Seitokai to Masochism
Such is my relationship with Seitokai no Ichizon.
Were it not for one particular scene that gave me a sense of false hope, I’d have given up on Seitokai after the first episode. Said scene is shown below:
They’re obviously rifting on the old “Rabbit Season, Duck Season” routine you’ve seen in many Looney Tunes cartoons. Just in case you’re some sort of heathen monkey that’s never seen said scene, here it is so you can cleanse yourself before the Cartoon Inquisition burns you at the stake:
That little homage to Looney Tunes gave me hope that Seitokai would be smarter than advertised. I knew it was going to be a Family Guy-styled “throw references out at you and hope you laugh because it’s familiar” mess of a show, but I gave it a chance. I kind of liked Lucky Star, and it was driven mostly by “OMG LOOK AT THAT DO YOU REMEMBER THAT” humor, so I was hoping Seitokai would be a similar amusing diversion.
Instead, aside from the above scene, the series has been little more than torture. Apparently the series is tossing around references and stuff, but most of these references go right past me, probably because I didn’t watch whatever series they’re rifting. The latest episode started with what I’m assuming is a parody of Maria-sama ga Miteru. I’m not assuming that they’re referencing Maria-sama, I’m assuming that it’s supposed to be a parody. The reason why I’m not exactly sure it’s a joke is because I can’t tell the difference between this scene and a scene from Maria-sama.
This is the main problem with Family Guy’s “parodies” as well. More often than not, all they do is take a scene directly from the movie/tv show/whatever and replace one of the characters with Stewie or Peter or Brian or that pedophile dude who wants in Chris’ pants. Those Star Wars episodes? The only time they differ from the actual movie is when they do something idiotic like insert a Deal or No Deal reference. Otherwise, apparently we’re supposed to be amused by the cast reenacting scenes, word for word, from the movie. This isn’t humor, this is a bad local theater troupe put in animated form.
Seitokai is suffering from the same problem. There’s a scene in the latest episode that seems like it’s taken straight from Strike Witches. As far as I can tell there’s no attempt to make this scene distinct from an actual Strike Witches scene other than the fact that the characters have been recast. So we’re supposed to find it funny when A is replaced with B when A = B? Maybe that’s funny to someone with a PhD in Mathematics, but it isn’t funny to me and it shouldn’t be funny to anyone else. It’s just damn lazy.
Despite this laziness, I’ve watched all four episodes released thus far. I’m holding out some hope that Seitokai’s point of reference reaches beyond “let’s reference crappy recent anime,” and I’m doing so because there’s a glimmer of pleasure amiss the torrents of pain. And slowly and surely I’m starting to forget the difference between which is pleasurable and which is painful.