Category Archives: Seitokai Yakuindomo

Truth in Reporting: Winter 2014 Report Card Meta Edition

I am watching them anime. Other than Buddy Complex being the most notable omission, I think I’m ready to roll.

I just want to take a minute to point out Miao’s thin slicing this season. It’s your formulaic ANN-style review trolling which is to say, it’s based on narrative truths that reasonable people find agreeable rearranged without sense (or all the sense, on the other hand). I want to just highlight it for that–this is a relatively “weak” season in a long time. I think part of it has to do with a general shift in late night TV anime. Just compare it with 2010 (or even 2011). But ranking it seems like a futile exercise at best, so there’s no symbolic gesture of not putting Nisekoi in the first spot.

FWIW, he called Wake Up Girls Movie an OAV.

New shows (and long-absent sequels):

World Conquest Zvezda Plot – I’m on the hook for this show. The magical reality unnerves me. It’s uncomfortable. It’s too good to drop. Its vintage too accomplish to expect a “turn off the brain and have fun” show. Except when I try to run this by the grey matter, it is giving me all kinds of warning signs.

Wake Up, Girls – My favorite of the season. I’m not sure if I like them as an idol group however, even if by all means the anime has done its job. I also like how they sneaked in that Tohoku disaster reminder in there. Also blogging over at Jtor.

Seitokai Yakuindomo 2 – I marathoned the OVAs or whatever they’re called just before episode 1. So I went in with a lot of feels and fresh memory. I wonder if this is why nobody licensed it, by the way–the book publisher must own the rights of episodes 13-18. Is this the new licensing hell (say hello to YZQ)?

Wizard Barristers – So far so good. Miss Piggy is a very nice touch. What kind of a man gets nicknamed Hachi Mitsu? A Honey & Clover dropout?

Witch Craft Works – I am glad to be able to lay my eyes on this show. The manga is a terribly boring thing but the anime is a blast to watch; the comedic timing and direction are great. It is fun also to see by how much can the anime exceed its source material. Manga usually is created by one person or a small team of people; maybe half a dozen even for some weeklies, plus some editorial staff. On the other hand up to ten times more people work on an anime adaptation. Odds are any anime production team have at least enough creative power and experience to do the same, simply because so many more people work on any given project, and the core creative team are made up of some or all fire-tested veterans. So what happens when a lame but popular manga gets animated? Speaking purely from a point of view of “animators are people who draw a lot” I think this is what actually happens.

Nisekoi – Similarly. Although it isn’t comedy but just well-executed character drama, see also Bakemonogatari. You know Shaft.

Sakura Trick – Surprisingly engaging in the yuri fanservice way. Not sure if there’s enough to keep me interested, because unless they escalate it’s all a little boring. And if they do escalate every episode, they would be spending half the episode kissing each other by episode 12. Not that is a problem I think.

ImoCho – Okay, it’s actually kind of fun watching the timid, confused and probably traumatized girl trying to climb out of it. I’m rooting for her. It’s also kind of fun watching an anime trying to depict this communication gap between the two step-siblings. I wonder which kind of boys would take note?

Nobunagun – Surprisingly fun to watch but I think this anime belongs to the 1990s.

Nobunaga the Fool – I would watch this if it was actually faster paced. Right now it’s like Horizon S1 eps 1-4, which is just kind of confusing, dreary, but minus the shock factor of huge balloon boobs and the trope pandering. Jeanne is attractive looking and all but so far she is not really a part of anything because the show hasn’t revealed anything that interesting. It’s gotta hurry it up before it loses all its viewers. Needs its clinching moment.

Space Dandy – It’s hard for me to watch–I canceled my DVR service some time last year so it’s week-late Hulu for me. On the other hand maybe it allows me to try watching it like a normal person, which is…I guess people my age group generally don’t watch Toonami. I mean, I don’t remember the last time I was watching cable TV on a Saturday night other than the Space Dandy premiere. Anyway, it’s okay, I’ll probably ride it out if there’s an easy way to watch it.

Noragami – I would be repping this hard if it was on CR. I guess I will give Funi’s EVS some prop for having actually a good enough lineup, but what can they do to earn back my trust? I guess they did have that great holiday sale. I suppose the worse I could do is pirate it, because it sure is better than not watching it at all, right? Maybe? I guess it’s important to note that I basically don’t buy shows I haven’t seen before (other than, say, Mardock Scramble, because I read the book).

