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EP. REVIEW: SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist


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Hyro_10



Joined: 17 May 2015
Posts: 80
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:34 pm Reply with quote
I really like the show but I wish the did a better job of addressing the dangers of getting too enthusiastic about enforcing morality. Right now it seems content with straddling the line but I hope it does take thing a little further.

As It relates to how they teenagers in this society deal with their urges and emotions, I think the first example was the group of boys who were stalking Anna. Thinking that stuffing things in her locker was a great way to express themselves, which Anna strangely decided to use on Takunichi.

It kind of annoys me how Kajo talks the talk but can't walk the walk. And Anna in yandere mode is hilarious.

Really like the show but it could do more and I hope it does.
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:54 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Although it is not a large subset of fan service shows, series which emphasize explicit language more so than visual ecchi content have been popping up occasionally for a few years now; see 2009's Student Council's Discretion


I think you mean Seitokai Yakuindomo. Seitokai no Ichizon was pretty tame on all fronts and relied more on pop culture references.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:03 pm Reply with quote
An unexpected gem appears on DSR. I seem to recall that the show got pretty low voting percentage in the Stream Poll. What brought about the (most welcome) change?
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Zac
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ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7912
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:31 pm Reply with quote
Hameyadea wrote:
An unexpected gem appears on DSR. I seem to recall that the show got pretty low voting percentage in the Stream Poll. What brought about the (most welcome) change?


People seemed to be talking about it, so we asked for a volunteer to catch up and cover the rest of the season. 's really all it takes.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:35 pm Reply with quote
Vaisaga wrote:
I think you mean Seitokai Yakuindomo. Seitokai no Ichizon was pretty tame on all fronts and relied more on pop culture references.

Yeah, I got mixed up on which one got named SCD in English. Have updated the review accordingly.

Hameyadea wrote:
An unexpected gem appears on DSR. I seem to recall that the show got pretty low voting percentage in the Stream Poll. What brought about the (most welcome) change?

I was the one who actually had a middle-of-the-road preview on this one, so my opinion didn't shift much. It didn't hurt that I found some of the episodes after 1 to be funnier than the first one.
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RaylenCypher



Joined: 03 Mar 2015
Posts: 138
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:03 pm Reply with quote
I'm looking forward to reading your reviews and the comments in the forum. I don't have much to say so I'm just gonna observe. Yandere Anna is hilarious. Very Happy
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Yttrbio
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Joined: 09 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:19 pm Reply with quote
Part of what makes this show interesting at the meta- level is that there are two levels of censorship. There's the censorship put in at the creative level (I believe this includes all the voice censorship, and some of the gestures), and then there's the censorship put in for broadcast. It's amusing to look at the less censored AT-X version for what it says about broadcast standards (overall summary: Things are a lot more moist over there).
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Tenchi



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 4348
Location: Ottawa... now I'm an ex-Anglo Montrealer.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:28 pm Reply with quote
I like that Ayame is basically Haruhi Suzumiya if she were focused on dirty jokes and porn instead of paranormal phenomenon. Even though I know that the primary explanation for SOX is that it's "SEX" with an O representing a censorship circle, I don't think it's an accident that SOX is just one letter off from SOS (as in SOS-dan).

Ayame's solo dancing in the end credits also reminds me a bit of Lum, although when the other SOX members and the mascots that are obviously riffs on Pipo-kun, the main Tokyo Metropolitan Police mascot, it seems to be another Haruhi Suzumiya allusion (to "Hare Hare Yukai" even if the SOX dance is a bit simpler).
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SilverTalon01



Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Posts: 2249
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:37 pm Reply with quote
Haven't watched episode 7 yet so I'm going to wait to read the review, but I'm very happy to see this got picked up.
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Lemonchest



Joined: 18 Mar 2015
Posts: 1771
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:01 pm Reply with quote
The Millennium Educational Reform Act was a better law.
The premise made me think of this:


But it sounds more like this:
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kinghumanity



Joined: 03 Nov 2014
Posts: 352
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:03 pm Reply with quote
See ANN, I told you Shimoneta was worth delving into and not just a simple trashy series about dick jokes!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:18 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Curiously, whether or not alternate sexual preferences are expressly forbidden under the morality law has not yet been brought up.

I dropped this in favor of other shows after the third episode, though I didn't hate it. So I haven't seen all the episodes. But it seems to me in an environment where sexuality per se is suspect, there's no point in differentiating in the morality laws between hetero, homo, or any other orientations, which might explain why it hasn't been addressed.
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Neko-sensei



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 240
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:21 pm Reply with quote
Well, the SOX/SOS pun is used in the show's opener, so it's definitely no accident...

I usually say that one of the "special qualities" of animation as a medium is a sort of extended suspension of disbelief: by watching something entirely unreal, we as viewers are somewhat paradoxically more readily able to accept all that we see as genuine. But man, try as I might, I just can't give this show a pass: the entire concept at every level of its execution is so far removed from all logic that my brain just breaks down.

