Shorts Recap – Senyuu Inferno Mountain

Inferno Mountain Senyuu

Totally legit.

This season was rather remarkable for having so many short, 3-minute episode series all airing at once. I used to write off shorts in general as garbage anime that were pumped out without any effort until I came across the likes of Fireball Charming a few seasons ago. It’s a show that proves brevity truly is the soul of wit. After Drossel won me over, I got over my bias and decided to give these bite-sized shows a chance. Since they’re so short that an entire season scarcely makes up an episode or two of screentime for a normal anime, it makes no sense to cover these episodically. However, I didn’t want these 3 shows to slide by without me having my own say about them, so I waited patiently for them to end before reviewing them.

Yama no Susume

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Yama no Susume is a lot like Tamayura, just with the healing aspects watered down a bit. Tamayura was a profoundly relaxing show, but Yama no Susume isn’t quite as potent since it’s shorter and a bit more comedic. Shorter runtimes limit to how emotionally invested you can get, but Yama no Susume does really well for itself given the constraints. It was actually rather therapeutic to watch every week as Aoi overcame her fear of mountains. I wouldn’t say I was attached to the characters so much as I was the message it conveyed in the end. I’m usually not the type to like fluffy, slice of life things, but I felt like I really gained something by the end of it. Just a little bit, but I felt like I treasured my friends more. It’s impressive how much momentum is picked up in such a tiny frame of time.

Fear not, it’s not purely about delivering some profound message with an agenda. The balance between the cute and the sappy is perfectly measured. It’s even genuinely funny every now and then! There are plenty of cute moments in between this rather inspirational story of a girl overcoming her fears. Aoi gets over her phobia gradually and in a fairly adorable manner, as she starts climbing a small hill (in full-on mountain gear) and escalates to tackling an actual mountain. It’s just really sweet, relaxing, and incredibly easy to watch no matter what mood you’re in. At only 3 minutes per episode, it’s worth your while to check it out if you haven’t already.

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Inferno Cop

 

Inferno Cop 03Inferno Cop 02Inferno Cop 04Inferno Cop 05Inferno Cop 01

Trigger is a new studio formed from ex-Gainax people such as the prolific Hiroyuki Imaishi. They recently release Little Witch Academia, which is a marvel of animation mastery. They’re a promising bunch, but Inferno Cop takes a bit of a..er…different animation approach. At first, I was convinced Trigger just rummaged through their pockets for spare change and pooled together whatever fistfuls of coins and ripped bills they could find to fund this show. The characters are literally cut outs that float around. They don’t even move their mouths when they’re speaking. I almost didn’t watch this one at all. I’m glad I did.

Paradoxically, the shoddy animation style makes the show even better. Once you start to realize that Inferno Cop is just a giant parody, the fun really begins. You see, this is not some slapdash anime made by people who think a flaming skeleton is really cool. This is an anime laughing its ass off at over-dramatic TV shows where this tough cop brings justice to the city in his own, badass way. Inferno Cop is a Frankenstein monster of all the traits of those tough cops, but magnified times ten. For one thing…he’s on fire. He also reflects bullets. At one point he chastises the FBI for holding a nurse hostage and then destroys the whole lot of them in a fiery explosion…FOR JUSTICE! He also turns into a car and then goes back in time just by going too fast. What is the show actually about? Even I don’t know.

The way Inferno Cops plays on common TV tropes and archetypes (such as coming out of a hospital to a zombie apocalypse) is nothing short of brilliant. Everything is so gloriously tongue-and-cheek that it’s easy to miss some of the jokes or just scream “WHAT?!” at your television screen, but that’s what makes it so amusing. Admittedly, this brand of humour is so absurd that a lot of people may either miss the jokes, or just not find them funny. It’s not the typical anime approach to humour, that’s for sure. Let me end by saying this: Inferno Cop is a show about a flaming skeleton fighting a newborn baby underwater.

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Senyuu

SenyuuSenyuu 05Senyuu 02Senyuu 03Senyuu 04

Let’s compare Senyuu to Cuticle Detective Inaba for a moment. Inaba is a full-length series that devotes 20 minutes to rapidfire jokes, hoping that by sheer volume, one gag will elicit a laugh, a smirk, or anything even remotely positive. It’s like a desperate kid constantly tugging at your pant leg and making funny faces. The main point of distinction here is that Inaba has jokes that are so short-lived that even a goldfish has a large enough attention span to get from the set-up to the punchline. Senyu is a much shorter show, yet it actually takes time to set-up running gags (such as there being 1000 different “Chosen ones”) and will actually build up on a joke. It’s not comic gold, but it uses time so efficiently and cracks such great jokes during that small frame of time that it puts Inaba to shame. The great thing about shorts is that you can have fast joke-pacing without getting fatigued since you only have to concentrate for a few minutes.

