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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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03/19/2006 Archived Entry: "Anime review: Bottle Fairy 1"

Bottle Fairy, Volume 1
English Language version produced by Geneon

Review by Kelly S. Taylor

Diabetics beware! Bottle Fairy is so cute and sweet, it's been scientifically determined that there's more than an 80% chance it'll make you plotz. If words like "precious" and "adorable" bother you, turn back now! If you're disturbed by images of characters with eyes bigger than their hands, read no further!

Still with me? Okay, then Bottle Fairy is a precious little series starring four adorable little fairies with eyes almost twice the size of their tiny, chiba hands. (Can't say I didn't warn you!) These miniature moppets live inside the desk drawer of a teen-aged boy (which sounds a little Michael Jackson to me, but we see very little of him and are given no explanation as to how or why the fairies came to be in his desk.)

In each teeny-tiny, ten minute episode, the fairies learn about a different Japanese celebration or activity associated with the month that appears in the title. There's not really a plot, just pure cuteness. The fairies start with a comically mistaken idea of what each holiday connotes. For example, they assume that Golden Week (the time of the children's festivals) is about collecting gold, so they dress up as pirates. During the course of the episode, they learn about how each celebration is practiced, but usually end up with a new, cute, silly misconception.

A word of warning though, lest you, like me, contemplate giving this DVD to an actual American child, Japanese standards of age-appropriate content are different than in the U.S. A few of these episodes contain scenes that might make the child's parents frown at you. For example, one of the fairies gets drunk in one episode. Another features a comic skit about a husband cheating on his wife.

The artwork is (wait for it!) cute, sweet, and adorable. The general style is anime-goes-dollhouse. Everything and everyone is colorful and shiny. Bright primaries are softened with pastel tones. Although not innovative, Bottle Fairy is easy on the eyes.

Because the episodes are so short, there's a generous half-dozen of them packed onto this DVD. The selection of extras is skimpy, though, consisting only of non-credit beginning and ending animations, previews, and DVD credits.

In conclusion, I want to recommend this DVD, but I'm not sure who to recommend it to. Some of the content may be too mature for the age group for which it was originally aimed. The information about Japanese customs might be interesting to someone learning the language, but Bottle Fairy is too cutesy to be appealing to most college and high-school students. Hmm, let me think! Okay, I've got it. If you're an adult or teen-aged Hello Kitty fan who wants to learn about Japanese culture, even though you already know enough about it to get the in-jokes, then this is the series for you! Both of you! Take your insulin and enjoy!

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