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Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「イチズレシピ」 (Ichizu Recipe) by Idol College

「ようこそ庶民」 (Youkoso Shomin)
“Welcome Commoner”

How would you like to be the only guy in a school full of rich, beautiful girls? Only there’s a catch. Several catches, actually. It’s pretty much all catches. muscles, yay!

Gay Muscle Fetishist or Eunuch: Choose One

When I previewed this series, I mentioned the eternal conundrum of light novel authors: “How do I make my main character not bang the bevy of beautiful girls who are always crawling all over him?” And as I mentioned there, making him claim he’s gay with a muscle fetish if he doesn’t want to be castrated is a pretty good solution! An uncommon one in the annuls of anime, at any rate. But that’s a symptom of something more endemic. The entire setup of Ore ga Ojou-sama Gakkou ni “Shomin Sample” Toshite Gets♥Sareta Ken is wonky, simultaneously embracing clichés while ignoring others entirely. In a way, much of what it does is deeply problematic, but it also sort of works.

Take the series’ attitude toward homosexuality. (Stay with me, people.) Characters such as head maid Kujou Miyuki (Oonishi Saori) imply that straight is normal, thereby implying that main character Kagurazaka Kimito’s (Tamaru Atsushi) alleged homosexuality as abnormal. And while heterosexuality is more common percentage-wise (though sexuality is really more of a gradient), calling homosexuality abnormal is problematic in several ways. But on the other hand, they don’t treat being gay (much less having a muscle fetish) as bad. I feel like there are several problematic issues with homosexuality in this show, mostly coming from a place of ignorance, but I’m not sure I’m qualified to parse them. So I’m going to bow to my ignorance on the issue, then set it aside for now.

But one thing I do know is that, storytelling-wise, it kind of works. Kimito can’t go full Harem King, or even pursue a single girl, so we can’t get mad at him if he rejects any advances, and a misunderstanding he’s willfully perpetuating under threat of castration is a comedy hole (hur hur hur) they can keep going back to. This extends to the ignorant ojou-sama school (do none of them have fathers? Brothers? Uncles? Anyone!?) and more. To me, it’s like The Dark Knight Rises. If you think about it too much, you’ll realize that nothing much makes sense and it’s all held together by willful ignorance and wishful thinking. But if you take it for what it is, it pretty much works.

A Lethargic Comedy

For all the oddities in the premise, the first episode did something that I’m eternally grateful for—it didn’t rush. Unlike Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai, which was a dizzying sprint through the source material, this one took its time. Which is why I’m perplexed, because the comedy didn’t seem to be working. Now, bear in mind that I have read past this point in the source material, so maybe I would have been chuckling if I hadn’t already known what was going to happen next. But even though most of the jokes were there, the episode had so little energy so as to make them fall flat. It was like listening to Ben Carson give a speech (topical humor!). Which is especially surprising since Jinbo Masato is directing for Silver Link, and his entire oeuvre (Prisma Illya most recently) proves that he knows comedy, and he knows comedy timing.

The Characters & Plot

Fortunately, comedy is a YMMV (your mileage may vary) sort of thing, and the characters and plot were mostly done well. We don’t know much about Kimito so far, save that he likes to take care of people, which is already proving to be a beneficial tendency in the strange new world he’s been thrust into. The character we got to dig into most if Tenkuubashi Aika (Serizawa Yuu), who reminds me of OreShura’s Chiwa, and thus is already my favorite character (Chiwa5ever!). She’s got pretty darn severe social anxiety, and learning to deal with that enough to get some friends looks to be the arc we’re embarking on. Now, once again I don’t know if social anxiety manifests itself precisely like it is with her. I probably have some low-grade social anxiety myself, but it’s nowhere close to the paralyzing sort Chiw—I mean, Aika seems to have. And I have a feeling she may get over it a little too cleanly, whereas real social anxiety doesn’t just go away when you get a few friends. But that’s what they’re going for, and ya can’t help but feel for the girl. She just wants some friends! And is a bit of an idiot. Adorable all around.

