Posted by psgels on 30 March 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

The past winter was a pretty interesting one for comedies; we were treated to no less than three good ones: Milky Holmes, Poyopoyo and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. Out of those three, I’d say that I found Danshi Koukousei to be the least funny. But heck, it’s still great to see a comedy that manages to bring so much creativity in something as overused as following the lives of a bunch of high school kids.

Every episode pretty much consists out of a collection of pretty short sketches, ranging from one to five minutes in length. In terms of humour, it uses the shotgun shell approach: deliver as many and as different jokes as possible in the hopes that some hit. Because of that, it’s always a bit of a question whether a sketch will work or not, and the ones who don’t work indeed fall flat pretty badly. I’ve got a lot of praise for the ones who do work, though.

As said before, my favorite thing about this series is how creative it can get when it wants to. It loves subverting generic high school cliches, but it also isn’t shy for random slapstick and it also loves to poke fun at Japanese cultural values. The direction and delivery for the jokes is also pretty well done, and in particular Tomokaze Sugita (who also played Gintoki in Gintama) really is on fire as the voice actor of one of the characters. This series also has the same director as the first 100 episodes of Gintama, so it’s no wonder that this guy’s acting talents are used to their full potential. The cast does have a few problems though, most of it has to do that half of the cast can’t decide what kind of character they want to play, and the other half that did decide on this ended up with a cardboard cut-out. Yeah, characterization is not this show’s strongest point.

Probably the weakest sketches are when this series tries to swap gender roles. I’ll leave it in the dark for the sake of spoilers how it exactly does it, but these sketches are too overused: they drag on for too long, they repeat each other too often and they appear too often. The best sketches can’t really be labeled like that. It’s completely random whenever the creators got a brilliant idea, and part of the fun of this series is waiting for those ideas to come. I’d say the ratio between the good and dull sketches is about 50/50. It’s not consistent enough to be a great comedy, but it’ll definitely give you a few good laughs.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very funny and creative when it works.
Characters: 7.5/10 – A few too many cardboard cut-outs. The characters are funny, but have their moments of annoyance.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Solid sunrise production values.
Setting: 8/10 – Doesn’t get in the way for a comedy.

Suggestions:
Gintama
Hyakko
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu

9 Responses

  1. gandalf8 says:

    Comedy is very subjective. What one person finds extremely funny, could be yawn-inducing for another. For myself, I found most of the jokes and sketches very funny. Even if not all of them made me laugh out loud, they still managed to make me smirk a bit. Although the middle stretch of episodes seemed to have lost their comedic touch a bit, it rallied strongly in the final two episodes to end with that great dream sequence. Overall, I would probably rate this equally as good as Milky Holmes for best comedy of the Winter season.

    • AidanAK47 says:

      Very true. In fact Milky holmes has barely managed to get a mild chuckle from me occasionally but the persona 4 anime protagonist managed to make me burst out laughing a number of times.

  2. Kaiser Eoghan says:

    I’m seconding Gandalf on this one, I got about the same amount of laughs out of this as I did milky holmes 2. The latter wasn’t as good as season 1, as Psgels would say, its hard to do a comedy sequel.

  3. meow says:

    I’m thirding. XD I watch comedies like this and Sunred if only to get some insight on what an unconventional japanese sense of humor is like. And I think this show presents a unique platform for some of the… hmm…. coarser stuff that would ordinarily raise eyebrows in mainstream anime.

  4. Aline says:

    I agree with you on the characters, they don’t really stand out somehow. I think the fact that a lot of people -including- still had trouble remembering the three lead characters’ names halfway down the show says enough about that. Nevertheless I enjoyed watching this.

  5. rufe says:

    It was almost verbatim from the webcomic. Hardly surprising it was occasionally hit or miss. The hits were good enough for the misses as were the occasional heart-warming moments.

  6. Pax says:

    I enjoyed watching this one quite a lot, yeah, there were some sketches that did not do anything for me but overall this anime was worth the time I invested in it and I would not mind seeing a new season. Also, I agree, Tomokaze Sugita did a fantastic job!

  7. WatcherZero says:

    I fell in love with the Literary Girl charahter, also the female school council president. I actually really liked the subverting gender roles comedy as it gave a lot more depth to both male and female charchters than you get in stereotypical anime roles.

    The ‘Dream’ also gave a decent ending while allowing a second series.
    Must say overall a 9/10 series for me, I was impatiently waiting for each new episode unlike Exile 2 which ive tended to watch in batches.

  8. kero says:

    If we’re talking comedy benchmarks, this is definitely lower than sunred and cromartie. My favourite episode was number 4, then it went downhill for a bit, with one episode that was again pretty good, and a good ending episode.

    My fave characters were the girl characters funnily enough. Ringo, and the part timer girl. Lit girl was also cool. Did not like the reverse gender bits.. but in a way it was great because they were equally as doofus as the guys. I think ratio of good to bad jokes was probably 60/40 and helped by the fact that I really liked the ED.

    Yeah main problem was I didn’t really care that much for the main leads.. I think the secondary male charas, bearded dude, and capped dude had stronger more consistant personalities?

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:48 PM)
    You know when Shinji was talking to Rin. You could have said something Lancer.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 04:47 PM)
    @Bam, Ouch. Come on I think comparing him to Kirito is a bit much. You think that Kirito would every be shown getting this much of a beating?
    I do argee that lancer should have jumped in sooner…but he did get a spear though the chest and likely did need some time to rest after attacking Kirei. But a “HEY FECK OFF YOU LITTLE SHIT” would have been appreciated.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.

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