One Punch Reviews #15: Sodium Eyes
Why do anime characters have such large eyes? I’ve seen every explanation from the Japanese culture exaggerating the eyes because they’re the windows to the soul to a natural evolution from the large-eyed characters in American cartoons form the 40’s and 50’s to a frankly politically incorrect explanation that there’s some sort of inherent envy for those rounder Caucasian eyes. We may never get the real answer. Still, those humongous eyes are inescapable in Alfred Lam’s Sodium Eyes, a comedy webcomic about anime cliches.
Sodium Eyes is set up like a harem anime, only without the guy that all the girls are fighting over. Different girls fit different roles, from the curious childlike girl to the computer genius. There’s also a few cute pets thrown in there for good measure. I don’t know how the living arrangements work out, but I assume they all live under the same roof like some sort of sorority. The series’ main relationship centers on the alpha-female jockeying between the fiesty redheaded Miya and the gothy, reserved “I’m not Rei Ayanami” Neiko. (I’d say that this is an homage to the traditional Red vs. Blue set-up in old school anime, except Neiko’s clothes are frankly more indigo than blue.) As expected, the rivalry blossoms into a sort of respect, even if the two aren’t exactly buddy-buddy.
Everything in my moral fiber tells me to hate Sodium Eyes for its relentless sugariness and needless abuse of anime standards, like how the mouths are drawn on a face’s side in an imitation of animation cost-cutting measures. Or how Miya always seems to be blushing, even in situations when she shouldn’t be. Yet, I don’t hate this comic. I actually enjoyed reading it, reveling in its near Zen atmosphere. Yes, I did say “Zen.” The girls go about life contemplating the simple things in life, like trying out new forms of humor and looking for new places to hang out. Most of the time, Sodium Eyes is simply sweet and pleasant, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But once in a while, the comic makes me laugh aloud. Who can’t identify with Miya’s struggle to figure out an Image Verification code? Sodium Eyes is light, cheerful, and a fun alternative to those long-running manga webcomics that demand years of commitment.
Rating: 4 (out of 5 stars)
Posted on July 17, 2008, in 4 Stars, anime, comedy webcomic, manga style webcomic, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, video game webcomic, webcomics and tagged Sodium Eyes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.