Shimoneta was created by Studio JC Staff
Primary Genres: Ecchi, Comedy
WARNING: This anime is extremely explicit. There is so much sexual content and mature theming that I cannot begin to catalog it. Viewer discretion is fucking MANDATORY.
For a long time, I figured I would be done writing reviews. But it seems a Sorcerer’s work is never done, so here I am. Shimoneta, aka “A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist”, is among the most amazing examples of doing the Ecchi genre correctly I’ve ever seen. While it’s often compared unfavorably to Prison School, another Ecchi by JC Staff, I won’t be doing so here. As far as I’m concerned, they’re apples and oranges. With that out of the way, I need to ask myself: what the hell did I get myself into? This is… SHIMONETA.
As always, we begin with the characters. The main character is Tanukichi Okuma, played by Yuusuke Kobayashi, a kid reigning from one of the most immoral schools in all of Japan. In the world of Shimoneta, the government is basically full of puritans, and they’ve banned everything even remotely lewd. Tanukichi is from one of the most lewd schools, but he’s managed to get himself into the single most moral school in the entire country to pursue a girl he likes. He’s overall a decent character. On the scale of “high school guys”, he’s slightly above average. He’s not as good as the likes of Keiichi Maebara or Tomoya Okazaki, but he’s not as bad as the likes of Yuuki Amano or Makoto Itou. His intimate knowledge of lewdness serves him well in being exposed to everything that happens to him over the course of the series. And by the end, he does fully accept the weird lewdness that ends up surrounding him. He has some phenomenal back-and-forth with virtually everyone in the entire series as he manages to play off of everyone’s personalities perfectly. The next character is Ayame Kajo, played by Shizuka Ishigami, also known as “Blue Snow”. She’s basically V, but with porn instead of knives. She’s also the source of about 60% of the show’s dirty jokes due to her cell phone that allows her to bypass the government’s tracking device. I don’t think I need to say much more about her than the fact that she’s fucking hilarious. The next member of the organization that forms is Otome Saotome, played by Satomi Arai, the greatest artist in the region. Since the tracking devices record what movements people’s hands make, she ends up drawing mostly with her mouth. She gains inspiration for her artwork from the likes of porn magazines and watching Tanukichi get sexually assaulted (yes, that happens once). The final member of the main group is Kosuri Onigashira, played by the always phenomenal Yui Horie, a crime boss’ daughter that carries a ton of weapons around for whatever reason and who has a hyper-suggestive hairstyle when viewed from the back. The best way to describe her is the result of Satoko from Higurashi being given a supply locker of riot gear and becoming as much of a colossal pervert as everyone else in this show. There’s also a side protagonist in the form of Hyouka Fuwa, played by Saori Gotou, a science-obsessed deadpan student trying everything she can to figure out exactly what reproduction is, since the government neglected the concept of Sex Ed. There are some absolutely gut-busting laughs that she ends up pulling in whenever she ends up getting involved in the main characters’ schemes. That about covers the heroes, so let’s discuss the villains. Our first “villain” (for lack of a better word) is Anna Nishikinomiya, played by the late Miyu Matsuki. She starts off as the most morally sound student in the most morally sound school in the country. She’s so moral, in fact, that she has even less of an idea what lewdness is than everyone else in the show. That all changes at the end of Episode 3, and she begins causing the most uncomfortable moments in the entire show as she loses her mind and turns into a sex offender. I’m absolutely serious about that. Just about every single one of the best jokes in the series involves Anna in some way, with maybe 3 exceptions. She actually rivals Minatsuki from Deadman Wonderland for the title of most hilariously psychotic character, which is a phenomenal feat. Helping her out here is her voice actress, who turns in an absolutely stellar performance. Anna has a lackey in the form of Raiki Gōriki, played by Kenta Miyake, an ape-like third year who is basically a tsundere towards Tanukishi, just apparently closeted or something. The main villain of the season is White Peak, played by Ken Narita. He is the head of Gathered Fabric, a rival organization focused on stealing as many panties as physically possible. Yes, that happens. I find his character design particularly interesting, as he wears a mask stitched together from a half-dozen panties, which gives him a distinctly psychotic appearance. He also straps a stun gun to his dick for use as a weapon. I’m dead serious about that. The last major villain is Oboro Tsukimigusa, played by Sumire Uesaka. The best way to describe her character is if you mixed the Eiserne Jungfrau with Chiester 00 from Umineko, added in a touch of Kanon, and then dumped in several gallons of liquid stupidity. And it’s fucking hilarious. Overall, the characterization is easily passable, and more than enough to keep the show interesting.