I also appreciate the simple act of ending the episode on a good, round note. After the rush of Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai and the abrupt cliffhanger of the Heavy Object premiere, this episode had an identifiable point. It wasn’t, “Get some exposition across,” (though they did that as well, using Kimito as a fish out of water (trope!) to make it flow smooth in the dialogue), nor was it, “Blaze through content because we don’t have as much time as we need.” No, they introduced characters, revealed Aika’s social anxiety dilemma, and ended with the creation of the Commoner Club. The story stuff is there, they just need the comedy to follow.

Looking Ahead

This is a goofy episode for me, since it was good enough for me to respect it, but not so great as to rocket it up my potential-shows-to-blog list. As of right now there aren’t any plans for this to be blogged regularly, but I’ll say the same thing I said on my 35 Shoutai post: What would you like to see me blog? This is still a “One Man, One Vote” kind of democracy, in which I alone am the Man, and I have the Vote, but I’d be interested to hear what you think. Either way, I’ll definitely be following this show, so check in with me on twitter if you want to hear my latest thoughts. Until next post!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Being the only guy at an all-girls school never looked so horrifying. You had it easy, Ichika. The comedy was oddly lethargic #syomin_anime 01

Random thoughts:

  • Elaborating on the exposition, since commenting on that appears to be my new Thing(TM): Having a character who isn’t even the slightest in the know, and who honestly needs things explained to them, is about the only way to go about spouting bald-faced exposition in dialogue and have it work. After all, then it makes sense that they’d need explanations. But it only works if you have a fish out of water character like Kimito, so it depends on what kind of story you’re working with. For example,I couldn’t use it in much of my own book because I didn’t have any fishes out of water, which is likewise true for nearly every other show I’ve previewed this season.
  • Kimito may “have” a muscle fetish, but this show has a leg fetish. Also, Kimito has a leg fetish. (legs legs legs) *high fives* Swiftly approved!
  • His osana najimi was at the middle of the rose in the ED? Surprising.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: The best content is in email, My morning routine, True Ends, and Rejection, the secret place, & fundamentals

Full-length images: 22.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「トワイライトに消えないで」 (Twilight ni Kienaide) by Hara Yumi

Preview

October 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm
34 comments »
  • October 9, 2015 at 8:44 pmAmiluhur

    That’s got to be the shittiest OP sequences i’ve seen this season.

  • October 9, 2015 at 8:47 pmSilivious

    The manga of this is just pure gold. I wish the novel would be translated too….
    ;-;
    Anyway, good start so far….but that car ride…O..M..G.
    -Vomits-

  • October 9, 2015 at 9:19 pmqwert

    I’ve been looking forward to this show but I’m having a hard time dealing with what they did with the cast. When they announced the anime I found the cast list for the drama CD and was totally pumped. Asami Seto, Ai Kayano, Rina Hidaka, Sachika Misawa, Aoi Yuuki…

    But it looks like the studio totally cheaped out because they replaced the entire cast and though there are a few seiyuu with main role experience most of their lists of previous work may as well say “Background Character B”.

    • October 9, 2015 at 10:46 pmStilts

      Yeah, they kinda phoned it in, seiyuu-wise. I won’t say thy’re bad, exactly—I even liked Serizawa Yuu’s performance as Aika—but it was clear they all lacked polish.

      If you’re going for bargain bin seiyuu, you’ve got to pull a K-ON and discover a bunch of nascent rockstars, not a bunch of … well, some of them have potential.

  • October 9, 2015 at 9:33 pmIncognito

    “Kimito may “have” a muscle fetish, but this show has a leg fetish. Also, Kimito has a leg fetish. (legs legs legs) *high fives* Swiftly approved!”

    Looks like MonMusu’s Darling-kun Kimihito Kurusu has found a new leg fetish comrade!

