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I Hope Nippon-sempai Notices Me: School Days and The Art of Not Fucking Around

Now I know what you’re thinking. “John, once again you’ve made a horrible typo, and whatever monkey you’ve hired to edit at Nerdfit failed to catch it.” You’d say that Makoto would be an example of fucking around since he slept with anything that walked and had a vagina.

First off if you think sleeping with women and ending up with your head in a bag is an ‘art’ then you’re certainly someone who thinks Van Gogh was tame. On a more serious note I’m not here to talk about how you should or shouldn’t bang a bunch of women. No I’m here to talk about anime in general, and if there’s one thing School Days did right it was showing consequences. It was about how they didn’t fuck around with the story and plot by having him date a bunch of women and get away with a ‘aww man’, but having it actually matter.

See that’s one of the real problems with anime, in that they haven’t learned that the rest of the world hasn’t moved on from the 50’s-80’s mindset where things can happen, and the story can move forward, but nothing has a lot of real consequences. Oh sure people can die, but anime treats death and coming back like the revolving doors of Arkham.

They have at least learned the idea that we as people can focus on more than 1 storyline at once. Even then this is only sort of done, more often another characters storyline is some other character standing somewhere saying the prophecy will come to pass, or let’s observe him (I think I have a new article to plan…) When was the last time we had an anime with a hero, but for an episode we saw things in the life of the heroine, see how she handles life stuck in an anime where that dude she kind of likes is hanging out with like 17 chicks.

Which is how I get on to School Days, for 1 part we do get a bit more of a glimpse into the 2 main girls (often a very in-depth glimpse) that are not through the eyes of Makoto (living or dead, hahahaha). I may joke, but I’m getting ahead of myself here. Because first off the reason why School Days is good is not because of the brutal murder by some crazy chicks. School Day’s whole bag is about how the character ACTUALLY has true relationships (or sexings) with other females, and they respond in a human manner. Yes a human with a knife manner, but to cut to the real issue anime has it’s that they too often aren’t real enough. They’re just a shell with nothing inside them.

That’s why I laud School Days though, because it showed me something real. I can get blood and guts anywhere. (Not that it’s often good Danganronpaul with your pink blood.) All too often do we have a main character who ‘sleeps’ around and gets bitten, which is often a slap, but it’s okay next week we go back to normal. Maybe we get a later plot point of someone pointing out how this keeps happening and it’s a problem, but it’s really not.

Do me a favor, a little mental test. When was the last time there was a harem-ish anime and one of the haremees (1 of the harem, mind you this applies to male/female harem animes equally) decide they didn’t want the haremero (harem hero) because they basically palled around with too many other chicks.

Never huh, funny that, because that would totally happen in real life. They’re called sleazy playboys and they can be just as equally dismissed because of that fact. I’m sorry but if my love interest keeps finding her way into other men’s chests I’ll ask how she feels, and when she like all haremeros doesn’t commit, or is interrupted. I’m out.

That’s like a real consequence – gasp, don’t be scared anime but this is something you can do. Now some animes have done this, and of course my favorite would have to be Honey and Clover, which does relationship and romance, and drama, but more importantly it feels real. Misunderstandings and actions don’t feel contrived, and they don’t work out perfectly for the sake of the plot. And before you start getting the stones and calling me a shoujo believer, shoujo is often more likely to have non-realistic expressions of actual human emotions, and it feels worse because THAT’S WHAT IT SHOULD BE GOOD AT. It doesn’t matter what realm you’re in there needs to be an end to the ‘only red shirts die, and the end of ‘oh no which one of these lovely ladies will he choose’ (Quote ~Jackie M). No more half-measures.

Speaking of half measures let’s move onto my suggestion for the week. I had previously stated that an anime adaption of Breaking Bad would be awful, for good reasons. But let’s think of something like that, but that is still anime enough where it’s not shit when they actually make it.

We begin with Black Lagoon, showing us that a ragtag group who exist outside the law can still find work and find there way into our hearts. Then we go to Jigoku Shoujo, an episodic approach into peoples varied lives with all too often dark undertones and bad things happening. But instead of making them be dragged to hell, we help them  clean up the mess, we help them disappear. We see the anime through the lives of the Vacuum Salesman (ref) we see it through the eyes of Mr. Wolfe (ref). Not a killer or a drug dealer, but he’s not above helping those who were.

Got a problem, killed your lover, accidentally blow up downtown? Then Mr. Ghost is here to help you solve the problem, to avoid the cops. Of course though while the stories may be episodic at first, eventually his clients start bringing down too much heat, and Mr. Ghost has his own trouble with disappearing. The people around him and himself start to suffer the consequences of his immoral actions, eventually leading to a full break.

Yeah I’d watch that – like Golgo except with human emotions, and not killing everyone. Okay maybe it’s not like Golgo at all…

Anyway kids that’s all for this week, hopefully sempai notices me and makes Mr. Ghost-san

Last Week: Kill La Kill and Does Anime Deserve to be Saved?

Next Week: Asura Cryin and How to Cock up Good Ideas

The Buffalo

The Buffalo is Nerdfit's longest active content contributor. Having helmed various podcasts (What's Nu in Animu, WritersCast), columns (I Hope Nippon Sempai Notices Me, Advanced Game Theory, Booze Reviews, Anime Season Previews, etc) - currently he writes a weekly article column of 'Buffalo's Shit to Think About'

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