In a hidden school surrounded by mountains, young ladies of good families are taught everything a high class lady needs to know. They are also completely cut off from the outside world, keeping them sheltered and innocent; however, a problem has come up recently—more and more graduates are failing to cope with the modern world after graduation. To deal with this problem, they've decided to kidnap a male commoner student, and enroll him as a student. They hope that this will be a gentle way to introduce the girls to the outside world.
Kagurazaka Kimito is chosen for this dubious honor, mostly because he seems utterly average; however, the school leaders also seem to have concluded he's a homosexual with a muscle fetish. When Kimito hears that the alternative may be castration (to protect the girls' purity), he eagerly plays along with this misconception. Now he'll just have to survive the attention of many high class young ladies that are completely out of touch with the world!
Shomin Sample is one of those rare ecchi harems which actually feels genuinely original and refreshing to watch. Not just because the setting is somewhat unusual, but also because its ecchi elements feel perfectly natural and that it's actually really funny. It's even got a likable harem protagonist for once, just how rare is that?
The idea of having a sheltered all-girls high school for rich young ladies and then letting a lone male student transfer into it is nothing new to the world of anime. But for the ladies to be completely and utterly clueless about how the world of ordinary citizens works, and for them to have a misconception that the protagonist is actually gay and has a serious fetish for muscle men? Yeah I don't think that one has been done anywhere else before.
That is to say, our main character Kimito is one day kidnapped and forced to enroll in the school in order to help the female students to learn how to interact with not only a commoner, but also a person of the opposite gender for the first time. And I dare you, do *not* underestimate just how unbelievably ignorant these girls are about how the real world functions. In their eyes, ordering food at McDonald's is equivalent to the second coming of Jesus. That's how disconnected they are from reality in this series, and it's also the main source of the comedy that Shomin Sample has to offer. It's incredibly silly, but that's also what makes it so charming and original.
This is also emphasized a lot by the fact that Kimito is, in lack of a better phrasing, quite simply a huge troll. Since the girls are not only clueless but also about as gullible as it gets, he time and time again tricks them into learning things about commoners which are complete nonsense, and then watches them make fools out of themselves before springing the truth upon them a bit later on. It might be considered rude, but it's done in a very light-hearted and comedic fashion, and it rarely fails to make you laugh as a result.
Of course seeing as this is a harem, the anime still hinges on the likability of the main heroines. There are primarily 5 of them in Shomin Sample. First we have Aika, the so-called "Tsun-pure" girl of the series. She is a loner who has a very hard time making friends with the other students, but desperately wants to be popular on the inside and she therefore asks Kimito to help her. She is also mind-bogglingly easy to trick as she believes literally anything Kimito tells her without a second thought. Secondly there's Reiko, one of the most respected ladies in the school and pretty much your stereotypical Ojou-sama character, albeit a lot less haughty. For what it's worth, she's probably the most generic and least interesting character of the show. Thirdly we have Karen, a beautiful black-haired woman who carries around a katana. More unexpectedly though is that on the inside... she's also a pretty hardcore lolicon of all things, which becomes very noticeable in the presence of the fourth girl: Hakua. She is the emotionless loli of the series who is supposedly 14 years old but looks quite a lot younger than that. She's also a genius who has her own laboratory in the school where she helps resolve serious issues in the fields of math, science and engineering. And fifth, there is the school's head maid: Miyuki. She is... also quite emotionless as far as her facial expression goes, but on the other hand the words coming out of her mouth are incredibly blunt and rude. Out of obligation she comes to wake Kimito up every morning, but instead of politely greeting him, her catchphrase would rather be "I wish you had never woken up." There's also a sixth girl called Eri who is Kimito's childhood friend, but we don't get to see her too much in the anime as she is not a student in the school, however she works as a voice actress and you can see Kimito playing games starring her sometimes.
So overall, the character cast is a very mixed bag, but there ought to be someone for everyone in there at least. Personally I think Hakua is irresistibly cute, but Aika's gullibility and Karen's incorrigible behavior are certainly treats to see as well, and let's not even get started on Miyuki. That, and I also have to say that for a harem protagonist, Kimito really deserves an honorable mention here. He's honestly one of the better ones I've seen. He knows what he wants and he's not afraid to show it, he's not shy in any way when dealing with the girls, he's got a great sense of humor and he's just a very friendly person in general.
