The latest issue of Otaku USA magazine—available now in stores or via our online shop—brings with it another glorious bounty of articles on anime, manga, video games, and beyond. One of the new issue’s features takes us on a starry-eyed, Sega-themed ride through the wacky world of Hi-sCoool! Seha Girls, and Paul Thomas Chapman is more than happy to get swept up in the comedic salute to the golden age of video games.
Hyper-specific Sega references play a big role in the humor of Seha Girls, and that’s one of the things Paul digs into in his feature. Dig the excerpt below.
Seha Girls is a situational comedy that employs many different types of humor: slapstick, absurdity, manzai-style question and response, sight gags, puns, and referential jokes, just to name a few. Some of the humor is arcane to the point of lunacy, which is likely the result of the hardcore Sega otakudom of the show’s co-writer, Masayuki Kibe of Game Center CX (aka Retro Game Master). For example, Sega Saturn has heterochromia. Her right eye is blue while her left eye is green. This is likely an oblique reference to the Sega Saturn gaming system’s dual 32-bit RISC processors. Programming for this two-processor system was notoriously difficult, which may explain Sega Saturn’s bossy and somewhat elitist personality in the show. At one point, Dreamcast mentions that the only musical instrument she can play is the maracas, a reference to the Samba de Amigo rhythm game. Game Gear, another Sega Hard Girl who makes a cameo appearance in this anime, is described as having a gloomy personality and poor health that causes her to leave school after only three hours each day, a reference to the portable console’s tiny, ill-lit screen and short battery life. Seha Girls is also riddled with Foley sound effects and musical cues from classic Sega games. For die-hard Sega fans, spotting and decoding all of the in jokes and obscure references is a reward unto itself. But those with only a cursory understanding of the history of Sega and its properties will miss out on a huge chunk of the humor.
There’s way more where that came from, so be sure to read the full feature and more in our latest issue!