Let me make this clear: I don’t hate My Life Me. I can’t hate this show, simply because it has a good concept behind it. An animated tweencom about a teenage girl that dreams of being an OEL manga artist. It’s simple and down-to-Earth: if you’ve ever been near a middle school or even a high school recently, you know how true-to-life that idea is. So yeah, I don’t hate the show. Not really. But the execution of the entire thing makes me groan. When I first learned about this little French-Canadian production a few weeks ago (just hours after I posted the SDCC podcast), I knew that I had to tackle this thing. And after trying to figure out how this flew past everyone’s radar, I realized that this couldn’t be done solo: I had to drag a few of the other Scratch Padders along with me…at least I wanted to, until I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t subject them to this show as well. So grab some Pocky and your Fullmetal Alchemist tote bag: it’s time to tackle this example of DeviantArt gone wrong (and after I praised it too).
…That was the original opening for this review. The original opening for a review done by the guy who reviewed both a medical horror with lovely fake-out sexual covers and a borderline hentai for this very site. The guy who loves reading MLP: Friendship is Magic BDSM fics starring Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. The guy who regularly jokes about being in a sexual relationship with Tomato Surprise. The guy who, on some level, you could believe that he was a little sane. Well, because of the words that I’m about to type, you won’t believe that bullshit any longer. For you see, I think that My Life Me is a good show. Head below the jump to…mock me, I suppose. Or you could read and see why I like it: your choice.
Like most shows, My Life Me doesn’t come out already near its peak quality: the crew and everybody on the show is still finding their legs and feeling around for where to go with these characters. And since this is a character-driven comedy, this also means that the humour also takes some time to really stabilize itself and the writers have yet to figure out what works and what doesn’t. With that in mind, once you get past the rocky first two/three episodes, My Life Me more-or-less falls into a consistent groove of being a funny slice-of-life series; a fact that both surprised me and made me giggle with glee. Once the relationships between the characters are fully established, seeing how these teenagers bounce off of each other and the trouble they manage to get into becomes a joy to watch. I went from simply thinking “That’s kinda of funny.” to laughing at my computer screen over the course of watching episodes for this review. And since there’s little continuity between each 11-minute episode, it is incredibly easy to just jump in and start watching.
Though the series is funny, that isn’t enough alone to set it apart from its peers on Teletoon, Disney Channel Asia, or whatever channel it happens to be airing on at the moment. Yeah, it’s a great quality to have, but this is animation, where visual presentation is king. And while it doesn’t go to the lengths of The Amazing World of Gumball or The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack in visual creativity, My Life Me does look great. And what makes this show visually great is the extent to which manga and anime tropes meld with the art style used for the show, which itself feels like an American comic book had an affair with a manga. While animated series from the French studio Marathon Media clearly show a love for the more exaggerated bits of the sub-medium, the folks at Carpediem crank it up to 11 by inserting bits of it wherever they can, and to great effect. The use of chibis, sweat drops, etc. never really feels tacked on or overused at any point. In fact, it seems almost necessary at times in order to get the proper mood across.
Continuing to animation, to my surprise, the animation is fluid and energetic rather than jerky and lifeless. While there are a handful of times where movements do feel kinda stiff, these are few and far between and do nothing to dampen the experience. And thanks to that (combined with the art style), this brainchild of JC Little and friends succeeds in its mission of becoming a living comic book with its page turns, panels, black-and-white imagine spots. Actually, now that I’ve watched all these episodes…I can’t really understand why you guys hate about this show.
I mean, yeah, on the surface it feels like DeviantArt: The Animated Series. But if you bother to look even a little bit closer, you’ll find a thoroughly enjoyable tween slice-of-life comedy series that really grows on you after a while. Back in August, I said that I can’t hate My Life Me because of the great concept behind it. Now? I can’t hate the show because I actually enjoy it. I think this show is worth giving a second chance: I became a fan after bashing it endlessly. Can’t see why others can’t undergo the same transformation. Or is that too big a birthday wish?