Anime Review – Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi

Here we have an anime review of that classic, yet popular series Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi.  It’s also written by one of our new staffers, Dana B… Enjoy! -DJ

Hello to all of you realistic people reading this, or are you?? Well no matter… I welcome you to the Magical Shopping Arcade.   Hold on to your seats because you’re in for a bumpy review. Now shall we?

You’re all wondering to yourself what just exactly is the Magical Shopping Arcade and how did it become to be?  Well it starts off quite real.  A girl named Arumi Asahina and a boy named Sasshi Imamiya who are both 12 years old, grew up as childhood friends, living in Osaka, Japan. There is the Abenobashi Shopping Arcade that is now or was filled with consumers, but the town and business is slowing down.  One day one of the mysterious ancient charms that are directed in each way of the world North, South, East and West was broken.  Since then all has changed for the weirder.  Sasshi and Arumi find themselves in the Shopping Arcade but, not their Shopping Arcade for its odd and messed up then it was before.  They find themselves in an imaginary world that everything is just completely messed up, unrealistic, and crazy.  Even though every world they go to is set in the Shopping Arcade with the people they know and love it’s still not their world or the real world.  Now Sasshi and Arumi go on a quest and they travel to these buzzard worlds to go back home to the real Abenobashi Shopping Arcade.

The Story itself is a very interesting one. It has a variety of genres (Drama, Comedy, Romance etc.), but the main plot is focused on is the ideas of the world’s being controlled by science, technology and magic.  This idea of the story of the world’s being controlled by all of that can get quite deep and somewhat confusing, but the main point gets clearer as the story goes on.  The comedy is hilarious!! The comedy is filled with silliness, sarcasm, slap stick (especially to poor Sasshi) and overall parody humor (each world does this type of comedy).  Even though it has it’s comedy it has its very serious moments that will make your eyes full with tears.  Also, there is a whole episode that is completely dead serious, not that it’s not interesting or dull, it just makes the feel of the show completely different in a very positive way.  It also focuses on a romantic interest between Sasshi and Arumi, even though Sasshi is more interested in Aurmi than she is with Sasshi, but she probably doesn’t realize that she also likes him.  There’s also a romantic interest between Mune-Mune and Eutus and is seen throughout the story. She’s looking for him in each world and that’s how he knows her.  One last thing about the story is that there is Eye Candy.  Yeah you gals may be thinking, “Oh man it’s for guys this show”, not so.  Yes you do see Mune-Mune boobs and undies but it’s not in every episode and it’s there also for comedy.  In general the story will keep you wanting more.

Another aspect of this show that will also keep you going along and wanting more is the characters themselves. They all have great character development.  Arumi is the girl who finds life’s riches are in the simplest and smallest things and she also is just happy to be alive. Like she says, “ Bein’ Human, havin’ your health, that’s the most important thin’ “.   She gives the story a realistic point of view that life happens and she is the responsible one in the group. Even though her view on life is on the easy side and she is the responsible leader, she has quite a sense of humor and her positive thinking gives her a boost to her personality.  Sasshi on the other hand is the curious, creative, imaginative, geek and unique person who’s always looking for an adventure! Although he has the imagination and innocence of a child, his pre-teen side is taking over and he likes to get a view of Mune-Mune’s Eye Candy.  His personality all around is funny, fun and will also want you to join in the adventure.  Eutus is the famous Onmyoji Abe no Seimei but no one knows that this is his real identity and that he’s is the creator of the one and only Abenobashi Shopping Arcade.  In a sense he is Arumi and Sasshi’s parental guardian.  Mune-Mune is in love with Eutus and as the story goes along you understand why she’s loves him and how they both know and connect with each other. Besides her love for Eutus, her main role is giving humor and Eye Candy to the audience. Once you meet these characters you’ll fall in love with them instantly.

Finally the voice work!!!! Now it’s time to do the famous battle of the Anime world….Dub vs. Sub! Let’s start off with the sub.

Japanese voice cast:
  • Arumi (Yuki Matsuoka – Trinity Blood, Haruhi Suzumiya, Bleach)
  • Sasshi (Tomo Saeki – DiGi Charat, Bastard!!, Gunsligner Girl)
  • Eutus (Rikiya Koyama – Fairy Tail, Fate/stay Night, Naruto)
  • Mune-Mune (Aya Hisakawa – Sailor Moon, Devil Hunter Yohko, Fruits Basket)
English voice cast:
  • Arumi (Jessica Boone – Princess Tutu, Full Metal Panic!, Air)
  • Sasshi (Luci Christian – Princess Tutu, Fairy Tail, Kodocha)
  • Eutus (Chris Patton – Princess Tutu, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece)
  • Mune-Mune (Kaytha Cocker -Steel Angel Kurumi, Kaleido Star, Angelic Layer)
The actor’s for the sub and dub to me personally are on the same level with each other for tone, pitch, and personalities and both do fantastic acting jobs and you will definitely enjoy both.  The only difference is that in the Dub Sasshi and Arumi and most of the characters besides Mune-Mune and Eutus have southern accents.  While I watched it in sub, the subtitles were written as if a southern person was talking, but the Japanese’s voice actors didn’t talk in a southern accent.  For both versions, there was southern style music playing in the background so its intention even in Japan was to create a southern theme. Overall if you want to stick with the sub you’ll get Japan’s perspective of how they viewed the show but, if you watch it in dub, you’ll feel the atmosphere that was meant to be felt with the southern accents plus southern music being put into play. I saw some episodes in sub and watched it all in dub and I just could not stop!

Here comes the biggie…..Will I be buying this or should you also buy this???   Yesss!!! This show has such a collection of energy, enthusiasm and spice! It was a show where you love it from start to finish.  When I get some money, it will be the next series to go in my Anime DVD collection.

Dana is our resident Sailor Moon fan.  When she isn’t writing for Anime Jam Session, she’s running her own Facebook Fan Page here, check it out!

DJ Ranma S

DJ Ranma S is cosplay veteran. He has won numerous performance awards with his friends over the years. He has staffed conventions in the past, ran panels, judged a couple of masquerades, a jack of all trades. He's worked dealer's room too! Running this site is his way of giving back to the cosplay community. He feels that it's his turn to give a future cosplayer their fifteen minutes of fame.

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