    Anyway… Holy s**t, the girls in this show are even more sheltered than G-Tekketsu‘s Discount Relena Kudelia! Also found my newest favorite haremette in this show: Reiko Arisugawa (the blonde class rep). Dunno if the sword girl will be as interesting though. Now if I can only find a good sub for this…

    Stilts, I wouldn’t mind seeing you blog this series, or at least do a season-ender impression in case the show turns out better (or worse) than expected.

    P.S.: I don’t mind the muscle fetish much, since I’ve already been exposed to the Pillar Men (a.k.a.: the “Aztec Gods of Fitness”) from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency. That and Little Busters‘ Masato Inohara. (Kinniku! Kinniku!)

    • October 9, 2015 at 10:48 pmStilts

      Season end posts always remain in the cards. Those are my favorite posts to do, since I can tackle meatier topics all at once.

      And yeah, when he started raving about muscles, Masato is the first one who popped into my mind. Kinniku! Kinniku!

      • October 10, 2015 at 5:54 amSK

        Gotta bust out the Kinniku Dance.

      • October 10, 2015 at 10:12 amStilts

        Not gonna lie, I may have done it in real life before.

        (There’s always something wrong about seeing Kudo, of all people, do the Kinniku dance. Wrong, and ohhhh so amazing.)

        (Dammit. Now I want to watch Little Busters again.)

  • October 9, 2015 at 11:44 pmskylion

    Yeah, kinda clunky, lacks the manga’s pacing…

  • October 10, 2015 at 12:19 amRuminant

    My most pleasant surprise of the season. I was originally pessimistic with this series when they first released info on the character designs and the voice actor shake up but this premiere curbed any sort of anxiety I might have towards the adaptation.

    The OP is fucking amazing. It’s quirky, charmingly low-budget, and the entire song is like a horrific earworm squirming inside my head. In fact, that’s probably how I would describe the entire show: Charmingly Low-budget. Despite the grievances regarding animation quality, the fact that it got me to laugh at jokes I’ve already read in the manga is the real kicker.

    Shows that know how to have fun and are unabashedly honest with themselves make me smile. Even the trashiest of harems I’d enjoy as long as they were completely honest with their presentation. The voice actors, especially Aika’s, were spot on and although I certainly miss the original heavy hitters like Aoi Yuuki the ones we have now are more than capable to carry the humor. On that regard, the comedy was just the right amount of snappy but drawn out long enough to show the ever-so absurd punchline. Like I said, it made me laugh at jokes whose punchlines I already saw coming a mile away. That’s a feat in itself.

    All in all, this was great. Despite the fact Silver Link is handling three shows this season and Shomin obviously got the short of the stick in terms of budget and animation, it had that sense of silly fun which is so prevalent in comedy inclined harem romcoms. I mean, I say that but there were bouts of genuinely well-animated sequences in between the low-budget fest which was the rest of the episode.

    Conclusion? It knew how to have fun so in return, I had fun with it as well.
    I was literally grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time I watched it. Well played, SL. I’m sorry I ever doubted you.

    P.S.
    Holy fuck me that OP is absolutely balling out of control.

  • October 10, 2015 at 12:49 amJacky

    -A typical Generic Plainface MC
    -All-girls school

    alright

    THIS SERIES IS ORIGINAL!! A PURE GOLD!!!
    I BET THERE NEVER BEEN A SERIES LIKE THIS BEFORE!!
    WATCH THIS SHOW GUYS BECAUSE IF NOT YOU WILL REGRET IT

    • October 10, 2015 at 7:39 amAex

      The Sarcasm is strong with this one.

  • October 10, 2015 at 2:53 amc2710

    I think Silver Link poured the budget wrongly. They should’ve done it for the other one.

  • October 10, 2015 at 4:02 amZhinvu

    What I found intriguing is being rich people, these girls would have easy access to the latest technology, so seeing them so awed over a smartphone was unusual. Also I haven’t read the source material but the osana najimi seems to be the kind that likes to be mean to the MC, like in last season’s jitsu wa watashi wa. Only her nasty streak here reminded me more of the one from Ladies x Butlers.

