Not Worth a One Night Stand
Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shobitch na Ken Introduction and Story (Spoilers)
Shinozaki Haruka is just a normal guy who’s down on his luck. The pressures of not having a girlfriend are getting to him, so in a moment of desperation, he decides to try his luck in asking out Kousaka Akiho, the prettiest girl in class and his longtime crush. Shockingly, Kousaka doesn’t reject Shinozaki. In fact, she seems pretty interested in Shinozaki herself!... just, you know, maybe not in the way Shinozaki was hoping for. Kousaka, having absolutely no romantic experience herself, wants to give this dating thing a shot and treats Shinozaki more like a subject in an experiment than as a lover. She acts as how she understands a girlfriend would, but unfortunately, her entire understanding comes right down to sex, only serving to embarrass Shinozaki rather than titillate him. And from there, the world is their oyster! Kousaka does her best to please Shinozaki by attempting to arouse him by suggesting all sorts of fetishes or purposely (and awkwardly) positioning herself in scandalous ways, only to have him grow nervous about this behavior in public.
Of course, Kousaka isn’t the only one getting in the way of their relationship. As it turns out, Shinozaki has a harem of willing lovers who want nothing more than to jump at the chance to separate them. There’s his childhood friend Ariyama Shizuku, who glomps all over him whenever she gets the chance, his overly attached little sister Kanata, and his new friend Hoshikawa Seiya, who, despite Hoshikawa’s own popularity with the ladies, may want to be just a little more than friends with Shinozaki. And if everyone would just quit crowding them, maybe Kousaka and Shinozaki could enjoy a date for once!
And that’s pretty much the series. Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shobitch na Ken is an episodic series where each episode is split into halves, each section covering a different story. It’s played as a slice-of-life comedy with each episode beginning with a simple conflict, like Shinozaki meeting Kousaka’s parents, some general banter about sex, and then a sweet resolution to remind you that, yes, Kousaka and Shinozaki are a couple.
What We Enjoyed About My Girlfriend is a Shobitch
If there is one thing you can say about Shobitch, it’s that for the one-note of a joke that it’s seemingly purely based on, it goes all in on the concept. Shobitch makes it clear from episode one that it’s about one thing and one thing only: innuendo. Every single character interaction you’ll find in Shobitch is going to include some form of sexual wordplay or misunderstanding, without exception. Most of the time it’s going to be Kousaka casually bringing up something seemingly normal, Shinozaki thinking she’s going to be normal for once, Kousaka misinterpreting said situation as sexual, and Shinozaki completely overreacting.
However, as that begins to get old, the series brings in new characters with new takes on how the series can approach reactions to sexuality. Ariyama talks a big game about her sexual history, but when confronted, she suddenly grows timid; Saijou may or may not realize she has lesbian encounters with every girl she befriends, and so forth. Shobitch explores its subject matter about as thoroughly as one could imagine.
It’s not just the wanton wordplay that adds to Shobitch’s erotic flavoring either. Even the world-building plays into humor. Attentive viewers will notice visual gags like beakers with bases shaped like testicles, stores like “69 Mart”, and the like. What works about this suggestive imagery is that not once does the series ever draw attention to it. For example, with the aforementioned beaker balls, you’ll see a shot of Kousaka and Shinozaki mixing something in it for about a second before it cuts away to Ariyama hiding in a nearby locker. It’s these sorts of gags that play up Shobitch’s immaturity to its favor. The gag isn’t just that it’s a phallic piece of science equipment; it’s that no one pays it any mind.
Now, with all that being said, the real question remains: is Shobitch actually funny? The short answer is, sadly, no. Outside of the amusingly crude visual gags, very little elicits so much as a chuckle, let alone a full-blown guffaw. The main problem with Shobitch is in its repetition. So much of humor comes from our reaction to the unexpected; an event occurs that’s outside of our perceived normal, and our bodies instinctively react. When we know that Kousaka is going to assume that Shinozaki is a lolicon or that he has a BDSM kink and that Shinozaki’s going to get upset over this suggestion, it doesn’t pack the punch it hopes to because, suddenly, shock has become the standard. Shock humor is by nature hysterical, but when it’s the same type of shock over and over again, it loses impact quickly.
