So after much ooh-ing and um-ing I’ve decided to blog Binbougami-ga! this season, Humanity Has Declined oh-so-narrowly missing out! In case you’re wondering what my selection process is for blogging a show, or how thorough it is in comparison to my selection of shows I want to watch, it’s simply just a matter of going with my gut, and this time my gut told me to go with this, even though the length of the show hasn’t yet been announced, so, who knows, I could be stuck writing about it forever! I also wanted to cover a show of a different genre to that of the previous two shows I’ve blogged about and thought I’d give comedy a go, a genre perhaps more challenging than action or romance. I’m always trying to convince myself that I love a challenge, so set my sights high, but always regret doing so once it’s too late, so doubtless this will be an interesting experiment for me!
Time for a fun fact: of the 20 highest earning stand-up comedians in Britain (where I live, fyi) just one is a woman. This kind of figure can be seen across the globe. It’s a fact, far less women go on to be successful in the comedy field than men. I won’t go into why that is- I’m no expert, so I’ll probably just end up digging myself an early grave! So why is this relevant? Well, because two of this season’s most promising comedies- Humanity Has Declined and Binbougami-ga!- are led, actually led by female characters, they’re not just supporting characters, which I thought was a little exciting! As I said during my final post on Nazo no Kanojo, I admire shows that try to do something a little different, and whilst having a comedy led by a female character has been done before, e.g. Ouran’s Haruhi, it hasn’t been done often enough! I mean, can you ever really have too much girl power!? Nevertheless, I was slightly disappointed by the fact that even though the show is led by two female characters, the comedy itself is still very masculine. Ichiko and Momiji managed to be funny by being brash, loud and obnoxious (give Momiji a silver perm and a pair of balls and she’s essentially Gintoki), which is OK- that contrasts with our expectations of how a lady is supposed to act, thus creating the lols, except it meant that this episode didn’t present comedy that was nearly as new and exciting as I’d hoped it would be as a result of the show being centred on female characters. So whilst this episode was funny, it wasn’t a brand of funny that I was totally unfamiliar with, therefore, there wasn’t really much to set it apart from other good comedies.
All the same, this episode used more than a satisfactory number of comedy techniques outside of making its two lead characters brash and VERY LOUD to assure me that it knows what to do in order to provoke giggles-a-plenty. You can definitely tell it’s directed by Yoichi Fujita, the director of over 100 episodes of Gintama, the following techniques were used so effortlessly that the show has a very self-assured feel to it, which is nice! It played on the stereotype that girls with big boobs ought to be dumb (an idea so commonplace despite it being so ridiculous), created a contrast between Ichiko’s nice-girl persona and her true vain nature, catching viewers off guard, and referred to other shows, namely Medaka Box and Dragonball Z, in a mocking way, among other things, in order to make viewers laugh. And that’s what, ultimately, is most important, that a comedy makes youo laugh. It really doesn’t matter whether the humour is masculine despite the two main characters being female so long as it produces the above result! I look forward to seeing how the show attempts to make us laugh next! Doubtless Binbougami-ga! will be of an episodic nature, so it’s important it explores many different avenues of comedy, to keep things fresh in order to compensate for a lack of story with major progression (something the likes of Seitokai Yakuindomo, which draws some parallels, failed to do), though I can’t help but shake the suspicion that Ichiko and Momiji’s vastly different boob sizes will be turned into some kind of a recurring joke…
Something I did find a bit strange though was how unlikable Ichiko was made to seem. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike her because of her good fortune (that would make me the same as those charming toilet girls), but because she’s so darn smug about it! It seems odd that the powers be would make her a crazy, egotistical bitch when it makes it so much harder for viewers to relate to her and immerse themselves in the show as a result. Wait, scratch that! Deep down she’s really just very lonely, in that case my fellow otaku and I should have no problem relating to, and empathising, with her… *rolls eyes*
No point trying to second-guess a show like this- for all I know aliens will abduct the school next episode, having mistaken all of the students for cows… *shrug*