Welcome to Wagnaria!!
That's the name of the family restaurant featured on the show (which
the same name as the show itself of course) and it translates to mean
(plus the exclamation points). The series almost entirely takes place
at the restaurant
and most of the primary characters are employees there. The show begins
somewhat typical comedy anime but the overall plot eventually winds up
and dramatically transforms into a romantic comedy. Bet you
that one coming!
characters are all a bit zany and offbeat. That is one of the appeals
watching this series because it lends a certain degree of
helps to benefit the humor. The first few episodes were a bit slow to
though and the first two episodes in particular (written/storyboarded
Yoshimasa Hiraike) were actually my least favorite episodes of the
episode run (each technically referred to as a "recipe" to keep with
theme). There was too much questionable/perverted humor early on and it
something that initially disappointed me. I wasn't sure I was going to
sense of humor on the series and if I hadn't liked the humor at all
have been disastrous in regards to actually enjoying the story being
possibly the lead character. I say possibly because he is the
character on the series where you occasionally get to see multiple
are related to him and his storyline but that fall outside of the
setting. This is really an ensemble piece of storytelling and that
difficult to pin-point one particular character that is focused on more
the others, but it is easier to clarify the series as having two leads:
Takanashi and Inami.
sweet girl who has a crush on Takanashi but who has a terrible habit of
punching every man she sees (Ouch). Her father was cruel to her by
stories to her as a child about how all men are wicked in this world
and that ultimately
prevented her from having any healthy relationships with men. Takanashi
is a bit
of a weirdo who apparently likes "small, cute things" (including
stuffed animals). He initially joins the staff because a really short
him to when she is desperate to hire a new employee. The age gap
characters is only one year but the humor employed early on in this
for some rather weird moments.
course of the series these two main characters (Takanashi and Inami)
and become closer as friends. The punching doesn't completely stop but
with everything she has to become more male-friendly and less punch-y.
romantic element springs up to pose the question: Will Inami ever get
fear of men and can these two seemingly different characters care
one another to actually fall for each other? It's the central question
entire show. Can two oddballs connect emotionally?
the characters are just as odd though. There's a waitress who totally
on the female manager and share's love stories with the cook (who is a
a major crush on her). Maybe that doesn't sound so weird... but
wear a Katana sword on her belt. The cook then vents his frustrations
everyone around him but in generally nice ways. Everyone calls
him the "nice
guy" (which in a strange way he sort of is - at the very least he seems
the nicest character on the show). For
further confounding oddities: How could I forget the character who
blackmails everyone into doing all of his work for him or the fact that
manager never likes to do any work for herself at all?
If this hasn't already been emphasized, I
should state that the Wagnaria staff is a pretty eccentric bunch.
a series where viewers will want to preview an episode or two before
purchase decision - primarily because the humor on the show can often
subjective. There were moments where I laughed and moments where I
Cringe-worthy moments sometimes occurred. Its humor offered up some
that makes the series work as well as it does is the fact that it
grounds itself when it emphasizes the romantic element of the story and
primarily on making the plot move forward (even if it is a simple
The characters can carry the series quite well from this point because
well established and are likeable as well. The writing may sometimes be
bumpy but it's strong enough to warrant the romantic storyline.
is fairly standard for this type of comedy. The backgrounds are
character designs are distinctive but are relatively familiar in style
compared to other anime series out there. It's an amazingly clean
with good enough designs to keep the production interesting, but the
approach doesn't make this a series where stylistic animation is what
viewer watching. It's worth noting that aspect.
entirely character-driven romantic-comedy series is worth checking out
of quirky and offbeat anime series. The conclusion is left somewhat
but doesn't disappoint and the direction remains interesting from start
finish. It probably didn't hurt that the opening theme was catchy fun.
who thinks this series sounds somewhat enjoyable should give it a
chance and it
might just become a wonderful surprise for some.
presented across 2 DVD's with an anamorphic
widescreen 1:78:1 transfer that preserves the original television
aspect ratio. This 12 episode long anime series has frequently bright
that spring to life with ease and that provide viewer satisfaction. The transfer isn't perfect though, and it does
seem a bit softer than desirable during certain scenes. The overall
presentation is strong enough that this release won't disappoint fans.
Dolby Digital audio is a bit disappointing
when compared to the video presentation. The series lacks much
the overall sound levels seem a tad lower than they probably could be.
isn't much to the sound design but the opening/ending credits do
energetic songs that sound well reproduced. The dialogue is also easy
and understand. Wagnaria!! is
presented with only the original Japanese language dub and with
English language subtitles.
art doesn't promote any bonus materials as
being included on the set at all and
it barely does. There are clean closing credit sequences and that is
is included as an extra on this release.
pretty entertaining show for the most part. It
has strange, quirky characters that keep the show interesting most of
The romantic plot-line also provides the series greatest moments. Fans
romantic-comedy anime series will want to check this series out as it
be a nice little surprise series. The DVD PQ/AQ is worthwhile.
lack of any substantial extras does disappoint. Recommended.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.