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Manga / Recorder and Randsell

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Atsushi (left) and Atsumi (right).

Atsushi Miyagawa is an elementary student who looks like an adult. His older sister Atsumi is a high school student who looks his age. Since they act like you'd expect kids their real ages to act, this can cause... problems.

Recorder and Randsell is an ongoing Seinen yonkoma manga by Meme Higashiya, running in various Manga Life compilations by Takeshobo since 2007. It was adapted into a three-minute anime that began airing in January 2012 and was licensed for simulcast by Crunchyroll.

A second season ran later in 2012, and a third season aired in the summer of 2013. The manga's fourth volume came packaged with two OVAs as well, and an unaired 13th episode came with Mi's boxed set.

And if you're wondering, "randsell" refers to the type of backpack Atsushi's wearing.

This series displays the following tropes:

  • Accidental Pervert: Atsushi trips and falls on top of Moriyama-sensei landing head first between her breasts and his hands on top of them. When Moriyama-sensei runs away in shock, Atsushi is oblivious to what just happened.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Atsumi, who's a sixteen year old in high school, likes Take-nii, who's a 32 year old adult. Atsumi's always had a crush on Take-nii ever since her physical and mental ages were aligned, and still does despite her grievances with his not having a full-time job. On Take-nii's part, he says that the relationship probably wouldn't happen because he keeps screwing up in his love life, and he wouldn't want to put Atsumi through that.
  • Anime Theme Song: The third season's "One-Two Hello", sung by the Vocaloid IA.
  • Age-Inappropriate Dress: A lot of the clothes Take-nii gives to Atsushi are this, like the fishnet tank top or the open dress shirt. It certainly looks his physical age, but even then it's still inappropriate for adults to be wearing that kind of stuff in public.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Yoshioka to Atsumi, Makoto to Sayo, and Sayo to Atsushi.
  • Art Shift: The art change in Mi is pretty drastic, with the shape of the characters becoming rounder and the colors more light.
  • Big Little Brother: While it is Truth in Television in some cases, Atsushi takes it to the trope's illogical extreme with his older sister.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Atsumi is a devoted older sister who does her best to take care of Atsushi.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Whenever Moriyama-sensei or Sayo see Atsushi sometimes, they see these around him.
  • Book Ends: The beginning and end of Mi has Atsushi and his friends playing together, with adults looking on. In the first episode, the adults were trying to call the police and get Atsushi away from the kids, as is wont for him. By the end of it, the adults have realized that Atsushi's just a kid and simply greet him as he's playing.
  • The Cameo: Hana and Mayu from Morita-san Wa Mukuchi make an appearance in the first episode, while Atsushi and Atsumi make an appearance in the last episode of the former.
  • Chick Magnet: All the girls in class love Atsushi, and during the Valentine's Day Episode, he gets chocolate from every girl in the neighborhood.
  • Children Are Innocent: Atsushi is too clueless even for a 10-year-old.
  • Comedic Lolicon: The star of the basketball team, Yoshioka, would be almost perfect if it weren't for the fact that he has a Fetish for little girls. It's the whole reason why he's very much into Atsumi, to her and Makoto's displeasure.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: In the first season, Sayo and Atsumi are seen singing "Glitter" (the first ED) at a karaoke joint. The third season has Sayo hum "One Two Hello" as well.
  • Disguised in Drag: Not only drag, but age themed drag. After Yoshioka has a slump in basketball, Makoto takes it upon himself to dress as an elementary school girl to get his attention. It works, and Yoshioka's more fired up than ever (though he thinks Atsumi is the one in disguise, not Makoto).
  • Does Not Like Men: Moriyama-sensei. She grew up attending all-girls' schools, so she has no experience with adult men. She can talk to little boys just fine however.
    • She is still decidedly heterosexual, though, and exhibits a physical attraction to Atsushi, though she tries to fight against it. This is seen when Atsushi wears a fishnet shirt to school.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The one halfway decent thing about Yoshioka is that he has a strict "look, don't touch" policy regarding children. When he first thinks Atsushi's a fellow lolicon, he reprimands him for getting too close to Hina.
  • Evolving Credits: In Mi, whichever of the main cast was featured prominently in the episode is also in the ending dance, and the combination of people changes per episode.
  • The Faceless: Take-nii, who has face obscuring bangs.
  • Fair Cop: Kijima, Miura and Aono, who are rather attractive field workers. They're also fair in the literal sense, being kind and understanding to poor Atsushi.
  • Family Theme Naming: Atsushi and Atsumi have only one character different in their names. If the genders were flipped, their names go that way as well.
  • Festival Episode: The last episode of Mi has everyone attend a festival near the end of the summer, accompanied by music.
  • Gender Flip: One extra story dealt with a day in the life of a gender-flipped cast. In the anime, most of the characters' voices are flipped as well (Atsushi with Atsumi, Sayo with Yoshioka, Take-nii with Miura). And in case you're wondering, Atsushi's relationship with Hina and behavior isn't seen as suspicious because of her gender.
  • Grade Skipper: Discussed. Because Atsumi looks like a 10-year old despite being second year in high school, her underclassmen thought she's a super genius who had skipped a bunch of grades.
  • Gratuitous English: Yoshioka peppers all of his dialog with this, to obnoxious degrees.
