It’s that time for the month again, but in case you forgot, since we didn’t do it last month, I’ll explain. Every month (mostly), we take a look at a completely random anime with the help of a website called RandomAnime.org. It gives us a completely random anime. I have no idea what it will be. You have no idea either. Only our robot overlords do.
The only real rule is that I don’t have to watch the whole thing if it’s too long, and I reserve the right to stop watching a series if it sucks. The point of this series is to watch some random stuff and maybe find some hidden gems. Without further ado, let’s see, for the first time, what we’ll get.
I told this story, I believe, on my Twitter, but I don’t remember if I said it here or not. Either way, it’s been a while. So, I used to go on different streaming services and sort by alphabetical, or lowest-rated, or something random and scroll to the bottom of the list to find something I’ve never watched before. I like the random aspect. That’s why I made this series in the first place. I like picking things at random and seeing how they are.
Series like this one, Wave, Listen to Me, is why I do this thing. I have no freaking clue what this is, what the name means, what it’s about or anything. And it may end up being really good or really bad. I actually found one of my favorite series, Gosick, in a similar way. And, hey, I adored Non Non Biyori too. Let’s see what Wave is all about, shall we?
“Restaurant worker Minare Koda has recently been through a bad breakup. Heartbroken and drunk after a night out, she rants about her misery to a complete stranger—Kanetsugu Matou, a radio station director local to Sapporo, Hokkaido.
The next day at work, Minare is shocked to hear a recording of herself from the previous night playing over the radio. Flustered, she rushes to the radio station in a frenzy to stop the broadcast. As she confronts Matou, a chain of events leads to her giving an impromptu talk live on air, explaining her savage drunken speech. With her energetic voice, she delivers a smooth dialogue with no hesitation, which Matou recognizes as raw talent.
Minare soon becomes a late-night talk show host under Matou’s direction, covering amusing narratives set in Sapporo, all while balancing her day job and personal life to make ends meet.”
Truthfully, this sounds kind of amazing. I really dig this conceptually. It sounds like Matou’s a bit of a douche, though; that must come with men who have the name. Either way, it sounds like a really fascinating setup that will likely lead to romance (no, it didn’t, past me). I don’t know. It looks interesting. See you when I finish it.
Well, it was certainly something. I don’t think I’ve been this split on a series in a while. Certain episodes of this were good, like really good. The finale, in particular, was like freaking amazing and the best way to end things. Then you had certain episodes that were not. It was very odd.
If you want proof of how mixed I am: when I started the series I was expecting to have negative thoughts. I watched a few episodes, didn’t really like it, and I was ready to talk about why that is. Now that I’m actually sitting down writing this, though, I have mostly positive things to say. Even I don’t understand why that is.
Let’s start with what was my biggest takeaway. This series was not about a radio talk show. Well, it kind of was. It’s more about the person running the show, Minare, and her shenanigans than the actual show itself. The series is about half and half. Half the actual show and half of Minare trying to figure out what the show will be about.
Sounds fairly normal, right? Wrong. This show is absolutely insane. It starts with Minare fighting a bear in the mountain, for god’s sake. Minare’s life in between the radio shows is a little wild. She almost murders her ex multiple times, works at a curry shop, gets fired from a curry shop, accuses her neighbor of murder. Lots of stuff.
This is all generally to get content for the radio show. She goes on a date with her ex to get enough samples that his voice can be recreated for a radio drama without his consent. She goes to a guy’s haunted apartment with blood dripping from the ceiling to record his suffering at the loss of the love of his life. Without his consent, again. I really feel like this station could and should be sued, but what do I know?
Point is, the series is not at all afraid of taking weird turns. It is alarming how much murder there is in this radio talk show anime. I know it’s seinen, but seriously. A guy literally gets tied up and held at knifepoint by his girlfriend, who is about to kill him. She then gets hit by a car. This is about radio. No, you didn’t stumble into another universe, don’t worry. You’re still here, and so am I.
This series is so weird, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m down for the type of weird it is. It has that absurdist comedy that I’m a pretty big fan of, and I think anime excels at. Quite a bit of dark humor as well, if you couldn’t tell. Something I’m also a big fan of. You can’t make jokes about crazy almost killers getting hit by cars and not expect me to laugh. No, I’m perfectly sane, thank you. I can’t help that the characters aren’t.
I can’t say any of the characters are exactly memorable. Minare tops the list for being fairly deep. She then reverts back to comedy pretty quickly. That’s the biggest thing about this series. There are some times that it’s genuinely touching, but I can’t tell if it’s taking itself seriously. The tone of the whole thing is about as wild as the characters, really.
You want to know another series this reminds me of? One with equally insane characters, but couldn’t be a more different series if it tired? Seriously, these are like fire and water, but they share one thing in common. One thing I really love. Wave, Listen to Me is kind of like Love Chunibyou. Let me explain.
You see, the aforementioned bear fight isn’t real. It’s a segment in the radio show. Minare is just chilling in the booth, pretending to fight a bear. But to make things more interesting, the series shows it all like it’s actually happening, similar to how the “fights” are in Chunibyou. In actuality, they’re waving ladles around, but in their minds, everyone’s throwing down.
It’s actually really charming, and I really enjoyed those portions. There’s more towards the end, but I just wish we got them consistently. They were a ton of fun. That’s why it’s hard for me to talk about this series. I don’t know how to describe it accurately.
I don’t think it was amazing, but I also didn’t think it was terrible either. Yet, I can’t really tell you the reasons I didn’t like it. If I had to try, I would say it goes back to that tone issue from before. If you don’t like the whole loud, obnoxious, needy, jealous woman thing Minare has going on, I don’t think you’ll enjoy the series.
Half the time, I liked her, half I didn’t. Generally, she’s good, but she’s a bit much sometimes, but that’s kind of the point of her characters, so I don’t know how to feel. Some jokes just miss, and that’s one of the problems. It reminds me of when I watched Air Master also for this series. It’s just not always funny, and half the time, it shouldn’t try.
One of the recurring jokes is how the manager of the curry shop is gay and constantly harasses the male employees. Literally, the only time that made me laugh was when I saw him touching a butt at the end of the opening. It’s subtle, but I got a giggle out of that. Otherwise, it gets old. Minare not getting over her ex also gets old.
When the series really embraces its own stupidity and does wild stuff like the bear fight or the horror apartment thing, it’s actually pretty good. But when it just sticks to the same group of characters and the same jokes, it loses a lot. If the series took all of its good points and doubled down on them, it would be pretty damn good, honestly.
It’s just as past me thought. Wave, Listen to Me really did have some potential. The premise is stupendous, and the execution at certain points were also amazing. You had some 10/10 episodes there. They’re just wrapped in and hidden with a lot of hit-or-miss comedy and random drama.
I actually like the series as a whole, to be honest. I just wish it was a tad more focused and did things a little better. It tried, it really did, and I can’t say it failed. If anything, I really want to see a series with a similar premise handled a little better. I might need to do some research into that. I’d be down for more radio shenanigans. Seems like fun.
Thank you very much for reading
I honestly wonder how many people still listen to radio unless it’s music? I’ve never been one for it, but it’s always sad to see something die out like that.