Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – 05

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As anyone with older sisters can tell you, there are no scarier words than “Is this your younger brother?

I’m seeing some complaints about the way girls are portrayed on this show, and to say that I find that ironic would be understatement on the galactic scale.  I think girls are portrayed more “realistically” here than in the countless series that idealize and sexualize them endlessly. Their grotesque tendencies are highlighted to a ridiculous level here the way the guys’ are in all those other anime – which I think is exactly the point.  While not every skit is hilariously successful, I’m really growing to appreciate how fearless, merciless and unerringly accurate the satire in “Daily Lives” really is.

If I have any complaint about the show, it’s that the main trio – especially Tadakuni – haven’t had much screen time lately, and I’d like to see a little more of them.  On the flipside we’re seeing an awful lot of very good supporting characters introduced, which in a gag show – no matter how smart – is important in keeping things fresh.  In fact the only sketch featuring Tadakuni at all this week (not counting the hilarious pre-intro featuring mangaka Yamauchi-sensei’s editor)  was the very funny first one, where the boys overdubbed a conversation between three preposterously giggly and hyper middle-school girls.  While the “script” was funny enough, the payoff (it’s always about the payoff) was the highlight, as the made-up dialogue seemingly matched up with the real dialogue.

As a guy with two elder sisters I felt terrible for Motoharu in the next chapter, which was almost too painful to be funny (it’s a thin line and often hard to spot).  I’m not always impressed with sadistic humor if there’s no irony or justice in it, and this one felt a bit joyless for me.  Much better was the next number, which featured our delinquent-faced trio from the student council, this time accosting the estimable Ringo as she’s enjoying a curry-pan, trying to get her to loan them some of her school’s unnamed equipment for an unnamed purpose.  The laughs here come from the appearance of Fukuyama Jun on the scene as a would-be knight in shining armor, “rescuing” Ringo from the “delinquents”.  The guys prove they’re truly “bros” here, letting Hero-boy beat on them so he won’t lose face in front of Ringo, but their plan is foiled when Ringo is so clueless that she doesn’t figure out what they were up to.

One of the wonderful things about “Danshi Koukousei” is that is loves to act as a showcase for seiyuu legends to show off, and in that spirit Fukuyama Jun gets to play yet another role here – this time as an old middle-school pal of Hidenori and Yoshitake who they meet on the way home. The girl he’s with is looking daggers at them and our two heroes are naturally horrified and wonder why their buddy keeps hanging around them and talking about hook-up parties, but it turns out it’s just his little sister with a bad squint.  This is followed up by another classic as two more seuiyuu legends join the cast, this time Sanpei Yuko as 8 year-old Hidenori and the great Paku Romi as his savior and protector from bullying (which is definitely a recurring theme this week), Rubber Shooter (and Kobayashi Yuu plays one of the bullies).  R.S. comes complete with his own theme song – Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major” (Eva flashbacks, anyone) performed by a whistling chorus – but it turns out the masked hero just might have been Yoshitake all along.

Finally we have the return of two favorites.  First it’s a short-visit from Literary Girl, and the combination of Sugita Tomokazu’s florid/panicked inner monologues and L.G.’s facial reactions may be the funniest running gag in anime.  Capping things off is what looks to be a weekly feature, the return of “High School Girls are Funky”.  If the rest of the show is a slow dissection of the Girls@School obsession in anime, these omakes are the killing blow – where Yamauchi tosses aside pretense and rips the fad apart like a pack of wolves on a poodle.  K-On is squarely in the line of fire this week (“With this crappy girls band we won’t be able to ride the coattails of this high school girl fad and earn the money to go to London after playing our hearts out for just one week, dammit!”), and it isn’t pretty – but it is damn hilarious.  Once again it’s Karasawa – who gets more out of less dialogue than any character in anime right now – who gets the last laugh.  Turns out the sweets he tossed the girls last week were expired, but when they bully him he consistently turns the tables on them while maintaining his dignity (and Ikushima gets a hilarious kick in the butt as a result) and finally doffs his hat, showing off a scar which turns the trio into groveling apologists – especially Habara (seemingly the sane one) who apparently caused the scar with some childhood bullying.

I’ve come to view this series not to much as an anime, but a PSA – if the Blu-rays don’t sell (and come on – do you seriously think they will?) Sunrise ought to be compensated by government subsidy or something as a token of appreciation for finally being the ones to call the industry out.  It wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t funny, but thankfully that’s not even close to a problem here.  Now if we can just reconnect a little more with the main trio, God will be in heaven and all will be right with the world.

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Omake: “Resentment”

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  1. R

    This line is epic
    "With this crappy girls band we won't be able to ride the coattails of this high school girl fad and earn the money to go to London after playing our hearts out for just one week, dammit!"

    i dont watch k-on, so it is true?

  2. F

    Its a rather extreme oversimplification of the actual series of events.

  3. I don't know who's having more fun with seeing these fads ripped to shreds, me or the seiyuu. They seem to be having a pretty fantastic time doing the shredding.

  4. F

    While I have no issues with poking fun at things (though I'm not watching this show), I do find the glee in which some people are finding this as "vindication" to be rather irritating.

    Yes, shows like K-On aren't "realistic" depictions of high school girls. Pardon me for not giving a crap.

    Its especially annoying when people who don't watch the shows being poked fun at use it as "proof" that their taste are superior.

  5. I'm enjoying seeing the shoe on the other foot at long last. Take it graciously and don't take it personally. Look at it as a long overdue rebuttal to the way guys have been portrayed as idiots in anime for years.

