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The Fall 2022 Preview Guide
The Human Crazy University

How would you rate episode 1 of
The Human Crazy University ?
Community score: 2.3

What is this?

What happens to people when they are pushed to their very limits and driven into a corner like bugs? The Human Crazy University depicts these situations from the perspectives of various characters.

The Human Crazy University is based on the Human Bug Daigaku_Yami no Manga YouTube manga and streams on Crunchyroll on Wednesdays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

I was baffled watching this anime. What was it supposed to be about? Was it a condemnation of the death penalty in Japan? Was it a look into human nature—noting that even humans who have committed unforgivable crimes can be nice people? Was it about trying to retain your humanity as a guard tasked with taking the life of another? It's not until the end of the episode after our lead character has been “executed” that it actually shows its hand.

When it comes down to it, The Human Crazy University is a series that uses a guy who cannot seem to die as a way of talking about all the times people have survived what should be un-survivable. It just happens that the first topic is the times people have survived executions in Japan—and a highly improbable way it could still happen. To set this up, we get a clinical look at death row in Japan and the justifications for why it is the way it is. Basically, they hide information to make sure that the prisoners don't commit suicide before it's their time to be killed.

It's here that I think I should mention that I was slightly put off by the budget animation to start. However, by the time our main character was begging not to die as the noose was put around his neck, I was glad for it. Anything more realistic would have made this episode almost impossible to watch.

In the end, I'm glad I watched this. It was a fairly straightforward look at a serious topic that was both full of interesting information and didn't shy away from showing the moral dilemmas at play—I just wish I hadn't been blindsided by it in the first episode.

Caitlin Moore

That might have just been the most uncomfortable half-hour of television I've ever put myself through. I'm just sitting here on my couch, frowning at my TV with a barely touched document open on my laptop, trying to think of what in the world to say about this… this… project? My friend who writes for another site described themself as having spent all day recovering. I didn't get what they meant at the time but now I do.

Like… what exactly is this series trying to do? Is it a comedy that doesn't have any jokes? Edutainment that badly whiffs the -tainment part with its interminably long lectures delivered by what amounts to low-budget video game sprites? For that matter, how did they get big name voice actors like Tomokazu Sugita, Hikaru Midorikawa, and Takehito Koyasu to work on an anime that looks like it was made so cheaply that even the classic “budget of a ham sandwich” joke would be understating it? I have so many questions and I want the answer to exactly none of them.

In a weird way, I can see the discomfort inherent to the experience of watching Human Crazy University appealing to some people. There's a lot of incongruity going on. Satake is a horrible man who abused and murdered his fiancée, but he's polite and friendly with the guard because people are multifaceted. It's outright confrontational in how it depicts the death penalty as he begins to sob and beg for his life as the noose slips around his neck, performed to horrendous effect by Sugita. It's not fun to watch and I didn't enjoy spending time with Satake, but it makes a statement, that's for damn sure. The latter half, on the other hand, was a long, long infodump in a white room that wasn't interesting in any way, so blah.

Human Crazy University was… challenging. I mean that in every sense of the word. It's a challenge I'm not up for, so this will be a hard, hard pass.

James Beckett

I'll be honest: I spent the entirety of The Human Crazy University's premiere waiting for the joke to hit. The show had to be a joke, what with… well, everything about it. The art and animation looks like a Kappa Mikey fan-animation gone wrong. It looks like what would happen if Aqua Teen Hunger Force made an anime parody back in the year 2004. It looks like what would happen if mid-tier Newgrounds flash animation was produced using nothing but plagiarized artwork traced from those old How to Draw Manga books. Hell, the main character of the show is a convicted wife murderer who may or may not possess some kind of supernatural ability to avoid all manner of horrible deaths through sheer, absurd cosmic luck. So, after twenty-two fairly agonizing minutes, why wasn't I laughing even one bit?

Well, it's definitely possible that the series is operating at some 4D chess levels of technical incompetence, like a Tim and Eric sketch that got taken way too far. The bizarre scientist guy that our man Hirofumi spends most of the episode talking to is certainly obnoxious enough that I have to believe that Human Crazy University is at least partially aware of how gobsmackingly terrible it is. Then again, the rest of the episode is so deranged in its commitment to deliver a bunch of facts about human execution methods and strange survival anecdotes in the most boring manner possible that I also have to suspect that Human Crazy University is utterly sincere and fancies itself a piece of bona fide edutainment.

Either way, the end result is a singularly strange and unsettling viewing experience, though it isn't strange or unsettling in any sense that I could recommend it as a Halloween-appropriate watch. It isn't fun, at all. It's just… such a goddamned weird little show. I don't think I could hate something that is so singular, but I absolutely can—and will—tell you all to stay as far away from Human Crazy University as possible.

Nicholas Dupree

What can I say about this premiere? I watched it, for one. Sat through the whole thing uninterrupted. I found a few of the random facts it brought up interesting, in a “oh I should look that up on wikipedia later” kind of way. I was very confused for a while about why this somber story of a death row inmate's execution was animated like a Newgrounds video from 2004. And I suppose in the abstract I can appreciate that this is a unique series in the TV anime landscape. So I can say that for The Human Crazy University. I just can't say I liked any of it.

It really comes down to the presentation. This is based on a series of voice comics that's been releasing on YouTube for a few years, and somewhere along the way they decided the best way to translate that to a full-length TV anime was to make it look cheaper and worse than the original manga art, and also not animate any more than absolutely necessary. Characters do not walk, their models are simply moved up and down while a background image scrolls behind them. 90% of the shots are two characters standing or sitting next to each other as they share random facts about executions they read off of the world's most morbid Snapple caps. It's all about one step above just listening to a podcast about execution trivia, and filtered through a barely coherent story of an apparently unkillable death row inmate that barely gets expanded upon.

That particular wrinkle is perhaps the only thing that might get somebody interested in this. At the very least it's something unique that you can't get from a slew of true crime and history podcasts/books/documentaries, but it's not enough to make this half-baked edutainment set-up to be, y'know, entertaining.

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