Furthermore, there’s something about the type of comedy in Senyu that I really like. It reminds me of all the experiences I’ve had playing video games with my friends. Not the working together part, of course. No, no, no. I mean the kind of cut-throat competition you engage in with your best friends where beating the level means nothing if you didn’t shove your buddy into a pit of spikes less than 5 times. Your teammates will stab you, ignore you in times of need, and casually heal everyone BUT you just because they can. The sort of dickery going on between the hero and his soldier partner is like the trash-talking and self-sabotaging that goes on in any multi-player game with close friends. The closer the friend, the more you’re gonna want to pick them up and throw them off a cliff.

The downside to Senyuu is that the charm starts to wear off a bit towards the last quarter of the show. It’s still funny, but some jokes get recycled too much such as the loli-loving old knight and Alba breaking his ribs. If your show is already short to begin with, you don’t have an excuse to use the same schtick more than once. The final episode (14) will be airing some time in July, so there’s a pretty big cliffhanger right now. Of course, that doesn’t really matter because no one in their right mind watches this show just for the plot. In fact, I liked it better when there was no plot and Alba was just wandering around and fighting monsters randomly.

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It was a good season for shorts! I really found myself looking forward to watching all 3 of these shows each week. For the most part, they effectively utilized the time they had to either tell a good story or crack a bunch of grade A jokes. The best part is that they’re all quite different. Yama no Susume is a slice of life, Inferno Cop is a satire, and Senyuu is that genre of YELLING THE PUNCHLINE comedy with some actual thought put into it. If you’re the type to skip over these shows just because they seem like a hassle to watch just for 3 minutes of entertainment value, then you should..not be that type any more. Stop it. These are good shows! There were even more shorts this season but I didn’t find them interesting, so these are the cream of the crop! So if you have just a little bit of spare time, you should indulge in some Senyuu Inferno Mountain fun.

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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27 Responses to “Shorts Recap – Senyuu Inferno Mountain”

  1. Highway says:

    Right after Yama no Susume, or right ahead of it based on the mood I’m in, my favorite short this season was Mangirl! Yeah, it’s got a horrible name, but there was a lot of stuff going on in those few minutes each time. It seemed like a realistic depiction of a manga publisher that has things go wrong, but not *so* wrong that there’s no way they could actually be successful. Dealing with the crazy requests of their mangaka, not to mention the crazy ideas of the E-I-C Hana, it managed to have a nice continuity throughout, throw in some special things like the cover shoots and research trips and promo tours, and develop the girls on the staff more than you’d think.

    (The MAL description is a bit wrong, by the way: They’re not a manga club, they’re actually adults at a publisher.)

    I’d definitely recommend it.

    • Overcooled says:

      I never actually tried watching Mangirl because it didn’t look like my cup of tea. If you say it’s good then I’ll give it a shot though!

  2. Highway says:

    I really did enjoy Yama no Susume. It did have a bit of a Tamayura feel to it, although without the really bad things happening beforehand to bring everyone down. Pulling Aoi into more activities that she likes, meeting more people, realizing that people like to do things just because they’re nice things to do. The message was a lot more subtle than in Tamayura, I thought, and it didn’t really dwell that much on being sappy.

    A really enjoyable show to watch all the way through, and it’ll take you less than an hour.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s definitely a lot more subtle and light-hearted than Tamayura. Probably because it’s just a girl getting over a mild fear compared to a girl getting over the death of her father and moving to a new place. Either way, both shows are really sweet and relaxing ways to kill time.

  3. skylion says:

    Got some Tamayura love going down. They announced a second season of Hitotose! Groovy.

    I enjoyed all the shorts I devoted time to. Mangirl, Senyruu, Yume, and Puchimas. That last one was very much an experiment in goofy and patience.

    • Overcooled says:

      Me too~. Tamayura was one of those shows I watched when I was depressed to cheer myself up…and it always worked. I’m happy it went from being an OVA to a series that’s getting a second season.

