Category Archives: Seitokai Yakuindomo

You Know It’s Been a Good Year for Comedy When…

Author is writing about people’s perception of 4koma presentation and breaking things up. I think it is a matter of personal interpretation but the switch between a seamless medium and 4koma is part of the tricks of the trade of comedy and presenting manga. After all, all manga begins on a blank piece of paper. “Koma” is added to give presentation its structure, and we stop at 4 identical framing for various other reasons, to give it even more structure.

The same applies in anime as well. Seitokai Yakuindomo mimics that by giving those “second joke” cuts with flying stamps, transiting from scene to scene, or strip to strip. On the other hand Lucky Star is almost entirely devoid of it. Thinking back to Azumanga Daioh, the first otaku anime 4koma smash hit, does it make sense?

And why AzuDai, even? It’s just my lens in which I view the situation. Azudai is broken up into 5 segments per episode, where as you can see a similar kind of breakdown in SYD. More so when the punchlines are flying in the air. Not so much in Lucky Star. But that is a stylistic choice. I mean, Lucky Star feels a lot more like K-ON (that’s 4koma too), and that’s because both are similarly presented. And who cares about transitions in K-ON?

Look at Working!! for example, does that feel like 4koma to you? Now that is where AzuDai is. A much more perfected blend of television narrative with jokes that hits like sewn-together sitcom punchlines, that it is textured without trying very hard, because you were laughing when the story changed from frame to frame. The original 4koma material is like dough for this new baked good.

But I think that’s not to say it is the only way or even the best way. Seitokai Yakuindomo is meant to flaunt its panel-switching cuts since it is a running joke as well; it doesn’t hide its transition, but rather uses it as a joke. Of course people who gets turned off by that seemingly-seamless-seam-switching might enjoy it more. It’s not so much that I would be laughing when the anime changes from strip-to-strip: I was too busy trying to process the joke and on-screen text to notice.

However, I find it hard to believe that Lucky Star is underrated. It’s gotten so much hype during its hay days that few shows deserves, if any. Maybe among Author’s reads, I suppose.


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