Sunday, January 31, 2016

Shimoneta


Before we start, please note that everything written in this post are my own thoughts and opinions. You neither have to agree nor approve. I normally don't do this, but due to the oddly political and societal nature of this anime, I felt adding this little addendum up top was important.

Shimoneta, known in English as A World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist, is an anime that will have parents up in arms. This anime, which is set in a dystopian Japan that has brainwashed the masses into believing that dirty jokes and sexual arousal is wrong, has managed to take a rather serious issue and turn it into a joke - a very funny joke that makes me shit bricks because I laughed so hard.

The story starts off with our main character, Okuma, journeying on a train and nearly being arrested by the purity police (patent pending) for stopping a woman who was trying to exploit someone for money by using the no-lewd acts policy. He is then rescued by Blue Tundra, who later in the series is called Blue Snow. Blue Tundra is a woman who hides her face behind a mask... which is actually just a pair of panties. Yes, this chick where's panties on her head. She also wears a cloak... and nothing else. We never see it, but she is apparently butt naked underneath that cloak. Through a series of highly unusual events that are filled with absurdly lewd dialogue and sexual references, Okuma becomes a terrorist alongside Blue Tundra to fight against the evil government who's banned everything dirty.

"What's the point of dirty jokes anyway if they aren't 'wrong'? They're appealing *because* they are wrong. They excite us *because* we have to be secretive. Because they're devilish, they shine. Because they're twisted, they entice us. That is why I vowed to become the 'devil' to crush this boring world where the concept of dirty jokes does not exist!" – Kajou Ayame.

This quote here defines the series. While this show is hilarious, stupid, dumber than the dumbest American slapstick ever conceived, it is also surprisingly witty. I'll be honest here, I think dirty jokes are hilarious. It's like how children always laugh at fart jokes. Are they wrong? Maybe. I'm not here to debate the morality of jokes and sexual innuendo, but I would like to state, for the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with dirty jokes. While they certainly aren't for everyone, people shouldn't feel ashamed of enjoying a good dirty joke either, which is really what this series is all about.

There's also a hidden message here, which is that you shouldn't be ashamed of your own sexual desires. I'm not one for talking about politics, religion, and morals. However, I do feel like this is a good message. Since this anime doesn't take itself seriously, like, at all, the message it tells is mired in humor, but I think it's one that people can learn from. I know so many teenagers and younger people who are ashamed of their own feelings because parents and other people tell them that being aroused is wrong. You go on facebook and read some of the stuff written, and it really is kind of appalling. While the message in here applies to Japan more than other countries - Japan is currently going through a recession and birthrates have hit an all time low because people in Japan are no longer interested in procreation - I think everyone can take a bit of a lesson in accepting the parts of others that people might find shameful.

Political and message machinations aside, this story isn't much more than that. In fact, I'm almost positive that the director was so caught up in delivering his message that he forgot to properly develop his characters and story. While the series is funny, the characters in it suck - and not in a sexual innuendo kind of way. They're just bad. Underdeveloped. If this anime was lacking in anyway, I think it would be the main characters, who often have a very flat feel to them. You could have replaced these two with anybody else, and it would have been very close to the same anime that it is now. Oddly enough, I feel like Anna, the sort of antagonist of this series, got way more development than either of the main characters - even if that development consisted of her going full yandere and becoming an insane nymphomaniac. And like the characters, the story is also lacking. Again, I feel like the director became caught in the relaying of his "people shouldn't feel ashamed of dirty jokes" message that he forgot to further his plot. This is supposed to be about a couple high school kids fighting against a massive government... so why have we not seen any of that in this anime? The government barely gets any time in this, and it feels more like this anime is about Okuma trying to halt Anna's yandere sexual advances.

So, to put this series into perspective, while I personally thought it was funny, I would not recommend this to everyone. If you are easily offended, then you should not watch this anime. However, if you do appreciate a good dirty joke and don't mind absurd amounts of lewdness, then I'd recommend watching this series.

Artwork: 7/10
Animation: 8/10
Sound: 9/10
Characters: 5/10
Story: 6/10
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10
Total: 7/10