Nourin – I can take it or leave it. It’s one of those shows that I would probably watch it if it’s on CR. I guess maybe next year or next sale, EVS or not.¬†

SoniAni – Kind of like, the show I would drop except if I don’t watch all these shows on EVS, I would have time for this. So I do have time for this. And it’s hardly the most horrible anime. It’s like the most model anime, heh.

Pilot’s Love Song – Same. This show is weird in that while watching it, I’m okay. But after I’m done watching that week’s episode I kind of regret the use of my time. Probably would dropped it a long time ago if not for said EVS issue since this is a CR show.

D-Frag – EVS problem but it’s a pretty okay show. Very “bro” I guess. I think the problem is that it’s a little to convoluted and if you miss the internal logic it’s not that fun to watch.

Chuunikoi Ren – 2chuu2koi as I’d like to call it, but this is a nice change. Much more interesting right off the bat than season 1.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – I’d pirate this any day.

Mahou Sensou – Dropped because I don’t have the time. Seems okay though.

Hamatora – Dropped because I don’t have the time. Seems okay though. Actually fun to watch in episode 2, if a little predictable.

Houzuki no Reitetsu – Good, solid comedy. Dropped because I got over my Dilbert phase back in the 90s. This stuff is kind of like remaking it for kids going into the workforce in this decade. As an anecdote, when I find some kid at work who falls into all of the usual Dilbert traps, I just sigh and “berate” him directly. Watching Hozuki is like a waste of time.

Saki – Magical girls meets mahjong, the “we don’t have enough episodes so we’ll compress all that we skipped between S1 and Achigahen in 3 episodes but now we can get down to business” edition. Also a Jtor item.

Ongoing:

Nagiasu – AAAAAAHHHHHH

Ace of the Diamond – This is a pretty okay koshien baseball anime. Literally.

Samurai Flamenco – It’s still interesting enough.

Silver Spoon – Yep. One season is hardly a break.

Magi – Yep.

Gundam Build Fighter – This is the Gundam of our generation.

Tokyo Ravens – Okay.jpg

Log Horizon – Finally, story.

Golden Time – Dropped because I don’t really have the time and can’t really be bothered with that Ghost Banri stuff.

Shorts:

Enjoying them all. Even Pupa (whose OP has that “Fantasista Dolls” effect). I think Strange+ and Seki-kun are neck to neck.

Canon

And that’s all for now!

PS. Several blogs I follow waxed poetic on Space Dandy after watching the first few episodes. Basically they all say the same thing, like what I said earlier on. I guess the thing is, it’s just a TV show, like everything we’re watching, you can take it or leave it, and you certainly don’t have to watch everything. Only tortured fans of the medium would, beyond “a thin slicing.” As long as you’re mindful of the usual disclaimers (ie., judging books by covers etc) you are okay. It’s not about “right enough” but knowing what you are in for and getting things working for those purposes. And I think with that in mind, 11:30 PM is way too early for Space Dandy. Proper late night anime is like, 2AM! Imagine watching an anime about putting your arm inside a cow’s anus at 2AM…


Seitokai Yakuindomo Is the Viagra of Four-Panel Comedy…

Kaede Igarashi

…Because it goes on about the same stuff for ever and ever.

And I am ever happy about its return to television. The first season and subsequent OAD/OVAs were relatively what you would expect of a late 00s television anime in terms of look and feel. It was almost a late 00s television anime after all. The return was gloriously spiffier, like a proper introduction episode of some new-fangled television adaptation of some high concept SF animation. Except this anime is probably still set in the period before people used tablet computers, and is as basic as a toilet joke.

It’s just that, I recently caught up on the OADs to make way for episode one of the second TV series (#seitokai2), and it just struck me that this anime is an one trick pony. Granted adding the little sister, the yankee, and the other president did change things up a good deal, Seitokai Yakuindomo still applies the same tricks, just now spread around to more characters. Moreover, we have the same number of tsukkomi, which is really unusual in that we’re something like 22 episodes in now.

Maybe the magic is in the voice acting? In the timing? Or the way the tsukkomi stays out of the way (fast, but not furious)? Maybe it’s all these things.

It’s so weird, that I felt this was such a big deal, this new season, that I wrote it up with a clickbait headline.

