SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 12 of
SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist ?
After episode 11's storyline climax, this episode did not figure to involve anything major, despite Ayame's ominous reaction to the phone call at the end of that episode. That does, indeed, prove to be the case. While episode 12 is not exactly a throwaway episode, it nonetheless has more the feel of an OVA bonus episode than an actual integral part of the series.
The mysterious phone call leads SOX to a sanitized health resort that is a former hot springs resort area. The big mystery is why Anna's mother is the one inviting them, which gets even more mysterious when they are joined by Anna and Goriki, but no one else – not even staff – seems to be at the resort. Then all of their clothing disappears while they are in the baths, only to be replaced by black underwear, and Anna's mother turns up unconscious. Finally the true culprit is revealed: a man clad all in black panties who claims to be Base Black and an associate of Tanukichi's father. He wants a wheel that Tanukichi has brought with him (because his father told him to if he ever came here then he had to bring it), which turns out to be the key to a hidden treasure trove. What follows is a harrowing race up a mountainside with the obsessed Anna in pursuit and Science Girl giving Ayame and Tanukichi a bit of help. They eventually discover the treasure, which turns out to be a collection of erotic statues and artworks, and learn that such was Base Black's intent all along. Ayame deems that the world isn't ready for it yet, so they seal it away again for the time being. And then the series ends with SOX raising its flag above the school as Blue Snow shouts “penis!”
Back in 1999 the erotic thriller Eyes Wide Shut, Stanley Kubrick's final film, famously ended on a dirty word. Was SHIMONETA trying to emulate that, or did its writers just decide on their own that the most appropriate way to end a series about dirty jokes was to have its female protagonist shout out a sexual reference? Either way, it shows that the series is remaining true to its nature to the last moment. The episode otherwise has pretty much everything that we have come to expect from the series: Anna sexually assaulting Tanukichi (this time going for some underwater hanky-panky) and showing off her superhuman capabilities, people running around in their underwear, buildings and shafts for opening things shaped like penises, Science Girl being weird with insects, implications that certain characters are homosexual, and so forth, and of course tons of sexual innuendo and dirty words. (And notice that Ayame doesn't fail to clip her precious phone on her panties when everyone is running around stripped down.) Ayame shows that she is a little shy at first having to walk around in just bra and panties, but this, too, is typical; the series has consistently portrayed her as being uncomfortable when the crude joke is on her instead of her being the one telling/controlling it. And oh, the type of underwear assigned to various characters! While some of it is tasteful, others most definitely are not.
In the end, SHIMONETA is a series best appreciated if it can be taken for exactly what it is on the surface: a rollicking ride of raunchy, twisted fun. While it does engage in some satire and social commentary, these ultimately seem more like excuses for setting up the show this way rather than actual focal points. It definitely assaults all boundaries of good tastes, to the point that even the most tolerant viewers may find objectionable or at least off-putting content in it, but some good characters and genuinely funny scenes carry it through.
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