In the final kill – “Of Kill, Me, and Baby,” the latest thing to catch Yasuna’s interest is cop shows on TV. She brings “toy” handcuffs to school and after cuffing herself to Sonya, breaks the key. Sonya finally slips out and cuffs Yasuna to a tree. Yasuna then guesses Sonya’s birthday is near, and arranges a party with Agiri, who must be assembled from three boxes in the right order (when they don’t later on, it’s not a pretty sight).
The crime theme returns when Yasuna learns Sonya is going off to do a job, and tries to stop her. She falls into a trap, but drags Sonya in with her. When Sonya leaps out, Yasuna makes an impassioned plea not to leave her and not to kill anyone else, as it may negatively affect their friendship and disallow her from continuing the hijinx of the last thirteen episodes.
Sonya lowers a rope for her. As much as Yasuna antagonizes and annoys her, Yasuna’s tearful words move her: she doesn’t want things to change. She wants to keep being teased by Yasuna, and she wants to keep hitting her in retaliation. Perhaps not the healthiest friendship, but a solid one nonetheless.
This week’s episode was all over the place…but in a good way. Yasuna and Sonyas relatively normal activities (Making mochitsuki, playing New Year’s games, flying kites) are interspersed with an eclectic series of skits, some of which apparently parody classic Japanese folk tales (we’re not which ones, exactly).
These presented as Yasuna’s “first New Years dreams”, even though you can only have one “first.” There’s also a boxing dream and a zombie dream. Yasuna, Sonya, and Agiri (and the extra girl) play various roles, but pretty much maintain the same personalities throughout. The use of diverse art styles are a nice touch.
Of Santa, Icicles and Snowmen – a sudden snowfall means snowmen, snowbals, snow sushi, and snow diamonds. But when the next day comes around, Yasuna has a cold. She exacerbates her illness by being to lively and loud and by running around outside more. She then becomes interested in RC toys, but only has a controller, so pretends she is an automaton.
Finally, Sonya gets a note from whom she belives to be another assassin, but it’s just a surprise Christmas party arranged by Yasuna. Yasuna gets Sonya a Yasuna doll as a gift, but with nothing to give back, Sonya must re-gift it to her. The first full week of March seems like an odd time to air a winter and Christmas-themed episode, but it was genial enough.
Adventures in shaved dry ice, filthy pools, losing sight and sound, friends’ Japanese-style houses, being ditched in a park, typhoon-strength winds, Teru Teru Bouzu chains that resemble Ryujin, blackouts, and broken umbrellas.
Sonya is a normally very cautious and on-edge person, and Yasuna is only making it worse with her constant pranks or threats thereof. She doesn’t always mean to play pranks on Sonya, but she mixes enough attempts into her normal flights of whimsy to justify Sonya’s vigilance. If Yasuna doesn’t want her unconscious person left in the park, or smacked, she needs to avoid approaching an assassin from behind, and not set her up to put vegetable juice in her snow cone.
Agiri continues her role as prop comic with a ninja house of fairly pedestrian secrets, as well as a rocket that “makes it snow.” When Sonya enters a 7-Eleven, the series misses an opportunity to have her arrested, which could lead to and expose of her history as an assassin. Alas, her transgression was shrugged off without consequence.
In which Yasuna tries to get Sonya to help her catch bugs…and gets smacked by Sonya; Yasuna and Sonya enjoy various festival activities…and Yasuna gets smacked by Sonya; and Yasuna makes puppet counterparts of her and Sonya…and gets smacked by Sonya. There’s also a cool beetle that says “‘Sup.”
We have to hand it to Yasuna Oribe; the girl can take a punch. But all that physical punishment can’t be helping her IQ. Perhaps there’s a little masochist in her, and she longs for the back of Sonya’s hand across her face or her foot in her ribs. Or perhaps there’s something darker to it: Yasuna has started to expect abuse because she recieves it so often.
Bottom line: this isn’t a friendship. Sonya is a horrid bully who beats Yasuna every chance she gets. She is a brutal menace who must be stopped. Maybe with a ninja technique…like calling the police and filing assault charges. Ah, who are we kidding. Yasuna would be lost without Sonya. Without someone to annoy and bounce themes off of, she would surely turn to a life of delinquency and n’er-do-wellness…
It is summer. Yasuna buys an inordinate amount of ice cream in order to win one free one, but Sonya wins with her castoffs. The two go to the beach to break watermelons blindfolded; Sonya wins. Before exams, Yasuna tries to teach Sonya “yoga.” Other assassins target Sonya, including two Yasuna dopplegangers which Yasuna mixes with; Sonya defeats them all.
