• Genre : Comedy, Slice of Life, School, Short
  • Episodes s1: 13
  • Episodes s2: 13
  • Episodes Mi: 12
  • Studio: TV Saitama


I’m a short person and I understand Atsumi’s pain. When I was in university I was asked not once but twice if I was looking for my parents. Anyways, Atsumi is a high school student but her short stature and youthful looks make people mistake her for younger all the time. And beyond that it’s just though to reach things when she goes shopping and stuff. Thankfully her younger brother Atsushi seems to have avoided the short gene and he is quite tall. So tall in fact that despite being in fifth grade of elementary school he looks about 30! As you can imagine, misunderstandings abound!

In case you guys didn’t know a recorder is a type of flute and a very common instrument to learn in grade school. I had to. And a randsell (randoseru) is a type of hardcover backpack that is more or less standard for younger students in Japan. Now you know everything I did going into this series.

Recorder and Randsell s1 (12)
this happens a lot…just me?

Every time I review a short series I mention that I have lowered expectations on the production side. Typically these shows have drastically smaller budgets and teams and I think it’s only fair to keep that in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t do anything great with it but just don’t expect luxury!

Seasons 1 and 2 of Recorder and Randsell are fairly run of the mill as far as visuals go but the voice acting is pretty good, particularly in the leads Atsushi and Atsumi. Even more particularly for Atsushi who has to sound like an adult, as in have a voice timber that would naturally come out of a full grown man’s body and vocal chords, but still act like a child. And not a crazy child or anything. It’s a tough act and I think he does a great job!

Recorder and Randsell Mi is effectively the third season and it went through a visual overhaul. The backgrounds now seem to be colourful photographs with a heavy are filter on them. The character models have been refined the the animation is visibly smoother. The comparison is almost shocking and I must say, Recorder and Randsell Mis a visually interesting show that stands out. I’m not sure if mu screencaps really show it. Let’s see…

Seasons 1 and 2:


You would think that having a premise that naturally puts children insinuations that aren’t suited for their age would be just rife with landmines Just look at my gif…It’s one of the only ones I could find… but I have to say, seasons 1 and 2 were actually very sweet. There is a running gag where Atsushi gets mistaken for a pedophile while walking home with his little friend from school but that’s as raunchy as it gets. There is no fanservice whatsoever, no real loli or shotacon to speak of and the bulk of the episodes centre on the rather caring and supportive relationship between two siblings.

I was looking for an anime to distract me from a brilliant but emotionally taxing series I’m watching and Recorder and Randsell was exactly what I needed. I watched all 26 episodes in a row and it left me feeling light and refreshed!

You may have noticed that I’m only talking about seasons 1 and 2. Well Mi takes a bit of a step back narrative wise. There are still a lot of sweet moments and I giggles a few times. I am happy that I watched Mi. But this is where the humour starts to go more the shota/loli rout. Most of the 12 episodes of Mi revolve around adult women openly finding 10 year old Atsushi attractive or a 17 year old wanting to date Atsumi because she looks 12 but is legal, and his friend trying to be matchmaker because he’s afraid if that relationship doesn’t happen the guy will end up in jail after going for an actual grade schooler. It’s presented in a much softer way than I make it sound and still mercifully free of fanservice. Like I said, it does have a few good moments as well, even in this context. I liked that the aggressive lolicon had an older brother who was very disapproving and only attracted to much older women. We then see him a few times in backgrounds going after little old ladies and that was pretty funny and subtle touch. Still, on the whole I just didn’t find Mi anywhere near as charming as the previous seasons if more pretty to look at. You win some, you lose some I guess.

Recorder and Randsell Mi (9)

Still, considering the core premise and all the potential pitfalls, I gotta say Recorder and Randsell did pretty good for itself. To the point that I would watch another season if it came out. It really wasn’t what I was expecting at all, and I can’t quite think of any other show I can compare it to.

Recorder and Randsell s1 (41)

Favourite character: Kobayashi – the only character to have age appropriate romantic interests well along with Atsushi actually….

What this anime taught me: Keep an open mind but not too open

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

Suggested drink: Coming of Age

If you do this one watch a single episode a the time – not all 38 in a row like me…..

  • Every time Atsushi gets mistaken for an adult – take a tiny sip
  • Every time we see Sayo – cheer
  • Every time someone mentions height – take a sip
  • Every time Hina smiles – take a sip
  • Every time Atsushi is in class – take a sip
  • Every time Atsumi goes shopping- take a sip
  • Every time Take quits his job – sigh
  • Every time Atsushi gets new clothes – Anticipate!
  • Every time Atsumi cooks something – get a snack
  • Every time we hear sirens – stash the booze…
  • Every time Atsumi gets pulled around – take a sip
  • Every time sensei runs away – take a sip

Recorder and Randsell Mi (2)

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

4 thoughts

  1. I actually saw this one (both seasons) and it was a one-note joke run into the ground, let alone a silly one. For every decent gag there were 20 that were lame and after a while it had nothing new to say. I suppose I should have dropped but stubbornness and all that.

    Thanks for reminding me of a show I had forgotten about! 😛

  2. You know, when I saw this review pop up on the main page, I thought, I barely remember this show, and from what I can remember I didn’t like it much, so I didn’t even finish the second season. Wait, I thought I finished the second season? But… Then I read the review, and what do you know, I completely forgot that there was a third season. It’s that one I didn’t finish.

    I really don’t like pedo-jokes, but they’re everywhere in shows with kids. God did I wish the adorable show Gakuen Babysitters didn’t have a pariticular character. Having a friend who keeps you in check doesn’t make this funnier to me.

    I didn’t find the show particularly uncomfortable; I just found Atsushi to be annoying. I never could quite buy that character. Not sure what I thought about the voice acting. I did think they did a fairly decent with the facial expressions. But on the whole I couldn’t buy the character.

    It’s not a show I plan to rewatch.

    1. Maybe I’m in a generous mood but I seem to be liking all the anime I watch lately. I really liked the two first seasons

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