  6. F

    Thats missing my point. I don't care about what the show is doing (I'm not watching the show, and I've seen plenty of other anime that poke fun at my favorite genres), I have issues with people like our friend up at the top of the thread who hasn't SEEN the show in question, and thus is going to use the PARODY to draw conclusions about what is being parodied. Which is dumb.

    And I'm not going to even respond to the bit about this being "payback" for the way guys are treated in anime.

  7. R

    i am just asking, don't need to say that. maybe because K-on your favourite anime, so you feel offended?

  8. You don't have anything to apologize for as far as I'm concerned…

    And yes, that line is, as you say, epic.

  9. A

    @ fencedude
    for someone that doesnt watch and about the show you sure are motivated to read and write comments about it.

  10. F

    I actually haven't said anything about DanshiKoko (or whatever its abbreviation is), because, as I said, I haven't watched it.

    My original post was in answer to Ragez's question.

    (Full disclosure: K-On, while not my "favorite" anime, is a favorite, to the extent that I imported the JP release of the second season)

  11. K

    Seriously Fencedude, I totally do not get what you're complaining about. From how I see it, Ragez was just asking a harmless question.

    As a Kyo-Ani nut, and naturally a "K-ON moe-blob-tard" (according to the haters anyway), I totally get the K-ON movie joke about "going to London" and was laughing my socks off at the parody.

  12. A

    "First it’s a short-visit from Literary Girl, and the combination of Sugita Tomokazu’s florid/panicked inner monologues and L.G.’s facial reactions may be the funniest running gag in anime."

    The weakest sketch in the episode. I am ASTONISHED that people all over the net find it actually funny. Must be something in the water.

  13. To each his own. For me it's a hilarious bit and I can't get enough of it.

  14. A

    Hah, the hero sketch and last literature girl sketch had me laughing, though at different moments in each sketch (end for the hero sketch and beginning-middle of riverbank sketch).

    Also, I'm guilty of picking on my younger brothers similarly to the sister bullying skit and inviting my friends to do so as well oops.

  15. I

    The tsukkomi of the guys against the high school girls is epic. They really were destroyed this episode, and speaking as someone with big sister, they did a really accurate job of it too.

    I showed this to her, she didnt laugh.

    I hope that when I go to Canada in the summer, I find supermarkets filled with DVDs of this show, it deserves for pure cheek.

  16. F

    I hope that when I go to Canada in the summer, I find supermarkets filled with DVDs of this show, it deserves for pure cheek.

    I can absolutely guarantee there won't be supermarkets filled with the DVDS of this anywhere.

  17. E

    My spleen! … Literary girl was GENIUS this week, and this is actually the first episode which had me doubled over in laughter from the very start to the finish. The writing is just so damn good. And I'm becoming addicted to those omakes like crack rock. I've noticed that they're getting a little more time every week too – I guess the jilted High School girls of anime still have a place among the boys xD

    I srsly try not to be subjective but I find this show so friggin perfect that it's difficult for me to wrap my head around the fact that anyone could NOT like it. Here's to praying that by some miraculous machination of (strike: impossibility) fate … the sales are decent. I mean Gintama's done alright … r-right?

    LOL in any event, this is more than a public service … it's a gift from the gods.

  18. B

    Nichibros is the funniest show this season, hands down. I LOVE the literature girl skits haha.

  19. C

    Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!
    Thhhhaat cap guy ssshowed his face!!!!

  20. t

    Blu rays don't look like they'll sell but dvd sales are looking ok (upper middlepack),this might sell more dvds than blu rays,which makes sense.

    And while the show definatly makes fun of the cute girls shows,it seems like it's more playfull than anything,don't get a big "this is the cancer that's killing anime" vibe from it.

  21. I generally agree on both points – DVD sales do make sense here, and I think the mockery is relatively good-natured.

    What's interesting is the number of "boy shows" on the schedule for Spring. Is this a blip, or the start of a long-overdue tack back towards the center? I'll believe it's a trend when I start to see the pattern change in sales.

  22. i

    Wow, I don't know where did they got the ideas from this week but it says a lot about a guys thought processes during a lot of times…and I am pretty sure that almost everyone here can relate to the cast of guys…

  23. A

    What nice guys…they actually took a fall for Ringo and the knight in shinning armor. Laughed so hard when she ruined it 😛

  24. K

    The first sketch of the boys "dubbing" the middle schoolgirls' conversation was funny as hell, especially when the girls started looking suspiciously at them wondering what's with these "perverted high school boys" staring at them.

    "If I have any complaint about the show, it’s that the main trio – especially Tadakuni – haven’t had much screen time lately, and I’d like to see a little more of them."

    According to my sources on Google and Wikipedia (the Japanese one), it's lately becoming a running joke in recent chapters by the mangaka to gradually decrease poor Tadakuni's panel time (which translates into less anime screentime as well), with him occasionally breaking the 4th wall and moaning about it.

  25. K

    This is starting to sound like Akarin in YuruYuri

  26. K

    IIRC Concerning DVD sales of late night anime shows, as anime studios are effectively paying the TV network to broadcast the show in the first place, making it a de-facto 30-minute commercial for the DVD, they would need to sell at least 3,000-4,000 copies per volume in the initial sales period (can't remember if its week or month) (domestic sales in Japan) in order to break even.

    Sell over 6,000 copies and there's a chance of a sequel, and it's considered a "classic" if it's over 10,000.

  27. S

    This is indeed a more accurate portrayal of high school girls. That's when their bitchiness is at its prime XD
    Literature girl doesn't even need to speak to make me LOL and indeed, NOT enough Tadakuni-kun!!! Irino Miyu needs more roles.

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