- Genre: Comedy, School, Books, Short
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Creators in Pack TOKYO
Oh boy, how do I summarize this one. O.k. do you know what a poser is? Wait that’s a bad stat, I’m not entirely sure what a poser is. Let me rephrase that, do you know those people that really want to be a part of a community or just want to have a specific hobby or skill (like playing guitar let’s say) but are more into the idea of it than actually doing it. It’s not ill intentioned or anything. In their heads they’ve decided this was a part of their identity but when it comes time to put it into practice, it just doesn’t work out. Well that’s Sawako with books. She wants to be this huge literature buff and spends all her free time in the library, but when it comes to actually reading something, it’s a bit of a challenge for her. Still she is not letting that stop her and the self proclaimed “Miss Bernard” is more than happy to bestow her book knowledge on all those around her… no matter how spotty it may be.
I think Sawako’s plan may have worked better than anyone expected because I went in to this show firmly convinced that it was about a knows it all book worm that solves all of her friends problems with a somewhat sharp tongue and himesama attitude. How did she manage to befuddle me before I had even seen the series?
It seems that whenever I watch a short anime, it’s the first thing I mention in the reviews. I can’t help it. I think the production of short programs series is just so different at the core from regular shows and that’s bound to affect the outcome.
Miss Bernard is sort of what I have come to expect from classic short programs. Very few characters, not much animation, limited settings and fairly simple designs. It’s a budget anime. But by that, I don’t necessarily mean cheap. Well I do but not in the negative sense of the word. The production had limited resources to pull this together so they put in just as much as they needed on each technical element. Not more but also not less which is not something I can say for every anime!
Still, it’s not a particularly memorable production and as far as visuals go, the last short I watched was Null and Peta which was far more impressive.
So what is Miss Bernard Said? Should you watch it? For one, it’s an adaption of a 4 koma manga. Each episode is a single 5 minute skit (more like 3 when you take out the OP and ED) and they don’t have much to do with one another aside from the characters. The humour is probably going to be divisive. There’s a distinct eastern feel to it that might alienate certain viewers. It often feels almost like a stand up routine, with characters all talking very fast at each other and delivering punch line after punch line with minimal set up.
Then there’s the actual subject matter. Miss Bernard herself might not be the nerdy bookworm she hopes to become but that’s kind of the target audience here. The show (and jokes) revolve around classic literature, mostly Japanese classics as well as golden age Science Fiction for some reason. Being a fan of both I was delighted by the many (occasionally more obscure) references to books and authors but was a little tiffed on several occasions that Simak was completely snubbed. People underestimate Simak. Sure his works may not be as flashy or spectacular as Heinlein, Dick or Sheckley (als underrated in my opinion and very smart author) or as visceral as Asimov, Herbert or all the Russians (Russians are an emotional bunch) but still. In case I’m being subtle, I like Simak.
Also, if that little spontaneous Science Fiction related rant bored you, you should stay very far away from Miss Bernard Said. I’m not kidding.The substance of it really resides in the literature discussions and jokes. Not every episode is about classic authors or books but they still fall into the same category. Like discussing Fermat’s Last Theorem at a diner in a way that makes it obvious that Sawako is completely missing the point. (I also like Fermat, I have a soft spot for trolls…)
So this is random but it’s a “joke”, I really enjoyed. At one point the girls ask Endou “what book could a girl read to attract a boy” and after pondering the weird question he ends up answering “The Little Prince” at which all the girls scowl. That’s it. The Little Prince is one of my favourite books and I didn’t’ really get why the girls hated the answer but at the same time the delivery and absurdity of it all really made me laugh…
On the other hand, if you read this entire post without rolling your eyes or falling asleep,you may have found a short for you. There are even some pretty cute friendship moments here and there!
Favourite character: Shiori Kanbayashi
What this anime taught me: You want to hear the Simak rant again?
“Bad choices make good stories”
Suggested drink: The Book of Kells
- Every time Endou gets a chance to read – take a sip
- Every time anyone explains the plot of a famous book – take some notes
- if it’s Sci Fi – also take a sip
- Every time Miss Bernard gives a random quote – take a sip
- Every time Kanbayashi gets mad – take a sip
- Every time Sawako didn’t actually read something – cheers
- Every time Sumika crushes on Endou – take a sip
- Every time we see a supporting character (not one of the main 4) – gasp
- Every time we’re not in the library – look around
I don’t have many caps of this one, everything just sort of looks the same. Still, here you go