Super Short Series Review: Delinquent Hamsters
We dive into the world of “micro-content” with a short-form series about hamsters. They think they are Japanese delinquents. They’re also adorable idiots.
At Deluxe Video Online, we cover a wide swath of video entertainment. Blockbuster movies. Short films. Television and streaming series. Straight to DVD garbage. I decided to dip my toes into another popular form of media: micro content. Providers like YouTube, Funny or Die, and Adult Swim have carved out a niche for very short-form entertainment to thrive. What used to only exist in anthology collections or skit shows can now find an audience (and profit) online. What better way to start than with an adorably insane animated show called Delinquent Hamsters.
Delinquent Hamsters (2015)
Delinquent Hamsters (ヤンキーハムスター) is a series of animated shorts created by Piso studios. Two hamsters live with their Yankii owner, and style themselves as tough, cool delinquents. Instead of smoking cigarettes behind the schoolyard or shaking people down for lunch money they hoard sunflower seeds and chew up their owner’s Q-Tips. The 68 1-minute shows follow the misadventures of these lovable losers as they live by the Yankii code of manliness and non-conformity.
First, we need a brief history lesson. When Japan lost WW2, America occupied the country. Through their interactions with American GI’s the youth of Japan got introduced to golden age rock’n’roll culture. Greasers like James Dean and Elvis became idols to frustrated teens that wanted to be tough, cool, and rebellious. Thus birthed the Yankii culture; where wearing leather, sporting outrageously colored perms and pompadour haircuts, and riding around in garishly decorated motorcycles became symbols of rebellion and machismo.
While being a virtuous, samurai-like Yankii was once a very popular trope in Japanese entertainment, the years have not been kind. Nowadays, Yankii characters represent losers: lunkheads, drop-outs, uncool try-hards that missed the fashion boat years ago.
The Long and Short of It
Being a very short show about a very niche subject makes recommending Delinquent Hamsters difficult. It’s also in Japanese, so subtitles are a must. That being said, I can’t remember the last time I consistently laughed out loud as much as I did. The delinquent duo are funny, but when they add a “kohai” (younger protege) hamster to the mix things get hilarious. His fervent desire to impress these Yankiis by going overboard on their antics makes a pointed farce of their delinquent ethos. You also get a bunch of adorable moments, because although they consider themselves the toughest of the tough, they revert to their hamster instincts when presented with toys and treats.
The episodes go by incredibly fast, so if one joke didn’t land for you, the next show is right there to cleanse the palate. I watched 20 episodes back to back while washing my dishes, and it was a wonderful compliment to my time. Killing a few minutes at work or at the gym with these coiffed cretins might just put a smile on your face as well. Delinquent Hamsters is available on Amazon, YouTube, and at PisoStudio.com.