Sometimes we came across a series which first impressions are so bad that you just can't keep up watching it. This time we take a look at Listen To Me, Girls, I'm Your Father! (a.k.a Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai! or PapaKiki for short) a series that proves first impressions are misleading and that you can't judge a book by it's cover.
Disclaimer: This is part of a series of reviews of Anime which I think people should be more aware of. For that purpose I'm using the tag Ani-NOW, meaning Anime No One Watched, I'm tweaking the format a little to adjust to the objective of the review series: Try to make people interested in watching the show without spoiling too much.
Summary: College student Yuuta Segawa is suddenly given custody of his older sister's three daughters, aged 14 (Takanashi Sora), 10 (Takanashi Miu), and 3 (Takanashi Hina). They're now stuck living together in a 10 square meter apartment and Yuuta has to search for a way to keep the situation afloat. Meanwhile Raika, the object of his affection, has a fondness of cuteness, and their unexpected arrival may finally offer an opportunity for them to get together.
- Despite the first impressions, the series tries to tell a very genuine and heartfelt story, delivering quite an interesting look of what it takes to take care of teenage girls and a toddler, especially when the person in charge of them is only of college age with a measly paying job and while it may not be perfect it still manages to be a very pleasant surprise.
- While the serious issues and heart-warming comedy never blend that well (like they do in Usagi Drop), they also don't get in they way of each other giving a sense that the show is aware of what it is depicting without abusing the melodrama. Actually those moments depicting the real problems that Yuuta and the girls face because of their unenviable situation are not trying to make you cry or being depressed, they're trying to make you understand what the characters are going trough and make you sympathize with them in a natural way.
- Production values are actually good, the character designs are very pleasant and the background and art are good, and even the soundtrack manages to blend pretty well with the atmosphere (without being spectacular)
- The.First.Episode. Really, the first episode is everything that the series is not, is misleading, has some scenes that may make you think this is some kind of loli or pedo-bait, or even a quasi Hentai series. This is probably the worst way you can make a first episode, it's like they were trying to scare people away from the show. Actually the second episode first half also doesn't help that much, but in the second half of the episode things start to go down the path that the series will take from there on. Watch at least 2 episodes, don't let the first one trick you
- The series is afraid of leaving it's comfort zone, and while it does enough to be an average series, some of it's more heartfelt moments like the major plot twist at the end of episode 2 or the moment when they try to break down a certain situation to the younger sister Hina could've been more powerful but due to poor execution they end up being just nice, if not I'm sure this could've been a very popular series.
In short: A heart-warming and charming story involving family issues, drama, tragedy, friendship, love and effort, resulting in a series that's light to watch, yet with substance. And while it does not leave it's comfort zone it manages to be more than it may look at first glance. Also please watch past episode 1 (looking for the show on google images may result in some NSFW results, so don't)
- While the series has it's share of fanservice it's really nothing much, but for some reason all the spin-offs stories and merchandising seems to focus more on the sexy and harem parts of the show (even the OVA of the Anime was like this). One of those is a spin-off Manga focusing on the members of the club that Yuuta joins which is literally borderline Hentai, and actually if you search Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai in Google images without a filter, you'll probably get more NSFW things that you can manage. This series became a cash cow in that sense
- This Anime is based on a Light Novel written by Tomohiro Matsu and illustrated by Yuka Nakajima. The latter is working with Shoji Gatoh (of FMP fame) on the Light Novel Amagi Brilliant Park, a series that will have an Anime adaptation by Kyoto Animation and that you may know it's the series I'm looking forward the most this year
- Prepare to hear the famous kids lullaby "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" 26 times during the show. The song somewhat plays a role in the plot but by the end of the show you'll probably be sick of it.