Space Battleship Tiramisu Series Review: A Glimmer Of Hope Lost In Space

Short form anime is never really overly appealing as to me it seems like they always struggle to do more than insert a few gags due to run time. Space Battleship Tiramisu seemed like it might break that trend but ultimately abandoned its plot in favour of repeat gags.

Review:

While it probably isn’t fair to hold an anime’s form or genre against it, given I knew this was a short form comedy when I started it, and yet there were glimpses throughout Space Battleship Tiramisu’s run-time that hinted at a fairly interesting plot that could have been explored. Where this anime really annoyed me was in presenting the plot elements mid-season and then abandoning them in favour of more gag comedy. It is more the inconsistency of this show’s approach that ultimately makes me feel this anime is somewhat lacking.

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That said, people who really like gag anime, might get a laugh out of this. Of course that depends entirely on your tolerance for jokes at the expense of someone with clear OCD, jokes about talking pubes, and various jokes involving questionable hygiene choices (and now I’m wondering how I managed to get to the end of this). Despite all of that, there are some really great moments throughout this season.

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With seven to nine minutes per episode, one thing the anime had in its favour was even when an episode didn’t click for me, it was over fast. The other thing that worked with the short form was that if a joke was particularly distasteful, it was usually done by the next episode. There were only a couple of jokes that carried over between episodes.

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Unfortunately, the jokes they carried over usually didn’t need to be. The episode early on that focused on adopting a dog that then grew massive was actually pretty cute and funny. The return of the dog later for space-walkies was just a jarring interruption into what should have been a decent climax to the story about Subaru’s brother and his clone. Though apparently they didn’t want to deal with that because there is apparently a second season coming. I don’t intend to watch is so I guess I’ll just have to imagine a resolution for the story, though given how incompetent most of the characters seem  I might just imagine all of the spaceships blow up simultaneously and cause the end.

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Subaru as a character is at times quite interesting. his obsession with his cockpit early on is fairly well portrayed and most of the jokes stick at this stage. Where the anime fell down was despite introducing family to Subaru and having flash backs to his father who apparently designed mecha or whatever, we never really got a sense of how Subaru became the person he is. While he could have been a rich and interesting character, a look at someone who needed order in a disorderly world, instead we get mostly a character who gets pushed into dirty situations for cheap laughs and doesn’t really get much in the way of development or character progress. Also, at times he actually acts too stupid for words and some of his losses in space make you wonder why anyone still lets him pilot anything.

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Equally, the members of the support cast are all potentially interesting characters who end up being one-note gags of forgettable due to the anime’s lack of interest in doing anything more with them. Whether this strikes you as a failing or not I guess will depend on how entertained you are by the gags.

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Though I’m pretty certain most people are glad the robot had its head detached even if it meant we still had to listen to the thing.

Overall, I liked the look of this show, though animation is minimal with movement and the like often just being portrayed in a series of lines. Despite that, it had a distinct visual identity that stood out compared to many other shows in the Spring line up and I must admit my eyes were very much drawn to it initially because of how the characters looked. The OP is also really fun. It has a very old school kind of feel to it and a lot of energy. Definitely one of the highlights each week.

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Ultimately, if you are chasing a narrative, this anime isn’t going to work for you. If you just want a laugh or two in space, this might very well be exactly what you are looking for. As for me, while I made it to the end of this season and had a pleasant enough time for most of the season, I won’t be going for a second season. Definitely done now.

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Karandi James

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 13: A Dramatic Re-Entry But No Conclusion

Due to inattention and general stupidity, Subaru and his brother both start plunging into the atmosphere. The tension of whether Subaru will survive or not isn’t exactly mounting in this final episode of the season.

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Well any hope I had for this series has effectively come crashing to an end, and not just because of the Durandel plummeting through the atmosphere and onto Earth. None of the potential plot points were concluded in any meaningful way here or even addressed and while I get it is a comedy and short form so building a narrative isn’t its first priority, it didn’t even really try to do much with those elements. I did hear a rumour of a second season but I’m pretty sure I’m done here.

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The other issue is that when something is absurd just to be absurd, it kind of loses impact after awhile. And two pilots being distracted by their OCD and allowing themselves to fall for so long into the atmosphere is just kind of ridiculous and makes you wonder how Subaru ever got called an Ace pilot if that’s all it takes to trash his ship. Anyway, this one is done and I will get around to reviewing shortly.

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Karandi James

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 12: Back to Jokes About Dirty Cockpits

When things go wrong for a series, it is sometimes good to return to your roots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work here given the story had pushed on a bit and now Subaru just getting OCD about dirt is kind of a weak consolation prize.

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Apparently we have one episode left to go which really isn’t time to learn about the clone, the brother, and whether or not the father being a robot developer is in anyway significant. So basically we have a short form gag anime that midway through its season started to seem like it was going to build a plot only to squander the remaining run time before adding yet more plot points that won’t ever go anywhere.

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I’d be disappointed except that I was pleasantly surprised that this anime attempted any kind of story in the first place. Still, at episode 12, I want more than Subaru upset that the spare machine he gets asked to use is filthy and that someone left the volume on the stereo turned up to loud. It just doesn’t cut it this late in the season.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 11: Another Flat Episode

Let’s take a break from space fights to take a stab at reality TV and the returning of Subaru’s space dog. Rather, let’s not because the end result isn’t great.

