Final Review: Joshiraku

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Joshiraku is based off a comedy gag manga that parodies various famous anime titles and Japanese cultural references. It is a 13 episode series that aired during the Summer 2012 anime season and neither received a simulcast nor license.

Joshiraku’s episodes are split into three parts per episode, each part revolving around a different topic. Think Lucky Star in a sense except with actual “episode titles.” However, Joshiraku premiered in a rather poor time. It was faced with challenges from rivaling comedy series Binbougami ga! To no surprise, Binbougami ga! was the superior comedy title as Joshiraku failed to produce any interesting forms satirical or slapstick moment. I will say that Joshiraku did grow on me to be slightly more interesting over time, but it still had a long way to go before it could be considered “hysterical.”

Art is very low quality as is the animation. Everything is basic from background to character design to movements. This is basically J.C. Staff doing Kill Me Baby all over again. Nothing much to say here except unimpressive. The ED video is quite well done though and of course has become a huge meme on Nico Nico Douga and in Japan in general.

OP/ED are average mostly due to them being catchy and hilarious relative to the actual series. It’s very memorable despite not being a “good song to listen to.” Background and sound effects are mostly forgettable. Seiyuu wise, it’s mostly composed of younger seiyuus who’ve had only one or two major roles at most. None really stood out though in my opinion but that’s likely because of how the series is presented.

Enjoyment? It started out to be a huge bore but gradually improved as the series went on, or at least a little bit. If I had to recommend, there are better titles out there, most notably Seitokai no Ichizon, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Pani Poni Dash, and of course the same season’s Binbougami ga!. Putting the setting in a comedy theater doesn’t really make it unique as it’s still slapstick at the end of the day.

Overall, the show is nothing special and to fuss over. It has its perks but the caption in the first few episodes really does sum up this show in a nutshell: “Cute girls doing cute/moe things.” As said in the final episode, “once is enough.”

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Uninteresting. Only difference for the parody show is it’s set in a comedy theater.
  • Character Personalities (0/1): Uninteresting cast
  • Character Development (0.5/2): Maybe a little?
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (0.5/2): To be honest, I don’t even remember the names of the five main heroines at the end of the show.
  • Pacing: (1/1): Nothing to complain.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): Tamed in the sense that it’s reasonable at least to some extent.
  • Conclusion (0.5/1): The mocking of “character balance” was hilarious as that is completely true in many shows.
  • Total: 3.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (0.5/2): Basic and low budget.
  • Character Designs (0.5/2): Basic and they all look the same.
  • Fluidity (1/2): Quite okay and very smooth at times. ED video stands out the most though.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1/2):  Different hair colors made it easy to “differentiate” the girls’ personalities but not their names surprisingly.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (0/2): J.C. Staff can clearly do better than this. I never thought they would try another Kill Me Baby type approach but I guess they didn’t learn.
  • Total: 3/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2/3): Funny and catchy OP/ED. Forgettable insert(s)
  • Background Music (0.5/2): Below average
  • Sound Effects (0.5/2): Below average
  • Seiyuu (1.5/3): Average. No one really stood out.
  • Total: 4.5/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (1/2): Gradual improvement
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (0.5/2): Builds as the show goes on
  • Presentation (2/2): Episodic. You really only need to watch one episode though to truly understand the feel of this show. Easy to skip around for the most part if you don’t find a particular arc interesting.
  • Re-watchable (0/1): None
  • Recommendation (0/2): Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Seitokai no Ichizon, Pani Poni Dash!, and Binbougami ga! are all better.
  • Value (0/1): No long term value.
  • Total: 3.5/10

Preliminary Score: 4/10

Final Score: 4/10

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