Dirty jokes and sexuality are cornerstones of our civilization that most would gladly gloss over, but there is no question that they are very important to us. But what if they were forcibly repressed?
Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai, (A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist.) is a Summer 2015 Comedy by J.C. Staff exactly about that.
A Girl that’s Balls Deep.
Kajou Ayame is an awesome character. She has the depth (and balls) that Okuma lacks. Yeah, she’s a terrorist, but for a cause she thinks is just. And for that fact, one that I think is just too. As the leader of SOX, and as Blue Snow, she has managed to ‘educate’ many about sexuality, despite multiple attempts to stop her. Threatening her nakedness to the Decency Squad was about the same as threatening to set off a bomb. That was sheer genius.
Yeah, she may be annoying at times because she constantly spouts those barely concealed sex jokes, but that’s only a way for her to re-affirm her standing in a society where all the things she stands for are discriminated against. It’s also possibly a way for her to stay grounded, as she’s had so much taken from her, most notably her father.
But one major issue I had with Ayame’s character is how she sometimes accuses Okuma of perverted acts, akin to MANY other ecchi shows. I didn’t think she needed this side of her personality, though I came to see it as a good thing. These reactions to actual perversion show another side of Ayame: the side that deeply needs help understanding. It also helped me to understand why she cusses so much. Again, it’s a way for her to deal with her inability to understand the world. And this makes her character that much more appealing.
The Nude Scientist.
Fuwa Hyouka is one of the best parts of Shimoneta to me. A scientist aspiring to uncover the secrets of “body-melding”, she constantly assails Okuma with pointed questions, and indirectly helps with SOX’s actions.
Calm in the most harrying of situations, she often deadpans through most jokes, not understanding many due to her lack of knowledge about sexuality, but forming complex analyses that are hilarious.
I want more of her!!!!
Anna Nishikinomiya is at first glance, just the usual sort of ‘straight’ girl that fit exactly into the dreams of the typical shounen protagonist: perfect in every way. And that’s Anna, until Okuma accidentally kisses her. Then BAM. Instant crazy yandere. But why would that happen?
To understand that, we must first understand Anna. Raised by two of the people that push for ever stricter decency laws, Anna has always been one of the ‘purest’ children, which is why Okuma idolized her. But because of that, she’s never been able to discern the difference between ‘love’ and ‘lust’. She’s never had to deal with those kinds of feelings, nor would she have encountered them, and a sudden influx of emotion led to her ‘dark’ side being unleashed.
This is a great way to show how control that is too strict will cause near irreparable harm to those affected, and in Anna’s case, to her lust’s target, Okuma.
It Fits Well, But.....
Shimoneta has one of the most unique premises I’ve ever seen. It combines various factors that are ridiculous, raunchy, unbelievable, and of course, downright rude. But it also contains deep social commentary at its core.
The world of Shimoneta isn’t right. Basic rights of freedom are already infringed upon, since the government takes such an adamant stance against pornography, which is essentially a form of entertainment. To force its citizens to obey such laws, the government created devices that people must wear. This of course brings to mind a certain book written by George Orwell.
Shimoneta manages to portray the horrible convention of an Orwellian society, albeit a more narrowly focused form of control, in a really good way, tinging the ‘morals’ with humor.
.....It’s Not the Best Hole.
Let’s be honest. The best medium for a 1984-esque story is clearly not a comedy. The jokes do lighten the starkness that would’ve dominated the show, but they detract from the overall enjoyment you may derive from the show. Some may start on Shimoneta expecting a light-hearted and funny adventure through learning sexuality (which was what I expected), and others may have read up on Shimoneta and watched it because of its social commentary. Then the jokes may detract from the experience, which turns a huge chunk of the show into something less than appealing. (Imagine Psycho-Pass as a comedy. *shudders*)
Shimoneta’s exterior will also drive off many potential viewers. It’s really heavily ecchi, and filled with a lot of really pointless fanservice. We really don’t need that many scenes where Okuma gets to be Anna’s chew toy. Yes, I personally found Shimoneta to be quite a good mix of its two sides, but the thematic problems may still arise.