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It might be petty to point out that a parody set in space that has featured giant space-dogs, robots with an evil switch, and clones is being a bit silly, but the introduction of the reality TV crew somehow pushed just the wrong button for me. Mostly, because despite Subaru’s obvious turn of mood from horrified by being subjected to being filmed, to nervous as he was a fan of the show they were from, he let them into his cockpit.

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After having an almost continual running joke about his cockpit being is sanctuary and not liking anyone or anything else near it, the fact that he pleasantly let two randoms inside to film him while flying just struck me as completely world destroying. The one constant thing about this show was Subaru and his cockpit and now, for very little reason, that sanctuary is gone.

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Trust me, know one is laughing.

Then we got a giant dog and dog sex joke, so all and all this episode was kind of terrible.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 10: Another Mis-Fire

It has been at least half a season since the last episode of this comedy anime made me want to quit watching. However, that just makes this week’s lacklustre effort all the more disappointing.

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Profound.

This episode of Space Battleship Tiramisu just kind of didn’t do anything. We have the clone Subaru and his brother coming out to fight Subaru and Subaru going to fight them and they never actually meet. Instead we get a poor punchline about getting a speeding ticket in space.

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While this is hardly new for this anime to derail its own plot for a joke, this one fell particularly flat. And after several weeks of reasonably entertaining antics and the potential build up of a real plot, this week just didn’t deliver. Fortunately though, the run time meant that it didn’t overstay its welcome and we watched and were done.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 9: Happiness and Tragedy

Fortunately the robot has proven a brief distraction and we seem to be continuing with what counts for a plot in this anime. And for the brief run-time its proving surprisingly interesting.

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The robot situation was actually dealt with surprisingly quickly and I was quite satisfied with the outcome. Okay, the whole having a personality switch that allows you to make the robot evil is questionable, as is the fact that converting the robot to bike mode would make it compliant when it is still in evil mode, but I’m not really going to get too hung up on specifics with this story. It just isn’t that type of show.

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And the second half of this episode of Space Battleship Tiramisu returned to space battles and actually linked in the whole saga with the brother and towards the end the clone that was made of Subaru. So the plot that’s been established since the mid-season continues and really they’ve done a lot with it considering how few minutes they have each episode and the fact that a lot of those minutes are taken up with gags. Even with the return of the talking pubic hair, this was a pretty entertaining episode.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 8: So What’s With The Robot?

After a very brief stint away, Subaru returns to the Tiramisu to discover a robot has moved into his room. As you do. Not sure if this is a good development or not.

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If I thought that Subaru going with his brother would lead to some sort of answers about anything I was clearly wrong given we had a brief skit involving a scratched robot and then Subaru decides to pack up and go. The brother lets him mostly because they’ve already got a clone growing, though that makes you wonder why he bothered to take Subaru with him in the first place instead of just stealing some DNA and moving on.

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What makes me even more curious is why he returns to the Tiramisu and nobody actually asks or cares about the fact that he left with the enemy. Seems a little bizarre given they are at war, though I guess bizarre is a subjective thing and when we contrast that anomaly with the bleep, blooping robot with a duplicitous personality there really isn’t a clear line as to what counts as weird for this show.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 7: Brothers Reunite

This episode had a serious issue with balancing the drama of the two reuniting and the comedic tone of the series. The end result wasn’t exactly satisfying.

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I get six minutes isn’t a long episode run time, even by anime standards, and in a show like this where they need to pack a number of punch lines into that run-time it makes it even harder to get pacing and tone to be anything more than the build-up to the next joke, but this episode kind of jumped all over the place. We go from serious confrontation with the older brother having taken out most of the Tiramisu’s command and wanting to take Subaru with him, to a poorly executed joke about a lost key in the space of moments. Everything after that wavers back and forth as well with the jokes not really landing and the drama feeling watered down.

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Despite that, this does continue to progress this space melodrama we have and makes me wonder what the conclusion will end up being for this story.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episodes 5 + 6: Did We Suddenly Stumble Upon a Space Melodrama?

Stranded in space, memories of the past, and long lost brothers; I can’t complain these two episodes were dull but I’m wondering if I’m watching the same anime I was previously.

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Episodes 5 + 6:

After episode 4, I wasn’t expecting all that much from this series and yet episodes 5 and 6 turned out to be pleasantly surprising. Okay, episode 5 definitely returned to the anime’s earlier obsession with nudity and eating in space but that is a joke that hasn’t quite been run into the ground yet and the flash backs to the family during episode 5 take on a greater significance in episode 6.

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Previously it has felt like each skit was just that. A single set-up and then a punch line. Episode 6 turns that one its head by drawing on the flashbacks during episode 5 and setting up what might actually be an ongoing story-line, though they could just be kidding us here. It also made us question a lot of what we had seen previously as clearly every action a particular character has made is now called into question by episode 6. I’m not curious enough to see if they thought it through that well that I’ll rewatch the earlier episodes, but it certainly made me try to think back to every encounter with the character.

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So yes, pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this pair of episodes.

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Karandi James

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 4: Have They Run Dry Already?

When the anime goes to jokes about talking pubic hair, one has to wonder if they’ve already run out of material at episode 4.

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This episode is probably a good example of why I’m not a huge fan of comedy in any form. So far this anime has been relatively amusing and had a few interesting points and then this episode gives us a joke about Subaru drinking too much before a mission and needing to pee before he has a conversation with a stray pubic hair in his cockpit. I’m just not sure I’m the audience for that because it wasn’t exactly amusing.

That said, I’ll give this another episode because up until now I’ve had a bit of fun with this show but another episode like this and I’ll probably call it quits.

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