it’s their interactions with their other friends and the rest of the supporting cast that make this series as enjoyable as it has been so far.
I’m especially fond of Sakaki, a tall, athletic girl who suffers a slight complex because she isn’t small and cute who has decided to protect Momotsuki from his girlfriend, and Norika, Kurihara’s sensible friend who tries to put a stop to her friend’s creepy habits.
For all the positive things I’ve said about the character interactions, the episodes have suffered slightly when they indulge in some of Kurihara’s creepier habits.
It can be quite off putting for some people, and does periodically diminish the cuteness of their interactions with one another.
On the artistic side, Momokuri has looked relatively simple, but has put that simplicity to extremely good use as it has been one of the most consistent looking anime I’ve watched in ages.
Satelight has been doing a great job on the animation here. Characters are always on model, and the designs are full of enough colour and vibrancy that they look great even standing still; or when still frames are used.
On the audio side, while having a relatively forgettable soundtrack (although the opening, sung by the voices for our leads, and the ending are both quite enjoyable) Momokuri excels with the vocal work.
Ai Kakuma, known for her work as Isuzu Sento in Amagi Brilliant Park, and Nobuhiko Okamoto, Rin Okamura in Blue Exorcist, both put in wonderful performances as Kurihara and Momostuki respectively, as does the rest of the cast.
Overall all the crazy and cute situations have managed to blend together well in these first few episodes, and if the series keeps up this sense of levity, it will definitely be a pleasure to review week to week.
Episodes 1 – 4 (1 – 8) Rating: 8/10
Momokuri streams new episodes Fridays on Crunchyroll.
The original manga can also be found here.