Surviving SHIMONETA: Living in a World Without Dirty Jokes
(Be warned that this article focuses on fanservice and use of sexual education within the topic of discussion. Viewers disgression is advised.)
What is SHIMONETA?
Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist (also known as Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai or Shimoseka) is a light novel series which was recently released as an anime. The novel was written by Hirotaka Akagi and illustrated by Eito Shimosuki and the anime was then adapted by J.C. Staff (Food Wars: Shougeki no Soma, Excel Saga, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Girls Up in a Dungeon) from July 2015 to September of 2015. This series combines what I would like to say the dirty jokes of Seitokai Yakuindomo and the lewd fanservice of Highschool DxD but then takes intensifies each of them to levels beyond that. However like Highschool DxD it finds an interesting way of incorporating these factors into a very interesting story with heavy substance. The title in itself gives an idea of what you are getting into as the word “Shimoneta” is a Japanese word meaning “vulgar humor” or “erotic topic.”
The question of which I would like you to keep in mind during this article is whether you believe you could survive this dystopian civilization.
By now, you have gotten a good idea of the story, but let’s dive deeper into what makes up this crazy dystopian world. To give you a background, in this version of Japan, like mentioned in the title, dirty jokes as well as sexual terms, actions, and even information has been banned according to a law created 16 years ago known as “Law for Public Order and Morals in Healthy Child-Raising.” Human beings, from birth must wear these high-tech collars known as PMs (or which will react if a person were to say any words that is considered dirty or tries to create anything that might be considered inappropriate and they would be arrested, and any content that is claimed to be indecent is immediately destroyed.
The main character, Tanukichi is the son of a terrorist, and by terrorist I mean that his father decided to run into the diet building and yell out dirty jokes while throwing condoms in the air… Now, Tanukichi, wishing to seek reformation, has just joined Japan’s most elite school in administering these laws, his reason for applying was to follow the student council president, Anna, whom he holds dear to him and considers the peak of morality.
However, before his first day at school can begin, he encounters one of the most “dangerous” terrorist in Japan, Blue Snow, a panties-over-the-head-wearing, random-sexual-reference-saying terrorist who has taken an interest in Tanukichi. Now Tanukichi must try and decide if he wants to fight for the side of justice and wholesomeness on the side of his beloved Anna, or will he fight for his right to make sexual puns, just like his father did long ago, along the side of the terrorist, Blue Snow…?
In terms of the characters, each one of them has very fun and interesting characteristics that make them unique especially when it comes to their thoughts on law and terrorism in the world they live in. What really intrigues me in the series, is how we see the mentality of some of the characters metamorpihize into something that you wouldn’t even expect or even if you did not to the level of which it happens.
Most series are able to do this mainly with their protagonist or a set of characters where you will have interesting characters who eventually blend into the surrounding, but this series makes sure that all of their characters stand out as much as possible which is hard to do, but very well-executed.
(Please note: The following contains spoilers. If you wish to continue without being spoiled, please continue to ‘Spoilers End Here’ below.)
Tanukichi (Yūsuke Kobayashi) is the protagonist of the story and often plays the comic straight-man of the series as he plays opposite basically every character of the series when it comes to comedy. He can also be represented by his constant need for seeking reformation. Ever since he was young, Tanukichi had learned many dirty jokes an information from his father, however after is father’s arrest, Okuma began to notice how the eyes of society began to look down on him in hate and spite. The second trigger towards his reformation was Okuma’s encounter with Anna as a child, who seemed to accept him without any form of prejudice. It was this for of perfection that Tanukichi wished to obtain.
Tanukichi is not without his own problems as he must deal with his conflicting desire of trying to reform himself and become a man of decency and good morals, as well as the piece of him that was imbedded into his mind by his father’s teachings. Having no choice, but to follow Blue Snow in her acts of terrorism, Tanukichi often tries to find a means or a reason behind the actions he makes as a terrorist to try to comfort his own mental image of himself. Throughout the series, Tanukichi has been shown to be one who wishes to see justice be done within society, however he often faces the overwhelming question as to what justice exactly is. An example of this is shown when Ayame asks Tanukichi about his feeling for Anna, to which he responds saying that they are pure feelings of admiration and only a desire to follow her. Ayame then asked if Anna threw herself at Tanukichi if he would do anything to which he became flustered and without a decision.
Ayame Kajou (Blue Snow)
Ayame, also known as Blue Snow, is the masked terrorist mastermind and leader of S.O.X. whom Tanukichi is coerced into following, much to his dismay.
Ayame is the daughter of Masashi Endo, a Diet politician who was arrested ten years prior for alleged information of him having illicit relations with a high-school girl. However, Kajou knew for this to be a plot against her father who was at the time attempting to fight against the public morality laws. Before leaving his daughter, he gave Ayame a flip phone. This phone allows you, if you type in a specific sequence of numbers, to talk free of PM surveillance for up to three minutes a day. Using the power of this phone, Ayame is able to make various appearances as her terrorist persona, Blue Snow, without being traced or identified by the morality committee.
