By Tyler Trosper / May 26th, 2016
Review Disclaimer: This review contains some spoilers. You have been warned! Also, with the Kumamoto earthquakes from April, only six episodes have been aired so far. For more information, check here.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is easily my favorite anime this season. Based on the manga by Nami Sano, the series is a slice-of-life comedy about a new student at Gakubun High School. But he’s not just any student; He is the cool, cooler, and coolest student around. He fights bees with pencils, wears green onions as neck ties, and is haunted by ghosts that are in love with him. But he does all this with such grandeur and style that you can’t say he is uncool. His unflappable attitude and style makes even the most mundane situations entertaining. Without Sakamoto’s calm and collected demeanor, none of the gags would hit their mark as much as they do.
With a main character advertised as the perfect student, you would think he would come off as a tad boring; a character with no flaws normally means no development, no way to relate, and no way to be interesting. But the beauty of Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto isn’t just with Sakamoto himself but how the rest of the cast plays off of him. Each episode is broken into multiple segments and instead of focusing squarely on Sakamoto, they highlight one of the other students or teachers at Gakubun and their relationship with the main character.
Take Kubota, who is pretty much Sakamoto’s best friend. His episode plays like a typical bully plot, with Kubota pleading for Sakamoto’s help. But, with Sakamoto’s quirky behavior, that plot is spun on its head as he doesn’t merely fight Kubota’s battles for him but helps him get a job at a fast food restaurant in order to have enough money to pay off his bullies. His actions sound callous and uncaring, but Sakamoto teaches Kubota to stand his ground and conquer his own fights in an indirect way. Sakamoto is generally subtle with his actions, which usually leads to misinterpretation.
Most of the character interactions stem from jealousy or attraction. If he was just another normal high school student, I don’t think the series would be nearly as entertaining. However, the fact that Sakamoto can make even kicking a pebble along the road look cool separates him into a category all on his own. His quirkiness makes him different and, in a society where being part of the group is the norm, it either makes him a target of love or hatred.
However, Sakamoto usually wins in the end, whether it means saving the lives of the bullies who were picking on him or helping his stalker make friends. Despite the wacky shenanigans, there is usually a lesson to learn from each episode. Except, well, sometimes the episode ends with Sakamoto fanservice. Actually, there is a LOT of Sakamoto fanservice throughout the entire series, but that is also part of his appeal.
In a nutshell, the series is about Sakamoto’s interactions with everyone rather than about the main character. Heck, in the first six episodes, we still don’t know his first name or what his parents look like (if he even has any). Even with so little known about him, the enigma further adds to his charm. With that in mind, people looking for an overarching plot will be disappointed. As I said, it is purely slice-of-life.
Sakamoto is a mystery. He is the coolest student around and he isn’t even trying. The show might not be for everyone with its quirky humor and fun wordplay, but the series definitely stands out in comparison to other high school comedies.
animecomedyHaven't You Heard? I'm SakamotoReviewslice of life