Shimoneta – 12 (Fin)

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Shimoneta ends with an adventure on the road, as SOX is summoned by Anna’s mom Sophia to a hot springs district, possibly for some kind of parley. Only when they arrive, there’s no Sophia to welcome them; only Anna and Goriki, who were also summoned. The gang decides to avail themselves of the spa facilities, but what is going on here?

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Turns out Anna is the first to break the strict non-coed rules regarding the baths, as she sends Goriki on an impossible errand (her favorite way of getting rid of third parties) and again has her way with Tanukichi, but she’s interrupted by the scream of her own mother, who everyone finds unconscious and in her underwear in the changing room. Now they know someone else brought them here.

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That someone is “Black Base”, who claims no connection whatsoever to White Peak despite being a fan of the opposite color of panties. He’s replaced everyone’s clothes with black underwear, and that’s all everyone wears for the rest of the episode, which is a bold but highly appropriate move for the cheekily lewd Shimoneta. 

I especially liked how bashful Ayame and Tanukichi were with one another in such garb, despite plenty of running around either naked or near-naked in their past SOX dealings. But as Ayame says, “this is different,” and she’s right: those were professional duties; this is a lot more intimate.

Also, while Peak and Base represent black and white among SOX’s adversaries, Anna and Ayame are black and white-themed girls in Tanukichi’s life.

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Anywho, Black Base finds the rusty metal wheel Tanukichi brought along (given to him by his imprisoned father, who told him to bring it should he ever visit the hot springs district), and will only give it back if they beat him in a strip rock-paper-scissors tournament. Ayame makes good use of Goriki’s nausea-inducing pink underwear to distract Black Base so she and Tanukichi can escape with the wheel and head to the “treasure trove” its supposedly the key for.

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While taking a rusty old cable car (which Fuwa gets working in a random cameo) up to the mountain trove, Anna manages to beat Black Base and races back to Tanukichi. Unable to breathe, Tanu accidentally grabs Anna’s butt, sending her into ecstacy, whereupon the whole floor of the cable car gives out, sending her to her into the forest canopy.

I’ll say one thing about Shimoneta, it’s always been incredibly creative about infusing absurd lewdness into its action sequences. Once they’re at the trove, a hidden pedal reveals a hexagonal shaft, upon which Tanu’s rusty wheel fits perfectly.

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It takes the full strength of SOX to turn it and open the trove’s doors, revealing a wealth of lewd figurines collected and preserved for posterity. Ayame vows that SOX will continue to preserve such enlightening treasures for future generations, and a fully nude (but thankfully backlit) Black Base, who turns out to have been a good friend and colleague of Tanukichi’s dad, looks on approvingly, knowing the trove is in good hands.

Was the episode, and Shimoneta in general, perfect? Far from it; it never returned Anna to sanity, leaving her a bit one-note at the end; the Ayame-Tanu pairing never materialized; and everyone barfing at Goriki’s underwear seemed a little hypocritical in such an otherwise permissive milieu. But it was still fun, innovative, hilarious, and a surprisingly apt critique of the continuing Japanese struggle to balance decency and lewdness, both crucial parts of the nation’s culture.

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Shimoneta – 11

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Thankfully, it’s not long before Kosuri’s idealism and desire for revolution is crushed by the realization White Peak really is only interested in dirty panties. She in turn realizes she mad a mistake in betraying Kajou and attempts to stop him with her stun gun, but she’s unsuccessful due to something about Peak’s special area being too wet with wine for the charge to get through to his junk.

Meanwhile, in the woods, Tanukichi encounters Fuwa, who provides another assist by telling him where the GF busjackers ended up. He then meets up with Kajou and he formulates a risky and, naturally, extremely lewd plan to foil GF.

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Otome does her part by painting a mural of her and her fellow bus passengers on the floor as an optical illusion to fool her guard, and gets to work drawing 2D paper panties to distract others.

Tanukichi’s plan involves convincing Anna, who will do anything for the sake of “justice” and “righteousness”, to temporarily team up with Blue Snow and SOX in order to rescue the one thing she values over all else: Tanukichi’s stolen underwear.

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He makes sure to mask his scent with vast quantities of soap to prevent her from realizing she’s talking to the object of her obession. The plan works like a charm, and Anna proves invaluable at taking out various GF guards. It’s a clever use of Anna, while also being open about the fact it is a little sleazy and manipulative. Then again, Anna is pretty sleazy herself when something she wants (or thinks she needs) is on the line.

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The use of non-SOX members to help out SOX continues with the participation of Goriki, Tsukimigusa, and the prefects, who end up neutralizing all the remaining GF members, leaving just White Peak to deal with. Peak has a stun gun attached to his junk somehow, but after a protracted battle, his opponents aim for his balls, and he ends up being kicked out a window and arrested by the PM officers amassed outside.

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Thanks to some great teamwork and a brilliant if nasty gambit by Tanukichi, Gathered Fabric is defeated and Kajou is able to publically denounce them and separate SOX from them, over Kosuri’s father’s television network, no less. Kosuri herself prostrates herself and is forgiven and welcomed back into the fold (even though she deserves exile), while Kajou and Tanukichi escape via worm balloon.

