Dec 7, 2019
High School! Kimengumi (Movie) is a 1986 comedy anime movie which aired in-between the main series (1985-1987), it is based on a popular Weekly Shounen Jump manga (1982-1987). Basically, the anime was so popular that they made a movie out of it with new material.
You don't have to watch the series or read the manga first to understand this movie, the main focus of Kimengumi is comedy, which is delivered in an episodic way. This, I reckon, would be a good intro to the main TV anime, it's a relatively short anime (just a 50 minutes watch) that gathers all of its charm to make
a presentable look.
This movie presents the characters in the first moments in order to accustom the viewer in case they didn't see the first anime episodes, I think it's a good choice, we get to know the main cast in a slow introduction so we can keep up for what comes next.
The film is split in 3 parts, each part telling a different story but the overall premise it simple: there are 5 guys that call their group "Kimengumi" which translates to "Funny Face Gang", what they do is, causing ruckus around the school, that's the whole premise. Every normal high school thing that you know, these guys will make it into a funny/dumb/idiotic situation. For example, in the first segment, the guys have supplementary lessons because of their bad grades, the teacher tries to make them study but the gang can't concentrate, they will do just about anything instead of studying, which means transforming into "chibi" (deformed) versions of themselves and acting like idiots.
The main characters aka the Kimengumi group:
- Ichidou Rei (the leader)
- Reietsu Go
- Daima Jin
- Shusse Kiyoshi
- Monohoshi Dai
Some minor yet sometimes important characters:
- Kawa Yui (literally meaning "cute")
- Uru Chie (Yui's close friend)
- Jidai Sakugo (the angry teacher)
Being a full classic comedy show, the characters are extremely important and this show has them. Rei is the leader of the group, a man who prides himself of scoring 0 at all tests, the other boys are a muscle training nut sorta macho-man, a boy with a big face, another with a forever big cartoonish smile and the regular pretty boy who talks softly.
Kawa Yui is a cute and adorable girl who is friends with the group for who knows what reasons, Uru Chie is Yui's close friend, she's a hot tempered girl.
These guys from the gang aren't that much unique in terms of personality or do they act in a way which would make the watcher remember them individually. In this sense, you may find them boring and unappealing but in my case, I very much enjoyed watching their shenanigans, despite different, the boys work well together as a group.
The action tends to go over the top, so it's a treat for the watchers who love absurd comedies like Nichijou, Aho Girl, Plastic Nee-san etc. The characters transform into super deformed creatures from time to time, the teacher punches anyone, some girl (Uru Chie) screams like she's possessed, one minute you're watching a relaxing day by the beach, next thing, you're seeing high schoolers swimming in shark infested waters, fighting to win the unusual trophy presented by a teacher. Expect random and silly fights but dramatic in style.
The 3rd part is a bit longer than the previous two, it's the same in regards to the overall atmosphere, but now we're in a bad kung-fu 70s movie, the gang have to fight some random dudes because some girls were kidnapped. One of the bad guy uses the drunken fist (like Jackie Chan) and in the beginning we have a Hokuto no Ken reference. Even if you don't know the references, our characters apply their own thing to it, so the result is funny, it made me laugh and in the end, that is this movie's goal.
The show presents a laid back atmosphere, pretty chill, good to watch if you're tired of the old plot-heavy stories. It has some good music too, as the 3 parts are divided by 3 minutes songs, these encapsulate well the 80s feel and enriches the watching experience. The cinematography of the music videos gets you into the right mood, it relaxed me and made me feel cozy and comfy.
The animation is mediocre, not saying is bad, it's just not that special, we don't have many still shots though (so that's a plus). Character designs may be a throw off, our main boys look silly, the girls aren't that hot (just your usual big eyes, slender body, cute voice). Kimengumi doesn't need cool art to be interesting for its appeal is the the gang's shenanigans and the deformed faces work well to exaggerate the humor, I think it fits.
No sexual fanservice, maybe a cleavage and some swim suits in the 2nd part but that's it, no sexual innuendos either. Imagine Prison School but without the ecchi fanservice yet keeping all the "drama" and absurd comedy.
In conclusion, if you're in it for some 80s comedy lasting 50 minutes, with high schoolers doing dumb things because they're idiots but they're having a good time, you can watch it. As for the ending, it looks just like the usual episodic ending, the matters are resolved, the group is having a good laugh, Yui is still cute. The ending doesn't matter, what it matters is you having a good laugh, it sure worked for me because I like silly things and anime boys and girls having fun in high school. There is a long anime and manga out there, I'm sure those have a proper ending to the series/franchise, so look there if you need closure.
What did you think of this review?