I’ve noticed a recent trend of shows that focus on…well…nothing at all! Shows that revolve completely around a main character or characters that do random every-day things with no actual storyline whatsoever. Hetalia sort of falls into this category even though it has a core story (history?) but most episodes could be watched in any order and most of what goes on is fairly random and nonsensical. But more recently other shows have taken on this mantle, like Tonari no-Seki: The Master of Killing Time which focuses on two characters, one who always wastes time doing random and fun things at his desk in class while his classmate constantly gets distracted by him. These two shows represent a small portion of this genre of anime and they’re pretty enjoyable. They’re not only extremely funny, but fantastic for killing time or even great for a break in between anime that might feel a bit too heavy.
So while I scrolled through my Crunchyroll feed and a new show this season called Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, that focuses on an exceptional high schooler, Sakamoto, who aggravates the male population of his school (for being too perfect at everything) to the point where they attempt to sabotage him during his daily life, I was intrigued enough to give the first couple of episodes a shot. And while I did enjoy the show quite a bit, I have to say that at least the first couple of episodes left a bit to be desired.
Sakamoto is not a normal high schooler. He’s smart, he’s dashing, he’s popular with girls. Much to the dislike of the male population of his school, who tries every trick in the book to mess Sakamoto up. But in the end, Sakamoto comes out of every trap with style and makes himself look cooler. Does he do this for popularity? Is this just who he is? No one really knows, but haven’t you heard? He’s Sakamoto!
The main schtick of the show revolves around the idea that Sakamoto isn’t just good-looking or athletic or smart, it is the fact that he is all-around perfect and no amount of sabotaging can or will affect him. His classmates attempt any and all sorts of schemes to make him look uncool, to lift the vale on Sakamoto and make the rest of the world see him as in an imperfect light. And they fail every time, sometimes they lose to Sakamoto’s skill or sometimes Sakamoto simply gets lucky, but no amount of scheming will bring him down. In the first couple of episodes we get to see quite a bit of sabotaging and quite a bit of Sakamoto being an utter bad ass. At one point, one of the would-be saboteurs swipes the chair from behind him as Sakamoto is giving an answer to the class, instead of fall on his ass or notice the lack of seat and stop sitting, he actually sits down using only ONE leg to hold him up like a bad ass! We see an epic bee-fight, him saving a bird in midair from an unwelcoming storm and a lot of it is pretty funny as well as epic.
But it is this very schtick that might also prove to be this shows greatest weakness. The fact that we know that Sakamoto won’t be stopped, that we wont every get to see him as anything less than perfect is what could possibly make this show rather boring. I am not saying that it’s gotten boring yet, but I certainly wasn’t super excited to watch episode three after viewing the first couple of episodes back-to-back. I suspect that, eventually, the schtick will get old and the humor of this show might run dry. Part of what makes anime-parodies good are their unpredictability. What makes The Master of Killing Time so fun is that each episode is different from the next, sure Seki wastes time in every episode, but each episode feels almost independent from the last in terms of its content. However, Sakamoto Desu Ga? Feels both predictable and somewhat repetitive in its format and content and that worries me a bit. (However I DO thing that the second episode does get a bit better!)
But again, I have only seen a couple of episodes, we are still very early into this anime season! As such, my final verdict may change, but for now, I am not sure that this is a show that will hold my attention on a weekly basis. I might just let the season finish up and then binge-watch it later or something. I just hope that the creative ways in which the main protagonist gets himself out of trouble will be interesting enough to entertain me throughout the season. Until then, Sakamoto, stay on top!