Poco’s Udon World Overview:
In Poco’s Udon World, Souta returns to his home town after living in Tokyo to organise his father’s house for sale. Once he arrives there, he finds a child in one of the pots used in his father’s Udon restaurant. After that, Souta finds himself caring for the strange child. Which kind of happens a lot in anime.
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Poco’s Udon World Review:
Poco’s Udon World is a strange little series and really shouldn’t have been all that appealing to me. It stars a tanuki that’s taken the form of a kid and is excessively cute and follows the daily life of Souta who is at a cross roads in his life. Yep, it’s a slice-of-life with just a tiny bit of fantasy thrown in to make is a little bit quirky. From the pastel colour scheme, the severe lack of conflict in the story for at least 80% of the run time, to the overly heart warming finale, this really shouldn’t have drawn me in.
I won’t say that Poco’s Udon World does anything that similar slice-of-life shows haven’t because that would be a lie. And yet, I was kind of hooked on this.
Poco is a very cute kid and once or twice nearly crosses my threshold of tolerance for cute kids but manages to rein it in. I think it’s the animal characteristics from time to time that kind of save him. He kind of reminds me of my cat only he can speak. Whichever way, if you like cute kids he’s a winner and if you don’t you might be able to stand him.
Souta on the other hand is a very generic thirty-something character. He’s kind of adrift in his life. He returned to his hometown for a brief stay and then lingered, and then grew attached. It isn’t that he’s failed in Tokyo and returned home in disgrace or that he’s forced to return. He has a job and a life waiting for him, but he’s just kind of waiting for something else and not even he knows what that is. While he is a reasonably likeable character he isn’t particularly memorable.
With neither of the two main characters being amazing, why did I fall in love with this show? Because when you put the two together something genuinely magical happens. Whether it is Souta trying to be a parent or freaking out because Poco’s tail is showing, the two of these characters together just work and they bring out the best in each other. Which makes episodes 11 and 12 all the more adorable and just a little bit sad even while you’re kind of happy about it and that’s all I’m going to say about the ending because I don’t want to spoil it.
The support cast are all quite interesting. Souta’s sister and childhood friend probably get the most screen time and again neither is particularly interesting on their own but together and interacting with Souta they really work. You can believe the family and friendship dynamics between them and you feel that they have genuine history rather than a backstory that we’ve been dumped with.
Souta’s boss and co-workers also serve their purpose and are interesting enough for the few scenes they get. But it’s probably Souta’s ex-childhood crush who he becomes ‘mum friends’ with who gets the gold star for supporting character. Again, she isn’t particularly amazing by herself but she really holds up a lot scenes and she’s definitely an essential character for Souta as he goes on this emotional journey.
Despite being a slice of life this seldom feels overly slow. Admittedly it isn’t moving at break neck speed and the characters do spend a lot of time sitting and eating or sitting and talking, but it doesn’t feel like nothing is happening. Every episode brings the characters a little bit closer to whatever it is they seem to be looking for.
All and all I would definitely recommend this anime as one to check out if you haven’t already. It’s got a lot of heart and delivers a fairly solid story. While it isn’t going to take the world by storm it is a quiet achiever that never over-reaches. And if your wondering why it is Poco’s Udon World I still don’t know. Yes, Souta’s father had an udon restaurant but that seems to be about as far as the connection goes unless I missed something.
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