Title: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru (Lit Translation: And yet The Town Moves)
Producer: SHAFT (License by Sentai Flimworks for North America)
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life
Recommended/Similar Titles: Working!!, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Natsu no Arashi!, Hyakko
I am not sure what would be the proper term for an anime of Soredemo’s caliber, but one word to describe it for sure would be: Random. Adapted straight from its manga, the story chronicles high school student Hotori Arashiyama, her friends, her family, and the daily happenings and encounters experienced in the “not-so-normal town” where they reside. With that said, Soredemo is not only one story, but many interwoven pieces unlike other slice-of-life titles that just adhere to one specific storyboard. This actually works very well and supports the series vibrant and lively cast along with its slapstick comedic moments captured in each segment vignette. In addition, the manga chapters are also animated out of order to reflect the random storytelling and vignette qualities, but again, this works to an advantage and helpful with keeping the execution at a solid, but smooth pace. In this case, random works very well.
The many ventures and stories in Soredemo would be nothing without its colorful and bizarre cast members. Whether it is the ditsy Hortori, her meganekko friend Toshiko, or even their tomboyish sempai Natsuhiko, all characters are vital and active participants in the series. Granted that none are particular keystones in the series and perfectly fine with removing one, they are effectively better off leaving the formula as is along with the respective voice actors that attribute to their lasting impression. If you are familiar with names and voices such as: Chiaki Omigawa, Aoi Yuuki, and Tomokazu Sugita amongst others, then the cast listing should be nothing new and fairly enjoyable.
If you are familiar with Shaft studios then the animation quality should not be much of a surprise either. In this case very well done. Deploying its regular bag of tricks and hallmarks such as: panning shots, dramatic shifts, wordplay, contrast between lighting and more, Shaft’s various techniques oddly fit in with the series own atmosphere and complements the artwork well. It also does a nice job with supporting the comedic elements when need be. Sadly, the aesthetic of music does not stand out as much and easily forgettable, but still offers its small contribution to the overall mood. The series director is Akiyuki Shinbou that has worked on various Shaft production (Examples: Bakemonotagari, Hidamari Sketch, and Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko just to name a few).
I was personally able to get my enjoyment out of Soredemo and think it will please other fans fond of clean and random humor. Compared to other slice-of-life/comedy titles of similar stature, this one definitely is more active and pronounced than others and the reason why I think it will be so well-received. I would not go as far as to say it is one of the best series of the genre, but as far as being entertaining and fresh it does score very high in my personal opinion. There are a few things that I dislike about the series such as the way it chose to end and overall arrangement (the first two episodes are somewhat slow), but nothing that subtracts from the enjoyment.
Soredemo can definitely be seen as a “dime a dozen” series, but clearly an enjoyable one shadowed behind others. With excellent animation and weird universe with even weirder characters, it turns out to be quite the charming and simple series for viewers looking to relax. So if you need a load off your mind and in the mood for a couple of chuckles, then Soredemo can deliver just that and do it effortlessly. If you liked series like: Arakawa Under the Bridge, Working!!, Hyakko, or even Nichijou, then this one will not be much of a far-cry from the rest.
Pros: Nice slice-of-life/comedy narrative, excellent characters, humorous, excellent animation and artwork.
Cons: Beginning narrative episodes (1 & 2) somewhat slow, selective in what manga chapters are covered.