Anyone up for a game of Kabbadi?

It’ll be hard to forget how funny it was to see Chio and Manana turn their daily commute into a battle of wits and strength. There’s fun to be had with how much the series reveled in Chio’s power level with how many of her madcap scenarios relied on her experience with video games, especially Western gaming like FPS games, Splinter Cell, and Payday among others. This would go hand-in-hand with the abilities she’s honed over the years as she navigates through one obstacle after another. Specifically, the parkour skills she’s learned from video games come in handy when she has to avoid people and prevent herself from having to face any awkward interactions, even if it means risking almost certain anguish.

While her agility makes for some solid physical comedy, the funniest character on the show turned out to be Manana, Chio’s less-than-noble best friend who, like Hanako from Asobi Asobase, is on a warpath to get in with the popular crowd. Manana’s continual efforts to bite the hand that feeds her as she throws Chio under the bus several times in an effort to come out ahead end up making for some of the most hilarious moments in the series. I do have a soft spot for Omigawa Chiaki, but she does such a great job at capturing all of the elements of Manana’s personality from her insecurity and shock to her mischief and cunning. As the raging Yang to Chio’s sober Ying, Manana has a gravitational pull towards some of the goofier scenarios in the anime, whether it’s reflecting on whether body odor has been the cause of her life-long misfortune in school or trying to spread images of her and her friend holding a used cigarette to build a tough reputation. Chio’s problem-solving and eccentricity brings a nice charm to the show, especially if you dig video games and Western titles, but Manana really stood out in segments where she gets Chio to go along with plans she cooks up to fall in her own favor only to backfire. The dynamic the two bring to the show adds hilarity to the anime as the two often compete with one another to see how far out of their comfort zone they can get to save face in social situations.

Admittedly, Chio’s School Road has been quite the rocky one. Its side characters tend to make or break a segment with whether you find their quirks to be funny or not. While the Bloody Butterfly arc did drag out a bit, Andou was able to come into his own after his side-hustles made him pick up on some of Chio’s eccentricities. One scene that stood out was when he uses scenes from a BL game to aggressively hit on his guy friend in an effort to get Chio to like him. Madoka ended up being a character that many viewers dreaded due to the Kabbadi sketches being overrun with the same joke of Madoka using the sport as an excuse to grope other women. The trouble with Madoka also blends into the show’s odd relationship with sexuality as it hints at yuri-esque territory with Chio and Manana, but ends up making fun of Madoka for her extreme lust for women. There’s also a significant amount of older men / younger girl ships being teased with the crush Andou gets on Chio, and Momo’s affection for Gotou. Not to say that these automatically add demerits to the show’s comedy, but your enjoyment of some segments rely on how funny repeated jokes about Kanchou or Kabbadi are in your eyes.

Luckily, it doesn’t discount the fun and entertainment that’s to be had with Chio-chan. Although the funniest segments involved Manana, and other side characters like Chio’s exhibitionist friend Yuki, the disciplinary club member Momo, and the school’s supervisor Gotou, Chio-chan was more than worth sticking around for with how amazing a majority of the segments were. The series’ evolution from being about Chio making her way to school to Chio and Manana get roped into pretending to enjoy going commando with Yuki to save face and avoid getting caught for lying was also praiseworthy as the school road didn’t keep the show locked into a specific concept. It’s also one of the few anime to include an animated gag reel aside from the Jackie Chan parody from Gintama, and includes it alongside a hint for a prospective Season 2. Hopefully, we’ll get to see another season of Chio-chan in the pipeline soon because it definitely earned its spot with some of this season’s shows as one of the best comedies this year.


  1. I really enjoyed this show. I found that even the iffier segments were still entertaining because even if I wasn’t sold on kabaddi or kancho, the segments were worth it for reaction shots and how Chio and Manana easily amplify each other’s “badness” when things get weird. I can also appreciate those iffy side characters because they gave us a window into the fact that while we’re being told that our main buddy pair are “odd” and “bad”, so is everyone else!
    In fact, Chio and Manana appear to be both pretty average and unremarkable in the larger view of things. It’s basic girls being “bad” but mostly within their own minds.

    I also loved hearing Maka as Manana.

  2. Considering that the manga ended before the anime even reached 8 episodes, I doubt we’ll see a new season. It surely seems that the anime was made to boost the last volumes of the series.

  3. Ahh, Chio’s School Road. There’ll be 10 minutes of really quality nerd comedy… and then ten seconds of over-long focus on Chio’s butt for no reason. So it goes.

    I still liked it, if with the caveat that I’d never watch it in mixed company.

  4. I say more likely anime made to promote manga and when the numbers did not promote enough they ended the manga. I don’t see business people not wanting profits to continue and any manga they figure unsavable will get nothing added. Maybe exception very long running manga but this is not one of those.


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