The story in Shimoneta is something truly special. It’s basically 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 mixed with V for Vendetta and a backlog of porn magazines. The basic premise is that the Japanese government has been taken over by puritans who outlaw anything remotely associated with sex (and I do mean everything. They outlaw volleyball because the net resembles a fishnet stocking). They use 1984-style tracking devices to monitor everything everyone says and the things everyone’s hands are doing. As a result, saying lewd words or making lewd imagery will automatically call the Decency Squad (basically the porn Gestapo) in to arrest the perpetrator. The story revolves around Tanukichi Okuma, a normal student who’s trying to get into the most prestigious school in the country in order to impress the girl he likes. On the train there his first day, he sticks up for another student who’s getting scammed, and ends up getting the Decency Squad called after him. As he’s running, the chase is interrupted by Blue Snow (more literally “blue tundra”), a terrorist who screams “giant dick” at the top of her lungs and then tosses a ton of cards around, each with a lewd image on them. She gets away by telling the Decency Squad that if they force her to struggle, the sheet she’s wearing will fall off and expose her as naked in front of everyone. She then books it, and Tanukichi escapes by sliding down a rope. At school, Tanukichi is inducted into the Student Council, led by the girl he likes: Anna Nishikinomiya. He’s shown around by the Vice President, Ayame Kajo, who ultimately reveals herself to be Blue Snow. She forces him to found lewd terrorist organization SOX (Sex happens most Often on X-mas) with her, and they then try and spread lewdness through the use of fly porn (long story) and a fake eye exam. The latter stunt gets Tanukichi discovered by Otome Saotome, reportedly the best artist in the prefecture. She then forces him to help her out of her “slump” by helping her win the affections of Anna. During a plot to lure out a stalker, Tanukichi ends up falling on Anna and accidentally kissing her (props to them or not making it a grope). As a result, Anna ends up falling in love with him and starts to go insane. Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those. Tanukichi is visited in the hospital by Hyouka Fuwa, the smartest kid in the school and the one who owned the flies they used in the first plot, who gives him an eel. He’s also visited by Otome, who Ayame has recruited into SOX. Upon getting out, he’s forced to teach her about sexual arousal, though that ends up happening from Anna breaking into his apartment and trying to rape him. Yes indeed, you read that right. Witnessing… that allows Otome to begin making full drawings… with her mouth. As a result, they begin distributing lewd pamphlets around the school. Anna, meanwhile, has gone off the deep end and is now stalking Tanukichi so she can feed him “Love Nectar”, which is exactly what you’re probably thinking it is. As a result of her stalking him, Tanukichi is unable to put up some of the posters, resulting in Hyouka finding them instead. SOX then plans a raid on a forest supposedly containing a stash of lewd material, but they need to bring the other students as decoys in order to slip past the Decency Squad. While the think they failed to do so because of a rally for signing a petition, it’s revealed that Hyouka instead brought everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) to the forest in order to look for the cache of magazines. The only problem is Anna, who subsequently chases both Tanukichi and Ayame in an attempt to capture them. Ayame throws Tanukichi off a cliff in an attempt to save him from Anna, and he finds the magazine stash in a suggestively-shaped cave. He also finds lower body lingerie in the form of black panties, thigh high socks, and the necessary harness. Naturally, he puts them on and goes to rescue Ayame. Anna is warded off because of the way he smells (don’t ask me), and SOX leaves with the magazines. Their next plot revolves around making masturbation implements (with the help of Hyouka), which ends about as well as you can expect. It’s around this point that rival organization Gathered Fabric starts to show up, And for some reason, their only goal is stealing as many panties as they can (particularly white ones), but they only steal used ones (if that thought disgusts you, that’s normal). Through methods as hijacking buses and stealing pairs en masse, they manage to amass hundreds of pairs. Their leader, White Peak, claims to be associated with SOX, much to the dismay of SOX itself. In addition, the Decency Squad sends Officer Tsukimigusa to oversee