A thoughtful response to current anime.

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – Episode 5

Last episode on Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, aka Daily Lives of High School Boys, aka Nichibros, aka Manshi Brobrosei bro Nichibro, the titular high school boys got together with some less-than-titular high school girls and held a culture festival.  It was good fun, but it did mean growing the female cast quite a bit.  Some of the girls at the festival were girls we’d already been introduced to, too (the genderswapped main characters): this means they’ve now achieved the status of “recurring characters”, even outside of their little “High School Girls Are Funky” corner.  I guess it might not be such a bad thing if the show were to go from being a male version of Hidamari Sketch to being the spiritual successor to School Rumble, because hey, I liked School Rumble.  Still, I hope they keep focus on the guys in episode 5 of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou.

…thirty minutes pass…

First they chip away at the "boys", now the "high school". Soon the characters will be dying on a monthly basis and we'll have left the premise completely behind.

This episode was pretty amazing.  I enjoy this show even when the gags don’t really work, because of the slice of life aspect of it, but this episode the gags pretty much all worked.  Some of them worked really well, the bit where the main characters were scoping out middle school girls (pictured above) had me dying of laughter the whole time.  One thing I guess I didn’t really enjoy in this episode, though, was how much bullying there was.  Motoharu being bullied by his older sister and her friends, Toshiyuki being bullied by the genderswapped main characters, and Hidenori thinking back nostalgically on how he was bullied as a young child.  Bullying is pretty awful!  It’s not fun to watch, and it sort of distracts from the humor of the bits if I am too busy feeling sorry for the characters to want to laugh at them.  I guess I wasn’t really bullied much growing up, so maybe I never had a chance to build up a thick skin about it, but man, you shouldn’t have to.

Apart from bullying, the other major theme of this episode was social expectations, and the extreme effort that people put forward to make sure nothing socially unexpected happens.  In a given social situation, everyone has an idea of what’s supposed to happen – they are reading from a script, basically.  In this scene, the girl is being harassed by punks in an alley and a young gentleman comes along to save her, in this scene a boy meets a girl by a riverbank and romance begins to blossom.  And even if what’s written in the script has little to do with reality, nobody wants to be the one to throw away the script and ruin the show.  They end up lying, not because they want to trick their interlocutor, or because they have anything to hide, but just because the thing they’re supposed to say next happens not to be true.  Which is sort of sad, how cheaply we humans throw away our honesty.  Man, for such a great episode it sure is making me feel bad to think back on it.  Let’s skip straight to the bonus image corner.

Bonus Image Corner:

"Bonus image corner" usually means "favorite facial expression of the week".


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