This series cannot seem to stop reiterating: Yasuna is dumb. Really really dumb. Inexplicable actions dumb. Gullible. Self-defeating. Self-punishing. And her face is never far from Sonya’s fist. And yet, for the life of us, we can’t find it in our hearts to hate her. Don’t get us wrong, if it were just Yasuna (or Yasuna and Agiri), this just plain wouldn’t be watchable, but with Sonya as the voice of reason and occasional hammer of justic, it’s a very pleasant, balanced time. This series also continues to benefit from a very cool soundtrack.
The trio of themes this week are ice cream, watermelons, and assassins. While the first two are introduced by Yasuna, there’s a slight change of pace with the assassin theme, as it’s the first that isn’t Yasuna’s doing. Typically Sonya is the passive party that must react to whatever Yasuna brings to her attention; this time, she’s the catalyst for action. But as this series doesn’t do real peril (much like Ika Musume), Yasuna ends up just playing along with the Yasuna clone-assassins until Sonya takes care of business with a nice coup-de-grace.
Yasuna attempts to get a rise out of Sonya and by dabbling in a variety of different disciplines, from spoon-bending to voodoo curses to card pyramids, fortune-telling, palm-reading, playing in the rain, and sumo. She also lends Sonya her favorite stuffed animal Pyonsuke, but she manhandles it. All the while a mysterious vermillion-haired character attempts to make her presence known to them, but is constanly missing them.
At it’s heart, this is series is a double act. Yasuna is the silly, bubbly, erratic comic, while Sonya is the stoic, serious straight man (girl). Humor is derived by throwing them into all manner of situations in which their personalities clash. The twist is, Sonya doesn’t just stand around and take abuse; she isn’t above smacking, slapping, kicking, scratching, biting, and choking Yasuna for her insolence, but while she possesses superior strength and agility, Yasuna gets small victories every now and then, which keeps things balanced.
We’re talking comedy that goes back to the nineteenth century, with the British music halls and American vaudeville scene. It’s tried and true. All you need is a good duo to perform it, and I have to say I like this pair. They’ve got good voices, and it’s fun to listen to their back-and-forth about whatever the subjects of the episode are. Occasionally Agiri pops her head in, but this is mostly the Yasuna and Sonya Show. Which is why it’s funny that the red-haired kid can’t catch a break and insert herself in said show. It’s almost as if the series is acknowledging another character isn’t even that necessary.
Yasuna repeatedly tries to get defense pointers from Sonya so she can counter her attacks in future, culminating in a nunchuk demonstration, followed by nunchuk maki rolls that are stolen by crows. After school they head to a crepe stand in a park, and come face to face with an escaped bear; Yasuna neutralizes it when their heads collide after she falls off a pole. Sonya offers to help recover a girl’s ballon lost in a tree, but fails. She and Sonya then play hide-and-seek and tag with the girl; Sonya is abandoned when it gets too late.
There’s not a huge amount to say about KMB except that it’s not terrible, its comedy is just weird enough to work most of the time, and the naive art style is oddly endearing. We wish Agiri was a little more than one-note, and her voice can grate, but at least her ‘ninjitsus’ are ridiculous and often useless. It’s obvious we can expect episodes to be formed from a handful of skits focusing on various simple ideas – in this case, nunchukus, bears, and balloons. With several series airing this season that feature huge casts and complex storylines, we see this as our weekly respite. Set brains to ‘low’ and enjoy.
Cheerful, ditzy high schooler Oribe Yasuna’s friend and classmate Sonya is an assassin. This means she’s always on her toes for threats, no matter how small. These threats include bugs and stray dogs, and she also opens bottles with a swipe of her hand. While investigating a ghost sighting in a classroom, Yasuna meets Agiri, a ninja and a member of the organization Sonya works for. Antics ensue.
To be succinct, Baby Please Kill Me (or Kill Me Baby, let’s just call it KMB) is charmingly dumb fun. It’s a bubbly, fairly lazily-paced comedy with little or no serious conflicts, despite the fact one of the characters is a frikkin’ assassin. That’s kind of the whole premise, though whether Sonya actually ever kills anyone is up in the air; she doesn’t this week. This series doesn’t try to make things too complicated, but there were plenty of chuckles to be had.
Stylistically, KMB is simple too. Slightly deformed, childish characters, liberal use of bold primary colors, and some decent texturing mixed in. Fanservice is thankfully nonexistent. The voice actors, none I recognized, do a good job bringing their near-chibi charges to life. A really horrendous, repetitive opening sequence is countered by a really cool, funky ending sequence. While that opening was not the best first impression, the more we watched, the more we liked it.