"Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai", or "Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist", or if you're feeling really lazy, "Shimoseka" is currently a ten volume Japanese light novel series written by Hirotaka Akagi and illustrated by Eito Shimotsuki, an ongoing manga with art by N' Yuzuki which began serialization in Mag Garden's shōnen manga magazine Monthly Comic Blade from May 2014, and an anime television series adaptation by J.C.Staff aired from July 2015 to September 2015. Unless otherwise indicated this review will focus on the anime.
Holy shit, where to begin on this one. The basic premise of this anime is that somehow or another all that is immoral or obscene, such as language, artwork, writing, etc. ranging from jokes like The Aristocrats, porn of any sort, erotic writing, curse words, artistic nude drawings, and likely anything that goes against the party line, has been outlawed, banned, burned, and incarcerated. Everyone is fitted with collars and wrist bands so they not only can't speak it, but even write it. It's to the point that there is no sex education; men and women don't even know how to react around each other anymore, and have no idea what they're feeling or how to deal with it when they do. Basically, we've just been dropped into George Orwell's 1984, and this is fucking Eastasia. This is some heavy fucking shit here despite the rest of the premise, and because it's so heavy, it's about this point it really breaks down in some ways, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Our Emanuelle Goldstein-ish character is a young lady by the name of Ayame Kajou, who has managed to figure out a way to disable her collar for a certain period of time, and is going on a naked rampage of crime speak by way of straight out tourrettsing sex jokes. She calls herself Blue Snow and her one woman operation SOX (yes, that's a play on 'sex'), and runs around in nothing but a sheet and panties on her head to disguise herself. Apparently the near nudity helps in that it keeps The Party enforcers from being able to adequately trap her for fear of engaging in inappropriate behavior with a nude girl…and she's a bit of an exhibitionist. Enter into this mess, Tanukichi Okuma, a guy whose father was one of the last great protestors of this regime, and who tries to distance himself from such an unsavory past as well as win whatever amounts to the affection of Anna Nishikinomiya (voiced superbly by the late Matsuki Miyu), a childhood friend of his, the current school president, and something far more terrifying than anyone actually knew before. The story is basically about Okuma and Ayame's peaceful fight against the system, their taking down of rogue elements who mean to demean them to the populace, and dodging Anna and various others who wish to destroy them. Or, in Anna's case concerning Okuma, rape the living shit out of him. No, I am not kidding.
I get it, I do. This was made in likely protest to the morality crackdown by the Tokyo mayor and various others on anime and manga within Tokyo and would likely filter out to Japan at large. In this situation the author chose something like what would happen if this were taken to its ultimate ending. What we get is basically, Eastasia from the book 1984 by George Orwell. They have thought police, crime-think, ways of monitoring their citizens, and have completely destroyed the ability of the populace to actually interact with each other in any meaningful sense; thus leaving The Party in control, theoretically forever, or at least until the ruling class has drunk enough of their own cool-aid so the entire edifice comes tumbling down, but we'll get to a bit of that. The story has a glaring weakness that permeates every aspect of the telling. This is extremely high level stuff we're talking about here. However, the author seems to only be able to actualize it on a very basic level without sufficient understanding of just what he's crafting. It seems as if he never did the research on both technology or the full ramifications of what instituting this kind of control would entail. Like he once read some Cliff's Notes on "1984" and Aldus Huxley's "Brave New World", but never actually went into the stories and read them at length, checked out some analysis and other stories like it, and formed his own opinion. He has this loose toolbox of stuff he knows is wrong, knows kinda how it would go, but doesn't quite have the ideas fully formed or how they'd truly fit together. And so, depressingly enough, he falls back on standard anime trope additions, such as the girl stating a guy is ecchi when they walk in on them, weird ass pacifism, and shit like that. It's the reason why when Ayame talks, all I hear are clucks. She's straight out chickenshit in a lot of ways. Others, perhaps not, but in a lot of other ways, she is. She's also not nearly as smart as we're supposed to believe she is. The Party is not destroyed without a fucking war, and raising the proles to fight back just isn't going to happen. She seems to think that getting up on a roof and shouting "COCK!" at the top of her lungs is going to actually change something.
Then there's the technology situation. There's no way their bracelets and collars could work like they do. The bracelets are stated to be capable of pattern recognition. You start drawing a naked body, and it knows. You start writing a dirty word; it knows. That level of pattern recognition is literally impossible without AI considering just how many ways one could make something on paper. If they had that, they'd have insane satellite imagery capabilities, drones that could follow you everywhere, the ability to shut you down with your collar, I could go on. Hell, at that point they wouldn't even NEED human beings, but I'll allow that they may not have quite gotten to the level of purging the excess human capital yet. Hell, they even had something resembling farcical elections (and they go out of your way to make sure you know it's a farce), so someone in power still cares about such things. Any AI that exists has either been locked down sufficiently (which is impossible, really) is in on the whole thing, (which would make fighting back completely impossible), or has a completely different agenda while fulfilling this purpose. Regardless, they don't have things like drones, the ability to kill you with your collar, really good sat imagery, or the like. Just these mystic collars and really bad human enforcers. Anyaku put forth the idea that this is towards the end of such a system when the inherent degeneracies of thought start causing the whole system to break down since they can't even think of the stuff I just listed. Which is possible to a degree, but I think we'd see more stuff happening if that were the case. For example, the cities look fairly well maintained...I'd expect basic services to be shoddy at best in such an environment.
