Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou - 07

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In terms of directly responding to mental commands from me, Danshi Koukousei has about the best track record of any anime I can remember.

Last week was really the first time I felt like things were getting a little out of balance with this series.  There was too much focus on the girls – who seemed to be getting most of the laugh lines – and the original trio was receding further into the background than ideal.  It was still funny, but a show called “Daily Lives of High School Boys” has to maintain a delicate balance, especially when its central premise seems to be satirizing the overwhelming rush of high school girls shows.  Well, once again I feel as if I’m eerily on the same wavelength because this episode was much more in the mold of the first few eps, with less complicated plot humor and more silly gags involving all the guys, especially the main trio (especially Hidenori).  The main female appearance was by one of my two favorite girls in the cast, Literary Girl, and the first eyecatch even tackled something else I’ve been wondering – just how the hell do you abbreviate this title (I'm not crazy about "Nichibros")?  It didn’t tackle it helpfully, but…

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…

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[sage]_Daily_Lives_of_High_School_Boys_-_07_[720p][10bit][DFB2E177].mkv_snapshot_13.46_[2012.02.21_13.14.05] [sage]_Daily_Lives_of_High_School_Boys_-_07_[720p][10bit][DFB2E177].mkv_snapshot_14.27_[2012.02.21_14.01.22] [sage]_Daily_Lives_of_High_School_Boys_-_07_[720p][10bit][DFB2E177].mkv_snapshot_14.42_[2012.02.21_13.15.01]
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Omake: “High School Girl Power”
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12 comments:

  1. Thank you Enzo. I totally loved this episode :D was almost crying with the return of 'JACK' I think I'm gonna name all my RPG heroes Jack from now on :D

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  2. this episode fill with table flip rage

    (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

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  3. Gr8 episode, ROFL'D during the sketch with the zip and the literary girl. Mitsuo's was epic 2.
    BTW how many roles is Shizuka ito in right now, cause doesnt she seem to have too many:
    Beelzebub
    Moretsu Space Pirates
    Shakugan no Shana
    Amagami SS
    Area no Kishi
    Highschool DxD
    And now Danshi too

    Is she the next Kana Hana or something.
    Did I miss any?

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    Replies
    1. You can never have too much of Itou Shizuka...

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  4. Error in writing : "this time getting lessons on how to be cure anime girls from their sempai"
    I too don't know Belphegor and, she did know Oda, she is just trying to pretend to don't know. It is the act of stupidity.
    @Ishruns: sorry but I don't think she got it, i least for me. her voice aint varied enough for my preference.

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  5. Actually the last career questionnaire the teacher read wasn't serious either, if you knew the design of that questionnaire.

    The questionnaire is divided into three sections:
    1.What do you want to do after graduation from high school? Choose one.
    --Higher Education (University / Technical College)
    --Work
    --Work and study
    --Others
    2. For the first three options above, what are your first three choices? (Major, kind of job etc.)
    3. Please elaborate here if you selected "Others" at (1).

    The last questionnaire the teacher read has "Higher Education" selected in (1) and "Enter College" entered as the first choice in (2). So that guy certainly wanted to go to college but not decided on a major--this is, in fact, a joke in anywhere outside of the US.

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  6. This episode was great, Literary Girl always gets me cracking up and I think this one was even funnier than her first skit.

    And the abbreviation for this show is Nichibros, obviously.

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  7. I've never cared for that shorthand, actually...

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    Replies
    1. And I've never cared for people calling their MMORPG characters "toons" but it looks like we don't always get what we want ;).

      Nichibros all the way! Nichibros #1!

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  8. When Hidenori moved that zipper down, I just lost it for half a minute loling my head off. And it really was cute watching Habara acting like a proper high school girl after her sordid past as the Archdemon of East Yada Elementary was revealed last episode. I guess she's really trying very hard to atone for her past, as evidenced by how cute she tried to act in this weeks skit to become an exemplary high school girl approved by her sempai.

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  9. The Literary Girl sketch this week just had Lulz written all over. Wonder why she's always going to Hidenori's favourite relaxing spot by the river slope just to stand behind him? Surely this must hint at something besides the ordinary reason of "seeking inspiration for her novels" sooner or later.

    This is especially notable after Hidenori was kind enough to cover her with his jacket after hilariously knocking her out cold.

    Itou Shizuka's senpai speaks the truth about being ignorant of common knowledge, or at least pretending to be ignorant, is the sign of a cute highschool girl. (Sarcasm fully intended :) )

    BTW Enzo, I usually just call this show Nichibro for short. Though you can abbreviate it to DLoHSB, which would sound like some RPG monster if you attempt to pronounce it.

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    Replies
    1. As early as Ep 1 it has already mentioned Lit Girl projected the image of the hero in her novels on Hidenori--so she actually had a crush on him. (Although whether Hidenori is her "solitary introverted otaku" is a completely different question)

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