I just read this article from Cracked.com the other day, about how Hollywood movies are not being serious anymore, and I think anime has been guilty for this sort of thing too, to a lesser extent. During the last decade, we have seen more anime who makes fun out of generic anime tropes, like Excel Saga, or anime who make references to anime culture like Lucky Star, which is nothing new. In fact this dates back to a GAINAX OVA called Otaku no Video, from 1990, a story about guys who made it big by being otaku and anime nerds.
But nowadays, it seems like anime has caught this virus brought upon by universally hated movies such as Epic Movie or Date Movie, where they are too aware of the comedy, and continuously winks at the camera while making the jokes. And most of these anime are not even good to begin with, almost all of them are set in high school. And those were my problems while watching this show from last year, called Seitokai Yakuindomo.
Seitokai Yakuindomo (not to be confused with this)
This show is about a guy who was transferred to an all-girls school, which was then under transition to a co-ed school (talk about plot device for harem). He was stopped by these three girls, apparently they’re members of the student council. They were stalling him, so in return he was asked to join the Student Council, right there and then, giving the position of VICE-PRESIDENT (I hope that is not how things work in real Japanese high school), by the two student council girls, who are basically these perverts who loves to babble about sex and S&M all the time.
Natural behavior of females in an all-girls school
Given the nature of the show, it should be based from a 4-koma manga, because there is the “setup and punchline” way of telling the story. I don’t know if this is correct, but I didn’t care to bother. Around 70% of the show includes: self-aware non-intelligent anime references, overtly “for Japanese only” puns, jokes involving sex, masturbation, menstruation, bondage, sadism, masochism, penises, vaginas, tampons, condoms, dildos, perverts and all else related. Mind you I don’t hate these kind of jokes, but the thing is, the delivery was either too tacky, or too precedented. As if they’re trying desperately to make us laugh every time. Oh, did I mention the third girl is short, so expect a huge wave of pettanko and chibi jokes. Haha. That’s so original and funny. I hate comparing anything transgressive comedy with South Park, but if that was going to be my point of reference for funny, this one is MAGNITUDES lower.
You can tell right from the OP
But Seitokai Yakuindomo has other things to it, to which some are to its benefit. There were some legitimately funny jokes, well at least for the first three episodes or so. The kind of jokes mentioned above not very evident in the first episodes, but the amount progresses hyperbolically, as the story continues. Also, the show triggered a lot of bad switches for me, all but one thing, that is fanservice. Yes, there isn’t much panty flashing, but there were a couple of boob jokes, which were insignificant.
The best thing about this show is probably the music. I even got myself a download copy of the soundtrack, to get a hold of a couple of jazz and bossa nova tunes. The main theme, that orchestral piece played when he was asked to join, sounds like something from Pokemon, which I like. Also that whistle-and-drum chant taunting from the start of each episode was catchy as hell. As for the other things with this anime, the background and character animation were not bad. GoHands has been credited for a lot of 2nd key animating (one step below key animation), and I remembered their other work, Princess Lover, another bad show, to be not lacking in terms of quality.
Best part of the show, and it hasn’t even started yet
But seeing this as a whole show, I find this bland, and overall, disappointing. I downloaded this because I heard this was one of the better shows of 2010. Maybe watching this as it airs will change my opinion of the show, but since most of the anime today do not aim towards DVD sales alone, but with PVC figures and hug pillows, I can see why people don’t have to see this twice. My simple advice is, don’t watch this one because it is a waste of time. It is still a mystery how I managed to finish the show, but hey I finished Ookami-san and Her Seven Friends. Don’t even bother what that show’s about.
As I end my review, I wonder if I am being too nitpicky on the new shows lately. Maybe I can refer a line from the ending song: “Are you watching too much anime?”. Perhaps I am.