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Sci-fi mystery wrapped with imaginative bizarreness is the theme that caught my attention and brought me into watching Denpa Onna to Seishum Otoku. I’m liking this series because of its minimalist approach–what you see is what you see. I don’t think the plotline is complicated at all, but I do believe that its simplicity creates illusory and makes viewers expect for more. Undoubtedly, Shaft’s art added value to this outwardly generic plot and turned it into an eccentrically dazzling series.

Shaft and Shinbu combo is notoriously known for adding rants pertaining to the other series, exploiting odd-stylized camera angles, and using unconventional minimalist design. Often, I initially find myself considering plot as the background and background as the plot whenever I watch an anime produced by this duo. Currently, with Denpa Onna, not only I’m enjoying Erio’s moe-ness, but most of all I’m enthralled by how Shaft make used of the art of empty space–something that other studios don’t really capitalize on.

Minimalism is the use of clear lines, impressive shapes, and nominal visibility of the structural design. I always consider space as the most artistic form of design and believe that less is more. From the start, as expected, Shaft beautifully utilized and rightly embodied this within the theme of Denpa Onna. Just like Erio, space brings the characteristic of sincerity and mystery at the same–the beauty of universe.

If we are going to examine Erio’s room, we can see the exquisite simple geometric shapes as design components especially her globe chair and telescope. Further, this resonates Erio’s world—a picture of a lonely mini universe consisting of merely one planet and inhabited by a sole individual. On the other hand, I would like to emphasize that her room is just somewhat considered as Minimalist design due to the combination of several colour palettes and texture. But regardless, it’s still grounded to Minimalism due to the softened textures, spacious spot and the ease of the setup.

As for Makoto’s room, we can see a much clearer example of Minimalist interior design. It focuses on the quality of the spatial sequence and on the refinement of the smallest details of junction, light and surface. The aesthetic of his skin and bones furniture create an impression of well-dressed simplicity. Again, I believe that one’s room reflects the person’s character. Unlike Erio’s, Makoto’s room is bright, wherein the sunshine can freely pass through. I deem this mirrors his openness and his natural curiosity. We can also say that this represents how he always wanted to lighten up and help Erio.

Furthermore, I like Shaft’s unique use of artistic camera angles. This gives depth and dimension, plus chronologically unfolds the character’s emotion but at the same time suspends the viewer’s reaction. Likewise, not only it captures and completely dictates the scene, this odd-stylistic use of the camera angles also gives astonishingly sophisticated effect, vibe and surrealism. I find this best applied on the head-tilts, emotional vagueness, and static object shots for it creates such poetic screenshots.

Lastly, I love how Shaft and Shinbu always choose storylines that are under the virtue of being open for interpretation. They are so good in incorporating and animating plain facts as rhetorical signifiers—e.g. Erio’s futon and Maekawa’s odd cosplay. Inner abstract subjective monologue is also rampant among Shaft and Shinbu’sworks—Makoto narrating the story. And most of all, I enjoy how they take advantage of the strong psychological, social, and historicity embedded in the story to engage the viewers–e.g. Erio thinking she’s an extraterrestrial, Meme’s parental incompetence, and reference to 5cm per second and E.T.

To end this post, just like everybody else, I felt so emotional seeing Erio trying to re-enter the society but being constantly rejected. However, I have a strong feeling that Denpa Onna is heading to a realistic conclusion.

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Side Comments:

  • Erio’s room is a combination of Minimalist and Mid-Century modern interior design
  • FYI: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the rational approach of less is more in architectural design
  • I want to have a telescope as big as Erio’s, but it’s too expensive
  • Meme is the best cougar this season–well, is there anybody else btw?
  • I still yet to know who the gray haired girl is in the OP.