Now it should be stated that at heart, Shomin Sample is primarily a comedy anime, and the ecchi elements are only secondary, not the other way around. That being said, there is still a decent amount of ecchi in it, and what it has is actually very tastefully executed. It's not just half-assedly slapped on as it is in so many other anime out there, but rather it generally stems from the characters' personalities. First of all, although the girls may incorrectly believe him to be a homosexual with a fetish for muscle men, the truth is that Kimito is most certainly hetero, and more so he actually has a pretty serious thigh fetish instead. He doesn't particularly care much for tits or asses; instead he's all about the legs. Many times throughout the series, we get to hear Kimito having an unbelievably rich and detailed internal monologue about just how and why the girls' legs in front of him are as beautiful as he believes them to be. Meanwhile, Hakua has the tendency to sometimes get flashes of inspiration which causes her to start writing down complex mathematical formulas all over the walls and the floor, and for some reason she also subconsciously starts stripping while she does so. This is also much to the joy of Karen who then really can't keep herself from panting like a dog in heat and having nosebleeds all over the floor as she greedily ogles Hakua's naked body. And there's plenty of eye candy starring the other girls as well.
The production value is... well probably the weakest part of this anime. Especially the animation, made by Silver Link, is quite clearly a very low-budget production. It looks pretty rough around the edges a lot of the time and it's not exactly pretty to look at. But at least it isn't straight-up ugly, and it doesn't really hamper the enjoyment of the comedy or ecchi scenes anyway. The soundtrack is about what you'd expect it to be, in other words barely noticeable. I like the OP quite a lot though, it's pretty catchy.
What perplexes me the most is just how much lower rated this anime currently is compared to its own light novel and manga versions. I have not read the novel since it's not translated very far, but I have read the manga since quite a while ago, and honestly I don't think the anime is any worse at all. Apparently a lot of people seem to say otherwise but I personally don't see why at least.
Either way, Shomin Sample was something I did not expect would ever get an anime adaptation just based on the fact that unorthodox ecchi series like this rarely do, but I'm so glad it did. Compared to the abundance of magic academy ecchi harems we normally get (this season included), Shomin Sample is better in just about every category to me. It's funny, it's cute, it's original and it doesn't feel forced at all. And for an anime of this type, that's about as much as you can ever ask for.
Execution is important when telling a story. An idea may sound good on paper, but when implemented, many things can and will go wrong. Sometimes, this is the fault of the talent or lack there-of putting it together, as there was too much going on and they had to cut it down. Other times, it was too vague and it goes someplace the creator didn't originally want it to go, or wasn't open to experimentation. Or it was just all slapped together, and/or relied on too much ass pulling and so it just falls apart. But then there are ideas that simply just don't work, and nothing, not even good talent, will save it unless it doesn't take itself seriously from the start—but even that doesn't always work.
This is why “suspension of disbelief” exists. Creators rely on, perhaps even expect their audience to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show/book, because it's only for entertainment. In reality, it can only handle so much before it gets broken. For the most part, the story lays its rules out in such a manner that unless something very ridiculous happens that doesn't follow the rules as such, it's easy to roll with it. Universes are easy to create, they're just harder to keep it well-oiled and functioned without having to throw in a wrench to “find and fix” a problem.
“Ore ga Ojousama Gakkou ni 'Shomin Sample' Toshite Gets-Sareta Ken”, another light novel adaptation with such a ridiculously long title that it's shortened simply to “Shomin Sample”, tries too hard to get its audience to just “roll with it”. The synopsis already tells you what to expect, yet it just doesn't work because even in its own little universe, it doesn't work, and they acknowledge it's a failure. Newsflash: Being meta at the door is not enough to save your little harem from self-destruction.
STORY: Kimito Kagurazaka was just chilling in school one day when suddenly, militaristic muscle men nab him from the hallways, drag him into a limousine where they sexually fawn over him, and take him to a secluded prestige all-girls academy. The reason is because he was chosen to be a subject to help teach the girls more about the outside world, but he can only stay as a student if he was a raging homosexual with a muscle fetish. Since he wants to keep his penis intact, he has no choice but to roll with it, and he begins to develop a friendly relationship with the girls and correcting their misconceptions on the “commoner world”, as they call it. At the same time, he attracts a few socially inept girls who becomes his harem on the side, but he is not allowed to romance them. And even then, would he really want to?
