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12 days of anime #10 – A tribute to humanity’s unbreakable lust for the erotic [Shimoneta]

16.12.2015

Now I will rise above my… like-hate relationship with Shimoneta and acknowledge its bravery in supporting “humanity’s unbreakable lust for the erotic” (quoted Shimoneta from episode 12).

While Shimoneta doesn’t have stellar execution, it is still a memorable show, being about the only series (as far as I know) to tackle the combination of thorny subjects involving censorship, public morals, dirty jokes and sexual education. Setting out on a lofty mission to fight for freedom of speech, Shimoneta is however very playful in nature and even embodies its own idea of a joke. The approach is not without merits, but by adopting it, the series proudly implies that it doesn’t cater for very large audience.

Even so, some parts of it are enjoyable enough. Some parts are even eye-opening, especially for someone who settles at the bottom of a well, like the person writing this post.

For example, that ED of episode 6. Well, colour me surprised.

Shimoneta 06 - step 1

As I prepare for this post about Shimoneta, I remember how pure, pure white my past self was. I was born into a family of teachers. Not only are my parents, many of my relatives are also teachers. On top of that, I live in a suburban town. Schools in the countryside of this Asian country are similar to the society that Shimoneta wants to fight against. My childhood was wrapped in the perfect walls of censorship that I expectedly grew up to disgust lewdness and sex-related content, to the extent that I can sympathize with Anna before she turns into a crazy rapist. To be fair, English became my major subject in highschool, so I had to broaden my mind back then and got used to western mass culture, but I see where the series comes from when it presents Anna like that.

Talking of my stance on the lewdness, in university I somehow got stuck between two sides. My friends in class were mostly city residents that loved referring to sex jokes as if they were an indispensable part of conversations. My friends in the dormitory were from faraway provinces that easily got embarrassed when seeing kissing scenes on screen. I found it hard to balance between them. University friends were sometimes quite weird to me; I was sometimes quite weird to dormitory friends. At one point I tried to get away from my close friend in class; meanwhile, my close friend in dormitory tried to get away from me. People get scared because reality is different from their ideals of being pure and noble; the ideals, in turn, prevail thanks to scared and embarrassed adults.

Shimoneta 06 - step 2

Even until the beginning of this year, the “walls” still remained largely intact. Some changes must have crept in somewhere along the middle months, for I can still recall how prudent I was when blogging Yurikuma Arashi on the blog. I wrote about love, bonds and sacrifices, but was afraid to touch on the homosexuality subject, which everybody knows is the main-est of all its main themes. Ironically enough, that refusal to discuss sex is basically the evil pervading the whole series. The evil in Yurikuma Arashi, that same evil in Shimoneta. The refusal of being stained and the persistence of staying pure.

Shimoneta 06 - step 3

To the person that has turned a blind eye for so long, it is hard to tell where the line is between having an open mind and having a sick mind. Is Shimoneta open or is it sick? Well, it is both. The conservative side of me determines that many of its dirty jokes have outstayed their welcome. But Shimoneta does assist me in redefining my openness and understanding how unrealistic it is to cling to naivety.

Shimoneta 06 - step 4

Shimoneta isn’t even a great series. It is just very committed to delivering its messages. And in voicing its advocacy of a dirtier society, Shimoneta is a nice consolation for shame, alongside with clips from The School of Life that I was also very fond of around the Summer Season of this year. Coincidentally enough, anime and youtube clips I watched this year seem to suggest a more open perspective on sex. Or maybe it is just me being ignorant for all these years.

Anyway, I do think there is an aching need to improve sex education. Or else more and more silly youngsters will leave their friends for very silly reasons. Or other worse things, especially other worse things.

Shimoneta 06 - step 5

So in episode 6 of the series, the people at J.C.Staff, following its anime’s footsteps, give a quick tutorial that encourages viewers to demonstrate their cooking ability. The ED goes as far as creating a cordial atmosphere that feels just like home. How considerate. The end-product looks cute and fun, too.

I do appreciate this kind of dedication to humanity. I really do.

Shimoneta 06 - finally

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