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Doga Kobo: A Look Back

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So, I’ve already looked at Kyoto Animation and P.A. Works shows of the past decade as part of my 12 Days of AniTAY, and now I get to one of my other favorite studios - Doga Kobo.

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Ahhh, Doga Kobo, the studio that produces many, many “Cute Girls Doing Cute Things” shows. Yet another studio whose name will make me more likely to give a show a chance - and why shouldn’t it, they’ve done several of my favorites. So, let’s jump right in!

Yuru Yuri

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TOSHINO KYOUKO! Akariiiiiiiin! The “Lazy Lilies”, with their crushes on each other, and fantasies about the others... and their older sisters with REALLY unhealthy obsessions... Doga Kobo was responsible for the first 2 seasons of this manga adaptation about the girls of the Amusement Club, as well as the struggles of the Student Council to deal with them.

There’s also like, a seriously unhealthy obsession with puddings, and Chinatsu’s genuinely terrifying ‘artwork’, which would rival Yuu Kobayashi’s...

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Himouto! Umaru-chan

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Beautiful honors student by “day” (or at least at school), lazy, video game-playing otaku at home, Umaru Doma desperately tries to keep this second side hidden from her friends while living with her older brother, who she loves deep down, even as she makes more work for him lazing about, making messes, and spending money on games and figures.

Yet another great source for screencaps as Umaru tries to keep the different sides of her separate with different friends... sometimes at the same time.

And a really great ED for the second season.

New Game!

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Now here we go. The adventures of the adorable, yet sneakily sadistic Aoba-chan, as well as her comrades at Eagle Jump, are one of my favorite series. The veteran voice talents of Eri Kitamura, Yoko Hikasa, and Ai Kayano complement the younger members. This anime was one of the first ones that inspired me to read the source manga, leading me to want a second season to adapt the creation of the PECO game long before it became a reality.

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I mean, seriously, I’d love to have PECO as a real game, too. The concept and mechanics just sound fun. In the meantime, I need to get back to reading the manga, and hoping for a season 3...

Gabriel Dropout

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The tale of Gabriel, a “faillen” angel who’s come to Earth and discovered video games and wants to become a hikikomori, her sadistic angel friend Raphiel (voiced by HanaKana, no less), demonic tryhard Satania, and the most pure of them all, the demon Vignette.

I mean, really, this show was great, and there’s not much more that needs to be said, other than “season 2 when?” Another series that inspired me to start reading the manga.

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Tada-kun Never Falls In Love

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A rare non-CGDCT entry in my list from Doga Kobo. Tada-kun, a member of his school’s photography club, encounters a young woman who’s secretly a European princess. While this was a perfectly serviceable high school romance story, it was also fairly predictable, with the only real “twist” being that (minor spoiler) the prince our princess has been promised in marriage to is actually a pretty decent guy rather than the stereotypical “pretends to be decent but is secretly an asshole” trope.

Also, the best character was a cat. Seriously, Nyanko Big-san rocked.

UzaMaid

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So, I mentioned unhealthy obsessions in Yuru Yuri above. For whatever reason, between UzaMaid and the next entry, Doga Kobo gave us a back-to-back dose of SERIOUSLY “wtf” shows. There’s a nice little story in here about a girl who’s lost her mother learning how to make friends, interact with classmates, and start moving on in her life. But she’s doing so saddled with a creepy maid who literally wants to marry the little girl. Just, uh... what?

Wataten

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While not a sexual obsession, the following season, Wataten came with a story of a college-age girl obsessed with her little sister’s cute classmate, and getting her to wear the different costumes she makes. Meanwhile, Miyako has her own stalker...

The Helpful Fox Senko-san

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Thankfully, Senko-san gave us a more typical “secretly 900 years old loli” situation, in which a fox spirit comes to Earth to help out a salaryman plagued by like, a dark aura or something, after meeting him as a kid (I think?). It’s a nice little slice of life comedy, but with cute fox spirits. (My desire for happy endings wants the MC paired off with the cute mangaka girl who lives next door, but that’s just my shipping needs.)

Plus, it again has a really cute ED:


So, a bunch of good stuff, some slightly creepy stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what their next decade brings. (And hoping for a few more sequels to some of the shows above...)

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