Null and Peta and the Lonely Dream

 

Null and Peta cover

 

  • Genre : Comedy, Slice of Life, Mecha?, CGDCT, Short, drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: Shin-Ei Animation

 

Null is just your average little girl. And like a lot of little girls she loves her sister if if they don’t always agree. Like when her sister tries to force her to eat that awful “nutritious” fried rice or makes er go to school even though Null doesn’t need too. And just like a lot of little girls, when Null misses someone, she simply draws up elaborate blue prints and creates a series of incredibly complex algorithms to create a deeply sophisticated robot replacement. We’ve all been there, right? But it’s not all fun and games and sunny days at the beach. Something odd is happening. First ravenous aliens seem to invade Nul’s idyllic life then people start to disappear. Something very odd is happening indeed. Luckily, there’s nothing Nul and Peta can’t solve together.

I don’t remember hearing much about this show when it was airing. I also noticed that it was pretty badly rated, but shorts always score very low for some reason. I like short programs.  find them way more flexible and great when you don’t feel like getting too invested.

Null and Peta ep1-9 (17)

why do girls always look great with a wrench

One thing is for sure though, short anime usually have a much smaller budget which you tend to see in the visuals. This is why I was so impressed with how great Null and Peta looked. The art is fairly detailed and remains very consistent throughout the series. It has this really great pastel pop palette and any show that errs on the side of pink is already ahead of the game as far as I’m concerned. And even the backgrounds are fairly elaborate.

While going over what I was going to talk about in this post. (It’s always hard to review shorts I find), I started to really wonder why Nul and Peta was so much prettier than other shorts I have watched. One factor is certainly that it appealed to my personal design tastes. But beyond that I think it comes to the tiny cast. For the most part we only ever see Null and Peta, often just Null. There are no crowds, no extras, no background characters to animate. It’s a beautiful painted backdrop with a single characters moving around. Even the alien invasion which started to get crowded was a bit of a cop out since the aliens were essentially just balls with mouths.

I’m sure there are other reasons but I have a feeling that dropping any extra visual noise allowed the production to really concentrate on what was there to se, and in my opinion, it paid off! The show looks great.

Null and Peta ep1-9 (25)

it’s out of this world…i’ll let myself out

I feel like I’ve already mentioned a million time that this is a short series. Every episode is roughly 5 minutes. So you get the entire season n about an hour. It’s important to keep this in mind when setting up your expectation for the narratives in these shorter shows. There just isn’t that much room although some have managed to tell amazing stories. In the particular case, Null and Peta also seems to be a commercial tie in for some type of platformer game. Crunchyroll advertised the game right along the series and th set-tup really makes it feel like Null and Peta is only meant to be an extended comercial. A bit like Pretty Derby.

When you really consider these two aspects you sort of start to form an expectation in your mind. You figure it’s going to be a safe comedy with the type of fanservice that isn’t about showing off the characters bodies but making them look vulnerable and sweet or something along those lines because you don’t want to loose the younger demographic. I know I sound pretty jaded but it’s not unreasonable. Besides you can make a great commercial.

And that’s what I was expecting. Just Null and Peta going around and doing Null and Peta stuff adorably. I was expecting the girl to be willful but also a bit dorky and silly. I wasn’t expecting her to be a mad scientist. Nice touch. We need more CGDCT featuring mad scientists. I liked this.

Null and Peta ep1-9 (46)

I told you it was a one man show

I was thinking it would be lighthearted irreverent slice of life with some goofy randomness. I was expecting the odd edge of pain and grief that starts to seep in here and there.  thought it was just silly shenanigans and robot sister fun, which it was but I would never ever have imagined a soft exploration of grief and loss from the perspective of a child not yet able to fully process everything. And I definitely wasn’t expecting a twist ending that left me in actual tears. I’m not kidding you guys, real human tears…

I’m not sure why (is it in the game…) but Null and Peta sets out to paint a very ambitious emotional journey with a light tch and bright pastel colours. It’s a tall order for any series and by the limitations of both the genre and length of the series, the exploration of some of the heavier themes stays quite shallow. I mean what can you expect? Nevertheless, I feel like it succeeds way more than it fals and I’m baffled by how little recognition the series got. If nothing else, against all odds, Nul and Peta seems to have been earnestly striving to achieve meaning. Or at least the marketing team behind the show managed to make me believe so which is an accomplishment all on it’s own.

If you’ve been looking for a short series and don’t mind some sappy sentimentality, Null and Peta is a great choice nd a rather touching tribute to sisterhood.

Null and Peta ep10-12 (26)

their jammies match!

Favorite character: There’s only two characters…one really…. so Null!

What this anime taught me: Siblings seem great

“No great story ever started with someone eating a salad”

Suggested drink: Big Sister

  • Every time Null says “sister” – take a breath
  • Every time we see a bamboo shoot – take a sip
  • Every time Peta creates something by herself – take a sip
  • Every time Null avoids dinner – take a sip
  • Every time there’s an explosion – take a sip
  • Every time Null skips school – tsk tsk – you shouldn’t skip school
  • Every time Null is almost killed – take a sip
  • Every time we see original Peta – it’s going to be ok
  • Every time Null does math – pay attention
  • Every time you spot bad CG – take a good sip
  • Every time Null is alone – take a sip and awwww
  • Every time Null dreams – take a sip
  • Every time there’s fried rice – get a snack

Null and Peta ep10-12 (21)

You know the drill – Pinterest has tons of pics and I’m adding a few here

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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11 Responses

  1. divya mehra says:

    Sounds interesting, I will check this out soon. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    I noticed you change Rin again so now that does that mean a new Madoka is coming out yet?
    -(krogueotakugamer)
    Also that robot in that pic does remind me alot of Eve from Wall-E

  3. Pinkie says:

    Of course I never even heard of this! But it looks amazing! I definitely must check it out! I loved Dokuro which kinda was a short series as well. Robots , good looking food and cute girls.. I am in!

  4. Dawnstorm says:

    Aw, that was quite a cute show. It grew on me pretty quickly, and like you I didn’t expect there to be this sort of development. I was bringing it up here and there, and Karandi covered it (I hope she’s all right?), but beyond that it didn’t receive much attention. Few shorts do (I mean Natsunagu wasn’t even licenced.)

    My reactions were pretty much the same as yours, so I have little to add. I find “beach girl” remains a mystery: in a show with so few characters she stands out and I’m completely unsure of her ontological status.

    • Irina says:

      Beach girl is an outlier. My head canon is that she’s a nurse… As far as I know K is ok, just taking some time.

      • Dawnstorm says:

        Good to hear that.

        That was my head canon, too. Not 100 % satisfying but the most plausible idea I could come up with.

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