Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto
by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto ?
This week's Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto is basically what the series looks like on cruise control. It aims to amuse—and generally succeeds—but I didn't sense any real effort to match or surpass the show's finest offerings. There's still a lot to like here, but episode 7 isn't likely to win back any viewers who have grown bored with the series' one-note premise. However, fans who continue to find Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto consistently funny are sure to walk away entertained, if not slightly underwhelmed.
Episode 7's first half finds Sakamoto roped into renting porn for Acchan's crew. While receiving instructions from his cohorts via smart phone, the bespectacled student is able to slip into the video store's 18+ section, grab a stack of erotic DVDs, and make his way to the checkout counter while avoiding potential obstacles. This being Sakamoto, he inevitably succeeds in his task—but this time, he kind of has to work for it. Within the course of a single segment, Perfection Personified actually finds himself at several disadvantages. When he encounters Aina, Yagi, and Tanaka while bringing his porn to the register, he seems genuinely nervous. Additionally, he's so intent on avoiding the gaze of Mother Kubota (who's amorously perusing the store's selection of K-dramas) that he deviates from the gang's initial plan. Of course, he's ultimately able to emerge from these ordeals unscathed, but it's always entertaining to see Sakamoto taken down a peg—however miniscule said peg may be.
It's interesting to see Sakamoto utilize his abilities for a cause that isn't purely “good.” That he would outright break the rules (law?) to rent porn for his friends illustrates that while he may be perfect, he's not exactly an angel. (Yes, he was sort of blackmailed into it, but still.) The expedient manner in which he rejects the gang's invitation to attend a viewing party—perhaps an indicator of inexperience with intimacy—is probably the segment's most effective gag.
The second segment gives us an extended look at Gakubun High's field day. Intent on making Sakamoto look bad in front of his enormous female fan base, Sera recruits a group of boys to prevent him from succeeding at various events. It seems that Sakamoto isn't quite as revered by the student body as I initially thought. Not only are there students from other grades and classes who still haven't heard of him, but some of his own classmates are jealous enough of the attention he gets from the girls to sign on with Sera. Unfortunately, the plus-sized narcissist doesn't appear to have learned much from his previous encounter with Sakamoto. Predictably, every trap he sets is quickly conquered by his bespectacled adversary. However, when his final scheme winds up making Yagi an object of scorn, he quickly realizes the error of ways and makes things right, albeit in a truly twisted fashion.
If ever one of this show's stories was carried solely by its jokes, this would be it. The overall setup is about as simplistic as they come: a member of Sakamoto's rogues gallery is out to get him, and said baddie is hampered at every turn—also, it's field day. Sakamoto emulating wild animals, impressing the school's principal, and winning the praise of an all-ages crowd of onlookers produces an abundance of laugh-out-loud moments. Additionally, recasting Sera in the antagonist role gives the character something to do besides walk around shirtless and spout terrible puns.
For a show that initially seemed so limited, Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto never ceases to entertain. Although the stories simply serve as glorified backdrops for jokes, Sakamoto himself is never predictable. I doubt we'll ever really know what's going on inside his head, but that in itself is a large part of what makes him so amusing.
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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