In terms of directly responding to mental commands from me, Danshi Koukousei has about the best track record of any anime I can remember.
The pre-open was right out of the original playbook, with the main trio hanging out in Tadakuni’s room being bored (which is sort of the neutral state of affairs with this show) and trying to amaze each other with astounding feats of magic. I have no idea what Yoshitake was planning to do with the crab – probably not a bad thing not to know – and Tadakuni’s trick with the milk was pretty much pointless, but somehow I knew – even as I was telling myself they wouldn’t go there – Hidenori was going to unzip his pants bluetooth style. The accompanying symphony of grunts by Sugita-san is what really sold the gag.
The theme continues with the first skit, again finding the gang bored in Tadakuni’s bedroom. This time ringleader Hidenori drags Tadakuni into a “Dragon’s Quest” simulation, which is impressive in it’s thoroughness. This is another one of those gags that will work much better if you know the target of the satire extremely well – better than I do, to be honest – but it’s universal enough to get its point across. All three seiyuu are really in their element here, with Hidenori and Yoshitake giving voice to a dizzying array of mostly extraneous characters and Miyu Irinio’s Tadakuni breathlessly trying to keep up with the intensity of their baka nature. The entry of Tadakuni-imouto provides a convenient save point.
Next up the parade of seiyuu superstars continues, with Sakurai Takahiro joining the cast as Hidenori’s older brother Yuusuke. The theme here is sisters, as in their concerns over the continued immaturity of the brothers in question. They’ve come to Yuusuke to try and get him to talk some sense into the boys (well, one of the girls has an ulterior motive) but what’s in Yuusuke’s pocket clearly shows they’re barking up the wrong tree. Next up is the highlight of the episode, this time another visit from Literary Girl. I can’t explain why this is my favorite running gag in anime – it’s not like it’s intellectual humor or anything. But Sugita providing Hidenori’s internal monologue and Literary Girl’s facial Olympics entertain me endlessly – it never fails, always wins. And the gag this time – Literary Girl digging herself deeper and deeper into humiliation with her extreme clumsiness, culminating in Hidenori inadvertently knocking her unconscious (at least he covered her in his jacket before he left) - was one of the biggest laughs of any anime this year, and this series has provided some big ones all by itself. Stupid and smart at the same time – comedy doesn’t get any better than that.
Wrapping up the pre-credits are two short but clever chapters, the first involving the homeroom teacher and the career questionnaire. Boys apparently don’t take that too seriously in Japan, but my favorite part was her reaction to the one guy who actually did (“Make a joke!”). Lastly was an extended sketch at the expense of Mitsuo (introduced last week) who’ apparently a bit of a simpleton and a butt of jokes. We haven’t seen much focus on male bullying in this show, but we got a little taste of it here, as stories about Mitsuo’s feebleness were swapped – except most of them turned out to be about Yoshitake. Finally, the funky girls made their appearance – this time getting lessons on how to be cute anime girls from their sempai (none other than the great Shizuka Itou) and Yanagin and Ikushima failing miserably. Yanagin is the worst offender here, not only for knowing who Belphegor is but Oda Nobunaga too – after all, as Sempai tells her “Pretending to be an idiot who doesn’t even know common knowledge is what makes high school girls cute!” As always no series eviscerates anime gender stereotypes like this one, and the Funky Girls deliver that satire in concentrated form…
Omake: “High School Girl Power”