Here's where my suspension of disbelief is thrown out the window from the first episode: the fact all of these girls don't know anything about the outside world, and they become shut-ins because of it. And here I thought I was a sheltered girl, but they all take the cake and eat it, too. Becoming shut-ins aside, how the hell do they even function in life? Are we to just assume that from the day of their birth they weren't allowed to leave their premises? I don't care that they're rich and they have maids waiting hand and foot to cater to their every little needs, they clearly are living in a messed up world where they don't know about other people—I'm sorry, “commoners”. Apparently, this was such a huge problem with their graduates that the administration had to bring in someone from the “outside world” to teach them. This is proof they are warped in the head, blinded by their own perfect little bubble where nothing bad happens to their perfect little angels, and the concept of boys and how they function as people are close to a thing of fiction. Just what the fuck were they expecting?
And there's really no way one “commoner” boy can tell all of these girls everything about the outside world unless he was to really go into politics and social cues (which he himself has to understand, but he's “normal”, so apparently he does), because that's how the outside world works, ladies and gentlemen. It's not just about the kind of phone you own, or what clothes you wear, or what food you eat, it's about interaction with the people around you. I don't expect these girls to go out and find work when they're probably just going to be married off to wealthy businessmen, but they should still at least be able to go out in public and be normal, and make friends. If they can't even do that, which is what the school and parents are supposed to prepare them for, then they are failures because they were set up to be failures. And since there's only one of him, they can't all personally interact with him, and many of them don't.
You know what this school is? A gilded cage, plain and simple, it's just that at least they're getting some kind of education. It's probably why they haven't gone mad yet, but maybe that'd make for a more interesting harem to have a cast of loons. And speaking of which...
CHARACTERS: One of the issues (albeit it's an attraction) with the harem genre are its character archetypes, which is believed to have been set in stone by “Love Hina”. “Shomin Sample” doesn't appear to have been inspired by it, but the female leads still show signs, just in a “different” light. The saying “Once you've seen X, you've seen them all” pretty much sums up the genre, and this is no exception to its characters. Character archetypes aren't bad on their own, mind you, it's when the characters are stagnant that it becomes a problem.
Kimito Kagurazaka has my sympathy for being forced into a school and become someone he's not. The raging homosexual with a muscle fetish they label him with? That was all a misinterpretation of his normal everyday life, because he was interacting more with his male peers than female peers—even though he has a female childhood friend they personally interviewed. The school believed her lies, but they refused to take responsibility for their mistakes, let alone listen to what Kimito had to say in his attempts to correct them, and pretty much threatened him to cover it up. So now, he has to put up with all of these loony bins who have attached themselves to him all while hoping he'll still get to keep it in his pants or it'll get snipped. But unlike with other harem protagonists, his penis is honest-to-goodness in real peril to the point I'm shocked it hasn't shrunken into him, he's constantly on his toes.
Penile peril and humiliation is grade-A comedy in romcoms, apparently.
But I'll have to give him some credit in that he's actually rather nice and helpful to the girls and doesn't ogle them—usually; this is because he has a thigh fetish, so most of his ogling is focused on the thighs and going on monologues about them. Although it's generalization to label every harem protagonist as a pervert, it hasn't always been the case since they're typically thrust into a harem they didn't want. It's pretty clear Kimito respects them, and that he's managed to stay sane despite being watched like a hawk, however, he still has his perverse moments that he still ends up getting into on accident—like every other harem protagonist. At the very least, he's not getting himself beat up for this, but his genitals still run for the hills each and every time.
And then there's the roll call of your classic one-dimensional harem girls obliviously trying to get him castrated in the process of getting in his pants, politely. From sane to the less sane:
In terms of personality, Reiko Arisugawa is the most normal of the harem girls, very ladylike and formal, but can't socially interact with a “commoner”. It's a form of anxiety for her, although there's nothing that proves she improved since Kimito basically is always there to hold her hand. Then episode four happened, in which she went very much out-of-character, and became borderline yandere, if not clingy. It was very jarring, and I don't know if this is out-of-line or not, but she only acts like this around Aika and not with the other girls for some reason.
