Sunday, October 04, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon -- Characters and Seiyuus

four rookie seiyuusThe blogosphere is almost united in dismissing this show as boring and awful. The blogosphere is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Actually, what I should say is that this show hits my sense of humor dead on, even if it misses most other people's.

The show parodies itself parodying other shows. Within a few seconds of it opening, it has smashed the fourth wall to smithereens, and the characters slip in and out of levels of self-reference for 22 minutes of verbal and visual fun, almost entirely set in the student council room.

Carrying this light burden are five lovely, strange, good-hearted characters: the four bishoujo elected members of the student council -- petanko moe, bishoujo moe, protective elder sister tsundere, cool tsundere -- and the one token male, who is there because he scored highest on exams. Good work for a sidekick-type character whose consciousness is entirely immersed in ero-games.

The cast is four-fifths unknowns. The guy is played by Kondou Takashi (Train in Black Cat). For all the others, this is either their first major role or their first role, period. I like them all here, and expect to see more of most of them. At least two of them trained at well-known seiyuu schools, one has acted on stage, and one has hosted a TV show.

Here is a characters/seiyuus page with pics of the four main characters and their seiyuus, as well as info about each seiyuu, and links to more. Click image to go to full page:

characters and seiyuus
Sample jokes: they start by saying how surprised they are this manga got an anime, that a drama CD would have been more than sufficient for a show that all takes place in one room. They debate what to call the show: one suggestion is Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, in order to guarantee an audience. This is a Kadokawa property, and most (all?) of the references are to other Kadokawa properties.

Each time the moe little chairman stamps papers with her hanko (stamp), the male character says petanko ("flatchest"). She goes weeping to the secretary, burying herself in the secretary's ample chest, the size of which makes her feel even worse. As they are checking and approving items for each club, they approve castanets for the Light Music club (Kei-On Bu).

The guy comes on to the secretary, whose response shows she hasn't even been listening. He says cool characters become passionate in the end. She replies, with hooded eyes: "Just try it." When the chairman gives a speech about what the club should do, all the others pay no attention at all, reading, playing games, etc. The guy's running joke is that the council is his harem. No-one agrees. In the middle of the chairman's speech, he interrupts her with a confession. He keeps coming on to each girl in turn, and being rejected in amusing (to me) ways. The moe-est member of the group turns out to be such an expert at Monster Hunter that she updates the walk-through wiki -- in a self-defeating way.

The show is from a series of novels that has recently spawned a manga version, and that has sold upwards of 200,000 volumes. The director is Satou Takuya, who directed Ichigo Mashimaro. The writer who adapted the original is the well-known Hanada Jukki, who did Rozen Maiden and sola. I think the comic direction is excellent, with just the right sort of bent timing and expressions. Animation is by Studio Deen, a fact which sends many critics into long rants against the studio which made my favorite anime of all time, Simoun, and another of my favorites, Marimite.

If any of this seems even remotely promising to you, give it a go. But don't say I didn't warn you that most people (both overseas and in Japan) seem to hate the show. Fools.

note: The only other blogger I've seen say they like this show is Moogy.


digitalboy said...

I thought the first ep was hilarious, my only complaint being the godawful animation. I'm shocked to learn that these are newbie seiyuu, becasue I thought they were all spectacular!

Brett said...

This series is fantastic, and I say phaw! to any who say otherwise!

Megrim27 said...

Man, I loved this episode, the self deprecating refrences and rapid fire comedic dialogue had me rolling. Awesome premiere episode! Refreshing!

Anonymous said...

This one is definitely a keeper if they can keep the momentum up for the rest of the series. Liking it so far.

Moogy said...

Hell yeah, this show is awesome.

Now that I've watched subs, my only real complaint is the mediocre art, but at least the animation is fine. I can deal with these production values at least.

k1y0 said...

The show is hilarious! I love a show that makes fund of itself, and characters who are genre savvy. XD

k1y0 said...

The show is hilarious! I love a show that makes fun of itself, and characters who are genre savvy. XD

Anonymous said...

I just don't get some people and their problems. Comparing every aspect of a show to the "epitomes" of quality like Bakemonogatari (which I like), Haruhi (which I hate to the guts) and stuff just works fine if you want ot bash around, but it also reveals some sort of hidden agenda quite obviously. So far it's only the first episode and people are spreading intense hate about this show everywhere. How rediculous is that? But that's what happens, when you want to categorise every tiny aspect of a show in order to make them all comparable. How I hate that. Personally I like the animation, the characters, the comedy and I don't think, that some seriousness would turn this show into a failure. I'll just wait for the end and then decide whether I like it or not as a whole.

moritheil said...

People seem to either love it or hate it.

Izeas GT said...

The frustrating thing is, the rest of the episode isn't as funny as the first few minutes. There WERE some great bits like the duck-season-rabbit-season thing, though.

hashi said...

@IzeasGT -- It'll be a week-by-week thing, I think. I often find that comedy anime peter out for me after about six episodes. But I loved the first two.

Dakuro said...

haha this anime is very funny haha