The Winter 2014 Anime Preview Guide Seitokai Yakuindomo*
Review: Few second season openers are as self-congratulatory as Setokai Yakuindomo's. The entire first half of the episode is a self-aware character re-introduction, complete with background characters commenting on how "crazy the student council president is as usual" and snarky subtitle nods to who is going to make a dirty joke next. It's just sardonic enough not to be nauseating, but it does go on a little too long for a show that first aired only three years ago. (I remember doing a preview guide entry for it! Full circle!) It's hard to be too annoyed at a show that opens with a Borat-esque engrish reading of the line "This may be more exciting than the cleavage of your wife!"
For those not in the know, Seitokai Yakuindomo is an anime based off a 4-koma gag series with one unique attribute: nearly every punchline is a filthy, filthy, filthy joke, and they're all told from the perspective of teenage girls: asking boys how their dicks work, jokes about breaking hymens, and taking every innocuous moment around them to its nastiest possible reinterpretation. The asterisk denoting that this is season 2 is supposed to be a butthole. That's what kind of show this is. After its first 10 minutes of back-patting and winking, the show goes back to its status quo of rapid fire smut, all hit and miss, but graciously so quick and frenetic that the misses don't have much time to lay still before something better comes along. The bite-sized comic-strip pacing is both a blessing and a curse in that there are a high volume of gags per episode, but the show essentially becomes limited to a heap of silly gags, and can get old very quickly. Many anime comedies have issues with slow buildups and lame payoffs, but Seitokai could stand to give itself some breathing room, and could be a great comedy and not merely an okay one if it ever aspired to more than just super-fast lady-parts jokes.
You can jump into the show from the second season, or any episode of it really, but given the in-joke-heavy opening here, it's better to start at the beginning if the concept appeals to you. If a ten second cutaway gag about a girl making announcements over the intercom while "wearing" a vibrator set to max is what you've been looking for in anime, there's much more of that on the way.
Seitokai Yakuindomo* is available streaming at Crunchyroll.
Rating: 3 (of 5)
Review: Although this is technically the third title in the animated part of the franchise (a 2010 TV series and OVA series precede it), one does not need to know anything beyond the basic premise to fully appreciate it. In this case Tsuda is a high school student who chose Ousai Academy because it was the closest to his home rather than because it had just gone coed after formerly being an all-girls school. He got drafted into the Student Council because the three girls who compose it – stern but also astonishingly dirty-minded President Shino, kid-sized accountant Suzu, and rich, busty, flighty, frank-speaking Aria – sought the viewpoint of someone to represent the incoming male students. A year has now passed, a new spring has arrived, and Tsuda's sister has now also joined the school, but that hardly shakes up the status quo, as the core gang and peripheral club members are all up to their usual antics, albeit with a judo challenge match.
The opening half of the series, which used some very involved camera movement, extensive 3D effects, and one of the longest blocks of continuous narrative in the whole franchise, is used primarily to reintroduce the cast, but eventually the episode settles down to its regular shtick: short sketch comedies whose punchlines are usually some salacious wordplay, innuendo, and/or outright interpretation of innocent statements in the dirtiest manner possible. The visual fan service is very limited and tame (really, only one scene where Aria seems to be deliberately jiggling her breasts), but the dialogue is sharp enough that words are bleeped out probably a dozen or more times. While the jokes are just as hit-or-miss as ever with the franchise, some are quite funny as long as one has a high tolerance for references to things like periods, masturbation, sexual positions, and breaking one's hymen. The technical merits have also gotten a bit of an upgrade, as the animation is much more ambitious, including a fully-animated, fully-choreographed judo match, and the background art seems sharper.
Those who appreciated the earlier installments of the franchise should not find a letdown here. Otherwise let your taste for nasty jokes be the scale on which to judge whether or not you should check this one out.
Seitokai Yakuindomo* is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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