And, unfortunately, with the comedy falling flat, there’s not much else to Shobitch. Every half of an episode or so attempts to get you more invested in watching Shinozaki and Kousaka’s developing relationship by displaying a moment of sweetness between the two of them, like Kousaka foregoing her umbrella during a rainstorm so she can snuggle up with Shinozaki on the way home. The problem with this is that ultimately these contribute nothing to our overall understanding of what drives this relationship. They’re more just moments of cynically placed sweetness to justify the 10 minutes of bawdy humor that preceded it.
1. Visual Gags
Keeping an eye out for penis-shaped objects and sex puns that are glossed over in the background is about the only part of the series that works. They drive home the point that just about everything in our daily life can and has already been compared to our privates. Salt shakers? Episode 7 features Seiya Hoshikawa using a pepper shaker that has a bellend for a tip. Baseball? Shinozaki holds up a bat while Kousaka and Saijou hold baseballs at the end. Is it tasteless? Absolutely. But it’s occasionally fun to see how Shobitch is willing to let some of its innuendos slip by considering its need to address every single slip up by its main cast.
1. Kousaka and Shinozaki make no sense as a couple
Kousaka and Shinozaki make sense as a straight man and funny man comedy duo. However, they’re baffling as a romantic couple. All we ever see of Shinozaki is how frustrated he gets with Kousaka’s sexual allusions and complains about how much he wants to just have a normal conversation with her. This is the entirety of their relationship. We never get to see why either of these two characters would be interested in spending time with the other. Is Shinozaki comforted by Kousaka’s naivety? Is he charmed by her earnestness? The only implication is at the beginning of the series, it seems like he asks her out because she’s cute and thought “Why not give it a shot?” Nothing inherently wrong with wanting to go on a date with a cute girl, but he doesn’t seem to really enjoy spending any time with her due to her weirdness. Likewise, what does Kousaka even see in Shinozaki? He doesn’t seem to be interested in anything she has to say and is put out by her come-ons. It seems like the only reason she wants to be with him is because he’s the only guy willing to put up with her.
This wouldn’t be an issue if the series was, in its open commentary about sex, making a statement about a boring couple that can’t seem to make it work, or if it just outright played the duo as an absurdity. The issue is that Shobitch, twice per episode, reminds you that Kousaka and Shinozaki really want to make it work. Kousaka swoons over Shinozaki casually remarking that they’ll go see the cherry blossoms next year in episode 3. Episode 7 has Kousaka nervous that Shinozaki wants a sneaky outdoor evening tryst on their school trip before being relieved that he just wanted to take her on a nice secret spot for them to look at the night sky. The show clearly wants us to believe that this is a supportive, healthy relationship when it clearly is not.
2. Extremely Repetitive
Oddly, when the series avoids making outright sex puns or misunderstandings, it’ll sometimes get a laugh. There’s a scene in episode 2, for example, where Kousaka makes a lunch so awful, it actually spawns some form of Cthuluian horror that may or may not be a Puella Magi Madoka Magica reference. While the trope of the “cute girl who can’t cook” is extremely tired, it is at least a bit funny to see just how far the series went in that situation to push the gag.
However, moments like the above are very few and far between. Otherwise, every single joke is going to end up as some kind of sexual reference. We’ve already touched upon why this is an issue, but ultimately, you’ll get sick of these gags quickly unless just the very idea of a cartoon referencing sex is a knee-slapper for you. It’s a premise that gets old 5 minutes into the first episode. It’s not something that can carry an entire series.
If you’re looking for a fun, dirty slice-of-life comedy, maybe consider checking out Oshiete! Galko-chan instead. Shobitch’s one-note premise just isn’t enough unless you just absolutely cannot get enough crude humor. And Shinozaki’s and Kousaka’s budding relationship, arguably meant to be the emotional core to pull you through the lewd humor, is so completely and utterly uninteresting that any punch it throws has the impact of a wet noodle (don’t read into that). Shobitch is, tragically, a hard pass.
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