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.


Year in Review: The Funnies

Over yonder at the blog-in-data-recover, I’ve written a list of the amusing stuff that happened this year. I guess I could have added the bouncing boobs from High School of the Dead on the list because it’s one of those Grenadier moments. You know? Except it only looks amusing and really doesn’t do anything. I don’t think breasts are good absorber of recoil, and whats-his-face Komuro should have gotten beaten over the head by Miyamoto for giving her purple boobs.┬áThat’s just the beginning, and the one anime probably everyone watched (outside of JUMP crap).

This year is an amazing year for comedies in anime. While we never had an outstanding title this year on par with FMP: Fumoffu, there were scores of great shows that will make you laugh out loud. At least it made me. Then again I laugh a lot.

The one I want to highlight is Seikon no Qwaser. It’s like Yosuga no Sora but without the pretense of seriousness. Plus, it’s got none of the “boning your twin sister while your girlfriend (soon-to-be-ex) stands and watch, along with ero-minded Iichou-san” big ball of fire mess; or rather, how do you top that? On the other hand, I thought the “keeps on going” thing works better with Nao being boned and Sora watching, but that’s just how she is. Qwaser just has unslightly people being unslightly, mostly doing all kind of weird stuff that defies imagination. I mean in some sense, the whole walking-on-the-sex-scene bit was not unexpected. It’s gawking, but it isn’t out of mind. Stuff like boob hypnosis is.

It brings up this notion that you can bridge the gap between awful and comedy. It’s kind of like how Fist of the North Star is enjoyable, but it’s also enjoyable. You get what I mean? There are too many shows making that gap this year it is starting to bleed into proper comedies.

But with offerings like Seitokai Yakuidomo, I can’t really blame them.

To wrap this point up, I’m just going to say that 2010 is an abnormal year in anime comedies in that I’ve seen more moments in anime this year that made me laugh than probably 2009 and 2008 combined. Maybe it speaks as much to how bad 2009 and 2008 was in terms of comedies, but really, if you are not laughing this year, you are not watching the same anime I’m watching.

The sad thing is there really wasn’t just one show that stood out besides the Qwaser, which is remarkable for other qualities besides that it’s hilariously over the top. That it’s terribly hilariously over the top.