Believe it or not, I have seen a number of comedic anime, but probably Asobi Asobase probably reaches another level of absurdity.
The story focuses on a middle school student named Nomura Kasumi. She is a shy girl who writes Boys Love stories and is well endowed. Apparently, she hates playing games because she always loses against her older sister and forced to do chores. She eventually meets Olivia, who is an American. Surprisingly, she can’t speak in English since her parents raised her in Japan. Lastly, there is Honda Hanako. She good at physical activities and intelligent. However, her hyperactive personality causes her to do get herself into troublesome situations. Kasumi, with Olivia and Hanako eventually forms the Pasttimers Club, where they hang out and play various games.
Each episode, it focuses on 5 different sketches, each having a varying degree of comedy and absurdity. This ranges from tossing the shoe the farthest against the Shogi Club for the club room to playing Sugorokuto test Olivia’s luck. As expected, each pastime the girls play lead to a degree of absurdity and craziness. In my opinion, the Sugoroku game lead to a lot of hilarious moments when Hanako and Kasumi forced to imitate stuff from Sailor Moonand Dragon Ball Z respectively.
Talking about references, there is a number of references to pop culture. Besides the ones mentioned earlier, I find it funny how they made a parody of Pokémon Go, which is a mobile game where you catch Pokémon in real life. In the anime, instead of girls catching Pokémon, they catch bacteria instead.
The show also parodied the Battle Royale video game craze with Fortnite and Player Unknown Battlegrounds. Kasumi, Olivia and Hanako eventually plays a Battle Royale game called Fairy Tale Hell (メルヘンへる). The game has players play as cute animal characters kill others with lollipops and other types of sweets, which functions more like guns. Believe it or not, the Pasttimers Clubs faced off against the Shogi Club, which dominated them since Kasumi and Hanako doesn’t know how to play. One can say they are getting revenge on the Pasttimers Club cfor ausing their president to seriously injure herself during the game.
Besides the games themselves, there is other absurdities. Most of the trouble that people blame the Past timers Club for is caused by Hanako. She manages to burn down a whole café when she twirls a pen. It hits someone’s hand that causes them to drop their cigarette, which lands on the curtains. Also, there is that android that looks like Olivia that Hanako’s butler, Maeda made. The android cusses a lot and even tries to choke Chisato, who is the advisor of the Pastimers Club when she asked it to talk nicely. Of course, the girls’ facial expressions of course add to the comedic moments.
Overall, Asobi Asobase is a fun show with a lot of absurd and slapstick comedy. The characters are fun and the production values overall is great. If you like this kind of comedy, you might enjoy this show a lot.
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