It doesn't reflect human nature: extreme censorship like this only works in totalitarian states like North Korea because if any channel of information is open, people, being naturally curious, are going to find what they want to know. (Even within the DPRK people smuggle in much more Western culture than you might expect.) In a society that seems relatively open apart from this one subject, even technologically-enforced taboos could never hold (cf. bypassing the Great Firewall of China). No nation's people would accept this extreme of arbitrary censorship without an equivalent threat to the existence of their nation, and such a threat (either real or manufactured) does not exist in Shimoneta (more on this shortly).

The concept doesn't reflect the government's interest: in reality, one of the explicit motivations behind Bill 156 (as so crassly laid out by Shintarō Ishihara) was to encourage the herbivorous youth of Japan to have actual sex instead of watching it on their monitors. Why would a nation where the shrinking population is a major concern enforce, not just abstinence-only sex education, but no sex ed whatsoever? Surely even in Shimoneta's world the politicians would realize that they're dooming their own nation!

The concept doesn't reflect individual psychology, biology, or linguistic development: remember puberty? I mean, not to get gross here, but seriously, people: remember that? Would not having been able to say a list of banned words have changed anything about your teenaged self's behavior? And socially, if pubescent kids aren't allowed to say "anOs," they're just going to come up with an alternative term, and everyone will be talking about how "Yuuta really whimbozzled that fisculomper right up the eggplant!" There's absolutely no way the Peace Makers could keep up with the linguistic evolution; the anime even acknowledges that kids are doing this, but fails to realize that it entirely undermines the entire function of the government's system. (Also, what about slang that's fine in one context but filthy in another? Can the PM software really distinguish usage perfectly?)

The concept is, in short, a dud. It can't even pass the most basic sanity check for Evil Government Conspiracies: how does the system benefit those who control it? With the Peace Maker system... not at all! No other nation would actually care if Japan has "pristine public morals," and domestically in the anime's world normal people seem at most indifferent to dirty language. Shimoneta's basic real-world warning is that with this kind of censorship comes the threat that the government will achieve total control over its citizens' private behavior, but as a motivation this is pure tosh. No government would attempt to regulate its citizens' actions by starting with a concept as convoluted, abstract, and (as shown above) just plain unworkable as the Peace Maker program. Any government with totalitarian aspirations will always start by attempting to unite its citizens against an external threat: Hitler's insidious Jews, Stalin and Pol Pot's evil bourgeois and (later) counterrevolutionaries, the Kim family's "everyone but me." "Some of you say dirty words" is not the kind of actionable, concrete threat upon which a regime builds its scheme for total domination.

So yes, Shimoneta is often very funny, especially if you understand the puns in Japanese, but as a social commentary, as a political warning, and even as an internally coherent narrative, it's one of the most spectacularly implosive failures I've ever witnessed. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Edit: Although not part of my main argument about the absurdity of the Peace Maker concept, I also have to point out the utterly disastrous ramifications of the program: as Hyouka's entomological studies demonstrate, at least at the high school level all discussion of sexuality is censored, not just human sexuality. But if this is the case, Japan is finished—without knowledge of biology, how can it hope to produce farmers? Doctors? Research DNA? Cure diseases? Gynecology clinics supposedly exist, but how?! How could sexual-transmitted diseases or genetic problems be explained to patients? If practitioners are being trained only at the post-secondary level, and indeed being trained in a manner that explicitly flies in face of everything they learned in high school, how can they possibly hope to have the qualifications to keep their patients, either human or animal, healthy?

My brain hurts.


Last edited by Neko-sensei on Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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chito895



Joined: 22 Jan 2015
Posts: 512
Location: Lima, Peru
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Thanks, Theron, for catching up with Shimoneta. Is my 2nd favorite of the season and I wanted so bad to hear a second opinion about this show.

I wish this show was as consistent as, say, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, because there are some episodes that the humor just flies over my head, but that may happen mostly because my English is not that perfect.

But then Anna-senpai appears and I forget every mistake the show may have done, because she's hilarious as fudge. Especially in yandere mode, because everything goes over the top and "fluids" start to run (I mean Anna's fluids BTW). I couldn't stop laughing during the presentation of the spoiler["love fluid" cookies, the fluid rainbow scene], and during spoiler[the last rape attempt and ear-licking] during ep 7.

I hope the show keeps up with its Anna scenes and the other sex jokes. And I also hope that FUNI dubs this one. It may not be as funny, but it may work really well.
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Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:44 pm Reply with quote
...It's a comedy, it doesn't have to make that much sense. And I think it's pretty obvious it's an over-exaggeration of everything, however I don't see the situations that far from real. Like, teenagers are obviously aware of sexuality nowadays, but there are plenty of myths and stuff we aren't thaught in school. For example, some people think that the first time you do it, you don't get pregnant, some don't know they have to lubricate whatever hole they're using, most don't know how to put on a condom, hell, there are people who don't eknow that you don't pee from a vagina! (Even people with vagina themselves). Don't even get me started on people that think breasts are sexual organs.

And taking Anna as example, there are lots of people considering that an urge of sexual impulses legitimate any sort of harassment and even rape because you "couldn't help it you were horny".

There are other clear examples, like this week's newly introduced villain; who apparently takes advantage of the "sexual terrorism" to be a creepy pervert, thus why Kajo (and the audience) should not sympathize with him.
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