“Shomin Sample” was the comedy anime from the previews that I was most looking forward to. The storyline of a boy thrown into a world of girls is by no means original, but it’s one I usually enjoy watching. Also added into this mix is the aspect of girls who are raised in a bubble, giving us the makings of a potentially exeptional (possibly ecchi) comedy. With all these factors under its belt, I went into the anime with some degree of anticipation. The first episode I was met with was pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and I am more than okay with that. I know not everyone is going to like this show, but as you already know I am one of those strange fans of this kind of humor.
This story starts, as many harems do, at a nondescript school. Kimito Kagurazaka is minding his own business at school, when his childhood friend Eri Hanae asks him to run to the school store for her. When he does, being the weak harem protagonist he is, he is accosted by several muscular men. These men are all dressed in military type attire, and they are all ripped like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This large muscled gay brigade of sorts whisk him away in a car, and flex around him in one of the most uncomfortable scenes I’ve witnessed this season. Kimito is dumped in front of another school, at the feet of a girl in a maid uniform.
The maid (Miyuki Kujo) informs him that he will be attending this all girls school (Seikain Girls School) from now on. Kimito hears the same from the principle of the school, as she tells him he is to be the example of shomin (commoners) for the girls of the school. When he inquires as to why he was chosen he is told that women who leave the school are experiencing difficulty adjusting to the real world, and also because he is apparently attracted to men. The second part is false, but the two women tell him that if he isn’t gay they’ll have to castrate and deport him. Upon learning this, Kimito loudly affirms his love for muscle bound men. Apparently slow on the uptake, the two women are sated by his fraudulent proclamation. After sorting out the details, they take Kimito to the first year class he will inevitably attend.
Seikain Girl’s School is a world unto itself, where the girls are educated to become high class ladies. When Kimito is introduced to them they inundate him with questions about the real world, and are amazed at his cell phone. Apparently “high class ladies” have no use for technological advances, or knowledge thereof. The first one to introduce herself is Reiko Arisugawa, the 1st year chair woman for Kimito’s new class. She is so much of a lady that after taking his phone for observation, she goes out of her way to write him a letter and give him cookies in thanks for the opportunity. Due to this caliber of class though, she faints when she has too much physical contact with Kimito. Around this time a girl name Aika leads Kimito out of the class intent on kissing him!
Apparently a senior at the school told Aika that kissing a “shomin” will make her wish come true, but Kimito disabuses her of this notion. He quickly discovers that Aika is both very gullible, and very anti-social. Later in his room (conveniently moved by the school) Aika confesses that her inability to lie is her reason for being anti-social. Apparently teenage girls don’t like it when you’re too honest, so Aika has taken to self exile from her classmates lets she hurt someones feelings. She tells Kimito that her wish is to be the most popular girl in her class, and decides to use him to further those ends. Apparently “shomin” culture is popular at the school, so she decides to start the “shomin club” to learn more about Kimito and his “poor person” ways. Thus ends the first episode, and starts the journey of what I can only imagine is Kimito’s personal hell.
It surprised me how engaged I was with this first episode. After all here we have yet another school anime with one male and several females, that at best will amuse me for the duration of the season. I like harems a lot, but precious few stand out in my mind as pillars of the genre or anime as a whole. I think this one has my attention because of the nature of the school. The story of the dangers of being raised in a bubble was told fairly well by “SHIMONETA” last season, and this story could have the makings of a narrative about the dangers of old fashion ways of thinking. It’s likely that I’m just imposing lofty goals on “Shomin Sample”, but if nothing else a man can dream right?
Regardless of my desire for the story to be both thought provoking and perversion filled, the show had a decent first episode considering the genre it occupies. The animation was par for the course, focusing a lot on close ups of the leading ladies. Kimito’s character reacts in the way most men would when threatened with genital mutilation, and the girls similarly act in an expected manner when faced with the unknown “man” creature. One has wonder if they’re going to explain Kimito’s unwillingness to use his smartphone to call the cops, and get himself as far away from “Psychotic Human Bubble School” as humanly possible. I know that would defeat the purpose of the show, I just hope they don’t blatantly ignore that plot hole.
With one episode of this under our belts it’s hard to say if it will sink or swim, but I’m nothing if not an optimist. The cast of girls vying for “best girl”, and the comedy brought by the ever present threat of gelding for the protagonist will most likely keep me invested in this series. One thing I’m not looking forward to is the very probable drop off ending, whereby the story doesn’t actually end and we either get another season or nothing at all. Still there are eleven more episodes until we reach that possible ending, so for now I’ll content myself with enjoying yet another school harem.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!