First Look: SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

AAAHAHAHAHAAlternative titles: Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu na Sekai
Light Novel Adaptation by GENKO
Streaming on Funimation


Seriously, just read the title.

colons’ verdict: I shouldn’t expect cultural criticism from pornography

Shimoneta is a show about the dangers of a particular kind of oppression that many real cultures are dealing with today. It is about revolutionaries and freedom fighters. It is about the dangers of teaching celibacy, of pretending that sex doesn’t exist, of suppressing the oldest and most natural speech humans have. In this world, every citizen wears a necklace which detects when they say anything deemed ‘unhealthy’ and alerts the authorities, who duly descend on ropes down the sides of buildings and kick through windows to arrest them. Everyone talks in euphemisms, and the education system does not teach children how reproduction works.

Episode one sets up our characters in their natural setting. Shit Protag, who you already know, is a transfer student from a school known for having ‘the worst morals.’ We meet him on the way to his first day at a famously clean, healthy school. At one point, a fellow student emerges from under his desk into his crotch area and asks him where babies come from.

Blue Snow is a revolutionary; a woman wearing underwear over her face who yells difficult-to-localise dirty puns and distributes pornographic trading cards to unsuspecting citizens in expertly-orchestrated attacks. She’s also Ayame Kajou, a member of the Student Council to Help Protect Public Morality. She’s basically Sex Batman.

By the end of the episode, Sex Batman and Shit Protag have together organised an attack in which a school assembly is interrupted with footage of two flies having sex, while Sex Batman offers graphic and enthusiastic voice-over. Of course, being shocked by the very existence of ‘lasciviousness’, the student body is confused and not sure what to do with this somehow new sensation brought on by the footage. A victory for awareness!

shot0143You may be thinking this makes for a strong, positive message. What you have to remember is that Shimoneta is also a super tropey light novel adaptation, and the entire premise appears to exist exclusively to provide Shit Protag with a harem populated by women with a particular interest in some kind of sexual liberation. The front cover of the first book doesn’t exactly pretend otherwise, and neither does the show. It is a critique of Japan’s peculiar obscenity laws, delivered with as little nuance as possible.

Perhaps the marketing is just bait, and they’re going to turn it around and teach their implied demographic something valuable. Or maybe I’m reading too far into it, and the fact that this show is so shallow is the whole point. There could be art here. I’m not holding my breath.

Marlin’s verdict: Soulless

I couldn’t agree with colons more in general and less in principle. The entire premise of this show is predicated on a lie, because humans have sexuality it means they must be able to express it at all times. Also, the way I see it, our “sex terrorist” is far less progressive than any of her classmates. She seems desperately clinging to this false idea that people should always do what “feels good” to them. This basal appeal to desires as opposed to actually pursing is just a hollow crutch. All she really is doing is spouting “dirty” words and invading people’s lives to satisfy her delusions of how people should act. It’s childish to the point of ridiculousness, and any thought that this could be commentary is laughable at best, frightening at worst. It’s also predicated on the absolutely nonsensical logic that knowledge about sex somehow perpetuates obscenity. It’s obviously not knowledge of the act, but the inability of people to place any restraint on their behavior. I learned about human anatomy long before it was the subject of any crude middle school jokes, and there was never any correlation between the two. The later terrorism makes it seem like this was the first time these students were aroused in their lives, but that in itself does a disservice to the very underpinnings of human psychology. This show is a disgrace and something that should be offensive to everyone except perhaps those like the petulant manchild that wrote this trash to begin with.

4 thoughts on “First Look: SHIMONETA: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist

  1. Marlin, I take issue with your reading of the moral of the show being that ‘because humans have sexuality it means they must be able to express it at all times.’ That’s not it at all. The necklaces they’re wearing forbid sexual language even in private; nobody is allowed to express sexuality, ever. Sex is shameful and we must all pretend it does not exist, even when engaging in it.

    You also claim that the show is ‘predicated on the absolutely nonsensical logic that knowledge about sex somehow perpetuates obscenity.’ The authorities in this universe appear to believe that, but the show itself does not. Neither does Sex Batman. There are real-world authorities that also believe it, though, and it does real harm to real people. Without formal sex education, people find other, harmful ways to express their confusing desires. It’s absolutely worth critiquing.

    Yes, Sex Batman is a thoughtless, childish, hollow caricature, and no, by our standards, she is not progressive. What she is, though, is a person who sees something wrong with the world and is willing to take radical steps to fix it, even if they’re not perfect. It’d be unreasonable to expect someone in the world she lives in to do much better than she is doing, and in that world, it’s working. The world she is creating is undeniably better than the one that exists. We can work out the details later.

    I must reinforce the thing we have in common here, though; while I will defend the motivations of these characters as they exist in the universe they find themselves in, and I will defend the setting as a venue where it is possible to deliver valuable criticism, I do not believe there are good motivations in this particular instance. This show is trash.

    • I feel this show is extending its ideas to the extremes for the sake of parody. Obviously (at least, I hope obviously) the author doesn’t think society will ever come to this, it’s an exaggeration made to counter with it’s own message.

      The exception I take with sex batman is she is using these provocative messages unnecessarily to forward her goals, instead of trying to appeal to the people directly about why this system is wrong. Assumingly, this is a facsimile of Japan, so as a democracy the people must have had some hand in allowing tho system to come into being, why not convince people to change it back instead of assaulting them with things they might not even want?

      • If these people have somehow, ludicrously, never experienced arousal, I’d say she’s doing about the right thing. You’re totally right, though; that’s not how biology works and yes, this show is super *super* terrible.

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