6 CommentsSekai Seifuku / By Inushinde /

Sekai Seifuku Episode 3: Smokers Are Jokers

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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.

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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.

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There’ll be a post in verse next week when I’m not falling asleep every three hours, I swear.

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6 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    There’s something oddly endearing about seeing a loli’s pet-peeve turn to martial law. More of this pls

  2. Nagiasa33
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Out of the three new shows yall are covering this is the best one by far. It’s my second favorite show this season right behind the consistently solid Silver Spoon. I can’t get enough of Sekai Seifuku’s antics. Even the concept of a little girl taking over the world makes me laugh.

    As a non-smoker I got a huge kick out of this episode. Sometimes I want to go off like Kate did because second hand smoke really gets to me since I have asthma. Oh if only there was some way to prevent the toxic smelly smoke! Her answer to this, besides using force, was that ridiculous fume inhalation machine. Very gross but also hilarious.

    • Posted January 30, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

      Hey, smokers can’t hurt anybody anymore if they’re giant, cancerous tumors.

  3. Posted January 28, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    I thought it was like that Butt Out episode of South Park, but Rob Reiner as a loli.

    As for the humor, I think it stems from making fun of the plots from Code Geass and other “take over the world” shows of that ilk by making the master plans being about petty subjects like smoking. It’s like Invader ZIM, except Kate’s a bit more successful because she aims low.

    • Posted January 30, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink

      Invader Zim’s the first thing that came to mind for me, just with the way that bystanders aren’t the least bit concerned that people in eccentric outfits are dumping buckets on smokers. It’s a perfect utilization of bystander apathy.

  4. Redcrimson
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    I thought having Asuta reciting November 11th’s speech about second-hand smoke in the episode preview was a cute little callback. Man, Okamura really does not like smoking. Kind of a weird thing for an artist to get hung up on, but the results are usually pretty great so I’m gonna give it a pass.

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