I love the unrepentant asshole character in comedies. I’m talking folks like Tomo in Azumanga Daioh, Guu in Hare+Guu, Miu in Ichigo Mashimaro and my boy, Popee, in Popee the Performer. The idea of a character wantonly causing as much chaos and destruction as possible among people with whom they are ostensibly friends, while simultaneously giving as little of a shit about their awful behavior as possible, is hilarious to me. Some of the talk on Twitter painted Ichiko Sakura, the co-protagonist of Binbougami ga!, as a similar type of character, which got me excited about this show.
There are definitely flashes of this type of hilarity with Sakura. She’s the luckiest person in the world, knows it and soaks in all the wealth and attention every day. She is a rotten person to the core, and when the show’s other protagonist, the God of Misfortune, Momiji Binboda, shows up to take away Sakura’s charmed existence, she fights back tooth and nail. The interaction between Sakura and Momiji is by far my favorite part of this episode; Momiji having a rough edge of her own makes their dynamic a lot of fun. There’s something about two awful people working so hard to make each other miserable that tickles my funny bone.
I do have a couple of concerns, however. The first is with the cast: namely, I hope it’s beefed up soon. Horrible people are hilarious, but that type of character needs others to work off of and balance things more. Hare+Guu had Hare as an excellent straight man being driven inextricably insane by Guu’s antics and the jungle village’s bizarre denizens. Miu had Nobue and Chika to knock her down a peg (which was almost as hilarious as Miu’s chaos) and Ana and Matsuri to take up space. Azumanga Daioh had a cast that worked so well together that it had the optimal amount of Tomo — she is perfectly used in that series. Binbougami ga! could use a few more characters simply for the sake of variety.
This isn’t a huge worry, though. It’s easy to see this is simply an episode to set up the premise of the series and the relationship between Sakura and Momiji. There will definitely be more people around, whether they be fellow students at Sakura’s high school, other gods who might want to float down to Earth and screw around for the hell of it, or others.
The second concern, though . . . that is much more worrying. My interest plummeted during the dramatic parts of the episode. I have zero interest in seeing Sakura become a selfless person, even if she is dragged kicking and screaming to that goal. Perhaps if it’s done in a Community sort of way where the characters do good things because they have good elements to them, but they’re also so flawed and screwed up that they can’t help but do stupid shit and shoot themselves in the foot, too, then maybe I’d be more on board. Binbougami ga! doesn’t seem like that type of show, however.
It really doesn’t need to be, either. I’m fine with a goofy, energetic comedy about two utter jerks clashing constantly over selfish desires. As much as the drama bores me, there’s enough fun and blackness in the comedy to make up for that. I’m sticking around to see how it develops.
Also, I can’t hate on an anime that points out how unlucky poor moe moe Vegeta is.