Well, a new season is upon us once more. That means it’s time for more late posts on pretty simple shows where I start to get bored and create my own fanfiction. Business as usual.
So here we come to the third and presumably final series (the manga has now finished) of the relatively popular workplace comedy, by the writer of the… err… relatively popular workplace comedy, Servant X Service. You know what they say about sticking to what you’re best at.
I’ve heard a few people question the necessity of another season of Working, while the rest seemed to have glossed over it entirely. It’s not hard to see why; the original series aired exactly five years ago (Christ, I’m old!), with the sequel turning up fifteen months later. A four year gap is pretty big in the lifetime of your average anime fan, especially as two years is the usual point people lose start to interest. I mean just look how poor the sales of Durarara S2 currently are; that show was a massive hit when it originally aired. While I was happy to get a third season, I’d be lying to claim I was crying out for more.
To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t even going to mention it. I mean what is there to say? It’s a 4-koma gag series where the humour come from the interactions of the main cast. There’s little really to analyse. Well, turns out there was even less than I expected.
I’m well aware that repetition is status quo in most sitcoms. Characters have quirks that cause them to act in exaggerated ways, premises are recycled, etc. However, I wasn’t expecting the show to quite literally copy/paste previous material. Nothing in this episode was unique or even slightly different to skits the first two seasons had already done. The set-ups were the same, the dialogue, the punch lines; nothing was new. If it wasn’t for the animation, I would’ve sworn I was watching a fan compilation of their favourite scenes. Even the laziest of shows need to do something, however small, to keep things fresh enough to keep people tuning in, even if it’s just tweaking the setting or altering the conclusion; just look at live-action examples likes Friends or The Big Bang Theory. Not here though. There was simply no reason for this episode to exist. I’d seen it already.
Now maybe this was just meant to be something of a recap and next week will show a shred of imagination, but judging how little time was spent reintroducing the cast, I’m a little worried that this is just business as usual. If that’s the case, I think I’ll just skip this series and tune in for the finale to see how the romance subplots tie up.
At the very least there’s more Yamada.
Shimoneta/A Boring World Where the Concept of Short Visual Novel Titles Doesn’t ExistSeries dealing with the sense of distrust and frustration in Japan’s modern youth towards how the government and society in general treats them is hardly a new thing. Hell, that sense of resentment is what fuelled a huge chunk of the series, ovas and movies to come out of the 1980’s. In recent years, we’ve seen it as main story arcs in the likes of Eden of the East or Terror in Resonance, to subplots, such as the Blood C movie. Unfortunately, they invariably tend to be big on finger-pointing but offer little in the way of practical solutions, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that we’re seeing a shift towards background grumbling in lighter series. Shimoneta’s inspiration seems to be a little more direct than others, clearly being an exaggerated worst case scenario on where some of the recent censorship laws in the country will lead to. I’m guessing the author of the light novel has a thing or two to say about The Tokyo Youth Ordinance ‘bill’.
Not that it seems you’ll find much in the way of direct commentary in Shimoneta, with all the political stuff serving as a mere foundations supporting a simple gag comedy, which is something of a shame, even if the doomsday scenario in which sexual urges are violently suppressed is amusingly overblown. The dystopian societies in Psycho Pass or From the New World have nothing on this!
The show itself is perfectly fine, although clearly aimed a much younger audience than I can relate to. It’s interesting how so many kids’ shows can feel universal, but once you get something skewed a little older that tries to be a bit edgy or cool, watching becomes an awkward and slightly embarrassing experience. I’m sure there was a time in my life when the thought of someone wearing panties on their head or saying ‘pussy’ repeatedly would have been amusing, but those days are long past. I’m reminded a lot of the jokes in Yamada’s First Time, where the humour never felt gross or edgy, just kind of lame. If anything it needs to be exaggerated enough to match the premise, although I will admit seeing a mass-jizzing scene over an erotically charged fan edit of two flies mating was pretty great. Be more like that, Shimoneta; embrace your inner Aquarion EVOL! The credibility and logic of the world is so nonsensical that this series needs to have free reign to be as absurd as possible.