    • October 10, 2015 at 6:16 amSK

      I think these girls are from old-money rather than new-money. They may be filthy rich, but their families shelter them from the world as they stick with long-held traditions. There’s various examples of similar types in other shows (miko and nobility tend to fall in this category, as do those from families running a dojo), so it’s not like this archetype is new. Normally I’d assume these are the kinds of girls whose families have arranged marriages amongst each other, but then they probably wouldn’t end up as hikkikomoris in normal society if they did.

      • October 10, 2015 at 8:34 amActus

        Let’s be realistic. Whether it be ‘old money’ or ‘new money’ all rich families have to stack their assets somewhere. This is very unlikely to be just banks and will mostly likely be managed by wealth managers to sustain their wealth to a certain degree (which is surprisingly difficult). I’m nearly a hundred percent sure that the families will have to contact their managers or stock broker or banker, etc to manage their assets. If they travel, they will have to take a plane or a boat (unless they get one of those 16th century boats). The credit/debit cards themselves are sophisticated technology – which I’m very certain that these families would have. Knowledge is power and for rich families to isolate their children from knowing technology is contradictory – unless they want their children to be behind everyone else in society of course.

      • October 10, 2015 at 11:35 amSK

        Let’s be realistic.

        Yeah, this right here is where we split. I never claimed that what I was saying would hold up IRL. What I was describing was similar situations happening in other shows; in other words, anime logic. If you really want to get into realistic, I question why a TMZ hasn’t discovered this super-private school for the wealthy. For me, this kind of thing falls under the umbrella of “Sure, let’s roll with that.”

        On a different level, if this were more realistic, I doubt there would even be much culture shock, which would make for a boring story. Even allowing the girls to have smartphones would kinda ruin their supposed isolation from society. It would only take a couple of them on Twitter or other social media to have some cultural osmosis into the school. I think the humor kinda depends on having these ojou-sama be almost completely isolated from modern society.

    • October 10, 2015 at 10:14 amStilts

      Let’s be serious. They are supposed to be old money, sure, but this is another thing (along with never having talked to a male EVER, apparently) that doesn’t make a damn it of sense. Just not in the slightest. I suggest ya either not think about it too much, or bail out now, lol

  • October 10, 2015 at 4:11 amDvalinn

    I kind of liked this, to be honest. Because yes, it is heavily flawed. It looks cheap, some of the jokes are of Adam Sandler-level (the gay jokes) and the show’s pretty dumb in general. But on the other hand, it does have likeable characters, some fun jokes and the show doesn’t take itself that seriously anyway.

    In a season populated by (amongst others) awful magical school shows, this simple harem actually feels like a breath of fresh air. I know it’s never going to amount to anything great, but following anime comfort food like this from week to week? I could do that. Sometimes I just want to turn my brain off and be amused, after all. At least you know what you’re gonna get.

  • October 10, 2015 at 4:19 amWorldwideDepp

    It funny, in how small they draw this Skirts. Why bother with Mini size? It’s an All Girl School (or was) more for Yuri vibes? Also, its funny in how they draw these so small, but expand the Legs to infinity just to hide the Pantsu shoot. Sometimes its ridiculous

    This Show slap in your Face his Fanservice, no intention to hide it. Infinity Stratos 2 fate?

    • October 10, 2015 at 6:02 amSK

      Whoa there, I wouldn’t bust out IS2 comparisons on anything that quickly. He actually has a reason to not get involved with the girls, and damn near anything should be better than that monstrosity that burned nearly everyone who thought the first season was decent.

