For those who have had better things to watch this year, Zettai Karen Children is – how to put this? – a cocktail of comedy and action in a magical girl-shaped glass, with an olive in it that tastes like X-Men‘s theme of prejudice against the superpowered. Judging from its timeslot, children are its main audience, though there are moments when one must suppress qualms about precisely who is enjoying what.
Anyway, it’s a show that fills a particular niche in my anime diet: it’s comfortingly reliable. I know what I’m getting when I sit down for an episode, even if what I’m getting is unlikely to blow me away. In this ZKC is similar to its sibling, Hayate no Gotoku, although the latter is much more purely devoted to comedy. Both, however, do occasionally hit me right on the funnybone, and when it happens it’s always all the more pleasurable for being unexpected.
One such unexpected moment lay in wait for me in the tenth episode. There’s really no way to convey how broadly it made me smile, reading what it was won’t be funny (that’s just the way humour is, I suppose) and perhaps you actually have to be me to find it funny at all – but I’ll tell you about it anyway.
This tenth episode involved a submarine (always a good sign) and what made me grin like a looney was the launch system designed (apparently by Heath Robinson) to get The Children and their supervisor into it. This was ludicrously complex and, crucially, its complexity went unremarked by the characters: they noted that having a launch system at all was what you might expect in an anime, but they sat impassively as their moving chairs were manoeuvred, by various contrivances, into the waiting sub.
The icing on the cake was the discovery that the submarine was suspended in mid-air in its dock for no apparent reason, so that the room had to be flooded before it could depart.