Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai

Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai

9 reviews - 29.0 total score (Explanation of the rating system)
avg. score: (3.2)

Alternate TitlesAbenobashi Magical Shopping District / Abenobashi Magical Shopping Arcade
FormatTV Series - 13 Episodes
Publishing Date2002
Animation StudioGainax
Publisher/BroadcasterKids Station
Genre(s)Comedy / Drama / Fantasy / Sci-fi
Crew/CastCreator - Akahori Satoru
Director - Hiroyuki Yamaga
Related Works
LinksAnimeNfo / Animated Divots

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9. bluemist

Otakus are gonna love this. Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai spoofed, ripped off, and ridiculed many anime genres and even popular movies, TV shows and pop cultures from all over and fused it into a 13-episode series. We follow the pursuits of two characters Sasshi and Arumi as they unlock a mystery of the shopping district they live in, which would transport them into different kinds of worlds but it is actually the same shopping district with the same people in it. The energy of the series is quite similar to their other work FLCL, and all the cross-border themes seemed quite like Excel Saga. Sadly, this also the type of anime that distances itself with other people especially when their humor and jokes are very specific. For example, if you don't know anything about Sailor Moon, you won't get some jokes. If you don't know about bishoujo games, you won't understand all the spoofing they had done with it. It seems to tell you 'If you don't get the joke, tough luck', but the more you know, the more you enjoy. So show off how much you know by watching this anime, and laugh it all off. I watched it and enjoyed it, but I don't think I'll be watching it again anytime soon.


I wasn't expecting much off Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai when I first watched it. However, my expectations were answered. Yes, it wasn't my type. However, being on a patient mood, I continued viewing. Midway through the series starting on the time when Masa-ji was reflecting back to his younger days, the series became surprisingly good. Fortunately, my interest has continued until the final episode.

As for the characters, both leads are highly annoying. Sasshi is a stupid pervert and Arumi is an abusive nudie. Both talk fast and are the type to get bitch-slapped for speeding. There are lots of fanservice from Mune-Mune and Sasshi's Rei-on-crack-like sister.

I can't really recommend this to anyone because it's on the cartoony side of things. However, the 2nd half of the series was good enough to save it from a steer-clear rating. I actually like this series and glad that I viewed it to the end.

7. Hentai Sensei

Abenobashi Magical Shopping District is a wonderful animation starting two memorable characters Sasshi and Arumi. Arumi is a very strong and funny female character who shows quite a bit of skin in Abenobashi Magical Shopping District. She accompanies Sasshi to different worlds after the seal of Abenobashi Magical Shopping District is broken. Sasshi meanwhile, is a perverse, errr… what should I say, normal teenager. This anime is hard to score because of its complex background. People who do not watch show such as Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailormoon, western cowboy movies, Jurassic Park and who do not show little interest in RPG and bishoujo game[pretty girl; hentai game] WILL NOT appreciate this anime. Fortunately, I have watched and played all the things mentioned above. You really have to watch a lot of anime to truly get and appreciate the humor and parody Gainax put in Abenobashi Magical Shopping District. For example, I did not really get the episode where Sassi and Arumi ended up in Hong Kong, but I laughed my head off and had to tape my head back to my neck in the hentai bishoujo episode. This is a funny anime not to be missed, please watch the anime titles mentioned above before you start watching Abenobashi Magical Shopping District, otherwise you will lost.

6. Prep_Styles

I'll refrain from writing a synopsis as there are already enough complete descriptions in the reviews below. The reason I got into this title was primarily because Hayashibara Megumi provided the vocals for both the opening and ending songs. Sadly she's nowhere to be found in the cast, although Hayashibara Megumi does give her usual note-worthy performance. Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai attempts to be a character study with regard to its two leads Sassi and Arumi. Although they are for the most part well acted and cleverly written and do play off each other quite well, this title fails to break any new ground. If parodies fit your sense of humour this one's worth a look.

5. Olmanek

Here we have an immense waste of time, no plausible plot, a terribly annoying serious subplot introduced later on, two of the more forgettable characters in anime, and some of the lamer parodies in anime, see The Simpsons has reached a stage where they no longer need to bother with a storyline, they can make entire episodes out of simply poking fun at itself and its characters, they are brilliant at this but thankfully they haven't become lax and decided to do so, Gainax have, and as perhaps they may realized from this series, they aren't very good at it. Gainax disappoint me, Eva, Kare Kano, FLCL, with a run of such high quality anime it was hard to consider them anything but favoured by the gods, far out doing the new found 'quality' run of Gonzo, who are the new spirit children, there are numerous other production groups who are sitting quietly by never attracting any particular hype these days but putting out masterpieces, Bones and Studio Pierrot, and of course Sunrise, Bandai and Production I.G., Fuji TV along with relative new comers WOWOW who aren't hyped but are constant names in credible anime series, Gainax will always be remembered, but not necessarily for good reasons, and with their current run of that hamster porn show also know as Ebichu, Mahoromatic, Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai and some pathetic looking new addition to this rather lack lustre line it can really cause an avid follower of Gainax to falter and consider other options and lose any excitement when hearing that Gainax are releasing something new. This series is some pathetic attempt at the manic and the sentimental and the realization of their stature, the creation of arrogant lazy fools, send it back to the abyss.

