Posted on 8 November 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews



Those who’ve been following my reviews for the past few months probably noticed that a lot of them started with something like “I wasn’t looking forward to the premise at all … but my expectations were proven wrong”. This pattern obviously isn’t going to last for much longer, since I’m about to get to the shows that I’m actually looking forward to, but before that happens I want to direct your attention to Sugoiyo!! Masaru-san, or Sexy Commando Gaiden, which is probably the epitome of this effect.

The promo-art in this case does absolutely nothing to prepare you for what this series is really about. Just take a look: it looks like some sort of mediocre wrestling-series, doesn’t it? Instead, this is a fully-fledged comedy-series, about a guy who uses his sex-appeal in order to win his fights (among others). I think that really nothing can prepare someone for the extreme silliness that is this series.

Still, it’s one of the better comedies that I’ve watched so far. It’s ten years old at this point, but it can easily drink many modern comedies under the table. Its big strength is its consistency. This may sound a bit weird coming from a series that uses a lot of randomness as the base for its jokes, but what I mean by that is that even though this series won’t necessarily make you laugh harder than other comedies, it will make you laugh longer. The episodes are only eight minutes long, but for every single one of them, you just know that it’s going to crack you up. There are no weak episodes, there are no disappointing moments, and every single of its 48 episodes delivers. Now that’s what I call a good comedy.

Through its entire length, this series knows exactly what it is: a comedy. Never does it try to gain sympathy by switching to pointless drama – the number one mistake that comedies can make. Even the ending has to be one of the best endings I’ve seen in a comedy, simply because even there the laughs continue to keep coming. Ending parodies are actually full of potential, but you unfortunately hardly ever get to see them since most comedies try to be bigger than they actually are and want to have a “satisfying ending” themselves.

Also part of this series’ success is of course the cast of characters, who managed to keep fresh through the entire run of the series both the main and the side-characters). Obviously, you shouldn’t expect rocket-science from these guys, but they’ve got enough sides to keep them from getting boring after a few episodes, and their quirks are fresh and original (which surprises me in a way: ten years, and still nobody has tried to rip them off?).

This series’ only downside is that at times, its tricks to fill up extra airtime get a bit too ridiculous. You can exactly see when the creators have run out of inspiration to exactly fill their eight minutes for that episode, because the episode randomly lapses into a cheesy insert-song that doesn’t have anything to do with the actual episode. Thankfully, none of these insert-songs feel repetitive, and the creators have enough ideas to prevent even these insert-songs from getting boring, but it does remain a little cheap. There’s also a 30-second recap of the previous episode at the beginning, and even though these recaps make no bloody sense at all, it does become a bit too much after every single episode, considering how each of them is only eight minutes long.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for something to laugh at and don’t need any moe-schoolgirls for that, then I wholeheartedly recommend Sexy Commando Gaiden. Very few comedies can boast the same amount of consistent laughs as this one, and some of the jokes are absolutely brilliant. I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of Gintama also got some inspiration from this little series.

Storytelling: 10/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. tj han says:

    Indeed, one of the best comedy anime ever made, and is the ancestor of modern anime comedy like Gintama, where random humour are the norm.

  2. midenz says:

    hmm, i” give it a go :)~ hope its as good as Gintama :D!

  3. Wyrdwad says:

    Wow, I didn’t even know this one was on your list. It’s an excellent, excellent show, however, and I’m glad you liked it. (: I ended up watching it because it was directed by Akitarou Daichi, the same guy who directed Kodocha, Jubei-chan 1 and 2, Grrl Power (which he also wrote), Now and Then Here and There, Bokura ga Ita, Fruits Basket, Elf Princess Rane, and a bunch of other great shows. His name is one of those that can get me to watch a show, along with Masakazu Katsura, Ken Akamatsu, Satoshi Kon, and Makoto Shinkai. His stuff is just so consistently excellent – and varied! – that I consider him one of the best anime directors of the modern era.

    If it’s not on your list, BTW, I recommend adding Kodocha to it. I know it’s a bit daunting, what with it being 102 episodes, but I can 100% *guarantee* that you will absolutely love everything about it. It’s unquestionably Akitarou Daichi’s best work – as a comedy, as a drama, AND as a slice-of-life – and it’s one of those shows that I have never, in my entire time watching anime, met a single person who’s disliked. Even if you don’t want to watch the full 102 episodes, at least watch the first 20, which represents a full story arc and could’ve even been the end of the series if the creators wanted it to be.

    Another show that I hope is on your list – and assume pretty much HAS to be – is Planetes. But mentioning that one is appropos of nothing, since it has no involvement from any of the names I mentioned above… it’s just plain fantastic, pure and simple. (:

    -Tom

  4. Kurisu says:

    Sometimes I wonder whether the effect of your reviews is measurable in terms of throughput.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:48 AM)
    @Emma: hehe yeah, I used to write quite a lot but just sorta lost it. We had a podcast at school where we texted random facts and different things to students, I wrote the short poems. I have a short story called Tehran Burns that people I know responded rather well to, but I never quite finished.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:43 AM)
    @Bam: Thanks, and I see you’ve left me a rather poetic comment at that too.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:43 AM)
    Now why would the devil wear white? I wonder …
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:42 AM)
    @Emma: I really enjoyed the Decoder of Dreams. That was so cool Emma, thanks for sharing.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:37 AM)
    @Bam: He was dressed in loose, baggy white clothes and had fire like hair and fully white eyes, his body was a muscular build.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:34 AM)
    now the trickster character got my attention. Are there more satanic correlation or does it end at the red skin?
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:32 AM)
    Excellent work Bam that gave me some material to work with: http://emma-hime.deviantart.com/art/Decoder-of-dreams-479784655
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:16 AM)
    A sort of a demented carnival, visiting rooms each filled to brim with that alien familiarity.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:09 AM)
    Those dreams of yours are very e eclectic, a sign of exposure to many different scenes. Now the ones without sound are really horrifying to me personally.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 10:07 AM)
    @Emma: oh not at all friend, those are so vivid too, I love ‘em!

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