Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Student Council's Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)

I am typically not a fan of the "show about nothing" concept. Mostly because the shows are about nothing. I like stories that have an overall plot and things like character growth and conflict. I hope that doesn't make me weird. 

Student Council's Discretion has almost none of those things I just mentioned and yet I found myself being marginally entertained by the show anyway. Yes, it is a show about nothing, but it somehow kept me coming back. 

Maybe it was all of the anime and manga references. I mean, there were so many references (primarily in the first season) that it is tough for me to remember them all. Like a lot of other anime that use references you won't really catch any of these references unless you are well-versed in anime. For the most part the references were fairly obvious with Dragonball and Death Note being mentioned. However, things will get a bit obscure every now and then. So if you want to play "catch the reference" then make sure you know your anime and manga. 

The story itself isn't much to talk about. It's the student council sitting around after school talking about stuff. That's it as far as story goes. 

I think the main reason I watched this show was the way it was presented. This show is based off of a series of light novels by Sukina Aoi, but the anime (and the light novel series, I'm assuming) is presented in a way that makes it seem that the main character Sugisaki Ken is actually writing the novels to make the Student Council look good. Ken's publisher just happens to be Shobo Fujimi, Aoi's real life publisher. 

The second season (or Lv.2) really pushes the metafiction concept more than the first season did and that could very well explain why I liked the second season so much more. The first season was okay, but it felt a little bit too restrained for me. Yeah, it had a lot of references, but it just seemed to be missing something. I really wanted things to be more off the wall and the second season delivered for me. 

Another thing the second season did was push for a bit more storyline and character growth. I know that sounds like a hypocritical stance considering the subject matter of the show, but it really doesn't feel too far out of place. 

The Student Council still just sit around and talk in the second season, but it's what they talk about that changes a bit. Episode 1 of the second season has the main characters discussing how to make their own show more interesting for the viewers. They even talk about the different animation style. Trust me, that 4th Wall gets penetrated so many times in the second season that you'd think it was the Shigansina District. 

And yeah, that's a reference I just made. 

When Sugisaki Ken gets amnesia the Student Council gives him copies of the Seitokai no Ichizon books so he can refresh his memory. I think that is pretty neat. I haven't seen that kind of use of metafiction since I read Stephen King's The Dark Tower series. 

While I wouldn't call this a particularly great show I can say I like it. Decent first season followed by a better second season. Some folks were upset that two of the primary voice actors changed from one season to the next, but I didn't think the change was so bad. I prefer for changes not to happen, but sometimes they do and all you can do is hope the new voice actors at least passable. 

I think everyone got the job done here.








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