Imagine a world where you couldn’t say &*@$. Where some council of !&$#* decided that rude words weren’t fun and that less-than-clean jokes were damaging the minds of children. What a load of bull—-. Seriously, like talking about and [REDACTED] could really be that harmful. Like that one about the woman who —— a —- — —- and — —— —– — —— for ——-. That’s a good one.
Enter (then exit and re-enter until both parties are satisfied) the country of Japan, the pinnacle of cleanliness and mental health. Gone are the days of smut, long put to bed (hehe) by police raids and good old fashioned incineration. Even the internet is not safe, locked down tighter than a character from 50 Shades of Grey. Unable to access the materials to which people bumped in the night, the populace of this restricted country have entered a period of peace, whose only side effect is grown men and women using the term “naughty bits” (which is in itself a crime). At least, that’s what the government would have said populace believe, in truth, there is a far darker and much more serious issue plaguing the youth of Japan: Ignorance.
With all access to knowledge about their maturing bodies blocked from them, high school students both unaware and unprepared for the emotions that run wild within them. Stories of making babies by simply looking at a bra permeate the schoolyard and anybody who shows even the inkling of sexual desire worries that they will be sent to prison. It’s essentially giving the bodies and hormones of teenagers to pre-teens…which is a truly horrifying idea. And what is the best counter to horror? Comedy. Rude, crude, unabashed comedy that really wants to drive itself home, over and over again until you’re out of breath and your muscles ache. The kind of comedy that you can enjoy by yourself, but is so much better when shared with another, maybe a few others if you’re feeling adventurous. Comedy that…you know what, you get the idea. There’s a group called SOX and they are the cure to this fictional world of repression.
Beneath a mask of panties and flag of freedom, Ayame Kajou (known to the world as Blue Snow) protests against the dismal state of the country. Strong-arming the virtuous Tanukichi Okuma into her schemes, she strives for the day when the red and blue no longer flash when somebody says the word “butt”. To do so, Kajou crams as much lewdness as she can into every conversational orifice for as long as she is able (3 minutes a day, for magical technical plot reasons). Though this most certainly comes across as excessive, that in itself is the point. Without the ability to say what she wants whenever she wants, Kajou is forced to hold herself back until a mighty deluge spills forth. If crudeness is not your thing, then for this reason alone I would imagine this series is not for you. If you don’t mind rapid fire debauchery however, or better yet relish in it, you may be able to see what lies beyond. Is this series an award winning piece that will revolutionise the very format in which it is created? Probably not. Was it created to simply be rude for rudeness sake? Most likely. But I choose to believe there is more to it than simple dirty jokes. And that something hits harder than any phallic shaped object: Unexpected truth.
Censorship is a big deal in this world of ours. Certain people long to see media banned due to perceived rudeness, or an excess of violence, or sex…mostly for sex. Films can show a man’s head being blown off his body, but the second a shirt drops, the rating rises. Now, I’m not trying to stand on a soap box here, just providing a little example. Shimoneta is, in itself, an oxymoronic representation of censorship gone wild. We are clearly nowhere near the level of repression shown within the series, if we were it would have never been made, and yet the threat feels real enough that it gives weight to a series where carrying a pin up poster is akin to terrorism. Moments of honest lucidity convey how frightening cultivated ignorance can be. Though for the purposes of this series said ignorance mainly amounts to sexual knowledge, there are extrapolations that show how some of the cast cannot even fathom what love is as a concept. Having never been told about the birds, let alone the bees, desire is explained away as an odd kind of friendship. That is, unless, your name happens to be Anna Nishikinomiya…
As a paragon of purity, Anna represents everything a censored world strives for. Smart, driven, altruistic, a girl of talent and poise who inspires trust in others. She is also painfully oblivious and possesses the maturity of a child. There is no sway in her mind, situations are black and white only and everything falls into one of those categories. The problem arises when she becomes…interested in Tanukichi. Far and away the most egregious example of crudeness, Anna’s advances on our male protagonist are, for lack of a better term, @#$*&^! insane. Stalking, assault, more assault, a little more stalking and baking…and that last one is probably the worst. Again, mostly played for comedy, Anna goes to show the result of a fully censored world. The government did not remove corruption from the world, they merely stole the middle ground. Now all that remains are the pure and the criminal…and everybody has to pick a side.
Well, that was skosh more serious than this series implies, now wasn’t it? Still, it was this presence unexpected realism that made Shimoneta stand out to me. Yes, the jokes were memorable and the sheer audacity of it all forges smiles you almost feel guilty for having, but knowing that there is even a semblance of a lesson behind them all takes this series to the next level. It just may be a little hard to convince people of that fact when they see that there is a villain whose evil plan is to steal people’s underwear. Or that there is an extended sequence of flies mating. Or that Kajou claims that girls have four mouths…I think Tanukichi’s reaction did that one justice. So watch Shimoneta for the thrill of it or discern from it a future to be avoided. Or pretend you’re watching it for the hidden depths and then giggle at every banana based double entendre. But no matter which path you choose to walk, remember one thing: Never. Trust. Cookies.
Luckily A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist is just a fantasy, so we can say things like $#@! all we want