PS. It’s also so weird that a high school comedy is way more lewd than Space Dandy, a “TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, NOT KIDS’ STUFF” sort of Adult Swim content about boobies.


You Know It’s Been a Good Year for Comedy When…

Author is writing about people’s perception of 4koma presentation and breaking things up. I think it is a matter of personal interpretation but the switch between a seamless medium and 4koma is part of the tricks of the trade of comedy and presenting manga. After all, all manga begins on a blank piece of paper. “Koma” is added to give presentation its structure, and we stop at 4 identical framing for various other reasons, to give it even more structure.

The same applies in anime as well. Seitokai Yakuindomo mimics that by giving those “second joke” cuts with flying stamps, transiting from scene to scene, or strip to strip. On the other hand Lucky Star is almost entirely devoid of it. Thinking back to Azumanga Daioh, the first otaku anime 4koma smash hit, does it make sense?

And why AzuDai, even? It’s just my lens in which I view the situation. Azudai is broken up into 5 segments per episode, where as you can see a similar kind of breakdown in SYD. More so when the punchlines are flying in the air. Not so much in Lucky Star. But that is a stylistic choice. I mean, Lucky Star feels a lot more like K-ON (that’s 4koma too), and that’s because both are similarly presented. And who cares about transitions in K-ON?

Look at Working!! for example, does that feel like 4koma to you? Now that is where AzuDai is. A much more perfected blend of television narrative with jokes that hits like sewn-together sitcom punchlines, that it is textured without trying very hard, because you were laughing when the story changed from frame to frame. The original 4koma material is like dough for this new baked good.

But I think that’s not to say it is the only way or even the best way. Seitokai Yakuindomo is meant to flaunt its panel-switching cuts since it is a running joke as well; it doesn’t hide its transition, but rather uses it as a joke. Of course people who gets turned off by that seemingly-seamless-seam-switching might enjoy it more. It’s not so much that I would be laughing when the anime changes from strip-to-strip: I was too busy trying to process the joke and on-screen text to notice.

However, I find it hard to believe that Lucky Star is underrated. It’s gotten so much hype during its hay days that few shows deserves, if any. Maybe among Author’s reads, I suppose.


Year in Review: The Funnies

Over yonder at the blog-in-data-recover, I’ve written a list of the amusing stuff that happened this year. I guess I could have added the bouncing boobs from High School of the Dead on the list because it’s one of those Grenadier moments. You know? Except it only looks amusing and really doesn’t do anything. I don’t think breasts are good absorber of recoil, and whats-his-face Komuro should have gotten beaten over the head by Miyamoto for giving her purple boobs.¬†That’s just the beginning, and the one anime probably everyone watched (outside of JUMP crap).

This year is an amazing year for comedies in anime. While we never had an outstanding title this year on par with FMP: Fumoffu, there were scores of great shows that will make you laugh out loud. At least it made me. Then again I laugh a lot.

The one I want to highlight is Seikon no Qwaser. It’s like Yosuga no Sora but without the pretense of seriousness. Plus, it’s got none of the “boning your twin sister while your girlfriend (soon-to-be-ex) stands and watch, along with ero-minded Iichou-san” big ball of fire mess; or rather, how do you top that? On the other hand, I thought the “keeps on going” thing works better with Nao being boned and Sora watching, but that’s just how she is. Qwaser just has unslightly people being unslightly, mostly doing all kind of weird stuff that defies imagination. I mean in some sense, the whole walking-on-the-sex-scene bit was not unexpected. It’s gawking, but it isn’t out of mind. Stuff like boob hypnosis is.

It brings up this notion that you can bridge the gap between awful and comedy. It’s kind of like how Fist of the North Star is enjoyable, but it’s also enjoyable. You get what I mean? There are too many shows making that gap this year it is starting to bleed into proper comedies.

But with offerings like Seitokai Yakuidomo, I can’t really blame them.

To wrap this point up, I’m just going to say that 2010 is an abnormal year in anime comedies in that I’ve seen more moments in anime this year that made me laugh than probably 2009 and 2008 combined. Maybe it speaks as much to how bad 2009 and 2008 was in terms of comedies, but really, if you are not laughing this year, you are not watching the same anime I’m watching.

The sad thing is there really wasn’t just one show that stood out besides the Qwaser, which is remarkable for other qualities besides that it’s hilariously over the top. That it’s terribly hilariously over the top.