So the episode is pretty much this, except with cartoonish lynching instead of a catchy slogan. And somehow it’s not in poor taste. And Kate is a pale-haired amalgamation of Rodd and Todd.
There’s something inherently amusing about a little girl who can stir the non-smoking populace of a city into a frenzy against their smoking brethren. It’s hilarious how people either cower from or are in awe of Kate with no middle ground, despite her being as intimidating as her stuffed rabbit, without the whole dimensional screwy-uppy factor. There’s already something childish in the concept of world domination, but the objects of her grief are petty enough that anybody responding with genuine interest to what she says is pretty damn silly.
It’s the unreasonable measures that people go to in order to curb smoking that sells the episode for me, especially when it’s originally at Kate’s urging. Sekai Seifuku knows how ridiculous it is, and doesn’t pretend that it’s anything but. The anti-smoking pogrom is consistently amusing, because it plays off of the divorce between reality and the actions in the show, while doing so with a straight face. Destroying an entire room because somebody lit a cigarette in it is extreme and nonsensical, but the world is cultivated in a way that actions like this are kind of expected. The absurdity is almost par for the course, but manages not to be overdone, which makes for one hell of a good episode.
Trying to explain why the fuck comedy works is one of the hardest things to write on, if my somewhat scattershot approach here didn’t make that obvious. Sekai Seifuku has been so consistently good so far, and for the same reasons, that it’s difficult to explain its success without devolving into repeating “It’s just good, alright?” And indeed, a show where a little girl can successfully lead an anti-smoking pogrom without it being in poor taste is well worth being called good. At least here, each element fits cozily among the others. It could be a live-action recreation of Mars of Destruction for the rest of its runtime, and I’d still say that these first three episodes are pretty indicative of what could be a brilliant show. If this extended anti-anti-smoking PSA proves anything, it’s that being heavy-handed isn’t bad when it’s channeled intelligently.
There’ll be a post in verse next week when I’m not falling asleep every three hours, I swear.