Speaking of, Aika Tenkuubashi is introduced trying to force herself on Kimito because she was told by a classmate, and believed 100%, that kissing a commoner would make her dreams come true. Of course, she's also the odd one out, because she believes she doesn't fit in, even though she's not actively interacting with everyone despite others attempting to (or so they say). And yet, she wants to be popular when she won't talk to anyone, which is why she forced her Commoner Club upon Kimito. She's ditzy, loud-mouthed, and clingy, but not in a good way with her lack of social cues. Some girls do come forward wanting to be her friends, yet somehow, this gets reversed, so she remains stuck in square one.
Kujo Miyuki is Kimito's personal maid while he's a student, and although her mannerisms are as such, she clearly doesn't like him and is cold around him. She reminds him (more like calmly threatens with giant scissors) that if he puts so much as a toe out-of-line, he'll be castrated (or emasculated), and she'll most likely be the one doing the snipping. But of course, like all of the girls, she comes to love him, too, she's just more stoic about it.
Karen Jinryou is the supposedly-Yamato Nadeshiko girl with tsundere tendencies who neurotically pulled a katana on him in her introduction. As to be expected from wildly swinging an actual sharp weapon around, after exposing him, herself, and all the girls in the sidelines, she gives herself to Kimito—although nothing has come out of it. There's hidden depths of her wanting to be girly, but it goes nowhere. She immediately gave me bad “Love Hina” flashbacks, and she is the least-developed of the girls (which doesn't say much, since hardly anyone develops).
Lastly, there's the token loli character, Hakua Shiodome, except let's pull the rug out from under the feet of lolicons because—gasp!—she's actually fourteen. (So are loli-traps a thing, now?) Unless she just has really recessive genes or she was forced to stay a certain size for life (which is all sorts of messed up on its own especially because she can't even dress herself), I'm calling bullshit, because this character is clearly the size of an elementary school child, about six-to-seven years, maybe less. And apparently she's also a genius, even though she's in the exact same boat as every last one of these girls despite being locked away in a lab for most of her life. I can't tell if she's the metaphorical sultan of the group of students, or if the lab's a gilded cage in a gilded cage and she's just as cuckoo, if her stripping like a toddler every time she does equations is anything to go by.
ART/ANIMATION: Silver Link at least is talented in this department, but as with all productions, the quality has taken a steady dip after the first episode with occasional spurts of energy here and there, like the dance sequence in episode two, Hakua's epiphany in episode three, and the so-totally-not-DDR sequence in episode six. It doesn't automatically mean the animation has become stilted, though, there's still fluidity in parts when it calls for it, reflecting the grace of being a lady. The colors have a pastel look to draw your eye to them, particularly in the hair, eyes, and panties, complimenting with the moé style. However, the only thing that really pops in this category is the opening, but that's only because it's on a sugar rush and has a few different stylistic choices going on throughout. The ending also deserves a little bit of mention for looking like a sketchbook, but that's about it.
SOUND: It's rather generic, to be frank. No voices stand out (although Aika's is a bit bothersome when shrilly, and Miyuki sounds collective at the least), no piece of score has left an impression lasting longer than the scene it's played in, there is nothing to be said here. Far as I can tell, it probably does fit the elegance of being prestige, but it's all blended in together that there's no way to really pick them apart. Same goes for the opening and ending, although the opening at the very least has something to it in being cute and light-hearted, but not enough for me to care outside of wondering what the hell I'm looking at during the opening. But damn it, I can't say it's not an earworm, albeit one I don't want.
ENJOYMENT/OVERALL: If it couldn't be gleaned from this review, then I'll come out and say I had not enjoyed this show, let alone have any care for it outside of my snarky comments here and there. While I have run into a few pleasant surprises, the harem genre is not for me, but it unfortunately is part of the package in some romance anime. If the characters weren't so chiseled out from their respective archetypes and more was done with them, then maybe I wouldn't have too much of a problem, but it'd still be another generic anime series that'll end up being forgotten except among the fans—maybe. So it tries to at least stand out a bit from other harems by having a stupid, broken premise, but it became like every other harem anime almost immediately, it's just that Kimito is falsely accused of being gay. Clever. Bet that took the creator months to plan out rough drafts for.