While Ayame seems to have her own “quirks” about sexual innuendos, her ultimate intentions as the leader of S.O.X is to educate the youth of Japan giving them the information that has long been denied to them as a part of society. Adam’s end goal is to rid Japan of these heavy moral codes and inform the masses on the importance of sex education.
Anna is the ever vigilant and extremely moral school president of Tokioka Academy. Anna is also the daughter of the two most influential movers of the Public Morals Act: Sophia Nishikinomia, Anna’s mother who is behind a push for even-stricter public morality laws than the currently enacted ones and Matsukage Nishikinomia, Anna’s father who is a Diet member and the driving force behind the original public morals laws that turned Japan into a “highly moral society.” Because of this, Anna’s parents tried to mold her into the model of a perfect human being could possibly be and has never truly been exposed to any form of indecency and does recognized things that may be considered inappropriate.
However, it is after an incident involving physical contact with Tanukichi that she begins to have a new and vivid feelings within her. This is one of the most drastic transformations we see in this series as Anna take on a new persona which can be relative to that of absolute lust and madness.
You see, this transformation of Anna can basically be compared to what happens if parents do not have “the talk” with their children. She has pent up emotions and feelings that she does not truly know how to express towards Okuma, and therefore goes about it by confusing love for lust and acting drastically upon these feelings which she feels are within reason. Because of this she also pushes her ideals further and more strongly as she believes that Okuma will fall deeper in love with her if she does.
Originally, I felt as though she was going to be a very bland character that follows the trope of being extremely innocent, which in a sense would have also made her a very stagnant character, however it was shocking to see her transformation, as she turned out to be the precise opposite and became a monster that I both feared and could not wait to see each episode as she falls deeper into her own madness. The method that is even used as Anna’s drive is very unique and twisted that it take a new spin on the protagonist-antagonist relationship. Honestly, I don’t even know what I could call it…
Saotome is the suffering artist who is known to be a prodigy, but cannot see her own work as beautiful, as she feels a need or lack of something. Stuck in this artist block, it is not until she becomes a member of S.O.X that Saotome finds the “something” she was looking for in the beauty of illicit relationships. After, joining S.O.X, Saotome begins to train herself to draw in way that prevents her PM from using it’s motion-detector to know what she is making. The resuts enable her to use
Saotome’s transformation is a declining one as she goes from an elitist prodigy of art to living in Tanukichi’s closet to draw erotic illustrations and designs. It is then that she also encourages Anna’s advances towards Tanukichi, as they help her get inspiration towards new and far more drastic artistic creations.
Even the her name, Otome is a reference to Otome games, a story-based video game in marketed to female audiences, where the main goal of the game is to develop relationships with the male characters of the game.
Goriki (Kenta Miyake) is the gorilla-like treasurer of the student council (though don’t try giving this guy a banana.) Goriki original is shown having a very strict and aggressive demeanor, but make a transformation similar to that of Anna. After protecting Anna from a group of stalkers, Goriki sees Tanukichi in a more friendly and caring manner.
Goriki begins to do many things to become close to Tanukichi such as watching after him when he is at the hospital, eating lunch together on the school rooftop everyday, walking to school together everyday, and even blushing on occasion while talking to Okuma. This is also amplified over time as even the girls begin seeing their relationship as an inspiration towards the revival of the “Yaoi” genre in the world and create multiple yaoi series based upon their appearance and likeness.
Like in the picture above (and below), Goriki is also show to demonstrate the opposite spectrum of fanservice from time to time. This in itself can be taken as just another joke as part of Shimoneta’s form of comedy, or it can be seen as a powerful statement on fanservice and the equality and value of gender roles… but I digress.
It is best to call Hyouka the philosopher of the world. A philosopher is defined as those that question things as they are in the world and decide to try seeking out the answers to these questions through observation and action. During Hyoka’s first appearance, she begins to ask Tanukichi, in public, the very revolutionary question of “How are babies made?” She even inquires how she has gone to hospitals and gynecologist in the attempt to seek out an answer to this question, however getting no results.
In Tokioka, Hyoka is most often found inside her laboratory where she does various forms of research, but mostly focusing on creation. She often is seen observing her flies as they show signs of reproducing.
(The Spoilers End Here.)
At it’s core, this series is one of two things. This series can either be meant for the purpose of being a social satire, showing a world in which people are fighting for their rights towards knowledge, freedom, and their right to love. While this world still shows that there are forces that are trying to deny us these things; whether it be a law, a person, or even what we consider to be a ethic and our will to either submit or fight against it. Or it could just be an anime masterpiece of dirty humor. Or both… Yes there are going to be those types of people that just see the fanservice in SHIMONETA, and not get that there is actually a means behind the madness of this series, but of course that is up to the viewer.
But focusing on the first point, now that you have this information and knowledge about the world as well as those that live within it, the question remains as to “Would you be able to survive the world of SHIMONETA?”
What do you think? Leave a comment.