Cromartie High School? Slice-of-life? Holy shit, that would kick ass! I would do anything to live in a world where it’s plausible, let alone ordinary, to go to school with a sentient robot, a sushi-making gorilla, and Freddie Mercury. Unfortunately, Cromartie High School is the least realistic anime I have ever seen.
That’s not to say the show is 100% unrealistic. It actually reminds me a lot of CMU: there are more robots than women. It’s also realistic enough to have me as a side character, except I was given an afro and renamed Yamaguchi.
1. It is what it is
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a single difference between Cromartie High School and Cromartie High School. Its cast of characters was the same as its cast of characters. It had the same number of episodes as it had. Was I missing something? To clear up this confusing matter, I paid another visit to The King of Anime.
The King of Anime: Baka-Raptor, my dearest friend, what a pleasant surprise! How I’ve missed you—
Baka-Raptor: Shove it, King. I’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.
The King of Anime: You may ask me anything about anime, for I, The King of Anime, know all and see all.
Baka-Raptor: Is Cromartie High School what it is?
The King of Anime: Yes.
Baka-Raptor: Is any anime not what it is?
The King of Anime: No.
Baka-Raptor: Then why do so many people attempt to defend shows by saying “it is what it is”?
The King of Anime: Because they love shitty anime that can’t be defended with anything other than a tautology.
Baka-Raptor: Your wisdom belies your slovenliness. I shall now take my leave.
The King of Anime: So soon? I am grief-stricken. Please, call me sometime, or at least respond to my e-mail.
2. It’s relaxing
Cromartie High School is the anime you could have a beer with. After a long, hard day at work, nothing relaxes me like an episode of Cromartie High School. Have you heard Mechazawa’s voice? So soothing. Cromartie High School isn’t some fast-paced, intellectual anime that’s up its own ass. It’s good ol’ down-home entertainment for everyday folk like you and me.
3. It has no plot, or some plot, but not too much plot
You will not find an anime with less of a plot than Cromartie High School.
It is what it is + It’s relaxing + It has no plot, or some plot, but not too much plot = Slice-of-Life
That’s all it takes to call something slice-of-life these days. Useless? Inane? Sure, but I’ll play along. If Cromartie High School is slice-of-life, it’s immune from criticism, so if anyone tries to disagree with my rating, I can simply say, “you’re watching it wrong.”
Final Grade: ++
Slice-of-life idiocy aside, this rating is highly subjective. In its weaker moments, Cromartie High School devolves into something of a Lucky Star for Men: the jokes are bland and predictable, but fans ignore it because they like the character designs. As Lucky Star uses moé character designs as a crutch for bad humor, Cromartie High School does the same (albeit much less often) with manly character designs. As Lucky Star’s OP has a moé cheerleader dance, Cromartie High School’s OP has the manliest walking in the universe. I would seriously reconsider the value of friendship if I met six other people who could walk this way.