NieA Under 7 Vol. 1: Poor Girl Blues – Anime DVD Review

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Out of all of the 10 anime DVDs that I bought from that crazy Rightstuf sale, I only watched 1. I figured I should attempt to reduce my backlog, so I finally watched the first DVD of Niea Under 7.

Story:Some time in the distant future, aliens crash land onto Earth. Instead of invading, they just kinda live here and get part time jobs. Well, at least some of them do. Mayuko is a poor cram school student who works two jobs just to make ends meet. On top of that, she has a freeloading alien named Niea living with her. Niea just begs for food all day, and occasionally builds UFOs that flip out and wreck the roof.

In the first volume, we witness a normal day in the life of Mayuko and Niea, learn more about the alien ranking system (Niea is mocked for not having an antenna), and see what kind of part time jobs that Mayuko must endure.

Analysis:
NieA Under 7 is really a slice of life anime. Much like Haibane Renmei, the setting is slightly alien, but life is life. There’s not really a strong overlying plot; stuff just sorta happens. If this were a shonen series, I’d assume that Niea not having an antenna meant that she’s some kind of super strong alien who has latent powers. Too bad this isnt’ a shonen series.

The humor in NieA Under 7 is mostly weird. Like the opening OP is done by a guy with a really messed up voice. The next episode previews are probably the best part of the anime, featuring a live action Indian guy saying random stuff in Japanese. It’s definitely surreal.

The main driving force of the show is Niea and her inappropriate acts. She’ll steal food from Mayuko, skip on restaurant checks, and generally act like an ass. She’s not really a likable character. I suspect that a lot of the humor in the anime also has to do with puns, though the subtitles don’t attempt to explain the jokes.

The DVD:
The video quality of this anime isn’t quite as good as most modern ones. I guessed by the quality of the animation that this anime was done in the 1990s. It was actually released in 2000. There isn’t anything wrong with the actual transfer to DVD though, as far as I can tell. As is typical for most anime DVDs, this one had language tracks for English and Japanese. I listened to the English track to make sure it worked, but I quickly switched back to Japanese once the English voices got annoying.

The extras included a “Line Art Gallery” and the credit-less OP. I guess the gallery was interesting, but this DVD felt a little lacking in terms of extras. Does “Scene Access” really count as an extra?

Conclusion:
I already bought the entire series of this anime in one purchase, so needless to say I’ll be watching it to the end. Right now I’d say this anime is just average. The jokes aren’t incredibly funny and the plot is really kind of boring, even for a slice of life show. Hopefully things will get interesting in the next volume of the DVD.

6 thoughts on “NieA Under 7 Vol. 1: Poor Girl Blues – Anime DVD Review”

  1. This series is a bit erratic during the first five or so episodes — and then moves up to (mostly) a higher level — some very Takahate-sque work in the second half (including a fairly clear-cut homage to “Grave of the Fireflies”).

    Most of the _best_ parts of this series are those that are least “exciting”. ;~}

  2. I purchased the entire series a while back from a Walmart $5 discount bin. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but I’m quite curious! I guess the reason why I haven’t watched is because, well, I bought it in a discount bin. It definitely made me worry, but it was so cheap I couldn’t resist. But, I tend to enjoy slice of life, so now I’m looking forward to watching it when I get the chance!

  3. Niea_7 is generally fairly under-appreciated, but it turned out to be a show that really grew on me, something that I found had to be appreciated as a whole.

    It’s biggest shortcoming is really it’s length – you wish that the anime had more time to add some brush-strokes to its painting of a peculiar world thats mostly like ours but just a bit askew. Some of the stories about genteel poverty in modern Japan are touching, but the characters and warmth of the show still make it wonderful place to visit in each episode. Not action filled, but a rewarding show to watch that put a smile on my face.

  4. I second the last opinion. Many things were unresolved at the end, and while it is keeping with the idea that the ending is meant to be ambiguous, you can’t help but wish some things were resolved.

    But do I like it ? Yes, I still do.

    As for NieA, I like her even up till now…. arrogant and bad as she is, it was her eccentricity that won me over.

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