Seitokai no Ichizon chronicles the hijinks of a five-girl student council. Each girl represents a different fetish: one is a loli, one is a sadist, one is a tomboy, one is a pussy, and one is a male. Every day in the student council room, these five girls continuously screw around and drop references until you eventually find one of them sort of amusing.
But Baka-Raptor, what exactly is “reference dropping”?
Reference dropping is expecting a reference to pass as a joke just because it’s a reference. South Park slew Family Guy for going overboard with these kinds of gags. When you drop a reference, there are only two reasons for the audience audience to laugh:
Watch carefully as Lucky Star, the epitome of everything wrong with anime humor, reference drops Cromartie High School.
But Baka-Raptor, isn’t Lucky Star satirizing the anime school life setting?
Konata’s initial statement does. The subsequent reference to Cromartie High School adds nothing to her message. Think of it this way: if you laughed at that reference, which statement best summarizes your reaction?
If you picked 2 or 3, you got reference dropped. If you picked 1, you’re a dumbass. First of all, Cromartie is a terrible example of a genius going to school with a delinquent. If you’ve seen the anime, you’re well aware that Kamiyama is just as dumb as everyone else at the school. Furthermore, Cromartie already satirized the delinquent/non-delinquent divide of the anime school life setting; Lucky Star is only leeching off it via reference. You’re not satirizing a trope if your sole example is a show that already satirized the trope. Fuck you, Lucky Star.
Just like name dropping, reference dropping can be annoying, elitist, and under some circumstances may constitute a breach of professional ethics. That’s not to say it can’t also be funny, especially if you have a soft spot for whatever is being referenced.
In some cases, references are actually funnier when you don’t get them.
The main problem with reference dropping is that many of the references won’t make the viewers laugh even if they’re understood. You always hear people claiming that if you didn’t like a joke, you didn’t get it. No, I got the joke, it just wasn’t funny. Why should I laugh just because I heard the name of another show? Why should I laugh just because I recognized a cameo? Why should I laugh just because a character said Gokigenyou? If you make a show that constantly drops references with no added value, such as, “hey, I said Haruhi, I’m cool,” your show sucks, and you deserve to be burned at the stake.
In a sense, that’s what makes Seitokai no Ichizon the second most daring show I watched last season.1 Reference dropping has been done before. It’s been done by more popular studios. It has sucked. Why should anyone expect Seitokai no Ichizon to be any better?
The best thing about Seitokai no Ichizon is that it moves along at a strong pace. The jokes are presented slowly enough that you can at least attempt to appreciate them (unlike Pani Poni Dash).
Once a joke is told, the show quickly moves along to the next joke with minimal follow-up masturbation (unlike Lucky Star). I’ve spoken about masturbation several times, but I’ve never given you an explicit definition. Masturbation is when a show reacts excessively to its own jokes. Rather than leaving the reaction to the audience, the show gets off on its own jokes, as if it were masturbating. I tend to avoid masturbation on my site, but just for the sake of example, I shall now masturbate for you.
This is the best fucking joke in the universe. Get it, universe?! Because this is an H-R diagram, which has stars, gigantic orbs of gas spread throughout the universe! But I digress.
Jody “Blue-Eyes” Hayward is “hot,” as in attractive. Stars are also “hot,” but in a different sense of the word, that is to say, they have a high temperature. What do you get when you put the attractive-hot Jody on a temperature-hot scale? A clever pun! You know what the hottest color is? BLUE, just like Jody “BLUE-Eyes” Hayward’s eyes! By placing her among the blue stars, not only do I make a clever color pun to go along with my clever hotness pun, I also rank her among the “hottest” of the “hot”! But wait, there’s more! If you look carefully, you’ll see a little STAR emanating from Jody’s wink, which fits beautifully within a diagram of STARS!
Alphard is also hot, in attractive sense of the word, not necessarily the temperature sense of the word. There just so happens to be a star named Alphard. You know where I placed the character Alphard on the diagram? In the position of the STAR Alphard!
Sorry for belittling you. I realize that my masturbation was totally unnecessary. I know you’re capable of getting all my jokes, even if they involve a little research and analysis. Anyway, masturbation tires me out, so I’ll make the rest of the post quick.
Seitokai no Ichizon’s jokes often suck, but the pace moves quickly enough that you’ll eventually get to a few good ones. There are also some dramatic (not slice-of-life) scenes in between the comedy scenes. The drama is better than the comedy. Finally, you get to hear Mamiko Noto playing an aggressive bitch-type character.
Change that to a + if you’re a girl. This show empowers girls by showing other girls appreciating anime/manga/yaoi/etc. The show further empowers girls by showing the female characters stepping all over the “male” lead, who persistently sucks up to them.