10 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Seitokai Yakuindomo episode 1

Seitokai Yakuindomo is yet another 4-koma adaptation in which any attempts to adapt correctly into anime form have been largely unsuccessful due to the restrictive format and lack of imagination in the 4-koma format. However Seitokai makes things even harder for itself by…well, I think I’ll need to break out another badly drawn 4-koma to illustrate my point.

And that’s it. No really. Roughly 18 minutes of the show was this.

Let me explain my problem with 4-koma adaptations. There’s an annoying tendency to adapt each joke directly from the manga in the exact same form. When this happens we get the above scene repeated over and over. That’s not considered animating in my book. Toss in some colour and lip flaps and ta-dah~! you get an anime adaptation of a 4-koma. No no no no no no no no. Please stop animation studios. It doesn’t work. Please try to construct a narrative instead of just tossing out one 4-koma gag after another.

Seitokai Yakuindomo may not have had the strongest source material in the world. It seems to think that every joke must end with a sexual reference, which means the potentially good sex jokes get killed because you see them coming from miles away because that’s all they ever rely on. But it still could have worked. The opening 5 minutes or so was actually rather well done. The 4 men stuck inside a train full of schoolgirls, being forced to keep their hands above their heads at all times was actually very funny. The animation was extraordinarily good at the start as well. It had a narrative. A natural sequence of events as the main character went from home to the school to being roped into joining the student council. It worked. The rest didn’t. The rest was just that fucking 4-koma format used over and over with no attempt to adapt them into anime story-telling format. Bleh, bloody 4-koma adaptations. I hate ’em.

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  1. Posted July 4, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Haha, I really did feel like someone was yelling “[insert sexual reference] !!!!” out of nowhere in all caps at me during that show. Beyond even most straight 4-koma adaptations it felt like it was coming out of nowhere.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I get what you mean about the jokes coming out of seemingly nowhere. We’re just walking along, having a normal da-SEXUAL REFERENCE!!!

  2. Posted July 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    This looks so ecchi. Not my thing.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Not really ecchi at all. Certainly not next to Highschool of the Dead

  3. Posted July 4, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Lazy, lazy adaptation, it made me quite angry! Seriously its a toss up between Campanella and this rubbish, for worst 1st episode of the season so far. I really hope no other shows enter the fray for that dubious prize.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      *hasn’t watched Campanella and doesn’t plan to

  4. Posted July 5, 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Here’s where your anti-4-koma agenda falls down: among people who bothered to watch it all the way through, Working! is largely accepted as a good anime. So, no, a genre’s limitations (and, let’s face it, all genres have limitations) doesn’t preclude it from being well executed. If Seitokai Yakuindomo turns out to be a crap anime (and there’s still a season to go before we’ll know), it’ll have nothing to do with it being a 4-koma adaptation and everything to do with the fact that it couldn’t take advantage of the animated medium.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      To nick what Joojoobees said on Sea Slugs

      I read Scamp’s criticism, he wasn’t saying it was “automatically a failure” because the source was a 4-koma, but rather that it was adapted too literally. That is, instead of simply repeating the four-step joke formula over and over, they should have varied the pacing of the gags, and tried to give it more of a story over the course of the episode.

      I don’t hate on 4-koma adaptations when the break away from the 4-koma format in the anime. The first episode of Working didn’t do that, and neither did this. I’ll hate on K-ON for other reasons, but at least it had a narritive and broke free of the 4-koma format.

      And again, this is a review of the first episode. Notice it says episode 1. The Working review was also a review of the first episode. You’ve got it into your head that you’re not allowed to review something until it’s over because when you do, it will automatically become a grand sweeping statement of the series overall. That first episode of Working was a stream of lazilly adapted 4-koma jokes. Maybe the rest of the series wasn’t. I dunno because I never watched it

  5. Posted July 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure my brain was completely numbed to all the sex jokes by the end of the episode. By the end, I was just wondering how the characters would cram sex into each successive conversation.

One Trackback

  • By Seitokai Yakuindomo 01 | Sea Slugs! Anime Blog on July 5, 2010 at 6:59 am

    […] and “bland and uninspired,” and the rather bawdy jokes are in bad taste. Scamp believes that the 4-koma automatically makes the series a failure, as the jokes are repetitive, short-lived, […]

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