Despite being 3 weeks after the end of Seitokai no Ichizon, here is my totally late review of the 13-episode series.
Seitokai no Ichizon is set in a particular Student Council room, in a particular school in the outskirts of Hokkaido, Japan. Hekiyoh Academy has a unique Student Council election system, where the usual voting system is at play, but only the most popular students may be nominated as candidates. Upon all this, a valedictory may surpass the election rounds and be promoted to a seat in the student council without any catches, excluding the fact that you have to score the highest average in your recent end of term exam.
The plot revolves around the daily discussions, adventure, drama and antics of 4 bishojo’s (and a guy), who are all newbies and veteran members of the student council. A metafiction is formed in the original light novel series, where Kurimu, the president of the council orders Ken, the vice president of the council to write stories of how epic and awesome the student council really is, and negotiates with a real life publishing company Fujimi Shobou to publish these stories. This is also loosely reflected in an episode of the anime where Kurimu attempts to promote the Student Council through various means of media.
Have to say, nice and basic plot relay, but very similar to other anime that’s already on offer (for example, Lucky Star and most obviously, Hayate no Gotoku with the parodies).
Every episode will you’d always expect everything to happen in the Student Council room (which seems claustrophobic to some) and end in a ill-mannered way… but not quite!
Episode 7 out of all is the only episode where most of the episode, actually go OUTSIDE the Student Council and out to the great outdoors! Only until when they arrive to some inn and the rest of the shit happens there. Out of all, I believe that episode 7 is the worst episode of all. Why? 3 pointers.
- Nothing remotely important happens
- They’re basically just doing the same crap like they do in the Student Council room somewhere else
- The cosplay dares were nothing close to fanservice, just random unrelated costumes (could say that Mayufu’s was close to service… but blehh)
But the rest, are actually decent in my eyes. The best episode out of all I guess is episode 8 due to the following pointers;
- Every moment of the episode was win.
- Erisu is one sneaky loli.
- Ken convicted as a lolicon was the best.
If a second season is in order (most unlikely to happen), moar Erisu pleeez!
Parodies and references play a vital role in Seitokai no Ichizon, as it’s mainly used as a basis for all its jokes. Unfortunately, many praises and criticism are formed due to the obscure limited selection of them the producers had picked. On one hand, the references are actually quite amusing, humourous and entertaining. But on the other, it kinda gets redundant after a while, also the fact that some references get repeated over and over in later episodes, such as Death Note and Higurashi (that Satori-sensei!).
Just one of those recycled Higurashi moments.
The most notable victims that has references and parodies made fun of throughout the series;
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
- Lucky Star
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Final Fantasy
- Strike Witches (You’d must have problems if you didn’t spot this one out)
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni
- Death Note
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Resident Evil
- To Aru Majutsu no Index
- Baka Test
I could go on but I’ll stop there.
Deen has done a good job of running around everywhere, publisher to publisher asking for permission to snag a selection of their work to put on their work. Obviously the most blatant parody which I believe everyone would’ve been aware of was the reconstructed Strike Witches scene parody in episode 4. In fact, even Gonzo was involved with the production of the animation along with Deen.
Above all the hysteria and madness Seitokai is usually known for… Surprisingly, seriousness, dorama and character development (not plot development, sadly…) are often added to several episodes in the series.
Starting off in episode 3, where the girls discover a little bit of Ken’s past of two-timing back in middle school… Episode 6, where Minatsu and Mayufu were on the verge of transferring to the mainland due to family matters… Episode 8, where Kurimu was on the verge of firing Ken after claiming that he wouldn’t leave Erisu if she ever got fat, but would for Kurimu if you remember back in the first episode… Episode 9 where Chizuru deals with an old school friend (enemy?) regarding their dark past back in middle school… At the end of episode 11 and the beginning of episode 12, Mayufu confessing to Ken… and last but not least episode 12, where Ken’s depressing past is fully revealed and how Kurimu, Mayufu, Minatsu and Chizuru made Ken the way he is now.
I was really surprised and impressed as to how the mysterious flashbacks appearing in earlier episodes are actually a chronological series of flashbacks of the first meeting between Ken and each of the four bishojos. When did this became a Visual Novel eh? Haha
But surely, the drama and the seriousness were a nice element added to the plot. Being a comedy slice of life LOLZ series, the drama and shiz actually made the whole anime feel even better. Not on the Kleenex level, obviously…
Minding that Seitokai is done by Deen, known for its notorious low animation quality, was actually pretty decent most of the time. A few broken deformations from time to time, but mostly average. I’d say, the only moment where the animation was actually crystal clear is surprisingly the opening. It seems that they spent more time and sweat on the opening instead of the actual episodes… The ending’s quality seems to be on the same level as the episode’s animation.
Speaking of the opening and ending, both the songs for the sequences are all completely done by the complete main cast’s voice actors (excluding Ken). No askings for any independent singers out there, all just in the same boat. The opening is called “Treasure”, and the ending, just 12 pointless remixes for each episode of the original; “Musou -star- Fetish”. Now we all know where most of the left over budget went, it seems…
So all in all, a nice chatty parodying slice of life anime. Despite the notorious level of criticism made by the reviewers of Anime rag site ANN, I really enjoyed watching Seitokai. Watching the from the start and seeing how it’ll turn out at the end, predicting what kind of parody they’ll make, singing along with the opening and ending sequence…(Kidding about the last one.) At times I’d be eerie about the deterioration of the animation and its quality, but also worried about if an anime failure would occur…(This is Studio Deen we’re talking about…) I would be keen to recommend this to anyone who’s into Lucky Star, as the two bear strong resemblances to each other with its nonsensical convos and humour. Oh and also Hayate for a similarity for both shows ripping off other anime. If you’re expecting a nice occasional blend of fanservice from time to time, little drops of drama and suspense, a dash of flashy school uniforms and a harem of bishojos, then look no further as Seitokai will be you main dish for your anime consumption!
OVERALL RATING 8/10
And so concludes my most anticipated anime of 2009. *shikushikushikushikushiku*