Weekly Digest 4/15/14 – Tonari no Seki-kun, Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara

Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -8 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -15 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -9 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -20

Doskoi!

Tonari no Seki-kun – 15

Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -1 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -2 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -3
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -4 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -5 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -6
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -7 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -9 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -10
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -11 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -12 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -13
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -14 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -16 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -17
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -18 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -19 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -20
Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -21 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -22 Tonari no Seki-kun - 15 -23

I guess it’s pretty much official now that the reports of TV Seki-kun’s demise were incorrect, as it’s now aired two weeks in a row as scheduled this season.  I won’t be foolish enough to try and predict what’s going to happen with the series from here, but I will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

This week’s episode marked quite a change, as there was no Yokoi-san.  Obviously given Seki’s role in the narrative someone had to fill in for the ill Yokoi, and that’s Gotou – the twintails girl we’ve met a couple of times already.  She makes quite an admirable stand-in, in that her imagination is if anything even more out of control than Yokoi’s, and there’s the added bonus of watching her twist, pull and otherwise manipulate her pigtails to great comic effect.

Seki-kun’s gambit this week is sumo in art class, featuring paper cut-outs and a ring which he shakes rhythmically (nice work by Shimono Hiro on the soundtrack), featuring one traditional paper sumo wrestler and an increasingly ridiculous string of mechanized opponents.  It’s one of Seki’s funnier gigs in its own right, but paired with Gotou imagining the entire thing as a metaphor for Seki and Yokoi’s rocky romantic relationship it’s delightfully over the top.  When Gotou accidentally skews the results after knocking Seki’s table in her consternation, he even sees Yoki’s ghostly form in her usual spot, glaring at him.

Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara – 02

Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -1 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -2 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -3
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -4 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -5 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -6
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -7 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -8 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -10
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -11 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -12 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -13
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -14 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -15 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -16
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -17 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -18 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -19
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -21 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -22 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -23
Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -24 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -25 Kanojou ga Flag - 02 -26

I guess I have to still call Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara a guilty pleasure, because I feel kind of guilty for enjoying it.  I’m not really sure why, though – and I felt the same way about R-15 at first too, and it turned out I was just letting other people’s preconceptions influence the way I was seeing that show.  I don’t get the sense that this series is going to turn out as to be as good as that one did, but there may be a similar effect here.

The second episode was a very odd mix – a sandwich of serious plot exposition at the beginning and end, with a heaping helping of absolute nonsense in the middle.  I’m not sure what to make of that larger plot, which has to do with a mysterious girl named Sakura (Hidaka Rina) who Souta meets on a cruise ship, a strange game that looks like chess but isn’t, the “truth of the world” and a missing big sister.  Right now I’d put it about on a par with the plot in Noucome – not completely without interest, but mostly a pretext for the comedy to have a reason for exist.

The difference for me, at least so far, is that the comedy is genuinely funnier in this show (and I didn’t dislike Noucome).  I like the non-stop madcap energy and the amped-up vocal work, and the sight gags are generally pretty funny.  Fittingly in a show that toys with the concept of anime flags, we meet a bunch of new characters that neatly slot into tropes this time.  There’s the big-sisterly osananajimi Kikuno (Asami Kana).  The ridiculously cute trap Megumu (Kanazawa Hana).  The “school elder” Ryuukishihara Tsumugi (Toyasaki Aki) who looks like a grade-schooler in a baby bonnet, and the genki student council president Seiteikouji Mimori (Tamara Yukari).  And all of them get together to fix up the ramshackle old dorm I mistook for a derelict hotel last week, with the Prez dropping the bombshell that at least five people have to live there or it’ll be shut down.  You can probably fill in the blanks there.

I’m not going to pretend that doesn’t sound dumb and formulaic but somehow, it just works.  The screwing around fixing up the dorm and the hijinks after the move-in are genuinely funny, and it helps that there’s less mean-spiritedness to them than you often see in these kinds of shows (indeed, Nanami is the obvious exception and there’s even a joke about her becoming deredere).  I’m not going to try and defend liking what I like, and so far I like this series.  Will that last?  I have a suspicion the plot will have to prove it has legs at some point if I’m to avoid getting burned out on the rest of it, but there’s some evidence of wit in the writing and plenty of time, so I think there’s a good chance that will happen.

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9 comments

  1. w

    I think the real meat of this episode is how we got a good luck at how Seki views Yokoi, since it's always been the other way around.

    I know Megumu claims she's a boy, but I just can't bring myself to believe her. The chess game is easy enough; Akane is the mage, Minami is the knight, Kikuno is the Bishop, and Megumu is the ninja.

    I'm actually really enjoying this one as well, no guilt here. It's really funny, it's somewhere between parody and genuine harem, and it feels like the writers and cast had as much fun making it as I had watching it.

  2. m

    Haha yeah this show is growing on me like NouCome did. Nothing great, but gives some solid laughs. The student council president's voice is pretty funny in and of itself.

  3. T

    I pretty much feel the same way about more that six flags. It's definitely stupid but it kind of knows it does without being obnoxious about it. I never saw Noucomi (and probably won't unless I get enough incentive to do so) but if I were to make a comparison myself I view it as kind of similar to Henneko, granted as long as no Yuri-Imouto-lovers show it I may like this more than that as just time killer entertainment (when I finish watching an episode of the master of course, which continues to deliver).

  4. I find this to be way less insipid than Henneko so far (albeit that show was more mediocre than terrible). I still see the very optimistic upside here as R-15.

  5. M

    Seki-kun sure is sadistic lool. He thought Yokoi's spirit is hunting him & actually stopped himself!! But came VERY prepared to face her the next day 😛

  6. c

    Sidonia no Kishi is starting to look pretty intriging, i was wondering why you weren"t reviewing this one?

  7. I am – I've posted on every episode.

  8. c

    my bad, sorry for the mistake, i hadn't seen them!! well i read your reviews………."(which i enjoyed) true that something must happen on a more personal level to pull us in……but i'm especially enjoying the animation of this one: the art is a bit different, and i just love the background of the city of Sidonia, anyway my interest has been picked……….i'll keep following the reviews of this one for sure!!

  9. Well, the animation isn't doing it for me, no lie, but I'm still on the fence. I like the big story but nothing's really grabbing me on the character side. We'll see.

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