  • Height Angst:
    • The whole Miyagawa family is this. Not only is Atsumi small, but her parents are hardly any bigger than her. They all have their own sorts of troubles with this, whereas Atsushi sometimes wishes he were the same size as the rest of his classmates.
    • After Makoto is introduced, we can add him to the list of height complainers as well.
  • Hot for Student: Miss Kawauchi blatantly tries to hit on Atsushi when she first meets him. Moriyama also finds him physically attractive, but she knows from the get-go that he's still a child and doesn't plan on doing anything funny with him.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • Atsumi often calls Makoto "Tiny"/"Chichai-kun". It's actually a twofer; they're both the shortest people in their high school, and she's even shorter than him.
    • Sayo's condemning of Yoshioka for going after little girls and especially Astumi for being a "legal loli", where she herself is constantly trying to date Astushi, a grade schooler who only looks legal.
  • The Jailbait Wait: Invoked in one chapter, with Sayo mentioning that Atsushi's older looks will probably match up with his mental age by the time he enters high school in five or so years.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Sayo gives Atsumi this treatment. Atsumi is not amused.
  • Innocent Innuendo: "Yours is too big. It would never fit!"
  • Little Big Sister: Atsumi is definitely this to Atsushi.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Do and Re had an eighth note at the end, and the third season (Mi) had a star.
  • Manchild: Not Atsushi, despite appearances, but Take-nii. He doesn't have a steady job despite being in his early 30s, and shirks off any responsibility of working once it's inconvenient for him (he's reminded of his ex, he's quitting, he's just that lazy, etc.). And yes, he still lives with his mother.
  • Mistaken Age: The premise of the series. Atsushi is Younger Than They Look and Atsumi is Older Than They Look. People keep on mistaking their ages.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Poor Atsushi constantly suffers from this thanks to looking a lot older than he really is, as confirmed via Word of God, and especially since he has a crush on a girl his age. He gets arrested several times a week for doing things like playing tag with other kids his age. At least three of the policewomen that were wary of his presence finally figured it out.
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: Take-nii has another part-time job every other chapter, it seems. According to him, it's because he keeps getting into relationships with one of his female coworkers, and then when they hit a rough spot things just get so awkward he quits.
  • Older Than They Look: Atsumi and later Takumi. Atsumi looks like an elementary school student, but she’s a high school student and is Atsushi’s older sister.
  • Only Sane Man: Atsumi, probably the most reasonable character of the series.
  • Puppy Love: Atsushi and Hina, who eventually start dating at some point.
  • Running Gag:
    • Atsushi being mistaken for a molester. Starts decreasing after a while.
    • Sayo misinterpreting Atsushi's various gestures for something more romantic, at least until she figured out that he was a fifth grader. She still gets pretty blush-y around him afterwards, though.
  • School Festival: Sports and cultural, for Atsushi and Atsumi respectively.
    • On Atsushi's end, he's leaps and bounds ahead of every other kid in the festival, for obvious reasons. But that comes at the cost of accidentally injuring his partners along the way, as we see in the three-legged race, or getting mistaken for a guardian in the parent-child race.
    • Atsumi gets a lot of busywork at the cultural festival... in various roles that have her as the "child" character, also for obvious reasons.
  • Shout-Out: While the crew is going through a Haunted House, one of the projections shown is a ghost crossed out in red.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang:
    • Atsumi and Atsushi of course, being the mature older sister that looks like a child and the immature, naive younger brother that looks like a grown man.
    • Yoshioka and his older brother couldn't be any more different. One guns for little girls and lusts after Atsumi for being in his appearance and age strike zone, while his brother Likes Older Women. At least both of them are similar in how tactless they are.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Yoshioka towards Atsumi. He takes photos of all the little girls in the neighborhood, but since the story focuses on the Miyagawa siblings, he's shown taking candids of her as well, and even hid in the bushes of the Miyagawa household one night.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: While Atsumi and Sayo are criticizing Yoshioka's lolicon habits, Sayo makes a point of inserting herself into the conversation, saying that she's not like him after mentioning that a person's looks matter more than her actual age (probably referring to both the Miyagawa siblings, since she loves how cute Atsumi is and still has a crush on Atsushi despite knowing how old he is).
  • Square-Cube Law: Atsushi doesn't know how to ride a bike, and when he falls, he falls harder than his classmates.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Sayo's ideal man. Atsushi happens to fit her specifications too well.
  • Those Two Guys: Atsushi's two friends, Takeshi and Tatsumi, that show up every once in a while and help him with his problems.
  • Wasted Beauty: Played for laughs with Atsushi, who looks like a handsome young man, but is actually an elementary school kid who often acts even younger than his chronological age. Many times, older girls who take interest in the handsome guy immediately get creeped out and run away when Atsushi starts behaving childishly.
  • Younger Than They Look: Atsushi. While his classmates apparently have no problem with it, the adults actually get grossed out just by the sight of him acting his age.