      • October 10, 2015 at 6:30 amWorldwideDepp

        http://randomc.net/image/Ore%20ga%20Ojou-sama%20Gakkou%20ni%20Shomin%20Sample%20Toshite%20Gets%20Sareta%20Ken/Ore%20ga%20Ojou-sama%20Gakkou%20ni%20Shomin%20Sample%20Toshite%20Gets%20Sareta%20Ken%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
        Just look for her Legs, the Knees. Why is the Boys legs shorter, and the Girls one longer, but the Girls one Knees are messed up? But the girl still taller then the Boy?

        So, these Mini Skirts under all costs, but no PANTSU Shoot rule… It’s ridiculous like i said

      • October 10, 2015 at 7:41 amSK

        Different people have different body-length proportions. It’s honestly not that surprising if someone has longer legs but is actually shorter than someone else. Also, not sure why you said the girl is taller when she clearly isn’t. Should her knees probably be a little lower? Sure, but I didn’t notice it while watching, only with screenshots. I personally don’t get caught up in minor art issues like that. It only bothers me if its egregious, like missing a body part, or some detail that creates major continuity issues/plot holes.

        There was a clear focus on legs, which was probably for fanservice. However, short skirts and no panty shots is something that’s happened in many many MANY shows. I think its actually a good thing for this show in particular, since constant panty shots would kinda ruin the whole “Yamato Nadeshiko” vibe these girls are supposed to have. If your argument is why they would wear short skirts, that’s the sort of thing that I’m not gonna bother worrying about, because that question would come up far too often. Maybe because it’s an all-girls school, they never had to worry about the lengths of their skirts, and short skirts are more comfortable? I’m sure you can teach proper etiquette of how to behave in a skirt, whether it’s short or long. There just aren’t any males around so the potential negatives of wearing a short skirt aren’t as high. Even if there’s no logical explanation beyond fanservice, it doesn’t bother me since that’s basically a business decision in order to sell discs.

        All that aside, my main point was that choosing IS2 as your comparison for a show with in-your-face fanservice seems kinda extreme, given how bad that season was. The connotations that come with that comparison just aren’t there yet, IMO. The MC doesn’t show signs that he’s anywhere near as bad as Ichika, the girls aren’t stuck in some status-quo purgatory, and while the plot may end up as stale as IS2 did, it’s too early to tell since we’re one episode in. Beyond the “one dude transferring into a school of girls” thing, I don’t really see the comparison.

      • October 10, 2015 at 10:19 amStilts

        To give some context: Different people do have different length legs and whatnot. I can’t comment on where her knees should go ’cause I’m not an illustrator (I pay people to know those things for me), but I’ve had plenty of people comment about how I personally (reminder: I’m 6’7″ / 2M tall) don’t seem as tall when I’m sitting down than when I’m standing up. That’s because more of my height is in my legs than my torso. My legs really do go on for miles, bitches (NO, I’m not going to try on a mini-skirt for you. Perverts). So it does vary by person.

        Mostly we just don’t notice though, because until you get to someone around my height, the differences aren’t large enough to be noticeable. And even then, the differences aren’t THAT large. Most people are largely symmetrical, with a little variability on the edges.

      • October 10, 2015 at 12:09 pmWorldwideDepp

        Well, i do have an Problem here

        Her Body. 2/3 Legs and she is still smaller then the Guy.

        But, okay. It’s Anime. But this flaw hit me straight punches into my Face

  • October 10, 2015 at 6:27 amGuardMonkey10

    This is a manga I’ve loved for a long time. However, this studio has fallen flat with the joke delivery. The timing is bad and they left bits out. The Muscle Squad part was the best joke done in this episode. That was so well done and little touches that made it so CREEPY hilarious. But then they just fuck up. When discussing his presumed homosexuality, should be been great, but the pacing and way they did it was just wrong. Then, when he was trolling Aika should have been golden, his trolling the naive girls is literally my favorite part of his character, it was just done badly. They were trying to play up her cuteness rather than the humor of her naivety. I just think the direction was bad here. Just plan bad. The source material is good, but maybe not a good match for the studio. I seriously hope they can tighten things up after this.