Also, watching the female lead declare she was going to turn the spineless m.c. into a raging pervert was also funny on a strictly meta level. Anime has clearly learned nothing from Flowers of Evil.
Castle Town Dandelion
Apparently this is set in a parallel universe where Japan and Britain somehow collided with each other, the end result being a pick-and-mix mash up where Japan stays largely the same, but has a useless monarchy that mostly exists to pull in tourists. But hey, pretty castles, right? Presumably maids are also a stable of this utopia, although they haven’t shown up yet. Also, I think the king might actually be Space Dandy. Maybe this is the universe where he decided to settle down & live a boring life (as king). Actually, I’m kinda glad we missed that episode.
Honestly, for a show about royal siblings using superpowers to compete with each other on national tv for the right to rule, it was fairly tame. Not bad, just very safe and pleasant. I liked the fact that we’re dealing with a large family rather than school friends, but to be honest the first episode was more focused on showcasing their individual character quirks rather than portraying any sense of genuine kinship. I’m not sure there’s enough going to really separate the show from the pack.
Then it hit me. This show is going to be the new Madoka
Ok, hear me out for a second. The ending of the episode has Akane, our protagonist, declare that she desires the crown, so she can further her own interests. Now what do we know from history about what happens when family members compete to rule over a country? Correct: wars of succession. Also, the entire conflict is going to be televised for the entertainment of the people. This can mean one thing: Castle Town Dandelion is shaping up to be Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games.
At this current time I have no idea what the various twists and turns will be, but I’m making my own predictions over how things will play out with the chief participants:
Teru, Third Son
Using his Super Strength indiscriminately, Teru will weave a Hulk-esque path of destruction in a mindless attempt to kill his siblings. After finally stopping to rest, he is teleported into space by Shu
Hikari, Fifth Daughter
After cosplaying as Poison Ivy, Hikari uses her powers to engulf the city with vegetation, in an attempt to destroy civilisation and return the world to a more natural state. Burned alive in a successful carpet bombing campaign by Kanade.
Shu, First Son
Initially Shu will prove something of a tough cookie, using his teleportation skills in a successful assassination on Teru, and a few failed attempts at killing Misaki (targets her clones in both cases). He’ll eventually die to Haruka, who, using his probability skill to determine Shu’s next jump, covers the floor with sharp blades, impaling him.
Haruka, Second Son
After managing to kill Shu, Haruka calculates his chances of success against Kanade to be less than 14%, at which point he publicly relinquishes his claim on the throne and goes to work as a consultant for a telemarketing company.
Misaki, Fourth Daughter
While poor at fighting, Misaku uses her cloning ability to successfully escape multiple assassination attempts. Eventually blackmailed into giving up by Aoi, who (using her Super Memory skills) threatens to go public with every shameless and illicit activity she’s ever made.
Shiori, Sixth Daughter
Her ability to communicate with inanimate objects does little to protect her from the other siblings, so she’ s immediately captured and locked in an apartment block that once served as a brothel. With nothing but the four walls of her room as company, by the time Shiori is eventually freed she has the dark, perverse mind-set of a retired sea captain.
Aoi, First Daughter
Aoi’s popularity serves her well initially, with much of the populace acting as her personal army. However, her inability to forget or let anything go slowly causes her to become paranoid and aggressive, at which point her support slowly wanes and she becomes a bitter drunk with a string of failed relationships behind her.
Akane, Third Daughter
Despite, initially wanting the crown, Akane realises that her wish for privacy and the abolition of security cameras could be granted by any ruler. She sends letters detailing her terms of surrender to her siblings, and lives the rest of her life in comfort.
Kanade, Second Daughter
With the ability to create drones and other machines, Kanade is able to enact out a protracted campaign of bombings and cyber warfare, while hiding from the public eye. After all her brothers/sisters have either died or retired, she takes the throne. Best girl wins.
Now doesn’t that sound like a much better show?