OP: 「B Chiku Sentai SOX (B地区戦隊SOX)」 by SOX
“Whom Does Public Order and Morality Serve?”
J.C Staff’s Lunacy – Fun and Dumb:
Well, well well. Where to begin with this one. For whatever reason, I thought this might be worth checking out. I read the synopsis, glanced over the source material, and kept up to date with the promos. And somehow, despite it feeling so wrong, I decided I would give this a shot, because I thought “it might turn out to be pretty good”. But also “this is horribly offensive trash that exemplifies the pitfalls of the anime industry”. As it turns out, my initial reaction was correct: this was really, really good. Don’t get me wrong, the whole premise is ridiculous, but if a comedy makes you laugh, it’s doing its job right. And Shimoneta made me laugh throughout its first episode.
Fun fact: J.C Staff were one of my least favourite studios when I started watching anime by the season back in 2011. I thought most of the content they produced was the same thing over and over, and lacked any excitement in terms of production. Things have changed over the years – whether that be due to J.C Staff’s approach or my own opinions changing, I don’t quite know – but I find myself strangely reliant on the studio to produce solid anime nowadays. They always seem to ‘get’ their source material, and provide the viewers with something enjoyable, even if not revolutionary. And Shimoneta is certainly that breed of J.C Staff anime.
A Terrifying Near-Future without Dick Jokes:
The premise is as follows: 16 years have gone by since the “Law for Public Order and Morals in Healthy Child-Raising” was passed, which has banned vulgar language and indecent acts. It’s a near-future where everyone has to conform to ridiculous rules, else the devices around their necks signal their behaviour, and they face criminal prosecution. In this absurd world, our two main characters are forming SOX (Anti-Societal Organisation) in order to wreck sexual, explicit havoc. It’s… so dumb. I haven’t been this baffled by a premise for quite a while. Still, somehow, it works. The whole thing comes off as a parody, totally aware of its own absurdity and the tropes it embraces to lovingly. I should hate Shimoneta, but I can’t lie – it made me laugh.
Sex Jokes, Terrorism, The Mystery of Pregnancy & Procreation:
Okuma Tanukichi (Kobayashi Yuusuke) is a run-of-the-mill protagonist who doesn’t make much of an impression – he’s merely a vehicle for this whole story to take shape. However, the female lead, Kajou Ayame (Ishigami Shizuka) is anything but ordinary. She has two identities: the seemingly stuck-up Vice President by day, and by night, she’s the sex terrorist, Blue Snow. Throw in Tanukichi’s obsession, the famed President Nishikinomiya Anna (Matsuki Miyu), and Fuwa Hyouka (Gotou Saori), a girl obsessed with the mysteries of pregnancy, you’ve got a strange, tropey, but somehow atypical batch of characters.
Shimoneta is basically Sex Jokes: The Anime, but it doesn’t shy away from its intention. Whether it be Ayame shouting “C*ck-a-doodle-p*ssy!!!” from a rooftop with frilly underwear over her head, or the shocking revelation that woman in fact have four holes (thanks for clarifying that one, Enzo), nothing is held back. I suspect that you could react one of two ways to the comedy here: either being offended or turned off by how vulgar and stupid the whole thing is, or accepting what type of series Shimoneta it is, and revelling in the gratuitous gags. Or maybe you could just find it boring? Personally, I don’t think there’s anything boring about a bunch of highschoolers learning about sexual intercourse through a projection of two flies “melding” with one another, followed by them proceeding to have orgasms over the sexiness of it all. Boring is not the first word that comes to mind.
Overview – What’s Next?:
I thought this could be a stupid kind of fun, and it was exactly that. I guess I’ll have to stick with this one and see where it goes. Comedy is subjective, and Shimoneta did it for me. The actual censorships put in place on help make it funnier. There’s also the possibility to consider that this is a satire of Japan’s Bill 156; it’s essentially poking fun at what Japan could become (in some weird alternative universe) if it took those sorts of things to the extreme. But regardless of whether it’s a mere parody or satire of something greater, it made me laugh, so I have to give it credit where it’s due.
Note: There are currently no plans to blog Shimoneta to Iu Gaiden ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai on a weekly basis.