Alternative titles: Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku
Light Novel/Manga/Vocaloid Songs Adaptation by Dogakobo
Streaming on Funimation
Eruna wants to a go to a high school where she can wear a cute uniform and make out with girls. After seeing a hot girl in a brochure she decides to attend Mikagura Academy, a school in which cultural clubs do battle for glory and sweet accommodations.
Jel’s verdict: Fightin’ Words
Alright, Mikagura School Suite, I accept your challenge. You are not the most pretty show this season and you are far from the most intelligent, but you might have been the most fun. It all stems from the fireball of energy that is Eruna, a main character that by all accounts should be an obnoxious anthropomorphization of otaku desire but somehow wins you over with her free spirit and sheer determination. I also enjoyed the twist on the school setting, with the club battles for accommodations harkening back to my completely indefensible love affair with Baka and Test.
It all comes together in a funny, energetic package filled with enough passion to overcome its weaknesses. Even the below average production values are made up for with some cool style choices (the black and white student crowds are a particularly nice touch) and short bursts of Dogakobo’s now trademark “cartoon” animation. I’d probably enjoy Mikagura School Suite as is, but if they can add in cool fights with the other clubs this could be amazing. We’ve already seen students using their club related instruments in magically exaggerated ways, so I’m hoping in Eruna’s case the completely non-descript “go home club” means she will just start punching things. I mean, what else can you do when you’ve got nothing but determination, your fists, and that sweet hero scarf? Of course it’s also possible she won’t do any fighting at all and just comically stumble through her challenges, but either way I’m on board for more of this.
Aqua’s verdict: A Gay Old Time
Calling anime ‘gay-friendly’ is a bit like calling reduced-fat crisps ‘healthy’: You might think you have a point, but in reality you’re only praising something for not being as bad as it can be. If they’re even allowed to come out of the closet, nine out of ten gay men in anime are effeminate deviants and nine out of ten anime lesbians are grab-happy perverts who want to take every gal on the streets home with them. Aside from the very incarnation of this flaming stereotype, Mikagura School Suite‘s main character Eruna is also a blatant otaku surrogate, here to drool over all the cute girls in her immediate proximity so you — straight, male viewer — don’t have to. Oddly enough, though, there’s something spellbinding about Eruna’s relentless energy. She’s unapologetic and shameless in her intentions, which helps Mikagura School Suite attain the levity a show with a premise as outlandish as it needs. Eruna couldn’t care less about how and why the different school clubs vie for power and glory, she’s just here to pick up cute girls, and good lord, pick up cute girls is what she will do. Literally, even.
In the sheer exaggeration and self-awareness of her actions, Eruna – a perfect cast for Juri ‘Aoi Miyamori’ Kimura — becomes more of a laughingstock than a Person You Aspire To Be. It’s refreshing to see an anime that gives unabashed perverts like her their comedic just desserts, and Dogakobo’s colourful presentation as usual helps drive home the point that Mikagura School Suite doesn’t take itself all too seriously. It’s the latest entry in Dogakobo’s ever-expanding catalogue of cartoonishly animated comedies about energetic girls making a lot of noise, and as ever, these are mildly entertaining at worst. Despite similarities to some if not several anime I wouldn’t want to be caught dead with — face it, it’s basically Baka and Test starring Kirino brotherfucking Kousaka — Mikagura School Suite so blatantly acknowledges that it is a thoroughly average late-night anime based on a manga based on a light novel based on the music videos for some Vocaloid songs because that is apparently a thing now, I can’t help but be a bit charmed. Also, I just miss hearing Miyamori.
I’m pretty up on this show. It’s the classic Dogakobo show about a girl being an endearing spaz, and I’m all for more of that. Sure, her lesbian pervert personality is a bit brusque, but it created some pretty great gag comedy. Overall I’d say this show has the best jokes of the season so far. Dogakobo’s style has always lent itself well to good comedy, and even with the reduced budget compared to their average fare, I really enjoyed it. Just like the few good jokes Baka Test actually had, this show quickly realizes what you can work with when your setting is based on a literal meritocracy. Combine that with the prospect of fun an inventive ways of integrating school clubs into a battle system, and this show had me in the palm of its hand.