Heaven’s Memo Pad is a Weird Title

heavens memo pad key

 

  • Genre : Mystery, Adventure, Romance, Drama
  • Episodes: 12
  • Studio: J.C. Staff

 

Making friends can be a bit of a challenge. Even the most outgoing and willing person can get saddled with the wrong crowd when moving to a new place, if they aren’t careful. And the thing about Narumi is that he has a lot of difficulty turning down friendships. That’s probably why he got strong armed by Ayaka into joining the Gardening club, and then suddenly became an honorary member of a NEET gang and assistant to the illustrious NEET detective and also blood brother to not one but two fairly dangerous criminals, and he isn’t getting paid for working part time at the ramen shop, is he? And he’s trying to break up an insidious drug ring in his free time. Maybe Narumi should learn how to say no, but where’s the adventure in that?

I first heard someone mention Heaven’s Memo Pad in passing when discussing chuuni characters (although now that I have seen it, I really wouldn’t consider Yuuko chuuni at all) and it sort of stuck with me because of how odd the title is. It really doesn’t give away anything, does it? And there’s just something dissonant about pairing a grand notion like Heaven with something as plain and innocuous as a memo pad. What I’m saying is that I went in knowing nothing about the series except the title and that it potentially had a chuuni character, which I don’t think it did…

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I know it starts off a bit rough but don’t worry, it gets better

Heaven’s memo pad is pretty enough to look at. Nothing special about the character designs but they are nice and a lot of them seemed to have been conceived with certain demographic, let’s call them preferences in mind. Basically archetypes of what is supposed of be attractive. Unfortunately the colour palette is rather dull and utterly unimaginative and the art is inconsistent. Those attractive character designs do suffer quite a bit in certain angles or if there’s too much movement going on.

And the movement itself can get a little jerky. There are shows where this isn’t much of an issue but in an action heavy feature, such as Heaven’s Memo Pad, where the narrative itself relies on the animation, it’s a bit more glaring.

The acting can border on over acting at times but I don’t think it’s the voice actors fault. Hear me out. The characters are often given very minimal motivation for what are some pretty drastic actions, so I think the actors were trying to cover that up by stating those motivations with as much passion as possible. The results are debatable.

Heaven's Memo Pad ep5-7 (16)

but you drank an extra cup!

When watching Heaven’s Memo Pad, one thought kept creeping in, this is like a poor man’s Gosick. The character archetypes are the same, the design elements are similar, the settings are completely different but the premise is almost identical. Sure Yuuko doesn’t have a sorted family history like Victorique but then again, maybe she does. We never find out much about it.

And when I say “poor man’s” it’s not only that there is less subtlety and depth to the writing, that the characters really aren’t as developed and the plots aren’t as thought out (which is a shame because some of those cases are actually very interesting and would have made for some very good procedural) but there’s also an unmistakable feel of a production running up against its budget. Stories are rushed and narrative steps are skipped, just as corners are cut in the animation.

Man, I just said a lot of negative things, didn’t I. I rarely do negative reviews…

Heaven's memo pad ep1-2 (5)

I’m sorry

OK, so I stand by everything I said and I believe it’s a fair representation of this anime. But I didn’t dislike it. Some episode were kinda boring but by the midway point I got into it and was pleasantly, if a little mindlessly, watching along and enjoying myself. The narrative is essentially a procedural with each individual case lasting 2 or 3 episodes and the focus is on the action rather than the deduction. There are a few filler episode, one about a bra thief and another about a baseball game. Both are fun.

So what am I suppose to say. In many ways Heaven’s Memo Pad isn’t a very good anime. It’s not outrageously bad or anything, it’s just that you can easily find similar done better in most regards. But at the same time, it has entertaining moments, superficial but not bad characters and pretty designs.

I would say if you are liking the screencaps and generally enjoy procedural type shows, give it a watch.

Trigger and Spoiler warning here: suicide comes up a few times and there is a depiction of attempted suicide in the main cast in later episodes. Although it’s not glorified in any way, I think it could be uncomfortable to watch for some viewers.

Heavens Memo Pad ep3-4 (15)

nah, you’re just the best!

Favourite character: Ming

What this anime taught me: You can just wrap your chest and do sports. Somehow I doubt it.

“If I had to live my life over, I’d live over a saloon.” 

Suggested drink: Cryptic Memo

  • Every time someone is an infidel – take a sp
  • Every time we see the Hirasaka butterfly – take a sip
  • Every time Alice goes out – whoa! – take a sip
  • Every time there’s a teddy bear – hug a billow
  • Every time Alice tears up – hug harder
  • Every time Alice giggles – take a sip
  • Every time something gets “hacked” – take a sip
  • Every time there’s leek ramen without ramen – get a snack
  • Every time we hear the word “NEET” – take a breath
  • Every time Ming gets annoyed – take a sip
  • Every time Alice is being dramatic – roll your eyes
  • Every time Narum takes part in a brotherhood ritual – join them
  • Every time we see Dokupe switch to soft drinks

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Ok, my pic choice this time really doesn’t give yo much of n idea of the visuals. Here are some with more variety

Irina

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

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11 Responses

  1. Kami-sama no memo chou is an instantly recognizable title for me cause it was one of the very few light novels you could easily find on the web a few years ago, with some of the others being campione and highschool dxd, because all of them were on baka-tsuki.

    At the time, it was an interesting read, because most of the other popular light novels were heavy action fantasy types like highschool dxd and leviathan of the covenant, and C3(not the explosive) while this was more mysterious.

    Looking back, it isn’t the best plot or story, but at least for me, it read much better as a light novel than it appears as an anime.

  2. I liked Gosick. And I’m poor. I might like this?

  3. Kapodaco says:

    Ah, 2012. What a time, huh? I used to adore this anime, and was among my favorites when I first got into the medium. Since then, it’s definitely soured, but there are elements to it that are nostalgic to me, so it’s hard not to discredit it completely. Really like the OP, too.

    But this: “this is like a poor man’s Gosick.” Absolutely. I see this tossed around quite a bit, and it’s hard not to make the argument. Many claim that this was made in conjunction with the former’s success. Hard to argue, considering the similarities.

    • Irina says:

      I’m not surprised to hear other people saw the similarities. This said, I thought this series had some things going for it on it’s own and I appreciated that it was much less of a soap opera than Gosick.

  4. wingking78 says:

    I dropped this one after six episodes. Just couldn’t get into it, and it wasn’t getting better for me.

    I thought Alice was a hikikomori, not just a NEET, but maybe I’m remembering wrong?

  5. Dawnstorm says:

    One of the view anime I dropped 3 episodes from the end. I don’t remember why. I guess some aspect was cumulatively annoying? I remember very little about the show, but our mains media room full of fluffy toys was very memorable.

    Character designs are by Mel Kishida, who my be the only character designer ever I’ve come to recognise (Hanasaku Iroha, Red Data Girl, Atelier Games – Arland Trilogy).

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