Somehow, that was way creepier than it was in the manga…
This was a pretty oddball episode of Sakamoto desu ga?, generally a lot lighter on the humor than usual. It was also a reflection of the difference between the anime and manga mediums, because while Takamtsu-sensei didn’t change the content of the second chapter here in any substantial way, it played a whole lot differently than it did on paper.
First off we had a short refrain on first meetings, featuring three of the lasses from Sakamoto-kun’s class reflecting on the first time they met him. The joke here is actually pretty clever – each of them has a story that seems headed in the direction of a romance manga cliche, but ends up taking a left turn in the end. Why? Because this is Sakamoto, desu ga? A normal meeting would never do for the likes of him. The ironic part is that it was Kubota-kun who has the most “romantic” meeting with Sakamoto (if you look past the wart part), and he’s the one person in the series who has something like a normal human relationship with him.
The meat of the episode is taken up with the second chapter, and it’s a weird one to say the least. Kubota’s mom Shigemi takes advantage of the fact that Yoshinobu has a cold to don his uniform and go to school, desperate for a chance to be close to Sakamoto once more (she knows Sakamoto is real because her son’s guidance counselor spilled the beans). This is kind of squirmy stuff to begin with – I mean, we have a housewife in her 40’s so openly lusting after a high-school boy (whatever planet he’s from, he is a high-schooler) that she impersonates her son just to ogle him from up close. But the way Takamatsu stages this really accents the grotesque nature of the whole affair.
I think in the end Takamatsu got exactly the reaction he wanted here, though whether that’s a good thing or not I don’t know. Seiyuu stalwart Kujira is a real trooper, throwing herself into the moment with admirable aplomb. Home economics class (Sakamoto-kun as a “misommelier“) isn’t too bad, but things just get stranger and more disturbing as gym sees Shigemi running after Sakamoto’s back, breasts bouncing, and then we return to the classroom where the other guys in the class decide they want to feel Kubota-kun up and Shigemi decides not to fight it. Sakamoto-kun intervenes, thank goodness – of course he knows the score here – and the scene does end on a somewhat more wholesome note as Shigemi realizes that her fantasy is just that, and being the mother to a son she loves very much isn’t an entirely bad hand to be dealt. But the whole thing still dances right on the edge of “do not want” for me. Sakamoto desu ga? is a series that’s willing to head out where the buses don’t run, though, and when you do that the misfires will be bigger – and that fearlessness is a major reason why the series works.