    • October 10, 2015 at 7:45 amAex

      They also skimped on how the childhood friend is an absolute BITCH that’s responsible for this whole situation. Really should’ve left in the phone conversation and not cutesied up her talking to him at school.

      They’re really just hitting the outer edge all over the place when the bulls-eye is right there.

      • October 10, 2015 at 8:30 amTechim

        Bwahahaha. I can’t help but remember the small joke a translator made in the recent scanlation.
        http://tinyurl.com/qha8opr

      • October 10, 2015 at 10:21 amStilts

        Hah! Kudos to that translator. I laughed.

  • October 10, 2015 at 12:48 pmguardmonkey10

    They are broodmares. intended to continue the bloodlines. censorship is there to keep them pure until marriage. or at least that is the orginal intention of the school. i imagine they do learn a lot of book keeping and management but theory rather than practical use by new tech.

  • October 11, 2015 at 3:48 amOniro

    The animation in this show was absolutely awful, and the OP looks like a cheap niconico music video made by one fan, not the OP of an anime.
    That aside, holy shit this show was homophobic as hell. Really dont know why so many anime do the whole ‘lol gay men are creepy and gross and also come on to teenage boys ROFLMAO’ thing, its in exceedingly poor taste and if that’s one of thes series running gags (which I’m guessing it is), no thanks.
    When you have a bunch of oiled up, gyrating caricatures carressing an underaged boy it’s not merely ignorance, it’s blatant hatred at that point.

    • October 11, 2015 at 5:26 pmGuardMonkey10

      Bah, you’re being hypersensitive. They were obviously PAID to take him and act like that. We don’t even know if they’re gay. They could be hamming it up for all we know. Lets be honest… Huge dudes with huge muscles are often consider creepy and gross across anime be them homosexual or not. Ore Monogatari is a good anime to mention in that regard. Then consider if they had been the usual bishonen types of homosexuals depicted, would anyone complain? I’d have equally found this funny if the MC was homosexual and they’d hired a ton of buxom heterosexual girls to kidnap him. This is not hatred. There is merely putting someone in an absurd position that makes THEM uncomfortable and we get to laugh at his discomfort.

      • October 15, 2015 at 1:46 amOniro

        Wow. This comment is ridiculous.
        I dont know if you’re aware, but anime characters are not real. ‘They were paid to do this!’ ‘they were acting this way because X’! are arguments that simply do not apply because these characters are not real people acting for specific reasons, they are characters drawn and directed and moved around by somebody else for the sake of a joke, and if you couldnt see that the joke was ‘LOL GAY MEN ARE GROSS AND SCARY’ then you’re being either willfuly ignorant or you for some reason arent aware of how common this stereotype is. It wasnt just that they were big and buff so Ore Monogatari is a pointless comparison. That’s a show about a big dude in a heterosexual relationship with a small girl. This anime here literally had a bunch of oiled up dudes with boners gyrating around a teenage boy and caressing him while he screamed, and then later on him going on about how he was ‘normal’.
        There are TONS of anime that do the ‘big threatening gay man coming on to a teenage boy’ for a joke, and it might seem like a harmless gag to you but its coming from a place that is ridiculously homohpibic: gay men are threatening and push themselves onto straight boys. When you call someone ‘oversensitive’ for getting annoyed at continually seeing this portrayal paid for laughs, you come across as kind of an asshole.

        That and its simply not funny regardless and ‘male character being uncomfortable and screaming a lot’ is pretty bottom-of-the-barrel when it comes to anime comedy and its an annoyingly lazy trope that bad writers rely on.

  • October 16, 2015 at 8:25 amTimbo33

    Just watch the 1st and 2nd eps. While still on the fence with this show over all. I will have to say the I it really has some great scenes. The limo drive with the MC and the muscle guys had me crying. The manga – school girl power routine had me rolling. The best. Is the when the maid clucks her the tounge at the MC. I’ll watch a few more to see how this progresses