You know when you come up with some crazy anime concept, and think “man, wouldn’t it be funny if there was an actual show like that”? You have a laugh about it, but then you realize it’s better than it doesn’t exist, because it would only be funny for the first ten minutes.
That’s Shimoneta in a nutshell.
Japanese society has been thoroughly sanitized. People are forced to wear monitoring devices that alert the authorities if they dare say a dirty word, and high schoolers are completely ignorant of how reproduction works. Only a brave few activists dare to stand up to this oppression, shocking the populace by saying rude things in public.
I want to give it some credit because it’s actually trying to make a point by satirizing censorship and prudishness. This gives it a clear edge over most other anime where the message is “I want to protect vulnerable girls” or “I want to pet dog-eared princesses”. But I don’t think this is a premise that can carry an entire series. Halfway through the first episode, you pretty much get the point, and all that’s left is dirty jokes and seeing the wacky ways in which the swearorists strike back against society.
Let me start by saying one of the problems isn’t so much with the show itself as the translation. The comedy consists almost entirely of innuendo and puns on dirty words, and while a valiant effort was made to come up with English equivalents, it… just doesn’t really work too well.
Other than that, the big potato in the room is the main character. He’s pretty much your typical dull, innocent, overreacting male high schooler. And maybe this time around that’s the point, but that doesn’t make him any less annoying to watch. The female lead’s enthusiastic dedication to the cause of bad sex jokes is the show’s only real saving grace, and she could already find plenty of foil in the student council and moral police. We don’t really need a boring guy to act surprised at everything she does.
All in all, despite its good intentions, Shimoneta is ultimately just another fanservice-y comedy show. And that’s not my cup of tea.
First Episode Rating: 5/10
What would it take for me to watch another episode? A global puritanical coup driving me into the arms of the resistance