A World Without Dirty Jokes? Hardly.
In Japanese, she says “Omatasex!” from the phrase “Omatase”, which means “wait a sec”.
Shimoneta is about the dirty jokes, lots and lots and lots of them. Practically every sentence out of Ayame’s mouth has to have a certain form of sexual innuendo. One thing to commend is how well the English subtitles were able to convey the double meanings, which I imagine isn’t an easy thing to do.
And of course, this constant barrage of sex jokes will turn people off. Ayame can’t seem to go 5 minutes without shooting off a few, and then there’s Fuwa’s insects. I still have to tip my hat to J.C. Staff for being so upfront with the ecchi.
Now one thing that’s been really iffy to me is Ayame’s phone. Okay, it was said that she’s able to use her phone to allow herself to cuss for 30 minutes a day. So how does it work? There actually seems to be no limits to it, and if there are, how do those limits work? I understand this is a comedy anime, so I can accept the phone as a Deus Ex Machina, but I would love to get a better feel for how technology has evolved, and why.
The Bad Guy?
‘White Peak’, a major antagonist featured in the final arc of the show, felt like anything but a major villain. He’s also used as a reason to bring up a pretty ridiculous discussion: why ero-terrorism should happen. The terrorism that SOX commits has a goal in mind: to educate people about sexuality, whereas White Peak and Gathered Fabric simply exist to indulge in underwear.
When a villain is this ridiculous, it’s hard to take him seriously. If taken seriously though, he could be seen as the fine line between ‘good terrorism’ and ‘bad terrorism’, then line that SOX must never cross.
But still. White Peak? Really?
The Main Character? You’re Kidding.
Okuma Tanukichi is not an interesting character. He’s one of the most basic of comedy anime stereotypes, the tsukkomi (straight man). He seems to be the living punchline, throwing out brainless one liners to practically anything Ayame says.
Then add in his shounen side. As the main character, of course Tanukichi has to share certain characteristics with shounen protagonists. He has an underwhelming sense of ‘justice’ and despite the shows many attempts to make him look good, he still manages to turn out far from one of the best characters in the show. They even undermine any possible respect for him. In the beginning, he’s shown to be a fan of Anna, going so far as to enter the school just for her. But way too quickly, he’s persuaded by Ayame to turn to ero-terrorism.
If I’m being honest, he’s not exactly necessary at all. His best features seem to be a) Anna’s attraction to him, b) stupid one-liners, and c) that he’s a good minion. Very replaceable and not entirely respectable as the main character. In fact, if you take the MC of Seitokai Yakuindomo and swapped these two, the two shows would barely change. There’s nothing wrong with him, it’s just that he’s too plain for my liking.
Censorship in Shimoneta mostly occurs as a ‘button’. These buttons are different for each main character, and add more than a little personality for each. In small doses, they’re cute, and provide the viewer with some room for imagination, but the show honestly uses them too much. I honestly would prefer the censorship to be a little more varied, if it would be used that often. One example that pops to mind would be the censorship from Shinmai Maou no Testament, which consisted of various pop-ups that sort of interact with the scene.
The Last Episode.
The last episode (12), was one of the worst ways to end a series that I have ever seen. A bikini episode?! Really? It would’ve fit better before the appearance of White Peak, since episode 11 was the episode that provided the ‘proper’ ending. It also feels very rushed in comparison to the other episodes, forcing what would usually happen over 2-3 episodes into a single one. Releasing it as an OVA after a few months would’ve been a better idea.
Shimoneta does comedy and dirty jokes in a way that no other comedy has, while balancing a plate full of social commentary on top of its head. It’s certainly a great experience that I would readily recommend to existing anime fans, but I hesitate to say that this would be a good ‘first’ anime, due to some minor faults and its content.
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