Hope you all have enjoyed the ride with me……
Shimoseka Final Thoughts
Alright, so I really enjoy watching Shimoseka right to the end and relished writing about it for the past few months. Back in spring when its announcement occurred, I did take it as an interesting curiosity. The notion of an ecchi comedy series with some elements of political satire and social commentary appeals greatly to me. I find Shimoseka to be a great show that in spite of all its problems, remains an entertaining show.
What do I mean by that? Well, to be fair, Shimoseka has a great satirical idea that gets hobbled a bit. The primary idea behind Shimoseka is that censorship is something that should be considered carefully lest it can lead to an authoritarian state. Sure it is couched in terms of dirty jokes and porn, but the point still stands. It also comments on revolution and rebellion within its place in modern society. A little revolution/rebellion is healthy every once in a while, a spot of subversion seems liberating to do at times. The fact that the light novel came out shortly after the passage/discussion of censorship laws in Tokyo linked to anime and manga pushed by busybodies who have just a bit too much time on their hands.I find any show willing to take the piss out of authority is worth at least a look. In addition, the show demonstrates (the White Peak story arc) what happens when a movement for social change gets co-opted by extremists who just want to push their own weird ideas.
Of course, this is a double-edged sword for Shimoseka operates also as an full-on ecchi sex comedy just a few hairs short of a hentai. Jokes about size of certain appendages, fluids, doujinshi and sexual orientations abound in this show. Kids certainly have no business watching this. Most of it does hit its mark and lend to a lot of humorous moments. Equally hilarious is the use of some rather clever uses of censoring, such as uses of character specific censor tags, which is a bit silly when you consider what the show makes a point about. Thus the show has a delicate balancing act between quasi-political satire and ecchi comedy and the only times it falters is where it tips too much into the ecchi comedy (episodes 6 and 12 come to mind) but even then it is still worth watching.
Of course, the comedy in the show work well due to the ensemble cast assembled. Granted, most of the cast aren’t particularly nuanced, in fact they are rather one joke/note characters. Okuma is clearly the audience proxy in reaction to all the various crazy and weird stuff. Kajo is great at dispensing the jokes and the main message of the show, and oh yeah Anna….well she’s quite interesting I will say that much. But what makes the show work on a character level is the various interactions and banter between them.
The whole package is helped by a rather above average production by JC Staff, who this season are doing this and Prison School, another ecchi comedy. Of course it helped to have a director who had a knack for comedy as Youhei Suzuki demonstrated quite clearly and I hope that he gets more work on anime comedy in the future. In addition, Masahiro Yokotani, master writer of anime comedy for the past few years, is on top form with the writing of dialogue and jokes which the show needed quite a lot.
So, yeah Shimoseka is a fun raunchy ride and I recommend anyone that like ecchi comedy in their anime should give this one a look. and while I would like a second season of this, I am perfectly content with what has been done with this story.
Next Sunday I will be taking a look at the Fall 2015 anime that I will be watching. Til next time, dear readers.