Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Daily Lives of High School Boys - Episode 1

Tadakuni is just an ordinary high school boy - so ordinary in anime terms that he runs out of the house when he's late for school carrying bread in his mouth.  Thankfully, this clichéd opening scene is merely the catalyst for a flight of fancy regarding even more ludicrous foodstuffs to eat on the way to school, a Gundam invasion and the requirement to fight off said invasion using a party of fantasy characters.  Well, this is a Square Enix and Sunrise co-production after all...

In line with long-standing anime comedy regulations, Daily Lives of High School Boys sees its episodes split neatly into segments with a single skit within each - this opening gambit sees our trio of lads pondering scenarios in which it might be possible to woo a girl, the benefits or otherwise of the humble skirt and some scary stories that... well, really aren't for the most part (although don't try shaving your nipples using a razor, guys).

From there, we move a little further afield to the suspicion aroused in his classmates by Tadakuni seemingly walking a girl to school (their response to which I'm still unsure was supposed to be help or hindrance), before some reading at dusk by the riverbank for Hidenori turns into something decidedly more awkward when a quiet bookish girl decides to sit right next to him.

Having complained about many an unfunny anime comedy in my time, I can at least have the pleasure of confirming that Daily Lives of High School Boys is pretty funny at times, showing last season's attempt at "boys doing amusing things" Kimi to Bokuhow its done.  Indeed, this series is a far better representation of teenage male behaviour and humour (albeit an exaggerated form of it) than the aforementioned show, which seemed to have little clue as to how to use young male characters in a slice of life setting.  The only real oddity with this first episode of Daily Lives of High School Boys is that it manages to achieve the opposite of many anime comedy shows - while so many series have strong set-ups let down by poor or over-used gags (I'm looking at you Nichijou), this episode's comedy set-ups feel rather weak before defying expectations with some wonderful pay-offs, from the bizarre to the more outright funny.  This imbalance makes me question whether the series will have the legs to carry it throughout its entire broadcast run, but for now its something of a simple pleasure to see a series that pitches a group of boys together in the name of comedy and largely gets it right.

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