4. Iodine

One of the strangest parody shows yet, follows a pair of kids, Sasshi and Arumi, as they jump to different warped versions of their familiar shopping district home in search of the one they came from. Of course, each new shopping district matches a different genre of entertainment, like Hong Kong action or high school romance, which makes the proceedings perfect for wild parody and general mayhem. The duo is fun to watch, though it's the hapless but well-meaning Sashi who often steals the show. The few constant plot threads are well developed and interesting, and the parody elements are spot on. The only detracting element is the dizzying level of fanservice and truly perverse humor that crosses the line a few times too many.

GAINAX keeps up its reputation for gorgeous animation, bizarre storytelling, and appealing characters. With a frantic pace and direction to match, the series leans more towards slapstick comedy than straight dramatics, though the serious bits that provide the real grounding and substance of the show are handled quite brilliantly. The strain of the neccessity of creating the universe from scratch for every episode starts to show by the end, but the quality level is still consistently high throughout. The mystic omnyouji subplot is a little hard for the unfamiliar to grasp, but it's used to good effect and the main point comes through. Not a particularly deep or accomplished acheivement, but it's a unique, impressive, and definitely different outing for the studio. And it's funny. Very, very funny.

3. Yogi

Gainax strikes again. Apparently seeking to outdo Excel Saga, they make a show which parodies various Anime genres. Sounds familiar? Well being Gainax, their parodies are far more madcap, contain far more crude humor, and have far wilder antics? Sounds good, doesn’t it. HOWEVER, in the middle of the show, they attempt to introduce a "serious" element to it. While it was done fairly well in Excel Saga, the serious element in Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai clashes with the overall zaniness of the rest of the show. It’s also around that time when the zaniness becomes a bit TOO over the top. As opposed to Excel Saga, this show has no plot, and it’s only a short hop from "no plot" to "no point."

2. Tempy

Those fellas at Gainax sure come up with strange stuff at times. Arumi and Sasshi are two youngsters lamenting life in Abenobashi's shopping district, which has seen its best days a long time ago. A critical event transports them into a weird world, and that's when the insanity begins.

Most of the episodes are wacky parodies of all the stuff Sasshi likes - from mecha, dinosaurs, RPGs, dating sims, war, movies and more. These episodes are all over the place, taking place in a perverted twist on Abenobashi itself, complete with the various inhabitants in different roles. The references are plentiful, with pokes at Akira, Cardcaptor Sakura, Love Hina, Kanon, and even Gainax' own Evangelion (except this time it's Sasshi who has to get into the damn robot). Then there are the more serious episodes which provide backstory and goes more into character development, as Sasshi has to face reality in order to return to the real Abenobashi.

Abenobashi exhibits tons of different visual styles. The more serious episodes are drawn more realistically, showcasing Gainax' excellent design and animation skills, while the parody episodes exhibits more simplistic art styles.The various styles and the expressiveness of the characters made it quite a joy to watch.

While not all jokes were succesful, I'm quite impressed with Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai. Like FLCL before it, it's another original twist on the growing up tale, though more focused on providing absurd situations and silly humor.

1. Cross Scars

Following the destruction of a pelican statue, related to one of the Four Gods, Arumi and Sasshi find themselves transported to a fantasy world and from there on its up to them to move from one world to the next in an attempt to make it back to their own. That's the basic plot of Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai but coming out of Gainax this 13 episode series is something of a disappointment given the kind of quality shows that the studio usually animates.

The main problem with the series is that it's not entirely sure what it wants to be. The series sets itself up based heavily upon Excel Saga where most episodes revolve around a parody of a particular genre; hence the first world Arumi and Sasshi visit is an RPG world parody. Yet within this comedy setting Abenobashi simply doesn't match up to Excel Saga. For the most part it doesn't use parody to the same humorous extent that Excel Saga did and nor is it willing to be as extreme as that same series was, which was precisely what made Excel Saga so fun to watch. This problem is confounded by the fact that for certain episodes the series tries to be very serious, the final result being that the series is neither an amusing comedy nor a touching relationship anime.

This might not matter so much if other key elements to the anime were decent but unfortunately they're not either. The plot is for the best part of the series little more than an excuse to have Arumi and Sasshi going around these different worlds and baring one or two episodes it doesn't really hook you in. Excel Saga got away with this because its entire plot almost effectively was just a different parody each episode and it was funny enough to make you want more. The characters in Abenobashi also suffer from the constant world swapping. Aside from Arumi, Sasshi and Utas all the other individuals change within the different worlds and thus they don't really build up a consistent character and that's not particularly satisfying to watch either.

One really would expect better from Gainax especially considering how well they pulled off a comic series with serious undertones in Furi Kuri. But matching up to that or Excel Saga is a very hard task. Abenobashi has its great comic moments but unfortunately they're a bit too scarce to make this a consistently entertaining series.

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