If it hadn't been for the stupid premise and the fact it's animated by Silver Link, I'd have glossed over this one and not given it a second thought this season. It's clearly made for fans of the harem genre, and since they seem to come back to the same thing over and over again and don't bother caring about its story, I'm not going to take that enjoyment away from them. I'm just disappointed in how homogeneous the genre tends to be, in all honesty. read more
On paper, this one looks like your typical harem series where the male protagonist enjoys (or doesn't) moments with the each of the girls. While I can't deny that this aspect did exist in this series, there was also something which felt a bit different. Lets get right into it, then.
The main concept of Shomin Sample isn't anything out of the ordinary. For those not new to this genre, I'm sure this isn't the first time you've seen a male protagonist somehow pulled into a situation where he ends up being the only male student in an all-girls school. While this set-up is similar to some other series, it's the progression from that point onwards which I feel differentiates this series from the rest.
Instead of heading towards the ecchi and overly fanservicey route, this series chooses to focus more on the development of the relationship between characters. The former route still exists here and there throughout, but the latter covers up that fact well. The episodes tend to be episodic, which the exception of a couple of them, yet we can clearly see how this group of one dude and four girls develop as a team and work together as a team, fighting for one another at times. A pity that this is just a one-cour series, which inevitably hastens that process.
Not exactly the best, but still decent enough for you to find a best girl in it. The art style certainly fits a simple RomCom series like this, although arguably for those who are really picky about art there are times when the animation quality can be considered low. But overall, it's still on an acceptable scale for me, who is a sucker for series with bishoujo.
Really catchy OP that may not sound so when you first hear it, and a good ED as well befitting of a series with multiple "feel trips" here and there. Fans of anime songs will probably enjoy these two. In addition, the background music played during the scenes itself are good, especially during emotional periods.
Like aforementioned, the development of characters is what boosts the rating of this series up for me. None of the characters are perfect. They all have their own fair share of flaws and problems. This is what made them cute and likeable. Also, all four of the main girls have differing personalities and traits, so viewers will surely have a clear-cut decision on who is their best girl.
I didn't think I would, but I ended up really enjoying this from start to finish. The jokes they cracked got me good and the few references they made to some other series were hilarious. It was also heart-warming to see the characters interact with each other, helping one another in times of distress and, most of all, have fun with their daily activities for our viewing.
Great humour and unexpected feel trips. Shomin Sample is definitely one of the dark horses of this Fall 2015 season. A decent series to watch if you're looking for a simple, school, romantic comedy, slice-of-life series.
If you've read till here, I thank you for giving me your time and wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)read more
Comedy is a term of subjectivity around the anime community, whatever you find it funny, for someone else could be found atrocious or boring, the same thing would go around for the vice versa tone. Also the comedy genre would be considered as something not to be taken seriously unless it really tries to do that (without consistency to know where to put the seriousness) to the point that it seems like it’s making itself look like an train wreck (I am making this point just in case). In the idea, Shomin Sample may be a nice treat for a comedy fanatic, especially for those that are fans of the ecchi harem genre, but without tourneys or anything that goes like Rakudai or Asterisk, so don't worry.
Keep in mind this review will solely be based on my perspective and idea of the anime, so anyone that feels like there’s some sort of disagreement you can communicate with me and we can talk if you have any problem with the opinion. Everyone has a different opinion so understanding is the key point.
Without further, let’s go to the Shomin Sample Review.
The show has a concept where, these girls are in a high class academy, where they are more like damsels and polite civilians, however due to such academy the girls became closed from the outside world, where the “commoners” (aka the outsiders), and in recent times, more graduates are failing to get into the modern society, so they decided to go upon and kidnap our main protagonist Kimito, a male student commoner, in order for him to show the young female girls about the modern world to become part of the place they all live upon.
To start things off, the concept is rather original and refreshing, unlike your other shows around, the show has an idea where its concept is mainly focused on the group of our main protagonist or also known as the “harem” to learn about the modern world, and it does it pretty well to be honest.
As well with the show adding this idea of the main protagonist having to say that he’s gay, and having muscle fetishes. I really think this type of idea has not been done before in an anime (unless I am wrong and someone shoots me at the head).