the school and remove lewd material. This androgynous Officer is dumb as a sack of bricks, allowing lewd material to be used out in the open so long as people told them the books weren’t lewd. This arc also introduces Kosuri, who happens to carry an infinite bag of nonlethal weapons. She does her best to stall and hobble the Decency Squad, much to the annoyance of Ayame and Otome. As a result, during the bus hijacking, she switches sides and helps White Peak move hostages into an academy. Thanks to a genius (if disturbing) idea from Tanukichi, SOX partners with Anna and Tsukimigusa to take down White Peak, and Kosuri changes sides again in order to help take him down. Oh yeah, and Ayame and Tanukichi basically confess their feelings to each other while escaping on a hot air balloon. This happens in Episode 11, and there’s one more after it. In the last episode, everyone is lured to a resort where the largest cache of erotic material in the city is stored. Anna tries raping Tanukichi again, and whether or not she succeeds is somewhat unclear. Hyouka, Ayame, and Tanukichi drop Anna off a cable car (she survives), and the latter two go and discover the cache, which is actually mannequins in lingerie. They leave it there, and set off again to continue their mission. The story is set up really well, and maximizes the potential for making jokes. Definitely help make the series worth a watch.
The actual animation is on the higher end of quality. Sure, it’s not up to Manglobe standards of quality, but it’s definitely really good. The character designs in general are pretty good, with those of Anna and Hyouka standing out the most. One thing I find particularly amusing is that this show manages to make censors funny. As in, the actual stuff they use to censor images is absolutely hilarious. Every character has their own unique censorship seal, and just about all of them are phenomenal, with those of Anna, Hyouka, and Tanukichi being the best. I can’t really comment more on the animation, except that the Opening and Ending actually change over the course of the story, which is always worthy of note. Overall, the animation is pretty good.
Describing the sound design is rather intriguing. The actual voice acting (in Japanese) is pretty good. Miyu Matsuki, god rest her soul, does a wonderful job in the booth, with everything from weird seductive purrs to outright lewd moans and screams. The others are serviceable, though I have no idea how this compares to their other work, with one exception. Yui Horie is among my personal favorite seiyuu for her sublime role in When They Cry, and I honestly think this is one of her weaker performances. That being said, she’s still a highly skilled seiyuu, so I can’t really complain. The dub, however, is absolutely terrible, which is a surprise, since this is FUNimation we’re talking about, the guys behind dubs like FMA and Deadman Wonderland. The warning signs were available early, however, when Josh Grell was announced as the vocal star. He’s just as bad as always, and most of the others follow suit. However, they were smart enough to cast Monica Rial as Anna, and she does a pretty good job. Nowhere near her best work, but decent overall. The music is hard to comment on, as I don’t recall any of them in detail. This is a common trait in the modern entertainment industry, but it’s no less annoying for it. The OP and ED are great, and I really enjoy listening to them. They’re fun, memorable, and catchy. Overall, the sound (in Japanese anyway) is really good.
The delivery of theme in Shimoneta is somewhat hyperbolic (this is a comedy after all), but when the show turns dead serious, the actual themes are well worth taking to heart. The idea of sexuality being pure in its own right and that the censorship of it is wrong is a very interesting thought, and it’s one I would like to see more often. So, the show is good on themes as well.
Overall, Shimoneta has likable characters, a good story, great animation, pretty good Japanese voice acting, good OP and ED tracks, and truly interesting themes. It’s certainly not without its flaws, and I don’t think it’s the kind of genre king I’ll be going back to time and time again, so as such I award Shimoneta with an A+ rating, with a Pretty Good seal of approval. It’s a must-see, and it’s available for free on Youtube (subtitled only) through the official FUNimation channel. The series can also be bought on Blu-Ray or DVD through the official FUNimation website, and unofficial translations can be found on all the usual sites. So you really don’t have an excuse to not see it. It seems unlikely that I’ll be writing in any more reviews in the foreseeable future, but I may upload part of the backlog. I guess we’ll see.