24 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Shinmaru /

Binbougami ga! 1 – Jerks Get All the Luck (Shinmaru’s Take)

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.

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24 Comments

  1. crazyapple92
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    My only problem with this series (I read the manga) is that nothing really happens. Like you predict oodles of new characters get introduced, most of them generic and annoying but that’s besides the point. In fact it doesn’t seem like they’re done bringing in new characters yet and we’ve already got A LOT. Kind of going in a Medaka Box (manga, didn’t watch the anime) direction.

    So there’s always something going on, and that’s how the series supports itself. Not by having a plot, nothing progresses, no major conflicts arise. It’s a silly problem of the day series that throws in a new character to spice things up and has a bigger conflict involving the new character.

    I’m just sick of series that think they can have interesting characters, a new conflict every day, and that’s enough. Plot is needed!

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Hm, I guess we’ll see, but I don’t think a lot of plot is necessary for this type of comedy … really, you need only enough plot to put characters in suitably ridiculous situations where they’ll shine. As long as the comedy is sharp enough, I don’t mind a lack of progression or whatever.

    • Langer
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      plot isn’t really needed for gag series like Beelzebub, Ratman, Fairy Tail (the balance on that one has definitely shifter more to the ‘gag for the sake of a gag’ side lately), etc…it’s more about the fun week to week than anything else

      that and blank character expression conclusions
      http://i.imgur.com/bQTXl.png

      • crazyapple92
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Beelzebub does a very good job of always finding it’s way back to it’s plot. It has a very big and well established plot that’s constantly present.

        And I wouldn’t really consider Ratman a gag manga, it spends more time in the action side of things but fine. It too has a underlying plot that it’s often touching on.

        And yes, some series work very well like that (hundreds of episodes of Gintama can attest to that). However this series made a big point of starting the series with a big and interesting underlying plot and has never really touched back on it.

        I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying it doesn’t work for me. Reading it leaves me all frustrated feeling. But that might just be because I’m a heavily seasoned anime and manga veteran. I’ve been around years and read and watched pretty much everything worth it. So I’m a lot more prone that hating things that aren’t original or interesting.

        But hey, to each his own. I do admit that this is a silly little series that can definitely be enjoyed. It’s just not for me (sounds reminiscent of rejecting a fat girl).

  2. Gunslinger
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    That dog in the last picture reminded me of menchi.

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      lol, it does have that “my life is so fucked ;-;” Menchi look to it.

  3. Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    SHIN, I’M A SHOUTING GOD OF MISFORTUNE WHO CAN’T SHUT THE FUCK UP AND I’M HERE TO SUCK YOUR HAPPINESS AWAY U MAD?

    BTT: I liked the drama more than the comedy and that’s saying something. Actually, it’s not saying too much as far as the drama is concerned. As for the comedy however… ugh.
    Considering that this seems to take an episodic route just like SKET Dance or Medaka Box, both anime which I didn’t like, I’m not getting my hopes up too high either. I like the opening and the character designs though. And the animation is quite good. In other words: Fuck yeah, visuals!

    ANYWAY, BACK TO SHOUTING!

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      I’m normally against shouty anime comedy, but I didn’t mind it so much here because there’s actual conflict here, and it makes sense for two angry, selfish characters to shout at each other. It doesn’t feel like they’re overreacting for the sake of doing so.

  4. luffyluffy
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    This was the only show I was looking forward to this season and so far I haven’t been disappointed.

    I didn’t mind the parts with Suwano, simply because I thought he had a nice design.

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      He is a nice looking butler.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        omg you reply back too

      • Posted July 7, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        It’s because I am a comment attention whore.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        iirc I’ve been Scamp’s highest commenter for like 2/3 years running??

        i’ll fight you for it

  5. Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that sums up why I kind of liked the episode as well. My love of It’s Always Sunny and Seinfeld means that my love for episodic shows where the main characters are horrible people transfers to this. Now it just needs to be actually funny.

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      This episode is funny enough to have potential, but yes, I wasn’t laughing uproariously the whole time. A lot of anime comedy isn’t in my wheelhouse, though, so anything that makes me laugh is a plus for me lol.

  6. fathomlessblue
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Good, good; every blog post should have at least one reference to Popee. You should make it a running theme: BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR PEOPLE!

    Aside from the shouting and forced drama, my biggest concern was the over reliance of reference humour. It wasn’t really a problem in this ep (see Vegeta), but often this approach devolves into straight-up otaku-pandering material. I really don’t want to watch another anime that makes reference to how awesome visual novels are, or devotes an episode toward console fanboying. I took more than my fill from the likes of Hagane & Nyarko. Well, we shall see.

    On a more positive note, I really loved Binboda’s design. Huge pigtails & a gingham dress/overall combo; she looks like an evil version of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz… which is obviously a good thing.

    • Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      This episode’s amount of reference humor is acceptable. Maybe there’s more than the DBZ/Lupin jokes, but if there were, I didn’t notice it, haha. As long as it’s one or two references every so often and not the main source of humor, I’m cool with it.

      And, yeah, Binboda has a pretty great character design. She’s the coolest.

      • Inushinde
        Posted July 6, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        It’s a damn shame the show missed out on a golden opportunity for a Popee reference. Oh well, I guess everything has its flaws…

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget her arm that can control the thousands of identical black cats that just happen to inhabit city!

  7. Embok
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    I like the main character because she’s completely realistic (in her position), “Fuck y’all, I got mine.” The Medaka bit was great because it highlighted just how much better of a character Sakura is even though they’ve both got the ~*perfect and loved by everyone*~ premise.

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Yes, I am pretty sure I would be hesitant to abandon this life, too.

  8. diz1776
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Funniest anime this season.

  9. Chipp
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Well, it isn’t funny not interesting. It’s just LOUD!!!!

  10. Mr.RR
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I love this show, I loled when the butler had a heart attack.

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