OP: 「S・M・L☆」 by Afilia Saga
「①甘草奏の甘くない日常 ②甘草奏の臭くない納豆」 (① Kanzou Sou no Amakunai Nichijou ② Kanzou Sou no Kusakunai Nattou)
“① The not-so-sweet life of Amakusa Kanade ② The not-so-smelly nattou of Amakusa Kanade”
A philosophical conundrum; is it the choices we make that determine our lot in life, or is it the circumstances which we find ourselves i–wait, was that Steve Jobs and Einstein? And did he just ask her to touch his oppai? This show is nuts!
Your Life is Created by the Choices You Make
Please pardon me while I go off on a philosophical bent, but that whole choice montage? This show is right. I don’t know that it meant to say anything profound, but in pointing out the effects of choices it inadvertently pushes forward a point of view that says each and every one of us are in control of our destinies. Most people are passive, reactive, they let themselves be pushed around by the world, but it’s those that are proactive and realize that they control the direction of their lives that make great things happen. And not just in the big decisions, but all the small ones too – a life is made one step at a time, even if it is punctuated by the grand leaps. We’re all in control of the overwhelming majority of our lives, if only we have the wherewithal to make a choice, each and every day.
I bet you didn’t expect a philosophical dissertation in a slap-stick romcom anime, eh? Okay, I’ll stop now. There’s comedy to discuss!
This show is the very definition of comedic sociopathy (trope!). From the very first decision I actually found myself feeling bad for protagonist Amakusa Kanade (Toyonaga Toshiyuki), as the options displayed by his Absolute Choice were nothing short of sadistic. Sometimes, the difference between a comedy and a tragedy is whether the tragic event is accompanied by a fart noise, and that’s the line this show walks – when it’s funny, it’s really funny, but when it’s not it can make you feel bad. Whereas I said all of us have choices and can guide the direction of our lives, this is less true for Kanade-kun here, who is being railroaded along his path in life by a malevolent voice in his head. This would be a horrible tragedy if they weren’t playing it for laughs – and more often than not, succeeding.
The Reject Five
In case I haven’t made it clear, I found this show funny. Variously so…it started off funny, started to falter around the two boobie-based questions, but picked up nicely when it came time for Kanade to go shirtless. What was more steadily (if less explosively) funny was the girls. And I’m not just talking about the nameless classmates who kept moving as far away from Kanade as possible, though that was hilarious too! It was the named ones who are totally bonkers.
First is Yukihira Furano (Kondou Yui), who is my favorite of those with a lot of screentime so far. It’s hard to explain why, but her sometimes cool, sometimes crazy, always totally weird personality opened up a lot of opportunities for tsukkomis. Yuuouji Ouka’s (Tsuji Ayumi) genki airhead routine didn’t rock my boat as hard, but at the very least her female viagra gag got a good laugh. Throw them in with Chocolat and Kanade and I think we’ll have a good, hilarious time. And they’re cute too, so if this ever takes the rom more seriously than the com, that will make the rabu-rabu antics even more fun!
The Story Starts as the Episode Ends
One of the odd things about this episode was the pacing. While I genuinely enjoyed the reference montage for my own philosophically nerdy reasons, it dragged on a bit too long, and all the hilarity in the classroom seemed content to stay there rather than get on with whatever was going to happen. The reason for this ultimately became clear – they decided they wanted to introduce beautiful-girl-from-the-sky Chocolat (Sadohara Kaori) at the very end for a nice little cliffhanger, so they stretched things out to get us there. Which in hindsight worked out just fine, but it didn’t feel well paced when I was watching the episode.
No idea how Chocolat intends to save Kanade, or even if she’s really talking about his Absolute Choice problem. What I do know is that, though I won’t be blogging this, I’ll definitely be watching it. Hit me up on twitter if you want to chat about the show. Enjoy!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – References, sadistic choices, & totally crazy girls make this first episode of #noucome a wild ride!
- No one reads porn mags anymore, Japan. Get with the century.
- Can’t wait to learn who the other two members of the Reject Five are…and to see whether it’ll grow to the Reject Six when Chocolat gets to school, nyahaha!
- Loli teacher Douraku Utage (Yajima Akiko) knows his secret, which is nice. Also, she’s a loli. Because why wouldn’t an adult educator look like a grade schooler? Not sure whether I’m complaining or not, I’m just pointing it out.
- Poor guy. Don’t die.
- I’m going to be out of town for a few days, but Zanibas has promised to give a big hug, kiss, and/or “special reward” to whoever can name the most references from this episode. Don’t worry! He’s a trap, remember? Total Saika material, trust me. Good luck!
- Speaking of, I have a flight in a few hours, and yet here I am, still awake writing this post. I just want you all to know how much I love you guys. And how much of a masochist I am. Fuck me!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last three posts: Convenient, The four levels of consuming art, Realism in fiction is overrated, and A change of focus.
ED: 「太陽と月のCROSS」 (Taiyou to Tsuki no Cross) by TWO-FORMULA (Sadohara Kaori & Zougou Saeko)