The last of Silver Link’s trio of “one-sided budget focus for Rakudai” comes to a close.
With the trio of Battle Harems done, we can move on to less serious topics, although, One Punch Man will probably be looked at a bit more critically given its enormous popularity. Let’s take it easy for now with this one, this will be way less
I actually don’t have anything explanatory or clever to say in the beginning so let’s not waste any time. But allow me to say: This series was practically made for me.
Shomin Sample whisks away our overly-common male protagonist Kagurazaka Kimito from his regular highschool to a prestigious Seikain Academy, an all girls school. Under the pretense that he’s a homosexual muscle fetishist, Kimito was chosen as the titular “sample” to help the girls in the school be more accustomed to the outside world by having someone who has experienced it to live among them to ease them into it when they graduate. Kimito is quickly met by Tenkubashi Aika, a curious but overly trusting girl who demands his help in making her popular.
First things first, it’s been a while since I’ve decided to watch a traditional comedy-harem instead of a battle one. I can’t tell you how refreshing it felt to just have strictly comedy series. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even expect to pick this up but the name rang a few bells and I decided to give it a try. Suffice to say, I don’t regret it.
Kimito at first glance seems like a fairly average harem protagonist, which in many cases, is rarely a good thing. However, the first episode makes him out to be a a competent joker and he unexpectedly becomes an enjoyable protagonist with his clear-cut fetish for thighs. Aika, as much as don’t like characters of this type, was still enjoyable with her loud but touching moments with her insecurities. I think I enjoyed her mostly because she was so easy to fool and Kimito takes advantage of her idiocy a lot, so more props for Kimito in that regard. Reiko is the prim and proper lady whose best scenes don’t really show up in the anime adaptation but nonetheless, she’s the secondary straight-man but is also the instigator of the many activities everyone does, I found her plenty enjoyable.
Hakua is a fake-loli who I feel loses some charm by not being younger because she really feels like Kimito’s daughter. While I’m indifferent to the fanservice she provides, her portions of the episode where she and Kimito cooks and relax together were easily one of the highlights of the series, especially when the maids get in on the ordeal. Karen is the quintessential sword girl who will most likely go down everyone’s memories as KING ARTHUR with her beautiful thighs. However, her interactions with Kimito and the others don’t come to shine with another arc with her that shortly followed the marriage proposal “arc” they ended the adaptation with. I usually end up liking sword girls if they aren’t abusive (I’m looking at you Houki, you psycho bitch) and while Karen does end up making a lot of threats, she was more sweet than violent. Speaking of violent, we have Miyuki, the “personal” maid for Kimito who shows the most hostility but actually has something more going for her.
On the side character spectrum, they were not too many worth mentioning other than Sakimori, Hakua’s maid and Eri, Kimito’s childhood friend that got him in this mess. Sakimori doesn’t appear that much but I think I can accredit for the most enjoyable episode in the adaptation where she and the fellow maids play match-maker. Eri is pretty important in the series but with her official position as the least-liked girl in the series, she’s relegated to an absolute joke character who was supposed to appear and confront Kimito but she never does.
If my joke at the start of the post didn’t get you, then I’ll say it now, Shomin Sample looks “flawed”. By no means does it look hideous but it looks a certain type of way that I can easily see make more critical people squint. It feels really “moeblobby” type feel which is charming at some points but honestly, I can’t find myself complaining too much. I do appreciate the focus on the fanservice scenes, because horribly made fanservice (I’m looking at you Episode 9 from Antimagic Academy) would be awful, so they pumped some decent effort into making all those “thigh” scenes to be nicely presented. Being somewhat of a thigh-connoisseur myself, I enjoyed what I experienced. I will say though, the manga art for the series feels completely superior to both the anime AND the original light novel designs, something that rarely ever happens, at least to my knowledge. The music itself didn’t really lend itself to be memorable. It’s really one of those points that only stand out when the music catches your attention but given the genre and the homey feel of the series, I didn’t really expect it to. The opening was particularly catchy but if there’s one complaint I will make of it, I think the rocket-ship sequence is a bit too long. The ending itself didn’t stick with me as much, not too much to say there.
As far as progression goes, there’s not much for me to too actually say. Since it’s a comedy, I didn’t mind the series skipping over certain arcs but if there’s anything to complain about, I will say I expected the series to finish off with the entire arc with Aika and Karen becoming friends and the dance scene with Karen and Kimito. Granted, that would make it way too one-sided for Karen becoming superior to the others.
This point get its own paragraph because I fucking LOVE the Gachimuchi Trend with Billy Herrington and the likes so I flat out died when I first saw it explicitly referenced when I read the manga. I have some history with the meme itself when I first discovered it through my brother’s recommendation around 2008 and I’ve loved the gag ever since. Hearing the lines being said by cute little girls only made me laugh harder and reenacting the entire spanking scene had me dying. I can’t tell you how many points this series gets by referencing this.
Shomin Sample may not be the most original of settings and characters but its brand of comedy is definitely something worth remembering given how the main character interacts with the main girl in a refreshing way. This further accompanied by some decently touching moments with Aika valuing her friendship with others as well as Hakua’s moments with Kimito. I was actually also looking forward to the 2nd part of Kimito and Hakua’s duo chapter where they make lunch for picnic but can’t go outside due to the rain., I think that may have been my favorite chapter overall.
The series is still ongoing and there’s a lot we didn’t get to see and thankfully, nothing has been handed too badly, other than the admittedly lackluster finale with the original content, so this is one of the few things I’d actually want a second season from since I want to the see the aforementioned Karen and Hakua scenes as well as the crew’s reaction to Eri when she does finally appear.