Kill me Baby is a slice of life comedy from 2012. It’s based on an ongoing manga by Kaduho that started in 2008 and the anime was adapted by J.C. Staff. They’re not exactly strangers to either slice of life or comedic works, having also done such anime as Azumanga Daioh, Hachimitsu to Clover, Potemayo, Love Stage & Nodame Cantabile. So, given that history, the worst we can expect is sub-par and the best is excellent. Then again, they could always hit a new low or high. Let’s examine the series and see how it compares.
Yasuna is an ordinary student. Her best friend, Sonya, is an assassin. The two of them go to school and spend a lot of time together. This results in all kinds shenanigans. So, this is essentially a school comedy where the twist is that one of the characters is an assassin.
The humour is based around a blend of quirky character comedy and physical humour. The biggest flaw with the comedy is definitely that some of the pay offs are really obvious. For example, there’s a joke where Yasuna is telling Sonya to treat her like a dog and asks to be given a command. The first command you’d guess is probably the exact one that gets given. There are other jokes like that but, in all fairness to the series, most of them only partly rely on the pay off while partly relying on the character reactions for the humour and the reactions are usually pretty funny. The humour, in general, works quite well. The physical comedy is kind of reminiscent of the physical comedy in Azumanga Daioh. The school comedy is a bit more similar to A-Channel with every episode containing short comedic moments, usually only thinly connected to each other, broken up by transitions. In general, it is entertaining and funny stuff.
Where the assassin gimmick pays off is that it allows for some different scenarios than you would normally get in this type of anime and some responses that are unique. It gives the series its own sense of identity as opposed to the usual “group of high school girls doing every day things in a quirky fashion.” Of course, different isn’t necessarily good and there are certainly times when the humour here doesn’t work. In addition to the aforementioned obvious jokes there are times when the physical humour goes a bit too far and crosses the line into being a bit uncomfortable. At least it doesn’t take the physical humour anywhere close to the degree that Bokusatsu Tenshi did.
In terms of non-comedic elements, the transitions are awful. Every episode has multiple transition screens where the lines “kill me baby” & “baby please kill me” will be spoken before moving on. It’s not even the length of them that’s the issue so much as it is that they’re annoying. I do have to give the series some credit as well. The ending does have a fairly sweet moment that really works.
This series is also different from the usual school comedy in that the cast of characters is pretty small. We have our two major characters, Yasuna and Sonya. We also have Agiri, a ninja and Unusued character, a girl who shows up on rare occasions and never interacts with the other three. The interactions between Yasuna and Sonya are a bit reminiscent of those betwixt Yomi & Tomo from Azumanga. Yasuna is the high energy, crazy one who gets into all kinds of trouble while Sonya is the more subdued one who gets dragged into the mess. Agiri is more a really laid back character who actively trolls the other two while Unused character just really wants to get involved in things but can never manage it. For comedic purposes, it works pretty well but it can be a bit much at times. Here’s the thing, when you’ve got a really high energy character in a comedic work they can be great, but you start to grow a bit weary of their hijinks when you don’t get a break from them. With Azumanga, they gave you that break by having segments that focused on other characters. You don’t get that here since Yasuna and Sonya are there constantly.
Kill Me Baby uses even more basic art than a lot of slice of life anime. The background characters are largely indistinct white blobs. The backgrounds themselves frequently look very basic and bland. The character designs of those few characters we actually get are based around having very plain bodies with simple heads that are too large for the bodies. The animation is basically functional but nothing great. The best it gets is the dance in the ending theme tune and that’s not exactly at the level of the dances from the PreCure franchise.
The big weakness of the acting comes during the transitions. Every time they say the line “Baby, please kill me” they try to do it in a different, quirky way and a good ninety percent of the time it turns out to be really annoying. It’s like they were trying to judge how bad they could make them before audiences started turning the program off whenever it reached one. Little did they realise that a mute button exists. That being said, our main cast does a good job. Takabe Ai, Akasaki Chinatsu, Tamura Mutsumi & Kugimiya Rie all deliver their lines very well and it really serves to make the comedy work, when the comedic moments are strong. In terms of music, the background music works nicely. I liked the ending theme tune, didn’t like the opening. The problem with the opening is that, like with the transitions, it’s overly fond of repeating itself and it uses a lot of spoken words. It’s less a song and more people talking while loud music plays. The effect is outright obnoxious.
There’s quite a bit. Yasuna is very enthusiastic about getting closer to Sonya. She wants them to run along the beach like a couple and there’s more than one part where she very blatantly wants Sonya to touch her. I think she might be a masochist looking for Sonya to “punish” her. I also think Sonya’s totally okay with that.
Kill Me Baby is a pretty entertaining series. There are parts that are too obvious or otherwise don’t work but, as a whole, it’s bloody funny and the twist of having an assassin character does work in its favour. In the end, I give it a solid 7/10. It’s a good series. Next week I’ll move on to a request I’ve been working at for a while, Hunter x Hunter 2011.