Home > Episode Reviews, First Impressions > Seitokai Yakuindomo Episode 1 – Everybody’s Looking Like a Girl to Me

Seitokai Yakuindomo Episode 1 – Everybody’s Looking Like a Girl to Me

I’ve made my dislike for slice of life comedies where nothing happens pretty clear in the past, so why did I watch Seitokai Yakuindomo at all? Well, the premise intrigued me: a guy enrolls at a formerly all-girls’ school, and has to survive in an oppressively female environment. Kind of like the opposite of School President is a Maid.

Also, I didn’t know it was a slice of life comedy until I watched it.

Pretty sure Takatoshi has his hands up to avoid inadvertently groping someone. Not a great way to start the school year when most of your classmates are girls

Seitokai Yakuindomo is based off a 4-panel gag manga (roughly comparable to a newspaper comic strip) about a boy at a formerly all-girls school who gets asked to join the student council in record time by the other three members. The rest of the episode revolves around various everyday scenes, and something ridiculous or out of place happening in them, usually a result of the cast’s ridiculous quirks.

The problem is that every character’s personality is a set up for exactly one joke, which gets repeated ad nauseum for the rest of the episode. And, with the exception of perverted class president Shino, who seems to have learned everything she knows about sex from the Japanese equivalent of Cosmopolitan, none of them are that funny or interesting.

From left to right: Not Really an Airhead, Clueless Pervert, and Short Girl

Takatoshi, as the male, is of course the straight man. Secretary Aria seems like an airhead, but is secretly either calculating or passive aggressive, and Treasurer Suzu is really, really short.

So, unless you really like jokes about short people, or think the way Japanese television inexplicably censors out the word ‘condom’ is hilarious, there’s not much of interest here. The good news is, the series moves at such a rapid-fire pace that if you don’t like a scene, it’s probably going to be over in another ten seconds. The bad news is, there’s really no room to develop the kind of interesting characters or situations that make a show like this actually funny.

Shino has just finished choking Takatoshi for having a messy tie. I guess if that's what she's into...

I’m pretty sure that this episode has sufficiently mined the comic potential of its characters. That might be a compliment if this wasn’t the first of 13 episodes. Instead, I feel like I’ve seen exactly as much of the show as I need to after 25 minutes.

It’s particularly disappointing that the show wastes its “man in a school of mostly girls” premise. I had heard that the show presented a more realistic take on girls than the hopeless, ignorant idealism that characterizes most anime (and this genre in particular). That’s only half true. The girls all act like normal anime girls, but there’s also a lot of jokes about menstruation and female sexuality that seem like they were written by men for men. It’s more realistic than, say, K-ON!, but it’s not nearly as well-made, either.

Suzu tries to kick him in the face, but she's too short. Get it? It's funny because she's short

It does show how weird Japanese TV is about censorship. Bleeped out words include: ‘tampon’, ‘condom’, ‘butt’ and ‘lips’ (referring to labia). I don’t know if they’re allowed to say them, and are just bleeping it out as a failed attempt at humor, but it just seems weird.

Now that I think of it, I’ve never heard the word ‘condom’ not bleeped out in an anime. I think serious shows that would otherwise need to talk about them just avoid it, like the hilarious scene in Beck where Ryuusuke hands Koyuki a condom on the street after learning Koyuki is dating his sister, both tacitly giving his approval to the relationship and completely missing the fact that Koyuki, as a shy middle-school boy, is about as likely to make that kind of move on his sister as the Japanese army are of defeating Mothra.

Shino decorated the comment box to look like a vagina. That's why it's blurred out. Hilarious!

Alright, I’ve started going off into asides about other, better anime and monster movies, so it’s time to wrap things up. Let’s end on a positive note: Seitokai Yakuindomo’s animation is above average.

The opening scene in particular, where Takatoshi gets on the train to school and finds himself surrounded by nothing but high school girls in the car, then a sea of high school girls in the station, was well-animated, weird and orchestrated with music just over the top enough. It was unique, pretty funny, and gave me high hopes for the series that unfortunately weren’t borne out with the rest of the episode.

In order to prepare for an interview from the school paper, Shino insists on watching the interviews they apparently have in porn videos in Japan

The rest isn’t terrible bad, but it suffers from being stuck in a comedy show that’s too ridiculous to take itself seriously, and not ridiculous enough to be silly fun. Like the rest of the show, it’s not terrible, just disappointingly average.

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