Saturday, September 2, 2017

Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto (2016)

Haven't You Heard?  I'm Sakamato is a slice of life comedy anime comprised of 13 episodes (one of which was released as part of the Blu-Ray as it was never aired).  Set in middle school and starring Sakamoto where we are told, and shown, that all his actions are stylish, cool, cooler and coolest.  It has a great first episode that cements Sakamoto's awesomeness, where jealous students tries to play pranks on him but failing each time, such as catching the duster before it falls onto him, and sitting on thin air after someone tries to pull the chair out from under him.  All of these gags work really well and are hilarious.

Despite being the perfect most awesome person ever, Sakamoto is still interesting and you want to see more of his interactions.  The anime is structured such that each episode is comprised of two to three short stories that depict Sakamoto's exploits.  These stories don't necessary have to link with each other and so it can seem very random at times.  It's best to think that this is just a collection of Sakamoto's interactions throughout his first year of middle school.

Sakamoto himself is physically attractive and popular with not only the girls, but all the guys too.  These include the ones initially jealous as they eventually turn around and like him after Sakamoto helps them in some way.  In a sense, it has a feel of comradeship.  Sakamoto will often do something that seems against his character, or encouraging unwanted behavior such as indulging the whims of a bully.  However, in his own roundabout way, he will change the person for the better.  This leads to his frequent encounters with the school's delinquents, who sees Sakamoto as a threat but he thwarts them each time in his quirky way.  No matter what, you know Sakamoto will come out on top every time.

Along with the melodramatic scenes and exaggerated reactions from all characters, there are red herrings in what Sakamoto is going to do.  From battles that turn out to be a sumo pushing competition to standing up straight in a thunderstorm, looking like he is intending to call down lightning, but in reality, he is hailing a taxi.  It works every time, the excellent animation with clean aesthetics helps.  However, there are scenes where it feels such that when Sakamoto's best friend's mother is romantically interested in him.  It's a bit creepy but manages to stay on the side of funny most of the time.

Another charm of Sakamoto is that he is often oblivious to what other people are trying to do to him, the effect he has on people and what is expected of him.  He readily accepts anything as normal.  At the end, Sakamoto has made so many friends, whether they were bullied, the delinquents or just anyone at all, that it feels sad to say goodbye to them all.  The ending was sentimental and heartwarming.  Overall, Haven't You Heard?  I'm Sakamoto is a fantastic anime.  It doesn't take itself too seriously and enjoys in showing off its originality and charm of its titular character.  The anime is highly recommended as something to relax at the end of a long and dreary day.


For other animation reviews, have a look at this page.

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