Consider this a mini-review because there’s only so much I can talk about a comedy series that focuses on a single character.
One of the very few series I happen to pick up and read before an adaptation begins happens to be Sakamoto. Around a few years ago I stumbled upon an iconic page where Sakamoto manages to sit down properly on his desk, even after his chair is pulled from him. This was one of the very few adaptations that I was looking forward too and while I doubted Studio DEEN, everyone was pissing themselves over Konosuba and with its apparent popularity, I had hopes for DEEN to succeed.
Did they indeed succeed? Well let’s take a quick look.
Right from the start, there’s really nothing to say other than imaging the single greatest human being to ever exist to attend a highschool and win everyone over by either extraordinary charisma or by absurdly effective “Techniques”. Sakamoto is basically THE series that not only worships this sort of character but also lampoons every other series with a wish fulfillment and self-inserting protagonist that does everything perfectly, has no flaws, and wins over all the girls while being the most badass person around. The way the series accomplishes this is that Sakamoto takes these tropes and turns up to 11 but in a completely static setting of a highschool, so any and all fantastical achievements he pulls off, is “plain” but hilariously over the top.
Sakamoto Desu Ga as a series however definitely serves itself better as a manga series in my opinion. That doesn’t mean the anime is “bad” per say but I feel the manga could definitely evoke more laughter in my opinion than the anime could. Speaking as someone who read the series and anticipated the anime, I wouldn’t be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed with the adaptation. The primary reason I think why I preferred the manga is because of the sound effects and sound track. I never really anticipated great looking animation where DEEN is involved but since this was a regular highschool setting, there wasn’t too much precedence on that end. I particularly “blame” the sound effects and the singular use of that “theme” the anime adaptation constantly uses because of the simple fact that the soundwork was not enough. Where I can understand using a single theme to constitute a character’s every action, I feel that some more defining, exciting, or just more stylish theme could have been chosen for Sakamoto to one-up everyone with. If anything, the blame goes more to the lack of sound effects, or rather, the lack of any ones that have the amount of impact that would substitute what the manga pulled off. In a particular scene in the manga, where Sakamoto gets the chair pulled behind him, I couldn’t stop laughing at how he was able to sit perfectly. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t as rich the first time but I felt the anime version fell short. Another scene where Sakamoto gets himself kicked out of class to tend to a bird in the hallway also had me on the floor but the anime version wasn’t all that amazing.
But before I finish things off here, I will say that I wasn’t able to keep up with said manga so I wasn’t able to read the finale before I watched it. You can call me a hypocrite on this since I don’t like the highschool setting all that much for anything but anything related to graduation and moving on from a place you know you belonged to and have many friends with really gets to me a lot so even the finale got me pretty good, especially with the face Sakamoto makes. Hell, even Hayabusa had a little part in there too. It’s something that always gets to me personally and if anything, is quite rare since not too many series really focuses on that aspect of the highschool graduation since it’s the most dreaded occasion.
To me, I think the bias goes against the underwhelming presentation whereas everything was a very commendable adaptation that managed to fit the ending of the entire series in a nice bow. While it’s still a very funny series, I honestly prefer the manga version since I feel what I envisioned in my head while reading was definitely more grandiose than what the anime provided me with. But do not let my bias stop you from watching the series if you haven’t already. But for those curious enough, I definitely recommend reading the manga and watching the series because it’s definitely a hilarious series where our perfect protagonist is someone you indefinitely root for because his charm is dreadfully irresistible.