Seitokai no Ichizon is like the chat log you accidentally saved

by eternal on October 5, 2009

Seitokai no Ichizon

Seitokai no Ichizon is masturbation in every sense of the word except the literal one. It’s as meta as meta can be, as counterproductive and pointless as a dating-sim parody of Comic Party. I don’t expect there to be anything original in Seitokai; I don’t expect it to be occasionally heartwarming like Lucky Star or occasionally bittersweet like Genshiken. You’d have to search high and low to find something that has less of a plot.

And yet, I’m writing this post with nothing but praise in mind. Does that say something about me as a fan? Technically, yes – but don’t forget that there’s more to entertainment than objective quality.

I honestly don’t think Seitokai should be treated as an anime. Frankly, it hardly qualifies as a work of fiction. Seitokai no Ichizon is about nothing, and I don’t think that fact will change.

But is that necessarily a bad thing? Remember, you’re not really watching anime for the 24 minutes a week you spend on the show: you’re reading a meta blog post about the random goings-on of the internet. When you click on your Seitokai video file instead of Railgun or Nyankoi, you’re not choosing one anime over the other: you’re taking a short break to check your Twitter feed and IRC log.

In essence, I believe Seitokai is all about mindset. If you approach it as a comedy filled with cheap references and shallow characters, then you might not totally hate it… but if you approach it as a commentary on fandom, a detour from the norm, then you might actually like it.

And I loved it.

You see, the show isn’t inherently unfunny. Some might say that it is, but I think it’s an issue of quantity vs quality: and Seitokai is filled with the former. Some of the jokes are dumb, I admit. Some are only deserving of a smirk, and some fly by like an outdated OVER 9000. The thing is, when the jokes are fired off in such rapid succession, chances are you’ll laugh at a few, even if it’s only an immediate reaction. It’s not a very quotable comedy, certainly not the kind of thing you’d rewatch in the years to come, but since when did comedy need wit and sarcasm to be good?

The beauty of Seitokai is that it’s neither wit nor slapstick. It’s pure meta. It’s like having a chat with your otaku friends, except less predictable and with cuter girls (though the internet avatars can solve that problem). It extracts the core intrigue of shows like Genshiken and Ouran, throws out the story, and presents us with the kind of idle chatter we know to be plausible. It doesn’t just break the 4th wall and assault us with cheesy jokes; it knows its jokes are cheesy, but it keeps on going, because for God’s sake, the show is about a male otaku and his harem!

– – –

At the end of the day, I don’t think there’s anything I can say to convince you to watch a show like Seitokai. Moreover, it’s not the kind of thing that needs convincing: if you dislike it at first sight, then it probably won’t grow on you.

That said, for the kind of fans who like a little circle jerk now and again – the kind who don’t mind that a timeslot is being taken up on a show that only works on them – Seitokai is pure genius. It will never be appreciated by the masses, but it couldn’t care less, because it knows that its sole purpose is to provide a fun time for the crazed fan out there who isn’t afraid of a little masturbation.



{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

polymetrica October 5, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Good post! I’ve been wanting to read more about this series ever since I heard that the supergeneric character designs were lolintentional for once. Meta are nice, rapidfire meta are even better. And besides, having too much substance and profound stuff in a form of entertainment can be burdening at times, so shows that just have good fun are really welcome once in a while.

Will check this out!!


Flamehaze October 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm

You’re convinced me to check out this show! :D


digitalboy October 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Excellent post! I couldn’t figure out how to post on this show, and I’m glad you’ve said anything I would have, and done it right, doing the show the justice it deserves. Much love. This show is a boatload of fun.


omo October 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm

It’s just like google reader shared comments.


Seinime October 5, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Slice of life, quite literally.


calaggie October 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I guess I’ll give it a shot (keep an open mind, etc.) and see if something clicks for me but the classification of “meta” often makes me initially suspicious.


zzeroparticle October 6, 2009 at 12:50 am

The randomness which this show seemingly revels in gets to the point where it looks like it might be trying too hard, but then again, it’s not really aspiring to be much more than that. Now to see whether they can keep up with that pacing.


moritheil October 6, 2009 at 1:01 am

So this is anime for people without their own blogs, or in essence, fans who don’t have other fans to talk to.


ETERNAL October 14, 2009 at 11:30 am

Since the dialogue in the show is scripted, that’s not entirely true. There’s a guarantee that even the most basic conversations here will contain at least some kind of comic relief, whereas conversations among fans are usually just that: conversations.


kadian1364 October 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

It was amusing as a first episode (yeah Dragonball Evolution bashing!), but I have little faith it can keep up with the kind of pace it did in the first half of the episode. I mean, I want to see this series stay funny, but if it turns out to be more of the lamey, weak sentiment at the end of the episode, I’m prepared to write it off as another bait-and-switch first episode mis-impression.


Chris K. October 6, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Nice post, I also liked the first episode, and you summed up the non-existent plot perfectly. Don’t worry about trying to find reasons explaining why you like a certain anime, sometimes you find yourself liking something, “just because”.


gonzomehum October 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Obligatory fapfapfap masturbation joke goes here.


Shin October 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

You definitely hit the mark as to who its intended general audience is; The kind of stuff they talk in the show sure reflects the kind of conversations I have on IRC, only a little less explicit P:


moritheil October 12, 2009 at 5:40 am

They can’t keep up with you, Shin. Maybe no one can.


kerobear October 13, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Good analogy of SeitoKai, i totally agree with you how “Seitokai is all about mindset.” This anime isn’t really about anything, but the comedy and cheap references is what really counts towards this show.


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