What if we all lived in a world where lewd jokes could land you in prison? Shimoneta: A Boring World Where The Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn’t Exist explores that reality, and while the idea is bleak on its own, the series is an engaging one in which silliness, dirty jokes, and bizarre situations abound.
In a dystopian version of Japan, the Japanese government has enacted a morality code where sexual terms, profanity, and other similarly “unacceptable” language are outlawed in both public and private. Even in the privacy of your own home you’re forced to use politically correct terms such as “gluteus maximus,” which is absolutely ridiculous when you sit and think about it.
That’s the kind of world that people are forced to live in, and it seems pretty terrible, especially when everyone must wear a special collar that can determine when special words or actions are being performed.
Protagonist Tanukichi is as straight of an arrow as they come, and when he gets mixed up with a woman accusing him of groping her on the subway train (a scam, of course, to extort money out of a passenger who “looked” guilty) he ends up meeting up with Blue Snow. Blue Snow is a woman who parades around the city with a pair of panties over her face that she wears as a mask to protect her identity.
She tosses around lewd photos, is naked beneath the cloak she wears, and is considered a terrorist for the actions she performs. Tanukichi gets mixed up in her plots and eventually finds out her secret identity (which I won’t ruin here for fear of spoiling the series). It all comes to a head when Tanukichi is effectively bullied into joining Blue Snow’s terrorist group, SOX, so Blue Snow can get revenge on the government for its numerous crimes as well as something quite personal that affected her and her father.
Tanukichi’s reputation is turned upside down as he’s then labeled “dirty” and “immoral” despite his willingness to remain as pure as the driven snow (let’s not forget his obsession with childhood crush Anna), and that sets the stage for some rather zany run-ins that keep the series alive for some time, but the “terroristic” activity keeps things entertaining.
Shimoneta is absolutely one of the most bizarre anime experiences I’ve had, but it managed to hold my interest throughout, and I’m interested to see if it will receive an English language dub, which could be somewhat impossible given the massive number of puns and sexual jokes. As it is, the subtitled version is plenty hilarious enough with its innuendos and strange lines from its characters,
but the delivery is made even stronger by the premise alone.
Shimoneta succeeds in a world where censorship and remaining politically correct are the order of the day, and it’s a bit of a palate cleanser to see anime parodying it. Shimoneta is absolutely recommended.