|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(Six episodes watched):|
As I watched the first episode of Shimoneta the thought occurred to me that I must be enjoying a streak of luck, because in one night I had watched the first episode of two different shows which were loaded with fanservice and/or suggestive content (this one and Bikini Warriors), and neither one totally sucked. Nor did they made me feel dirty after watching, or made me feel like I was being blatantly patronized. This is too good to be true, isn't it? Episode one of Shimoneta was amusing, had some fairly colorful characters, and began telling me a story which I wouldn't mind hearing: a not-too-distant future Japan where anything that might by any flight of the imagination be deemed porn is thoroughly censored, leading to a generation of laughably naïve teenagers. But was there really enough content for an entire series on this topic? Could Shimoneta remain fresh for long?
Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be no. In some ways this show is sort of silly and fun. In others the 'naughtiness' seems forced and weak. Perhaps, like many anime, it just doesn't have much of a longterm plot. Will a major conflict and crisis come about--like perhaps a revolution to overthrow the repressive government that censors anything about sex and reproduction? It seems like the show is satisfied to tell a few so-so jokes, and employ verbal, insinuated fanservice, without telling much of a story. Do the kids at this school really care whether what they are allowed to know is censored or not? They don't exactly seem to be suffering. Didn't people know how to procreate even before there were dirty magazines and videos? Even the jokes don't really address this topic. Maybe language here in the US is so foul that I couldn't be shocked by the bleeped-out words in Shimoneta like a Japanese viewer would. Maybe the fact that it seems to be almost entirely about sex rather than romance cheapens it. So, I sort of wonder why a show about such a potentially scandalous topic manages to be so humdrum.
A couple of rather gross images in episode five left me wondering if I should be watching this show after all. Student Council President Anna, of all people, seems to have gone sex-crazy, which demeans her since she seems more like an animal in heat than a human being now. I have said this many times, but this seems like a show which would have been better off if it had let me, a complete amateur, do a little editing. I wonder if, during the writing phase of anime production, it is possible for a level-headed person who is reading the scripts to get the feeling that when this is a complete, animated TV show, it will seem very cheap and shallow, and something needs to be done immediately to inject some wit into it before it's too late. I have also said this many times, but this strikes me as a show which isn't funny enough to be worth watching just for the sake of the jokes, no, it also needs a halfway decent plot to pick up the slack. The image above shows raucous, goofy people, but the show itself is more seamy and sordid. I don't feel dirty after watching, but I don't feel all that entertained either. It was frustrating in a way, since the characters were largely OK.
When the sex-mad student body president appeared in episode seven (I think), and tried to molest protagonist what's-his-name, a wave of weariness with this show washed over me and I realized that I was wasting my time and immediately switched it off. Usually a decision to abandon an anime comes to me more gradually, and I break it off between two complete episodes, but here I could point out the very instant where my interest collapsed like a house of cards. A show which was headed towards an intelligible, entertaining, worthwhile conclusion wouldn't have done something as crude as this. Shimoneta probably lasted as long as it did partly because there aren't all that many good shows in the Summer 2015 season, so even mediocre ones have a good chance of being watched. Perhaps my problems with it would be easier to understand if we compare it to Bikini Warriors, which was only a short but remained fun to the end. The biggest difference between the two, I would say, was that for all the fanservice, BW remained funny throughout. It's a lot easier to keep a short series funny than a normal one, of course, but maybe it was best not to think that enough decent jokes about sex could be scraped together for a full length show on the topic. Shimoneta seemed half-hearted and lacking enough talent to carry it through. Maybe it should have been a short as well.
Last updated Friday, October 02 2015. Created Saturday, July 11 2015.