There, the two have a very warm and tender exchange in which Kajou even tells Tanukichi that she loves him, albeit as much as she loves dirty jokes…which is a lot! As for Tanukichi, Anna’s antics have definitely turned him off of her, and his affections of well and truly shifted to the brave, stubborn, and if we’re honest, beautiful Kajou Ayame.

Not that anything of consequence will ever come of that affection, but it’s important to note that Tanukichi finally knows the difference between lusting after an ideal (as Kosuri tried to do with GF) and accepting a more natural, realistic love. Tanukichi didn’t choose to fall for Kajou, but it happened, and he’s rolling with it.

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Shimoneta – 10

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Negotiations between SOX and Gathered Fabric go nowhere as Kajou condemns the group as a mere front for satisfying its members’ fetish for dirty underwear. The next morning, the rival group flexes its superior logistical muscles by sabotaging the monorail and hijacking 42 buses.

That sheer number confirms SOX is way out of its league from scale, logistics, and technical perspectives, considering how hard SOX has worked just to collect enough warm bodies to distribute porn in order to make a dent in society’s forced decency. It’s to the shorthanded SOX’s advantage then, that the hijackers on three of the buses are neutralized by non-SOX members.

An unintentionally badass Fuwa notices her hijacker’s gun is fake; a frustrated Anna hoping to win righteousness brownie points with Tanukichi beats the shit out of her hijacker; Goriki strips down to reveal he wears women’s lingerie, forcing the entire bus into a fit of nausea.

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That last incident is also the most revealing character-wise, as Goriki has gone from StuCo stooge to a complex individual in his own right whom, like Anna, might be in SOX were it not for his ultra-conservative conditioning. It also seems more and more like he has feelings for Tanukichi, though those feelings continue to be treated with sophomoric frivolity.

But at the end of the day, GF is still in the driver’s seat, with 39 buses under their control. Heck, they even have the Decency Squad HQ openly discussing what color underwear their female colleagues wear, and in some cases whether they wear any at all. Kajou arranges to bait White Peak, AKA Ichinose Takuma, into a trap where they can capture him and proceed with clearing up the differences between GF and SOX to a confused world.

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The trap works, but only to a point: Tanukichi is able to occupy Peak long enough for Kajou to arrive and spout some pretty good monologue about the value of one’s own scent, but in an episode where so many non-SOX members help SOX, it’s an acutal member that ends up screwing them over, and not in a particularly surprising or creative way.

That’s right, after being hardly in the episode (aside from a somewhat unnecessary scene in Tanukichi’s apartment where she’s called upon to procure bait), Kosuri shows her true colors as predicted, literally throwing Kajou under the bus and pledging herself to Ichinose and GF, having lost her faith in SOX’s lighter touch.

It was bad enough when Kosuri was introduced as a little-sister figure and redundant harem member; it’s verging on unacceptable that she could now be the one to bring SOX down from the inside. Still, my money’s still on the group that’s more often than not helped, intentionally or not, by the likes of Anna, Fuwa, and Goriki. The fight to salvage this show from the bane that is Kosuri continues.

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Shimoneta – 09

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SOX’s simultaneous offensive against both decency and Gathered Fabric continues as Ayame splits Sox up into two groups: one which will distribute dirty material around the school perimeter, and a second which will use Tanukichi’s dirty underwear to lure GF panty thieves whom they’ll then capture as a sign to the establishment that they do not condone GF’s activities.

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Kosuri, who is convinced she is far more valuable to SOX than Tanukichi feels shafted when she’s paired with Saotome for the first job, rather than Ayame for the second. When the panties end up luring Anna instead of GF, Kosuri considers it a failure for Tanukichi, but Ayame had planned all along for Anna to take the bait to get her off their backs. Even so, Kosuri rats out Saotome for drawing while they were supposed to be working, further demonstrating her Me-First attitude.

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When they try again with the same two teams, things go almost too smoothly for Tanukichi, as one GF member after another fall for the dirty underwear bait like clockwork. Then the lights go out and Tsukimigusa comes in the locker room, and Tanukichi, mistaking her for a GF, uses one of his father’s special moves, thus discovering “she” is really a “he.” Anna comes in too, and mistakes Tanukichi for the “false” Tanukichi she met before, but he’s able to distract her once more by shedding his boxers. I like how no matter what, Anna will not suspect Tanukichi of being a member of SOX; in her eyes, he can do not wrong.

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As for Kosuri, she reveals she was the one who sent all the GFs to the locker room for Tanukichi, and also knocked out the lights and turned on the sprinklers. She even collaborated with Fuwa. But all this initiative only gets her scolded by Ayame, to the point she starts to see SOX as no better than her father in that they’re not doing enough.