From what I can tell this was done in about a generation or maybe two. I don't think that's been near enough time. For one these teenagers still have a mother and a father, and there were traces of real dissent in that generation. I'd be rather curious where the next generations are coming from, but that wasn't really touched on, and maybe it was deliberate. I mean, if you don't have sex, how do you make the next generation? They'd have had to institute some sort of artificial womb method, and then it'd just turn into children factory camps with no need for families...we've not gotten there yet in this story. Nor has it been long enough to allow for the degeneracy of thought that would have to be happening to keep things like, "Hey, send a drone up!" from occurring to these people.
I suppose, in the end, what actually entertained me a bit was the characters. It wasn't really the main characters either, Ayame had me rolling my eyes, and Okuma was a little too much of a the standard anime wuss chickenshit for my liking. He wasn't full on that sort; he could fight, and he eventually went with Ayame to fight in her way (which is basically setting themselves up for failure, but I digress). I dunno, maybe I'm too hard on him due to his age, and his naivety. Still, if anything, I'd have to give it to Anna Nishikinomiya and Hyouka Fuwa. Anna is our erstwhile school president who, at first, seems completely pure and towing the party line. She's actually a Steve Rogers level super soldier and is completely crazy. I am certain her mother and father engineered this girl and fucked it up. This girl lives in a world of pure double-think, and not only does not know it, if she did, it wouldn't even register to her. If it's for Okuma's love, she would do anything. Crush dissent. Or sneak into his room to attempt to rape him. It should be noted, she has no idea tab a goes into slot b. She's insanely intelligent, however, and her instincts are screaming at her what to do. It would only be a matter of time before she figured it out, and then...well, I don't really rate Okuma's chances at survival past a couple of minutes (but what an awesome way to go). Super soldier, remember? Honestly, she amuses me far more than she probably should. On the other hand, Hyouka Fuwa, a girl very interested in biology, with an impressive bug collection, of which she is straight out voyeuristic with. She speaks in an emotionless monotone and has eyes with black underbags to denote never sleeping. However, she's almost cracked the code herself, and very much wants Okuma to fill in the blanks for her; since she figures because of his father, he'd know these things. She also is fully aware of what Anna really is, and how dangerous she's going to be. In any event, someone needs to take that girl to a closet somewhere and just pork her senseless...and then things will get kinky. She wants to know about the birds and the bees BAD. Most of the other characters are either annoying or one dimensional constructs. That said, there was one last one in particular which I found interesting as a pure character study: Raiki Gouriki. This one is sort of the QED of what's wrong with that sort of world. Dude is gay as fuckall. He doesn't even know it. Doesn't even know how to express it. Literally has no context at all, and has no real idea why what's happening...is happening. You can tell because of how he reacts around Okuma, and his...clothing...choices...I need some brain bleach. Then there's members of The Party, which are Anna's parents. I don't know about her father, but her mother, Sophia Nishikinomiya, well...given her absolute zeal in passing these morality laws, I'm absolutely certain she's fucking a mountain of cock on the side. Rules for thee, and not for me, after all. I'd watch just to see if the author understood his creation enough to at least show that...or something else that might make sense.
In a way, one could almost expect White Peak, the more violent terrorist organization. They were so fucked up they weren't even going for societal change. Just to get off in their sick way and perhaps a bit of suicide by cop. Still, I'd call the author a pussy for that one. Back to the tropes, and to be honest with their current moral guardians, this is about all he could probably do. In reality, they'd be straight out rape gangs, assuming they'd figured out how sex works (and it wouldn't take much). Or even some sort of sex cult. Still, they all had collars and such, which leads back into why couldn't they query to see who the fuck it was, and then cause it to blow up or something, killing these guys?
I can say I was entertained, but I cannot say it was something that was good. It's wasted potential. Little more than Anime Hijinks in George Orwell's 1984 as a protest against the shit going on currently in real life Tokyo, and a fucking weak protest at that. If you're going to use words or stories like this, you fucking stick the screws in, and you turn that shit like God is your support for cranking that shaft. The animation and the music were fine; nothing really to complain about there, unlike the broadcast of Dragon Ball Super, amongst others. Still, that damn wasted potential. Some research into the full political and social consequences of what's going on there and how they would affect the 'real' world they were in would be a damn good start. Actually reading George Orwell, Aldus Huxley, some of the writings of Thomas Jefferson, and even the likes of Ayn Rand would be a good next step. Seriously, if you're going to start something like this series, you gotta do your due diligence and even start bouncing it off people who've also read up this subject. Figure out what's wrong, why it's wrong, and how people, society, and their world would look and act both in function and dysfunction. Take that loose toolbox of morality and figure out how fucking USE it and why it should be used and when. Otherwise we get a peaceful protest of sex jokes against a people who don't care and The Party who will kill you...such as we have here.