Shimoneta – 01 (First Impressions)

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Rundown: In a titular “boring world where the concept of dirty jokes doesn’t exist”, because they are forbidden by moral law, Okuma Tanukichi manages to transfer from one of the least moral to the most moral high school in the country, to be closer to his crush, StuCo President Nishikinomiya Anna.

His dreams of a pure high school life are dashed when he’s approached by the Vice President, Kajou Ayame, whose alter-ego “Blue Snow” (or “Blue in the Snow Field”) is a “decency terrorist”, who uses his feelings for Anna and her own high standing in the school to blackmail him into helping to found the “Anti-Societal Organization” or SOX with her.

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Analysis: Shimoneta[…] may have a ridiculously long title and a concept as high as a kite, but it quickly commits to and fully owns its silliness. Aside from a few choice pieces of sexy dialogue uttered by Blue Snow, most of the “dirty jokes” she whips up aren’t just tame, but awkwardly and often arbitrarily used, which makes perfect sense in the context of the show. Kajou Ayame may be a serial distributor of blue material, but she’s new to it too, and wields it with wild abandon and gusto.

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Okuma may actually be more well-versed than Ayame, due to his time spent at a school of lower moral fiber, which, in addition to his dirty joke terrorist father, makes him a natural target for Ayame’s gaze. And if you strip away the blue sheen, this show has some pretty dark and interesting undertones about an invasive, oppressive police state that leaves its youth so cripplingly ignorant to the act of reproduction, that a few moments of Ayame’s antics are able to “finish off” the vast majority of them at a school assembly.

The metaphor is tired, but apt: Ayame aims to break the dam and restore this boring world to a state of natural sexual freedom, and whether he likes it or not, Okuma and her are uniquely positioned to make meaningful change, and have a lot of fun in the process.

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Shimoneta’s dialogue—at once stuffed with bleeped bad words and hilarious euphemisms (and a whole lot of incorrect information about how babies are made)—crackles and pops as the wild Kajou darts across the screen, a human spectacle with a mask made from pantsu and a towel that threatens to fall off and reveal all.

President Anna and Treasurer Raiki serve as agents of the system and defenders of the oppressive and ultimately unnatural order, but interesting, neither seem like they’re hypocrites, making their battle against the front-line revolutionaries Ayame and Okuma more interesting than simply good-vs.-evil (that, and the fact Okuma deeply admires Anna).

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This is a battle between ignorance and knowledge, and Ayame is the Eve who has tasted of the fruit and works towards the creation of an exciting world where the concept of dirty jokes, among other things, does exist. Which sounds like the ingredients for a boisterous, refreshing comedy…but comedy tempered by the knowledge that hundreds of millions of people in the real world live under regimes that stifle free expression as “violations of the established order.”

I’m not sure the show will get that serious (the jaunty dance number at the end would seem to indicate not very), but the undertones are there, and they lend righteousness to Blue Snow’s crusade that rises this show above farce and dirty jokes for dirty jokes’ sake.

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.