Then White Peak, the leader of GF (who seems more up Kosuri’s alley anyway), calls SOX out for a formal meeting. Looks like they’re not going away any time soon, and in the meantime, SOX has a self-involved loose cannon in Kosuri to contend with.

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Shimoneta – 08

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This week’s Shimoneta was a little limp, if you’ll pardon the expression, starting with Kosuri. Despite being excellently voiced by Hocchan, I was worried she’d come to feel like an extraneous character who wouldn’t add anything new to the equation but simply be another cute girl to tempt Tanukichi. The “guy wakes up with girl sleeping next to him” gag has been driven into the ground, as is the “threaten guy with deadly force with a smile” gag.

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Worse still, we get introduced to yet another girl in Tsukimigusa Oboro, a novice Decency Squad prefect assigned to the school. Aside from confiscating anything vaguely stick- or hole-shaped, she’s all but devoid of personality; a stiff, wooden cipher. At least she doesn’t show any signs of falling in love with Tanukichi, but the fact she can be so easily convinced to overturn her judgment of what is lewd and what isn’t suggests she’s not very good at her issued job, lessening the threat.

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As for Okuma-san, when talking about how he was recruited to SOX to Kosuri over dinner (she’s apparently moved in), his eyes sparkle and his tone suggests he has feelings for Ayame. Kosuri’s knowing look is the first sign she’s detected weakness in Tanukichi, and that’s one thing she doesn’t tolerate in colleagues, we learn, is weakness.

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Anna’s messy mishaps always toe the line between hilarious and gross, but being “backed up” due to the prefect confiscating all the school’s TP was firmly on the gross side. Not that poop doesn’t have a place in sexual culture (I ain’t judgin’!), I’d rather have my Anna not almost soil herself while delivering a devastating kick to a member of Gathered Fabric (a group SOX doesn’t even try to deal with this week)…or randomly lick the StuCo table.

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While Oboro remains undeveloped, after a night of education and a day spent infiltrating a neighboring school where Ayame wishes to distribute lewd materials and practices, Kosuri goes through some changes, and not the biological kind. She shifts from the cute little sister act to deciding to treat Takukichi like a slave, belieiving she’s far more useful to Blue Snow and he’s been dragging SOX down from the start.

And while she may have been right about that before, Tanukichi has grown less and less reluctant to assist Ayame, whom he’s come to respect and admire almost as much as Pre-Awakening Anna. What he doesn’t agree with are Kosuri’s manipulative methods, playing around with people’s hearts to get her way. Still, Kosuri is calling him out for perceived lack of commitment and usefulness, and the gloves—or rather the striped socks—have come off in a hurry.

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Shimoneta – 07

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I must admit, I have my doubts about the show introducing a new semi-rival sex terrorist group, along with a new character to add to what is quickly becoming the “SOX harem.” But at the same time, introducing the 10-volume “Okuma x Goriki” BL series is a delicious way of ensuring even when he’s trying to hang with Goriki to avoid Anna, there is no peace for our protagonist. Goriki may not read anything into spending their free time together and making Tanukichi lunch, but Ayame and Otome read a lot into it!

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And like I said, that’s when Tanukichi is trying to avoid Anna, which is inherently difficult because she’s a lot craftier and more devious than Goriki, and is able to send him off on pointless errands just to get Tanukichi alone. Her desires are evolving from wanting her would-be lover to “eat” her to her wanting to “eat” him, and since she’s so much quicker and stronger than Tanukichi, he doesn’t have much say in the matter, and he’s only saved by Anna having a premature “crisis”…all over his goddamn face. Naturally, Otome isn’t far away in the bushes, furiously committing the tawdry scene to paper.

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There is also something to be said for, in addition to concealing themselves form authorities, SOX is charged with keeping their brand credible, which is hard to do when rogue groups like “Gathered Fabric” (led by “White Peak”) pull stunts that fail to inspire the oppressed masses, and indeed do harm to SOX’s reputation and squander its political capital. Tanukichi doesn’t see them as a big deal, but Ayame believes GF must be “eradicated” like the damaging knock-off group she believes them to be.

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That brings us to Onigashira Kosuri, who’s father is a wealthy and influential part of the Establishment. Kosuri, long suffering ennui in such a stifling environment, has an earnest desire to stir the shit, as we see when she launches yogurt balloons at the morality cops. She also reveals her dual personalities—one playing a pure and innocent girl, the other an excited pervert; complete with differing hairstyles—in her first deakings with Tanukichi.

At first, she suspects he’s exactly what he is on the surface—a goody-two-shoes StuCo member. But when he proves to her he’s a SOX member, she literally latches onto him with abandon, completely ignoring the impropriety of him being so close to someone much younger than him.

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Tanukichi helps Kosuri convince Ayame that she’s worth having around, as she can supply funding and materials that can facilitate their work, so the addition of Kosuri makes sense, and Hocchan does an okay job with her voice(s), but I’m still not enamored of yet another girl who is basically another love interest for Tanukichi, whose presence can only subtract time better spent in the core triangle of Tanukichi, Ayame, and Anna. But hey, show, prove me wrong.

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