「「そのまま出して!」 …って言えばいいの?」 (Sonomama Dashite!’ …tte Ieba Ii no?)
“”Just Whip it Out Now!” …Can I say that?”
What a difference one week makes. I was honestly not holding out much hope for Shobitch after last episode, the humour was more miss than hit, the characters a little too cookie cutter, and the premise more try hard than it probably intended on being. Yet here comes round two to show why preemptively taking things at face value does not always work.
Arguably the largest change for Shobitch over last time was in main man Haruka. Whereas before we had a timid and meek kid wholly embarrassed at any allusion to sexy times (i.e. the usual harem lead), now we have Takatoshi—but with a girlfriend. Sure the embarrassment is still there, but it is now spiced with annoyance, exasperation, and a weary acceptance at the inability to change reality. This by far is the most important change in Shobitch because it properly (finally) accentuates the show’s humour. Most of the jokes last time did not work well (if at all) because they lacked a grounding force. There was no straight main to play off against Shizuku or Akiho, no means of showing just how ridiculous (in a good way) they were. By simply bringing Haruka to the forefront and actually giving him a spine our harem cast no longer operates in a vacuum and is required to carry the comedy themselves. Take that banana skit for example. Haruka knows exactly what Shizuku means, but he now semi-seriously fuels her fantasy as a way of screwing with her. Unlike before where Shizuku would have had to carry the joke herself (much like the utensil arrangement) and likely fail, Haruka now gives the foil needed to send it into overdrive and actually make it funny. Obviously this type of humour still remains dependent on personal preference, but with Haruka now arguably in his “proper” role, Shobitch’s future is looking a lot brighter than before.
Particularly helping matters too are the girls. Shizuku is still the sex addled
best girl of the bunch, but Kanata gives needed variety with her bro-con obsession and poor (i.e. hilarious) attempts at big brother monopolizing. By themselves these two girls cannot make the show (too derivative for that, particularly Kanata), but they are critical in bringing Akiho into her own by giving a direction for all her knowledge on boyfriend “requirements”. Whereas Akiho largely had to carry the attempts previously for example, now the competition drives these exchanges, directing Akiho this way and that while eking as much humour out of the process as possible. Funny or not, these skits give needed purpose to Akiho’s desires, helping construct those cute and heartfelt moments ultimately separating this show from the likes of Seitokai Yakuindomo. Successful cooking and a bit of intimacy under an umbrella? Would not have been possible without the tender loving assistance of master Shizuku. No matter the comedic issues, if Shobitch can keep scenarios like these coming (which shouldn’t be too hard with other girls left to introduce), it has all the pieces necessary to forge a decent little romcom.
While I am still not completely sold on Shobitch just yet, with the turnaround seen this episode and the potential for more very soon, I have some hope the best of this show has yet to be revealed. It may not wind up being prime blogging material (have to see what next week brings first), but as simple, lighthearted entertainment with a romantic flair, it’s certainly hard doing worse. I like my dirty humour, and Shobitch looks set to give that and then some.