I mentioned in the preview post that I have read, and loved, the manga that this anime adapts. And in this case, I begrudgingly have to admit that that’s a bad thing. The humour of Sakamoto desu ga relies so much on its extravagant individual stills that the anime has no choice but to do the same as the manga in that respect, i.e. to show the same individual stills in the same way. And, as I’ve already read the manga and become familiar with the best shots, watching the anime didn’t really offer me anything new. Sure, the voice acting and the background music are nice and good, but they didn’t really manage to make up for the fact that I already know what’s going to happen. But, because I still think that the anime is nearly as good as the manga in terms of the portrayal of the best scenes, I still definitely recommend this show to anyone who hasn’t read the manga.
All of that said, I have to say that my problems with the adaptation seem to have been mostly isolated to the first few skits, the purpose of which is to introduce the viewer to the characters and the style of the comedy. Later on in the episode, when the skits got longer (just like in the manga), the anime got more enjoyable. And as most of the rest of the skits will be around the same length as these longer ones, I assume they will remain approximately as funny. Well, some skits are funnier than others, but the average level should be pretty good. And in terms of visuals, the show does look pretty good most of the time. All of the characters don’t look exactly like they do in the manga, but I like the anime character designs as well. Also, it’s definitely technically competent.
Verdict: The first few skits felt worse than in the manga, but it got better after that. Continuing, definitely.
Moral qualms first: The setup of the show involves Madoka, a wealthy grown-up man, taking custody of Chihiro, his grade school-age nephew, after Chihiro’s mother dies. The scenes where Madoka convinces Chihiro to live him involve some mental manipulation from Madoka that I found kind of horrifying. In addition, this conflict is resolved by Madoka offering Chihiro the job of being his maid, which I think is quite immoral and probably illegal, even if Chihiro wants the job. Also, the first few scenes in which Chihiro was introduced through the death of his mother had some moments of black comedy that I felt uncomfortable with. So, those were not the best collection of scenes in history, especially considering this is supposed to be a cute show.
But, aside from those iffy scenes, the show really did end up being quite cute. Madoka’s character is cute, his assistant Keiichirou is cute in a reserved and refined kind of way, Chihiro is cute like grade school-age kids in anime usually are, and the art is cute. The character designs in themselves are not really special, but the faces the characters make are pretty good. The visual comedy kind of works. Speaking of the comedy, there are some moments when Madoka makes uncomfortably romantic jokes toward Chihiro, but it’s probably never going to go the same lengths as Super Lovers (which I didn’t watch, but I’ve heard many things about it). In conclusion, it’s not the most interesting show of the season, but it’s reasonably cute and I think I’ll like it.
Verdict: Kind of average in most ways, and bad in some respects, but cute enough for me. Will continue, at least for now.