Each Episode cooperates with the themes of the show by showing how the main protagonist helping these girls and at the same time showing them the stuff outside of the spectrum of the school. By adding these ideas the girls gets a solution and it’s quite something to say the least. It just looks nice and it just feels different than your average school show.
This idea also helps with the comedy, as it works well with the show when they add these ideas of the modern world’s usual life and the technology they use, also the amount of other things I can mention.
The comedy can be considered as solid and on point with its themes and its setting, in fact; I will say this, the comedy is also ridiculous and at the same time laughable in a way for my eyes. But of course, the comedy part is subjective.
The pacing for the show is rather slow though to say the least, however it does help with the anime because the slow pacing helps the comedy and the themes execute them nicely without seeming to be dragged out for my eyes, it’s a nice way to do the show for my eyes.
For the dialogue, well, I wouldn’t say MUCH about the dialogue considering this is considered as a show that shouldn’t be complex at all, so at the very least I will say the dialogue works with the setting they’re in for the most part.
As for the fanservice part I will say that the show does have fanservice, but for the most part it’s concentrated on the thighs. If you are a thighs lover or rider, you will actually love this one since each or so episode does show thighs.
I will say the show does a nice job in terms of the modern idea themes, ridiculous comedy (this is subjective), nice and original concept and a nice executed idea.
This is one of the few departments where I really don't have to explain much (which is just usually absurd unless when it comes to bland characters).
The characters in this type of setting for the outside of the male cast, each said character has their own trait and personality (as in the main female cast of characters) and each said one of the cast of characters gets involved into ridiculous and also laughable situations.
Each said female character has their different ways to become rather cute and likeable, and many would go and have a different taste on personalities so here you would have some for a treat.
For the main male protagonist I will say that he's one of those rare and unusual main protagonists though, it's really hard to explain which why he stands out on his own (terms of general main protagonist) but somehow his gags, and his moments through the anime makes him somewhat likeable and tolerable enough for me. Though this is coming from a rather personal view.
I guess to say the characters are one fun of a ride to say the least because along with the story they help at least with the plot and its comedy moments, which all of them participating is like a nail in the cake.
This is probably one of the weak components of the anime series, being produced by Silver Link (by the same people that are behind the shows as Rakudai and Taimadou for the Fall season, and completed for example Kokoro Connect and Fate/kaleid) the budget for the show is quite a bit lacking. Not saying that this is bad, but it's not all that great either.
For example the production quality of the show is quite decent enough, although there are parts in the production quality where the faces aren't really well done, or to say the least not well produced, but it doesn't mean it equals as atrocious.
For the animation it seems quite mediocre at the times, at some points they just concentrate on the budget on the thighs at most case, at times it looks nice as a standard moments, but at times it just seems rather lazy since a little bit of the parts seems rather inconsistent.
For the backgrounds it seems rather fitting for the designs, as at the school setting backgrounds it looks quite light and alright. Not one of the best out there but it works for the designs at least.
For the character designs they look quite clean and pretty looking (I am saying this because I have no other words to say for description) at the same time the characters in the series at most stands out from your typical designs for the most part for these type of settings.
Overall the Art/Animation department is essentially one part of the downs of the show. Yes, one of. There's more to it.
One of the few weakest components of the show, by far the weakest part. The music soundtrack would be considered as fitting for the scenarios, but quite unoticeable. That's because this could have been heard loads of times before from my eyes. It's kind of a mellow and soft instruments, not rough or anything there.
And as for the sound it's really mediocre. To say it's really not that BAD but it's not all that amazing either. So I will say this is at least passable at least it doesn't sound like a ground breaking ear screech.
For the Opening and Ending, the Opening seems rather catchy and at the same time ridiculously engaging for me. I've heard this 100 times around and for some reason I can't stop hearing it.
The ending song however... not my type of music to say the least. It's not bad but it's not for my personal taste either.
In the enjoyment standpoint of my review I will say I like the show because it's kind of like this. After one comedy show ends from today (Wednesday) I have another one to actually enjoy. It's pretty funny and ridiculous, some very cute characters that I really like, it doesn't seem to be dragged out at least.
Outside of my enjoyment I would say, should I recommend this show? Well, sure I suppose. It's not for everyone, but if you want something to pass the time and enjoy yourself then you may have a nice time with this. read more