      • skylion says:

        It very much lives up the the term “healing” anime. I enjoy these types of shows very much.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Nice post on the shorts, OC. Good job. I got to check out the rest of Yama no Susume now that all the parts are out. That’s the most interesting in the bunch in my opinion. Second one goes to Senyuu. “I like seeing people weep with despair”. I’m pretty sure you’d say something like that, right? I haven’t seen any of it but to me, Inferno Cop looks like a police version of Ghost Rider.

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks, BB. I think Yama no Susume was the best one too, although Senyuu does have its charms. I chose that screencap because that’s the kind of humour I can relate to ahahaha.

      Now you should try Inferno Cop! It’s a bit weird, but that’s also what makes it great.

  5. Foshizzel says:

    I loved every damn insane moment of Inferno Cop! You can watch the full series on youtube in less than 30 minutes, but if it doesn’t tickle your funny bone then you have laughing…

    Senyuu! OH GOD BEST series of the 5 min shows from the winter season and I will say something shocking that will destroy the SAO fanbase…Senyuu has a better story than SAO! THERE I SAID IT Buhahahahahahhhaha! Joking aside seriously there are a lot of fun characters in this series <3

    Senyuu s2 in July, but I just want a full series with 25 minute episodes…

    • Overcooled says:

      So gooood. It’s a real hit or miss kinda show that you either love or hate and I loved it.

      Senyuu > SAO. Ross could kill Kirito in 2 seconds!

  6. Tofu says:

    Minority speaking here or am I just fulfilling my role as a polar opposite to Overcooled and her likes and dislikes? :P

    Nah I’m kidding, I really enjoyed Yama no Susume! Each episode made me want more and it’s really sad that it couldn’t get a proper series for itself. That show does well in the short time it has and I think that’s really admirable in terms of directing and whoever wrote the script to it.

    But I’m sorry OC, I actually didn’t like Inferno Cop. That animation is soooo BAD and it was too short for me to keep watching – unlike Yama no Susume. I can see why people might like it but I found it really stupid. Didn’t want to waste my time downloading it because it was so short thus I dropped it after the first episode. Oh GOD that first episode…

    Senyu was funny~ I enjoyed watching Senyu but at the time I was too lazy to continue watching it because it was just pure comedy. Nothing special, so I didn’t continue it. Maybe I might continue it one day when I’m really bored and want a laugh ^^

    • Overcooled says:

      lol now it’s like we agree half the time instead of all the time.

      Yama no Susume definitely has the potential to be a full show. Senyuu and Inferno Cop can’t really be extended that much since they just-for-laughs kinda shows.

      The bad animation is what I love ahaha. That’s okay, it depends on your sense of humour. If you couldn’t handle that first episode then you probably won’t like anything else.

  7. Highway says:

    I kind of had the same opinion of Senyuu: Started pretty strong, but kinda ran out of jokes. The wacky hijinks kind of got tired when they’re in prison for the 3rd episode out of 12, and then they were in there for 3 more. Definitely funner at the beginning.

    Two shorts I won’t recommend for anyone: Ishida to Asakura and Ai Mai Mi. Unfortunately, I don’t know if Inferno Cop is going to be any better than those two for me. I was pretty bleh on the first episode.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, it went downhill around the time they went to the prison. At that point they just started to throw new characters at us without rhyme or reason.

      I heard those two were pretty bad so I stayed away. :/

  8. xochandaox says:

    fufu, I watched Yama, and Senyuu. I enjoyed both. I also watched Ai Mai Mi.. which wasnt that good. but next to watch Inferno Cop~~
    I should at least check out Mangirl and Ishida to Asakura as well….

    • Overcooled says:

      I hope you like Inferno Cop! I need to check out Mangirl. I haven’t heard very good things about Ai Mai Mi and Ishida to Asakura though so I’m skipping them.

  9. D-LaN says:

    Oh, so THAT the Inferno Cop ppl been praising abt….. WUT.

  10. BlackBriar says:

    Furthermore, there’s something about the type of comedy in Senyu that I really like. It reminds me of all the experiences I’ve had playing video games with my friends.

    Looks like your time investing in Senyu paid off. And you’re in for another helping soon. A second season has been confirmed for July this year. Can you bear the wait?

  11. Karakuri says:

    Inferno cop was pretty damn funny. …and then it became even funnier when the ending credits for the last episode were just about as long as the entire series combined xD

    • Overcooled says:

      lol it was one of those shows that really didn’t give a damn either way. INFERNO COP DOES WHAT HE WANTS.

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