Laid Back Insanity – ‘Asobi Asobase’ Episode 1 Review

What’s the show? Asobi Asobase, Episode 1.

Okay, and what’s it about? You know what’s hard?

Uh, what? Reviewing comedy. Like watching something, laughing at it so hard that you give yourself a damn headache and then sitting down to write about what it was that was so funny about it.

If it’s funny it’s funny, doesn’t seem like it’s that hard to articulate? What’s hard isn’t telling people a thing is funny, it’s hard to know how to recommend a show—without knowing the parameters of what made it so funny—and even then if I convincingly make a case for the show and offer comparisons to other anime it might be like there’s still no guarantee people will find it funny!

Prepare for a bunch of glorious reaction faces in this review!

That’s the life of a reviewer though? Why you suddenly so caught up on this? Recently quite a few people have been putting stock in my words, they’ll say I convinced them to watch something or to change their mind and that’s awesome and humbling, but it’s also a lot of pressure. People’s time is precious, and I’d feel personally responsible if I recommended something to someone, they watched it because of what I said and then they didn’t end up liking it.

Is this all preface to your review of this show? More or less. That said, I don’t want people to stop saying that they were convinced to watch something because of me, I can always use that sweet ego boost!

Sorry!

Right, so with that all out of the way, what’s this show about? It’s about three high-school girls who get up to shenanigans in school, and it’s very funny.

Okay, and who are these girls? There’s the straight-laced one Kasumi—who has a serious sadistic streak to her personality. There’s the gullible, happy-go-lucky one Hanako. And then there’s the fake American transfer student Olivia.

Fake American transfer student? Well see Olivia was born and grew up in Japan and speaks it fluently, she just has American parents who live in Japan. She hams up her broken Japanese to seem more interesting, but really she doesn’t speak English at all.

*slap*

I see… A lot of the comedy comes from the interactions between the girls, in some ways its very much a spiritual successor to YuruYuri—especially Olivia who shares so many mannerisms with Kyoko that they could very well be sisters!

So would you recommend it to people who like YuruYuri then? Yes the comedy is passingly similar except here the crazy is turned up to eleven. Where Yuruyuri occasionally felt slow, this show moves at a rapid pace. There’s four titled segments of the first episode alone! Though it’s hardly a sketch format as the segments are at least ~passingly~ linked to one another. It’s not quite as ‘random and chaotic’ as Pop Team Epic, but they do at least share some similarities comedically.

Hopefully!

So you’d recommend it for Pop Team Epic fans then? Yes, but while it shares the kind of exaggerated faces, non-sequiturs and aggressive over-the-top interactions that Pop Team Epic had the experience is more sequential and grounded—only barely though, this show gets pretty damn wild at times! I think future reviews for this show are just going to be screenshots alone because I think I’m going to be lost for words most of the time!

We’ve all felt like this at one time or another…

Care to give some examples of the scenes in the show? I don’t really think I want to, personally I think a lot of the fun of this show is just experiencing it—something that perfectly sums up the tone and attitude of this show is that the OP is a sweet summery song complete with white dresses and cherry blossoms, while the ED song is a legitimately competent heavy metal song with accompanying death growls. If any of this sounds interesting or appealing and you are a fan of comedy than I can with certainty recommend the show, but at the same time comedy is so subjective and it’s completely understandable if this show does nothing for you. Hopefully it does though because there’s nothing quite like sharing a good comedy with friends!

Nobody likes to disappoint a teacher. Especially one who tasted your fake pee to find out you were lying to him… I hope that sounded as strange as I intended!

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5 comments

  1. Comedies are hard as heck to review, especially episodically. What are you gonna do? You can either talk about the jokes, which isn’t very entertaining, or you can just say “oh man, there were so many good jokes this episode…” which isn’t very entertaining (and they’re both a pain in the butt to write). I learned that it’s a much better idea to just do starting and ending posts on comedies.

    This show’s right on the edge for me. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of stupid people being stupid, shouty, screwed up faces, or violence played for laughs. The first episode was below the line on all of those for me, but not too far below it. (Pop Team Epic exceeded all of those thresholds within like 10 minutes, when I turned it off and never went back). It’s possible it will dial it back some, a lot of comedies lead with the extreme and then bring it down a little. Others feel like they have to always outdo the previous episode so they get worse. We’ll see which this is.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love all kinds of comedy, that said I never said (at least I don’t think I did) that this was a ‘great’ series, same as Pop Team Epic the whole “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach to comedy can be very hit or miss. I found this very funny but because of how ~inconsistent~ its approach is I could be bored by next weeks antics. I laughed a lot and that’s great but was it a series I was thinking about a few minutes after? Not really. But sometimes you need something low-brow and dumb and over-the-top!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha…well…just to put your mind at ease: I would never ever hold it against you if you recommended something to me, and I would end up not liking it. Whatever you watch/read whether it’s a movie, anime, a book…it’s always personal. And someone could totally hate something incredibly much, while others absolutely love it (*cough* The Last Jedi..*cough*).
    As for comedy…it’s the only genre I don’t like. And that’s not only on anime, but also with regular series. There is one anime comedy that I did enjoy, because it’s completely over the top and oldschool and that’s the 80’s anime Urusei Yatsura. Other than that: no comedy for me…sorry 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. At first I really didn’t expect this anime to be what it is due to the really elegant-looking (bad term to use maybe lol) art-style, but I was very much surprised when I watched it all the way through. And that wasn’t a bad thing, I really enjoyed it as much as you did! I’m very fond of comedy anime, especially the dumb and goofy ones, so I’d say this show’s definitely a keeper 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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