Every season, there’s usually one or a few series that you can’t watch with your family like your little brother/sister or parents. Keep that in mind if you plan to watch this show.
Now imagine this:
A world where anything lewd, obscene, or considered “sexual” is banned. And any attempts to practice such acts of obscenity can land you into jail. In Shimoseka, that’s actually a reality. The government has apparently imposed their laws onto the public to obstruct any sort of obscene behavior. This also apparently includes sex education so children can forget about learning the logics of pregnancy, sexual abstinence, and all that other stuff they teach you at school. At the center of the story, we have this young man named Tanukichi Okuma. His initial goal was to find Anna Nishikinomiya, a girl that he has admired and has a crush on. Apparently, luck strikes and he not only manages to find her as part of the Student Council but also gets close to Anna like a twist of fate. Unfortunately, this also puts Okuma in a complicated story when he gets involved with Blue Snow, a terrorist who seeks to abolish censorship laws. After reading all of this, you’ll probably thinking...what the hell?
That’s what I had thought at first anyways.
The show isn’t shy on portraying its sexual themes. Its first few episodes easily establishes that committing lewd behavior is considered a capital crime. An example would be Okuma being hunted down by a group of public officers after being accused for obstructing justice with a “lewd act”. Despite lacking evidence, he is targeted anyways until he is saved by Blue Snow. The series also isn’t afraid to go far with its sex jokes such as heavily implied references that shows intercourse between flies. Blue Snow is also considered an infamous figure in their world with that signature panty on her head. In fact, there’s little normal about anything regarding this show. Even Anna, the girl he admires the most, awakens her “wild” side while we learn how over exaggerated the government tries to impose its laws on the citizens. So in other words, it sort of makes Okuma the only normal character in the series.
I would say Shimoseka is portrayed as more of a satire rather than anything to be taken as deep or serious. The way the government enforces its laws is similar to Big Brother from 1984. They are the eyes and are always watching you with their cameras, agents, and even “peace makers” which are apparently devices that monitors’ a person’s movements. If anything is done that is considered lascivious, you can guess what happens next. A show like this can seem to be over the top and offensive at times. There is also rape jokes that is satired by cartoonish censors and fan disservice. Every episode also pushes forward SOX (a parody of censorship for the word, sex) with their goal that becomes more extreme as the story progresses. Blue Snow, also known as Ayame Kajou, is the complete antithesis of what Japanese authorities are trying to enforce. She wears a panty over her head, throws lewd pictures in public, and wears an obscene outfit with little clothing underneath her white cloak. Other characters also becomes a joke itself with their personalities. Example such as Otome with her artistically talent in drawing lewd artwork, Hyouka Fuwa with her fascination in studying the human body and sex behavior, or Kosuri’s manipulative personality as a child. Okuma himself isn’t immune to lewd acts in the show. Time after time, it’s shown that he may secretly enjoy what Anna is doing with him. So in essence, every main character in the show becomes part of the formula. To say that a boring world where dirty jokes doesn’t exist is an overstatement. Dirty jokes weren’t invented in this series. They perfected it.
Nonetheless, the show’s comedy is crude on most parts. The story itself is mostly nonsense and considered a satire. Story arcs that involves terrorists or assaults are supposed to be taken as parodies although recurring tropes can quickly grow old. None of the characters get any sort of depth because the series is more focused on abolishing censorship rather than character growth. However, I will say that the characters’ roles can be quite entertaining to watch especially with how complicated some events can be. But when it all comes down to it, Shimoseka is a dirty joke of itself. It’s fun to watch for some comedy such as Anna’s batshit insane moments or public officials freaking out over the tiniest of lewd acts. If you’ve seen Seitokai Yakuindomo or something similar, then it’s easy to understand the intentions behind the show.
The artwork for the series is pretty standard by J.C. Staff. Character designs for students are normal although when the story kicks in, everything becomes over the top. Censorship is played out as a joke with the cartoony drawings during inappropriate timings. Even certain words are blocked out as the show is seemingly self-aware of its premise. But as a show about dirty jokes, we do have quite a bit of ecchi moments ranging from Anna’s intense expression of her love towards Okuma or some of the character designs for Blue Snow. There’s also some mature content that is downsized by the satire involving sexual fluids and whatnot. The OP and ED theme song kind of go two folds. For one, it clearly satires the sexualization of the show. On the other hand, it’s also portrayed as upfront for fan service and nothing more. Most of the soundtrack is mediocre and easily forgettable. However, the character voice mannerism is easily recognizable such as Anna’s obscene moments or Blue Snow’s signature laughs.
Some people are probably wondering “where were you when this hidden gem premiered?” Oh yeah, this is one of those series that looks, seems, and is funny at first. But over time, it can grow old, and not to mention offensive at times. Still, I will give a vibrant effort in the series for putting a sheer amount of effort in satirizing many of its ideas. Most of the time, fan service is portrayed as mindless and boring. But in this series, it’s played out more as a dirty joke like it should be. Now close your windows, lock your doors, and hope the neighbors don’t wake up when you watch this.