Review of Re-Kan!

rekan

Re-Kan is what you would get if The Sixth Sense starred a cartoon girl from Japan instead of Haley Joel Osment. This thirteen episode anime series, based on the four panel comic strip created by Hinako Seta, follows the exploits of Hibiki Amami – a high school student who has the power to commune with the dead (and cats.) The show is animated by studio Pierrot+ who have previously worked on other cheery properties including Midori Days and um… Tokyo Ghoul. British viewers who enjoy slice of life animes will eventually be able to purchase the series on DVD, as MVM Entertainment have acquired the rights to distribute the show in the UK.

OVERVIEW

Hibiki Amami is a teenage girl who has inherited her mother’s ability to see poltergeists. It’s the type of power that would creep out most people, but thankfully she attends a high school where most of the student body aren’t overly fazed by the presence of spirits. Perhaps they have grown accustomed to the undead because a deceased girl haunts one of the academy’s loos? That said, not everyone who attends the school is comfortable around the apparitions that stalk Hibiki. Amami’s best friend Narumi Inoue (a tsundere identifiable by her pigtails) is terrified of ghosts. She must however brave her fears to stay close to the one she loves. Well, not really. The pair’s friendship is purely platonic – although the show’s creators do seem to revel in teasing audiences with hints of a potential yuri romance.

Joining the abovementioned heroines in their supernatural adventures are a bevvy of classmates. Kana Uehara is the daughter of two journalists and an avid blogger who frequently uploads snaps depicting the spooks that hound Hibiki. Kana is best friends with Kyōko Esumi, an ex-street fighter who used to pummel street punks under the moniker Red Haired Messiah (a nickname that she abhors.) Kenta Yamada is the class doofus and the show’s only notable male character. He is the younger brother of Masaki Yamada, a copper who admires Kyōko due to her crime fighting past. Last but not least is Makoto Ogawa the perky ditz who thinks that zombies are cute. I guess that makes her the female equivalent of Sankarea‘s Chihiro Furuya.

VERDICT

Although the series hasn’t garnered the attention it deserves, Re-Kan has proven to be one of the more enjoyable shows I have watched from the 2015 spring anime season. It’s the perfect antidote for a bad day at the office. Sit down, watch a couple of episodes and smile because your mood is sure to improve thanks to the light and fluffy comedy on display. There’s plenty of good banter between Hibiki’s group of pals and also the ghosts she befriends. How can one not crack up at the sight of a phantom samurai bickering with the spectre of a ganguro girl? The show’s cast of characters even includes a perverted cat that loves panty shots more than a can of Whiskers.

If Re-Kan does not grab your attention from the offset I would advise that you give it time to win you over, as the anime does improve as it goes along. The second episode is arguably the show’s lowest point (it was too wacky for my tastes) but if you persevere with the series you will eventually be rewarded with a number of tender tales. The episodes were Hibiki reunites the departed with loved ones never failed to tug at my heartstrings. Episode eight in particular, which deals with the ghost of a young girl who died in hospital, had me wondering if someone was peeling onions near my TV. Overall Re-Kan’s combination of funny gags and emotive moments made me feel like a ghost riding an elevator… it really lifted my spirits.

FINAL RATING: FOUR STARS

8 thoughts on “Review of Re-Kan!

  1. Good write up!

    I thought this was a decent little show but had some pacing problems as you suggest. My biggest gripe was the character designs of Kana and Kyoko, with their eyes being visible behind their long hair covering their faces! That was creepier than any of the ghosts! >.<

      • Yes…the hair/eyes… could get past it, but it was distracting for me. I know you pointed out the second episode as being the lowest for you. The one where the comedy felt the most forced to me was the one where Uehara and Esumi kept beating Yamada throughout the episode. Otherwise it was a pretty good show. I thought that last episode hit it out of the park.

  2. I did drop this show at the end of episode 2 as I had only just started watching slice of life anime’s I may revisit this at some point 🙂 I agree this show has great potential and puts a smile on your face 🙂

  3. Good review judge!!. Roll-call Samurai and ghost gal xDD. Yeah the show knew when to pull at the heart-strings. That neko-cat is just hilarious. It had its moment of lapse. But it picks itself up and carries on. Fluffy and nice is best to describe this show. And I’m glad I watched it to the end.

  4. “and um… Tokyo Ghoul” haha, that’s something to think about. But yeah, like you said I watched it after my Friday night shifts when I got home, and it’s so feel good that it brightens everything and makes you feel better.

  5. Haha “lifted my spirits,” I got that! Was this anime really as great as you say? I mean, I never started it because it didn’t intrigue me enough at first glance, but my sister tried. Let’s say she dropped it after the first episode. With a surprising 4 star rating by the Judge himself, I’ll definitely have to rethink and consider picking up on cats and ghosts. Nice brief review! 🙂

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