(Warning, the following article contains massive spoilers for the first four episodes of Shimoneta. If you do not want to be spoiled, then read no further)
Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist is one of the biggest surprises of the season. It is a hilarious series that has at least so far managed not to drive its comedic style into the ground. But there is another reason people should be watching Shimoneta. Initially hidden under a mountain of sexual jokes early on, Shimoneta actually is one of the most messed up and bleak works of dystopian fiction in recent years.
The oppressive world of Shimoneta is set up innocently enough at first. In the first episode we learn that Japan has become the country with the highest morality rating in the world by outlawing “obscene” words and imagery. What this means is that any form of titillating pictures, from pornography to just pictures of people in swimsuits, are illegal. People can’t say words like “shit”, “piss”, “fuck”, “cunt”, “cocksucker”, “motherfucker”, or “tits” (basically hell on Earth for George Carlin). They can’t even say out loud the officially recognized medical terms for genitalia, like “penis” or “vagina”.
Outside of creating ignorance about sex and genitalia in the youth in the country, at first it doesn’t seem like it had too much of a negative effect on people. But by the end of the first episode it becomes readily apparent that things just aren’t right in Shimoneta’s Japan. The first episode ends with an obscene terrorism attack carried out by the show’s two main characters, Tanukichi Okuma and Ayame Kajo who form the obscene terrorism group SOX.
While the entire school Tanukichi and Ayame attend is gathered for an assembly, they play a video of a pair of flies belonging to Hyoka Fuwa, the mad scientist president of the science club who just wants to learn how procreation works, having sex. At the same time Ayame delivers an over the top erotic voice over to the video over the gym’s sound system. The result of this is every student in attendance orgasms at nearly the same time. From watching flies have sex.
That is how sexually repressed the youth in Shimoneta’s Japan are. But it doesn’t stop there. Not only do the youth of Japan lack the knowledge of what sex is, they lack the knowledge of what love is. As a result, stalkers are rampant in Shimoneta, because no one knows how to properly express their love to each other.
Towards the end of episode 3, Tanukichi gets knocked into Anna Nishikinomiya, the president of the student council who is sternly anti-obscenity and is someone Tanukichi greatly admires (but doesn’t love and keep this in mind, it’ll be important in a bit), while protecting Anna from a group of her own stalkers. He ends up kissing Anna when they collide into each other, and as Anna is just as repressed as the other teenagers (if not more so), this is how she ends up reacting to just being kissed:
But it escalates from there. In episode 4, Tanukichi ends up with a stalker of his own. That stalker turns out to be none other than Anna. This is revealed when, in a plan set up by Ayame to help get inspiration for Otome Saotome, a brilliant artist member of SOX who is in love with Anna, they use Tanukichi as bait to lure in his stalker. Anna storms into his apartment and restrains Tanukichi, then proceeds to sexually assault him by licking him all over his body and giving him unconsensual french kisses all while in a frenzy of sexual ecstasy. She would have flat out raped him against his will if she had any idea how sex worked. All the while, Taunkichi has a look of abject horror across his face, which in turn gives a whole new meaning to a particular part of the show’s ending theme:
And yet afterwards when she is confronted by Hyoka because she killed Hyoka’s flies as part of “decontaminating” the science lab, Anna reveals the worst part of it all; she doesn’t think anything she’s done has been obscene or evil. Quite the opposite in fact, she thinks all of her actions, including her near rape of Tanukichi, has been pure and just actions.
The people in Shimoneta are all warped by ignorance. Ignorance brought on by overzealous people trying to fix Japan’s morals. Of course Anna is an extreme case, someone even more warped than usual. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, really, when you consider that her father was the one who made the initial laws that set Japan on this anti-obscenity train of thought. But her mother is probably worse.
Everyone in Shimoneta has to wear monitoring devices called PMs. They take the form of bracelets on both wrists and a choker around the neck. The PMs everyone already wear track things like location, listen in on everything everyone is saying, hell the wrist PMs even track hand movements, so they know when artists are drawing obscene pictures or writers are writing obscene literature, or even when people are masturbating. But Anna’s mom wants to make it even more extreme, because she wants to pass an initiative to make the youth of Japan wear chastity belt-like PMs that would keep track of if the wearer became sexually aroused. That’s right, Anna’s mom is trying to basically outlaw boners and such.
It is bad enough that the current PMs already censor virtually all forms of expression, but she wants to try and police basic human functions. It is no wonder that the kiss Anna got from Tanukichi is probably the first form of intimate contact she ever had. Anna’s parents have already warped the youth in Shimoneta’s Japan, now they are trying to kill Japan from the inside. And the worst part is I don’t think they even realize that. I think that they legitimately think what they are doing is for the good of the people.
As such even with all the dispicable things that has happened in Shimoneta so far, I don’t hate any of the characters. I only have pity for everyone involved. Shimoneta has a fucked up world with a squeaky clean exterior that is on the fast track to doing irreparable damage to Japanese society. I for one hope that SOX and their fellow obscene terrorism groups succeed in bringing it all down.